Brandel Chamblee, appearing on Golf Channel’s "Golf Central" Wednesday night less than two hours before the crucial Game 6 of the World Series between the Red Sox and Cardinals, kinda, sorta, almost apologized to Tiger Woods for insinuating the world No. 1 was a cheater.
"You know, in offering my assessment of Tiger’s year and specifically looking at the incidents in Abu Dhabi, Augusta, Ponte Vedra and Chicago, I said Tiger Woods was cavalier about the rules. I should have stopped right there," Chamblee told Rich Lerner about the column he wrote earlier this month for Golf.com in which he insinuated that Woods’ "cavalier" attitude toward the rules was tantamount to cheating.
In the article, which did not appear on the Golf Channel website, Chamblee gave Woods, a five-time winner in 2013, an "F" for the season because of four specific instances in which Tiger incurred penalties for violating the rules of golf. Where he went off the rails was in correlating Woods’ rules infractions with his own cheating incident as a grade-school student.
"In comparing those incidents to my cheating episode in the fourth grade, I went too far," Chamblee said in an attempt to put at end to the incident that has had Team Tiger threatening legal action and calling for Golf Channel to punish the analyst. "Cheating involves intent. Now, I know what my intent was on that fourth grade math test. But there's no way that I could know with 100 percent certainty what Tiger's intent was in any of those situations. That was my mistake."
Chamblee, who offered a weak apology via Twitter that Woods rejected on Monday when he challenged Golf Channel to deal with its brash analyst, said Wednesday evening that he would no longer write for Sports Illustrated's Golf.com. In calling out Golf Channel, he said, Woods was "barking up the wrong tree."
"This column appeared on Golf.com, nobody here at Golf Channel knew anything about it, and my editor at Golf.com asked me to rewrite the ending when I sent it in to him," Chamblee conceded. "I wished I would have listened to him."
Citing "a conflict and a confusion" that his working for Golf Channel and writing for another company appeared to have caused, Chamblee said he would write solely for GolfChannel.com going forward.
"And you know, that way if Tiger and his camp have an issue with something I write," he said, "they will at least be yelling at the right people."
Whether the semi-mea-culpa beamed from Golf Channel studios when most sports fans had their attentions turned toward baseball will be enough for Woods remains to be seen. In the meantime, looks like the ball's in Tiger's court.