When you are a major outlet reporter, with a major outlet following, and a major outlet paycheck, perhaps when you call the biggest-figure-in-the-game a cheater you should be prepared to stand by your words… for at least a week or two.
Just days after calling golf's brightest star a cheater, Brandel Chamblee has retracted his statement. Essentially saying, "That's not what I meant." BS. Chamblee is supposedly a professional. Maybe it's just me but for Brandel to equate Tiger's 2013 rules infractions/controversies to his own admitted cheating in grade school, and then pretend that he didn't mean to compare the two, is laughable. Anyone in his position, even a former golf pro, should know enough, or have people in place, to correct such a gaff before it gets to publication. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, that didn't happen.
I think Chamblee's accusations would have made an interesting discussion through the winter. I really don't think Tiger was purposely cheating, but I do think that his lack of attention this year to the rules that he's known his entire career does make you wonder what's up. Is his swing distracting him? Is it Lindsey? What exactly is going on in one of the most celebrated, and inscrutable, brains in golf?
Decide what you will about Tiger. Here is that story and several other interesting tidbits from the week that was.
Hole #1: Tiger Not a Cheater (Chamblee's Spine Turns to Limp Noodle)
While I did not totally agree with Chamblee's accusations toward Tiger Woods, it was an interesting discussion point. Now Chamblee has taken back his words and made his future opinions, much like his golf career, irrelevant. [Link]
Hole #2: CIMB Classic Goes to Fifth Day
It will take one more day to determine the winner of the PGA TOUR's CIMB Classic in Malaysia. Gary Woodland and Ryan Moore were tied for the lead at 14-under when darkness fell on Sunday. Woodland and Moore will compete in a playoff on Monday to determine the winner. [Link]
Hole #3: The Ghost of Van de Velde
With the lead in the final round of the BMW Masters in Shanghai, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano apparently let the memory of Jean Van de Velde's epic collapse at Carnoustie creep into his head. The Spaniard, however, finished much better than the Frenchman famously did (though for a much lesser title). In this case, F-C's double-bogey on 18 was good enough for a one-shot win over Francesco Molinari and Thongchai Jaidee. [Link]
Hole #4: John Daly Sighting
In his first outing since tendon surgery on his right elbow, John Daly fired an opening round 68 putting him briefly in second place at the BMW Masters in Shanghai. Daly then proceeded to post three over-par rounds and finished 48th overall. Still, four competition rounds in on the reworked elbow is a positive for Long John. [Link]
Hole #5: Stupid Is as Stupid Does
The European Tour this year is requiring players to compete in two of the first three events in the Finals Series. Joost Luiten is assured of making the Dubai field for the season finale based on his two wins this year, but his doctors have advised him to rest his ailing shoulders. As a result, Luiten, who is currently contending with shoulder issues, showed up for the BMW Masters, hit a tee shot, and promptly withdrew. That's bad for the fans, bad for the sponsors, bad for Luiten, and bad for golf. [Link]
Hole #6: Those Swine!
Almaden Country Club in San Jose, CA, has some uninvited guests in the form of wild pigs. Sounds funny at first, but the hogs are doing a great deal of damage to the playing surfaces. If you've ever hit into an area where skunks have been at work rooting up grubs, imagine if those skunks were four times the size. [Link]
Hole #7: Foxy Felon Filches Famously
In a related story, a golf course in Switzerland has a fox that is gaining a reputation for stealing golf balls, some times even before they've stopped rolling. [Link]
Hole #8: Pettersen Repeats
Suzann Pettersen shot a final-round 69 to win the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship for the second straight year. Azahara Munoz pulled to within a stroke after nine holes, but finished five strokes off the lead in second. [Link]
Hole #9: Jimenez Gets SEXY
For his hole-in-one at the Portugal Masters a couple weeks ago, the "world's most interesting golfer" Miguel Angel Jimenez was given 100 bottles of red wine bearing the SEXY label. I'm thinking that he'll probably pair the fine red wine with a nice maduro cigar. [Link]