Posted July 29, 2014

Brandel Chamblee: The Tiger Era Is Over

News, Tiger
Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods shot a 1-over 73 in the third round of the Open Championship on Saturday. (Getty Images)

Decades from now, golf historians reflecting on the Tiger Woods era may mark its end in the middle of the year 2014 B.C.

The “B.C” stands for Brandel Chamblee.

In the wake Friday’s play at the British Open, in which Woods posted a 5-over 77, his second-worst major round in his career, GolfChannel’s Tripp Isenhour asked Chamblee whether Tiger’s struggles signified a so-called “changing of the guard.”

“There was a beginning of his career, middle of his career, and this is the end of his career, no question about it,” said Chamblee. “And if you want to qualify ‘era’ as dominance, then the Tiger era is over, and we’ll never see it again.”

Unlike some downfalls, Tiger’s wasn’t brought on by popular uprising, Chamblee said.

“I’d say this was a coup d’etat by self-immolation. We’re talking about a guy who has willfully dismantled a golf swing that made him the best player in the world. Saying ‘I want to get better’ is one thing. But most people say that because, well, they’re not good enough, and they’re not the best. Well, he was the best, and he willfully dismantled the golf swing that made him the best player in the world.”

Chamblee, a former Tour pro-turned-leading GolfChannel analyst, has rarely minced words when discussing Woods, a straight-shooting approach that has prompted his critics to cast him as a “Tiger hater,” but Chamblee insists that’s not the case.

“I find it very easy to be misunderstood on this,” Chamblee said. “When I say that I am sad to see him play golf the way he plays now, people say, ‘Well, you’re just a hater.’ Listen, if I hated him, I would enjoy watching him play golf the way he’s playing. I say it’s sad because I know what he can play like, as we all do.”

That Woods no longer dominates as he once did, Chamblee said, is a direct result of his choice to move away from what clearly worked.

“If he had never abandoned Butch Harmon’s swing or Hank Haney’s swing, either of them was good enough to ride into the sunset with 25 major championships.”

By contrast, Chamblee said, the swing Tiger has developed under Sean Foley “will not hold up like the one before.”

“Watching a guy swing that short and that quick and develop the yips — and there is no other word for it, the yips — with his driver, is really sad to see. And he is never, ever going to dominate with this move unless he changes it, because he still has between his ears what made him the best player of all time perhaps.”

That mental toughness, Chamblee said, might allow Woods to “kick and claw and scratch his way to another major or two, but would you call that the Tiger era?”

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107 comments
columbo529
columbo529

Someone at the Golf Channel needs to tell Brandel Chamblee to shut up about Tiger Woods. Brandel's dislike for Tiger is blatant and presents a bad image for the Golf Channel and himself. Brandel is correct about Tiger's swing errors but is ridiculous in saying they caused his back injury and slump. Talk about simplistic and a stretch! Then Brandel is quick to claim the Tiger era is over. Tiger is done as the dominant player but it is due to many factors including his mental trauma, physical injuries and age. Tiger's decline is obvious to everyone and you don't need to relish in it.

BobKraft
BobKraft

I think it is fair to say the Tiger era is over, but what is the point. It has always been Chamblee's want to point out what he believes Tiger is doing wrong. I don't say he is a hater, but I believe his whole objective is to separate himself from the rest, but he has not the credibility of Miller or Faldo and others. The cheating allegations he seems to believe on the basis of Smoke and Fire. I don't say he didn't cheat, but cheating implies intent, it is not the same as 'breaking a rule', and I've seen no definitive proof. In my opinion Brandlee is simply a smug opinionated (a pejorative) former very journeyman golfer, who still only has a job because NBC does not want to seen as bein controlled by Tiger

TheGriffin
TheGriffin

I prefer to believe TW; he wanted to be better; so, he changed his swing and did not rest on his laurels.


This hindsight swing analysis is similar to the cavalier, defamatory, and incongruent analysis & assessment of 'rules infractions' during Tiger's 2013 season; a subject the golfing world had heard about ad nauseam; BC apologized for inciting the discourse, but did not apologize to TW.


IMO, BC is a provocateur; do not believe him!

TheGriffin
TheGriffin

TW is in 2nd place with respect to two (2) of golf's most cherished records (majors and wins)!!!


