Prior to his exhibition match at Mission Hills Hainan Island, Tiger Woods spoke out publicly for the first time since Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee’s controversial column that accused Woods of being “cavalier with the rules,” which implied the 14-time major champ was a cheater (in golf), according to Bernie McGuire’s AP story:
“All I am going to say is that I know I am going forward,” Woods said before his exhibition match with Rory McIlroy at Mission Hills. “But then, I don’t know what the Golf Channel is going to do or not. But then that’s up to them. The whole issue has been very disappointing, as he didn’t really apologize and he sort of reignited the whole situation.
“So the ball really is in the court of the Golf Channel and what they are prepared to do.”
Following Brandel’s piece, he told the AP in an email that he stood by his remarks, but then a few hours later, he also went on Twitter to apologize. Well, sort of. He wasn’t necessarily for what he said, rather for causing the brouhaha.
Steinberg also commented in person (and wanted to review Tiger’s remarks with McGuire because he needed to change “one thing” — which I overhead as we were all walking toward the first tee):
“I’m all done talking about it, and it’s now in the hands of the Golf Channel,” Steinberg said. “That’s Tiger’s view and that’s mine, and all we want to do is move forward. And whether the Golf Channel moves forward as well, then we’ll have to wait and see.”
What’s curious is the column was written on golf.com, which isn’t affiliated with Golf Channel whatsoever, so why are Tiger and Steiny putting all the heat on the network? My best guess? They basically want Chamblee off air. In other words, they’re telling GC that they no longer want to see Brandel or hear him, for that matter, on television. (Thing is, FOX is hiring and Chamblee seems like he’d be a good fit over there.)
From what I’ve gathered from those close to Woods is essentially what I’ve stated above — they are abhorred Brandel still has a job, though he wrote the incensing piece on a platform completely separate of Golf Channel. Which makes Tiger and Steiny kind of seem opportunistic of the situation since the TV analyst is frequently critical of Woods (it’s like Brandel’s schtick almost).
Golf Channel, part of the NBC Sports family, has yet to comment on the contentious situation.