Originally Posted by Golfingdad
Actually, I think ghalfaire makes a pretty good point. We all agree (if you don't agree then that simply means I'm not talking to you) that we have no idea what Tiger was thinking when we said he didn't see the ball move, but we take him at his word. If Brandel says he didn't intend to hurt anybody, why shouldn't we also take him at his word? The type of mistakes are different, sure, but that doesn't preclude them from both potentially being mistakes.
If we're going to make the assumption that Brandel intended to hurt Tiger, then everybody who has the assumption that Tiger intentionally cheated gets to have that opinion validated.
Is it possible that Brandel's article was calculated from the start to stir up this controversy and that it was not a mistake, and his apology is not sincere? Of course. But it is also possible that Tiger did see his ball move, yet hoped nobody else did, and played dumb when he was caught. We can't have one and not the other.
It is tough to judge intent, and therefore it's best not to judge it, and instead look at actions. Still, it is a fuzzy task.
Do we take Tiger's word that he did not intend to be "cavalier" with the rules?
Do we take Chamblee's word that he meant no ill will?
I think Chamblee could have avoided the problems and could have still stirred the pot if he had given Tiger an "Incomplete" Grade. He could have said, "Sure, Tiger won 5 Tournaments, but he fell apart on the weekends in Majors, his putter was inconsistent, his driving in Majors was ill-directioned or non-existent (he did not use driver at times), and he SEEMED to have a cavalier take on enforcing the rules against himself." And then cite the examples.
The story about him cheating as a kid and tying it to Tiger? Poor taste and I had a tough time with that comparison - wasn't a good analogy in my book.
I think it's best to judge actions over a period of time - you can't point to one act and say "ah-ha, got'cha!" But if we have several questionable actions, it does create doubt.
Look at Vijay ... early eraser mark with his score and suspension tainted him, he gained a reputation as mistreating caddies, he used moose antler spray to gain an edge... that's consistency over 20 years in one aspect of his life - golf. Is it enough to create that he intended to violate the rules? Depends on the evidence.
The evidence on Tiger "can" be put down to carelessness - there is enough doubt in these situations, I think, to say, "these things happen to the #1 player who is constantly watched by zoom lenses."