I won't belabor the point with TW's golf records and awards.

jdh2010
jdh2010

I don't think there is any conclusive proof that Woods has dismantled his swing and that his time is over. I agree with those who don't think Tom Watson should select him for the Ryder Cup team, but only because he hasn't played well or much this year. Others deserve selection more. But Tiger may yet make Mr. Chamblee regret what he said.

jdeedler
jdeedler

79 wins is a hell of an Era if you ask me.....and 5 more just last year.

deeg24
deeg24

Furthermore, the "25 major" thing was probably always a matter of over-exuberance... as it would be if we all of a sudden started saying "Rory might break Jack's record".  Getting to 25 majors was always premature, even when Tiger was dominant.

deeg24
deeg24

And methinks his swing will be just fine too, and is better overall than under Haney (Tiger's British performance notwithstanding).  Justin Rose seems to be doing kinda decent with Foley's instruction.  Anybody wanna argue HE needs to overhaul his swing?  or that it's gimmicky?  Please... shut it Brandel

deeg24
deeg24

Tiger is the biggest name in golf and will continue to be so - for good or bad, whether it's liked or not - for many years to come.  Whether he's "dominant" now or in the future won't change that.  It would be good for golf to have a complimentary "dominant" golfer like Rory - Jack's "Tom Watson", if you will - but Tiger will be big news and big business for decades.  All haters need to get used to it...  we'll be seeing his face loom large in the golf world a la Arnie and Jack for oh, at least another four decades...  and like old presidents that are continually in the news, he'll be weighing in on golf issues for decades.


As to whether the "age of Tiger" is over: I think this is a little silly, and Chamblee's continual bloviations on this are wearisome.  When did the "age of Jack" end?  1975?  When Tom Watson ascended?  Jack "came back" in '78 and beyond, winning several more majors, but that's roughly still "future" for Tiger (if you want to get really scientific - just going on lifespan in '86 v. today - 49+ years old is the "new 46".  So Tiger has plenty of time to get a few more.


But why the need for this article in the first place?  Yeah, Tiger isn't as dominant as he was in 2000.  Got it... do we need an article to tell us that?  Jack was never as dominant as he was in 1972.  So what?


Tiger still has it, and will probably get it back.  He won 5 times last year.  Next closest was 2 wins, I think.  He was #1 in the all-around ranking.  So he's all of a sudden fallen off the apple cart because Rory won impressively?  I don't get it...

kelprod1
kelprod1

Tiger is good for the game of golf, but not good for the game of life. He is a jerk. Chamblee is being honest about what he is seeing. Anybody here foolish enough to bet their own money on Tiger in a head to head match against Rory? Would you bet on Tiger in a head to head against Spieth? What about Keymer? The days are gone when Tiger was the easy pick...he still may be good, but he is far from great. Chamblee is 100% correct in in his assessment.

The Computer Store Owner
The Computer Store Owner

Nobody knows for sure what ended Tiger's dominance.  Perhaps it was being shamed in front of the world for 120+ mistresses in less than 10 years of engagement + marriage.  Tiger had a "home crowd advantage" wherever he went and that went away.  He had his ball kicked back into the fairway, and help moving boulders and a blind eye to "oscillations".  Now he doesn't get a break.  Perhaps it was PED testing that began in full force in 2008.  He's won plenty of events since PED testing began but not plenty of pressure-packed majors.  Perhaps it's his age.  Perhaps it's caddie change.  Or perhaps he realized the error of his ways and is trying to make up for it by being as good of a dad as possible now.  I don't think Chamblee knows the real reason, but I do agree, the era of Tiger dominance is over. After he loses points from last year's 5 wins, I don't even expect him to crack the top 10 in OWGR again.

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

Why is his post surgery swing such a prominent thing?  He had the swing last year.  Why was this not discussed last year like it is this weekend?  We need to blame Tiger not winning a major on something.  Yes Chamblee and Azinger make good points.  What if Tiger blew his knee or something else without changing his swing?

Chamblee may not be a Tiger hater overall, but he is sure the first to jump all over him.  Giving him an "F" in last years article was proof of his disdain for Tiger

Buck2185
Buck2185

The Tigger era ended when he was getting hit with a three iron. Golf, and the world, will be better off the sooner the POS is out of it.......

