No golfer in the history of the game has had his swing dissected more than Tiger Woods. This applies to pretty much everything Woods does, really, not just his swing. We saw on Wednesday when he parachuted into Valhalla to try and play the PGA Championship just how different and how much larger he is than any other competitor, ever.
So as Woods goes through a multi-year major championship winless streak and repeatedly ends up on the shelf with an array of injuries, analysts and pundits are going to dig and search for anything and everything that he could be doing wrong.
Tiger at Valhalla
Injured Tiger grimaces through injury, misses cut
Tiger Woods’ season and improbable quest for a 15th major title comes to an inglorious end as the former world No. 1 misses the cut at the PGA Championship.
Tiger at Valhalla
But there's only so much to say about Woods. Unfortunately, there are hours and hours of air time and pages of white space to fill up talking about the game's singular force. There's hyperbole, apology, and mindless caricaturing of the most useless minutiae.
One show that manages to keep the constant Tiger talk both relatively interesting and informative, however, is Golf Channel's Live From with Brandel Chamblee and Frank Nobilo. It can occasionally get dramatic, but it's probably the best sports-related show on TV. It covers a peripheral sport and often preaches to the converted, so it may go unnoticed but it's found the perfect blend of being analytical and entertaining. There's analytical data, technical expertise, informed opinion, and historic sentimentality. There are no stupid forced First Take debates; they believe in what they're saying. And it's rarely a vacuous giggle-fest of dumbass cliches that offer nothing like so many pre- and post-game shows.
So when Chamblee and Nobilo went toe-to-toe Thursday night on Tiger after the end of the PGA Championship's first round, close golf watchers were buzzing. It was an educational and entertaining-as-hell discussion. I won't try to paraphrase, but they obviously hit on the topic everyone wants analyzed: What's wrong with Tiger Woods?
It was great and useful TV. Is the swing causing the injury? Or are the injury and lack of reps causing the shaky and rusty swing?
Chamblee got in a bit of hot water at the end of the 2013 when he gave Woods, that season's Player of the Year, an "F" grade in a year-end review. Woods' season, by any standard, was a success. He won five times. But Chamblee reasoned that an "F" was deserved because of all the sticky rules drama Tiger landed in over and over, calling him "cavalier with the rules."
The column blew up and led to months of back-and-forth between Tiger's camp and Chamblee, who has been largely branded as an unhinged Tiger-hater by Tiger fans. It may have been a rough and unnecessary moment, but he's still one of the best analysts in any sport, and someone all sports, including golf, needs more of. And Nobilo is the perfect partner and counter as well, meeting Chamblee head on and often with a level voice when things start to get overheated or go too far.
I didn't really mean to write a love letter to a TV show, but we're drowning in so much Tiger nonsense so often. It was great to watch this Thursday night, and I felt it needed to be passed on.