Tiger Woods mental golf

A storm is brewing in the golfing world and as usual, Tiger Woods is never very far from the centre of the controversy.

In an interview with a golfing magazine based in the United States, the well-known golfing commentator Brandel Chamblee handed Woods a grade ‘F’ for the season accusing the world number one of being “a little cavalier with the rules”.

 

Tiger-Woods-Rolex

 

In response, Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg (pictured with Woods below) has said that Chamblee’s comments were “atrocious” and that he was considering what further action could be taken, possibly even legal action.

 

“There is nothing you can call a golfer [that is] worse than a cheater,” Steinberg remarked.

“This is the most deplorable thing I have seen. I’m not one for hyperbole, but this is absolutely disgusting.

“Calling him a cheater? I’ll be shocked, stunned if something is not done about this,

“Something has to be done,

“There are certain things that just don’t go without a response. It’s atrocious. I’m not sure if there isn’t legal action to be taken.” Steinberg thundered.

“I have given some thought to legal action,” he confirmed.

 

 

Chamblee’s comments come after a season where Woods has repeatedly found himself under scrutiny for his interpretation of the laws of golf.

In January, he was handed a two-shot penalty when playing in a tournament in Abu Dhabi when he took a drop in an incorrect position.

 

In April, many golfing experts, fans and critics felt Woods should have been disqualified from the Masters tournament after a somewhat unusual incident during the second round.

When Woods’ approach at the 15th hit the flag and unluckily bounced back into the water, he dropped the ball to retake his shot. After studying television evidence however, officials found that Woods had played the ball in the wrong position.

Despite signing for his scorecard for what is effectively the wrong score, an offence that should be an automatic disqualification according to PGA rules, Woods was handed a two-shot penalty.

 

A few weeks later, he took another questionable drop at the PGA Championship and at last month’s BMW Championship in Chicago, his ball clearly moved as he attempted to move some twigs.  Woods claimed the ball had not moved, despite TV evidence clearly showing the ball moving.

 

Despite these repeated infractions, Steinberg remains adamant that his client has done nothing wrong.

“Tiger voiced his position, accepted his penalty and moved on. There was no intention to deceive anyone,” Steinberg stated.

Steinberg also slated Chamblee’s comments as “shameful, baseless and completely out of line”, “uninformed and malicious” and “silly”.

 

The comments that so incensed Steinberg attributed to Chamblee came in reviewing the 2013 season. Chamblee wrote:

“I remember when we only talked about Tiger’s Golf,

“I miss those days. He won five times and contended in majors and won the Vardon Trophy and…how shall we say this…was a little cavalier with the rules.”

 

 

On reflection, it seems unduly harsh that Chamblee has taken what, by most other accounts, was a superb season for Woods and undermined it by referring only to what he perceives to be continual infractions of the rules.

It is also worth noting that Woods accepted all the penalties handed out to him without question.

 

In our view, Woods may be guilty of one thing, but it is not cheating. He may just not have fully understood or appreciated where the drop of the ball should have taken place. He may genuinely have not seen the ball move as he moved a branch or twig.

But to imply that Woods feels the need to cheat to further his fortunes seems unduly harsh.

 

Of course, rules are rules and where there is cause for concern is in the inconsistency of their application. If Dustin Johnson is penalised and loses a Major because he didn’t realise his ball was in a bunker, or Padraig Harrington is disqualified for accidentally signing for the wrong score on his scorecard, why was it then that Woods was not disqualified from the Masters?

 

That is not the fault of Woods, but the fault of the tournament organisers who seemed, whether that is true or not, to make an exception to the rules because it was golf’s highest profile player.

While I can understand a degree of anger at this, that is not Wood’s fault.

 

So Chamblee’s comments are a tad mealy-mouthed and perhaps sensationalist to the extreme. Woods may be many things, he may be arrogant at times, absent-minded, over-absorbed in the game to remember the rules accurately, impatient, or even allow anger to cloud his judgement.

But a cheat? Absolutely not and for one good reason: He doesn’t have to.

 

Tiger is no golfing Maradona; he’s not perfect, he has his fans as well as his critics, but above all else Woods doesn’t have to cheat because he is as close to a golfing genius as you will ever see.

You don’t have to like his personality, but you should respect his talent and accusing Woods of cheating is, in my view, insulting and unfair.

 

However, with respect to legal action? Surely the best answer is to finish next season as World Number 1 with another major or two sat in his already burgeoning trophy cabinet?

Then perhaps he’ll get a slightly better end of year grade.

 

Images courtesy of Business Insider.com,  Brandel Chamblee Twitter account, Rolex

 

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Chamblee wanted the press and got it but you have to wonder if he still appreciated that any press is good press after this fiasco.

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