Sagacious
Sagacious

I think Chamblee is spot on. The Tiger Woods that so thrilled golf fans and drew new fans to golf is no more. Age , injuries and poor choices in his personal life have seen to that. He is still one of the tours better golfers, capable of winning tournaments and perhaps another major or two. I believe it is highly unrealistic to expect him to beat Jack's record now. He will tuen 40 next year. Watson and Palmer won their last major in their 30's. Multiple major winners do it in a 10 to 12 year window. Tiger is past that window now. The younger golfers are passing him by. Perhaps McIlroy will be the new Tiger, only with a more appealing personality, more fan friendly, and with less personal baggage. Time marches on.

,

Serge_Storms
Serge_Storms

Earth to Brandel Chamblee:  The Tiger era ended in 2008.  His five non-major wins in 2013 were impressive but nothing more than a footnote to what he did from 97 to 08.  That doesn't mean he won't win more tournaments and even win more majors.  But he will never have a world ranking score more than double the #2 guy like he had for so many years.

Miller07090
Miller07090

I have to agree with Chamblee on this.  Sure, Tiger was out of practice, and he most certainly will get better than this latest performance, but this swing does not work for him.  And for anyone that really believes that Tiger showed up to Congressional or Hoylake without practicing a ton, you are being naive.  There is no way Tiger would have shown up to either without tons of practice.


I really hope that Watson has the guts to stand up to the Tour and the networks and leave Phil and Tiger off the Ryder Cup team.   Phil played a little better this week, but otherwise it has been a dismal season for him as well.  As for Tiger, he is having trouble breaking par.  


Hank Haney took a lot of heat for saying Tiger doesn't care as much anymore.  Was he wrong?  If Tiger truly is feeling fine, and needs the "reps" as he says, why not play in every little tournament until the Ryder Cup.  Prove to your Captain that you understand this type of performance is not good enough.  The guy finished third to last among those that made the cut.  Doubles, triples, missed greens with wedges?  Really?  Is playing only twice more competitively before the Ryder Cup enough?  Does that really tell your Captain that you understand this level of play isn't good enough?


A strong Tiger is a benefit to any team, whether he is winning his matches or not.  A struggling Tiger puts the entire team into a funk.  Watson knows it.  I hope he makes the right call. 

ohcello
ohcello

Oh Brandel... another snap judgement that is *way* premature... but also not accounting for some factors I think are relevant... for instance:


1) Didn't Tiger just win 5 times in one year with the Foley swing? 


2) Isn't it well documented that Tiger claims that he could not continue with the Harmon swing as it was too much impact on his bad knee?  Even if he was wrong, Harmon seems to agree that impact on his knee from this original Harmon swing (and somewhat from the Haney swing)   http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/re-tooling-tiger


3) Also, wasn't Tiger struggles with the driver pretty bad with the Haney swing?  His iron play was amazing with the Haney swing, but not the driver.


++++++


Tiger is still on his way back from a major surgery.... how can you judge him so soon?*  ... So while the Tiger era might be over,... NOTHING that happened at this tournament helps determine if that statement is true or not.  He had a bad week and his driver needs work for sure.... but he need more reps before you can judge.


Lets see what the next 3-4 years brings...remember all those experts who said 3 years ago that he might never win a tournament again?  if he can somehow stay healthy I still think he can win 2-4 majors over the next  6 years ... However If he keeps having to stop and start like this because injuries...I do think he'll be done with winning majors

JohnDD
JohnDD

"Decades from now" only golfers will remember the name Tiger Woods, todays golfers couldn't name the 4 Beatles and two of them are alive ! it's a small world, Tiger made it bigger but all his moments will be lost, like tears in the rain.


JamesB
JamesB

If Tiger is done because he didn't make it happen this weekend, then Bubba Watson's gotta go.  Martin Kaymer needs to retire, too.


Who cares that they won majors YESTERDAY!  They missed the cut and played worse than Tiger this weekend - and if you're an American sports fan, that's ALL that matters.


In fact, why do 80% of these guys on the PGA get to play at all?  They almost never win, and most of them don't even have a single major!


Right guys?!  Right?


Oh - you mean your backwards rules only apply to ONE golfer?  Well, that's kinda weird, fellas.

ChefBobRiccioli
ChefBobRiccioli

I have long believed in my theorem that TW was “toast” even since his “double life of debauchery” was revealed.His response was to enroll in therapy for being a “sex addict” !!!

No man can recover from what he lost.His wife, his kids, his sponsors, and much of his wealth were gone, then, as he fought back, the home he was forced to give-up to his now-former-wife was bulldozed in a fitting act of destruction.

Oh yes, TW would try and scratch his way back, but the toll of those unnecessary swing changes began to decimate his body.Then emerged Dr. Tiger” instead of a REAL physician to explain the medical problems he would claim as reason for his numerous WD’s when he’d “stink-up-the-course.”

Brandel is correct when he asks why the need to change a swing that was so successful, but, as always, there’s another additional consideration ... That’s when I come along with my “toast” theorem. We share the same people who call us racists.I’ve always taken solace in the knowledge that I was just explaining an opera-worthy tragedy !!!

Frank Foo
Frank Foo

If a golfer won 5 times in a PGA tour last year, would you call him dominant? When Michael Jordan came back to Chicago from baseball, it took him a year to get his feel back. Tiger had a surgery and just getting back and certainly he does not have the feel of the game even though his mind thinks he does. I hope he takes this trash talking that his era is over and motivate him to shut everyone off! Try talking trash to Michael!

EddieRaumman
EddieRaumman

The Tiger Era ended the instant he suffered the whiplash injury when his then-wife confronted him about the philandering.


Having suffered a whiplash injury myself (for different reasons) and going through therapy, surgery (where a piece of my hipbone was grafted into my neck), and rehab, I was able to retool my golf swing a bit and temporarily, but I was a 6-8 handicapper.   Eventually, the bone fragment grew back into the spinal cord and a 2nd surgery was needed.  Can't even make it through nine holes now.  I can't say it's painful, but the hands and legs don't want to do what the brain is telling them what to do.  The outside of the hand gets twitchy, and the legs can collapse if I deviate from the proper "slot".  At it's worst, though, I do get "stingers", lightning-like bolts down my spine to my extremities.


Of course, Tiger gets the best of modern medicine and rehab.  On the other hand, the demands of his sport (the walking, the swinging, the power, the feel, the touch) are too much to overcome.  He can't get it back.  And the harder he tries, the worse it will get.  He might be able to figure it out for a few holes or maybe even a day, but his spine will suddenly and unexpectedly change the rules and send different signals to his arms and legs.  I remember a round where I was one-under at the 13th hole, then couldn't stand up at the 15th fairway. 


I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.

wvesely
wvesely

I still say it's karma at work here. Stiffing,refusing to give a minuscule tip to low paid service people. Rushing by fans,refusing to take a few minutes to sigh autographs for the fans that made him hugely wealthy. Treating people like crap is coming back to haunt him

DavidMazurkewich
DavidMazurkewich

@TheGriffin  Tiger had PEDs confiscated at Canadian/ American border.. The truth is out now and he is an American thug.. His hole life has gone downhill ever since he exposed himself to his serial adultery and the fact that he thinks that he is bigger then the game... Tells me that Tiger has issues !!!!!! He is known to stiff people in the " service industry " what ever way you look at it he is not a very great role model......


TheGriffin
TheGriffin

@jdeedler  TW: ~3 wins per season (2009-2013); 15 wins, 0 majors; a golfing career for most golfing professionals.

TheGriffin
TheGriffin

@deeg24  How many golfers have had the 'guts' to set a goal of surpassing Jack's 18?

The Computer Store Owner
The Computer Store Owner

@deeg24 I respect Brandel's analysis more.  And Brandel even though he is well-known in golf circles, would not go tell deeg24 (whoever that is)  to "shut it".

JamesB
JamesB

@deeg24 Not six months ago this same golf media was lamenting the end of Rory's career, too.  Overall, golf isn't the kind of sport that makes for interesting headlines - so these boys have to make stuff up.

HeyJoe
HeyJoe

@deeg24 IMO the Nicklaus era ended with the duel in the sun in '77 despite the fact that he may have played his greatest 4 rounds of golf a year later at St. Andrews to win his last Open Championship.

I completely agree with your analogy of Rory/Tiger as Watson/Nicklaus, and that's why I don't quite understand the "talk to me when he gets to 14" talk. Nobody ever said similar things about Watson, Trevino, or Player.  Anyways I thought that a couple years ago before McIlroy's post-Nike downturn. Seems like he may be moving beyond that now.


I think alot of this really depends on how one defines the term "era." Jack was still one of the games best players for the next 5 or so years after '77, and I expect the same will probably be true of Tiger as well with the caveat that much of that depends on the health of his back.

deeg24
deeg24

@ohcello How can you judge him so soon?  Because Chamblee's a hater, whether he wants to be publicly known as one or not.  Earth to Chamblee: You paycheck comes courtesy of Tiger.  The Golf Channel would've never gotten off the ground - nor would paychecks on tour - were it not for Tiger. 

As for your post:  Amen to everything you said.

HeyJoe
HeyJoe

Is it really that outlandish a claim though? Jack won his last Open Championship and 15th major when he was 38, but at that point his era was arguably over as well. He did go on to win 3 more majors but by that point Watson was already the better player, Seve came along shortly after that.

Tiger gets judged differently than Kaymer and Bubba because his standards are so much higher than theirs. Nothing wrong with that, it's how sports work.

Chamblee is a total clown but I don't think he's off base here.

Stephen35
Stephen35

@JamesB Don't get logical with that crew. Their heads may simply explode a la "Scanners".

fulbol
fulbol

@JamesB chamblee was talking about the dominance era as acholinass would says pi$$ off.

HeyJoe
HeyJoe

Huh?

Jordan dropped 55 on the Knicks in MSG in his 5th game back from retirement.

JamesB
JamesB

@Frank Foo Don't bother with these guys, man.  They're the typical American sports fan - all emotion, no brains.


Teenage girls in plus sized golf polos.  

JamesB
JamesB

@EddieRaumman I think you're pretty far out there with this theory of yours.  The guy just came off a phenomenal season last year - and just had back surgery.


Let's not make up other "illnesses" for him.  

JamesB
JamesB

@wvesely Right.  Meanwhile, Wall Street bankers took the world economy down in 2008 and nothing bad has happened to ANY of them.  In fact, they're still getting MASSIVE bonuses while their industry suffers incredible layoffs.


Tiger, though.  Oh, Karma's coming for him.  


Give me a break.  

frankwhitenewyork
frankwhitenewyork

@The Computer Store Owner @deeg24 if brandel was never allowed to say the word tiger woods, do you think he would have a career in golf media? i don't .. any headlines he makes, it is because of something he says about tiger ...

deeg24
deeg24

@The Computer Store Owner @deeg24 Brandel knows more than Tiger?  Or Sean Foley?  Or Justin Rose?  Saying that a player who won over 30% of his starts last year and finished #1 in the all-around ranking is "done" or has "willfully dismantled his golf swing" is a hard argument to logically sustain.  If Tiger has dismantled his swing by going with Foley instead of Harman and Haney, then surely Rose has done something similar?  Rose was 9th in GIR and 4th in Total Driving last year.  Methinks Foley (and Tiger) have more insight into TIGER's swing than does Brandel the "my words speak louder than my game" Chamblee.  As for Tiger's stats: he was 16th in ballstriking last year.  Yeah - maybe not "dominant", but hardly someone that has "dismantled his swing".  For some reference, he was 61st in 2004, 36th in 2005, 19th in 2007...  i.e. he hasn't fallen off the wagon...

Brandel's a hater, plain and simple... he's been hatin' on Tiger for a long while now...  his comment "if I hated him, I would enjoy watching him play golf the way he’s playing".  What?  The way he's playing as in 5 wins out of 16 tries last year?  Or is he piling on because Tiger hurt his back?  i.e. "NOW he's playing bad"...

I think you AND Brandel should shut it

deeg24
deeg24

@JamesB @deeg24 You're right.  I suppose it's to be expected in sports radio, golf journalism, etc...  I've been involved in too many "who's the greatest QB ever?" debates in my lifetime... this is similar...  still...  it's annoying.  And tiresome...  maybe Rory winning will generate some fresh content.  My bet is that while Tiger may have set his "goals" at Jack's records, probably day-to-day Tiger cares far less about "the record" than the golf media does

georgejeffwash
georgejeffwash

Shouldn't you have said tiger you are a pretentious bore since tiger is your god.

JamesB
JamesB

@HeyJoe  Fair point, good sir. I'm focusing specifically on the people who say Tiger's "done."  He won't dominate again - but that's pretty obvious.  However, he will win - and he's still got a shot, albeit a long one, to tie or beat Jack's record.

wvesely
wvesely

I really don't believe in karma. I was just pointing out how prolific he's been at treating others like crap. I would like to see him change that approach.he claims he doesn't carry cash,that's why he never tips. Well,start carrying some! Instead of disappearing after rounds,sign a few autographs like the others do. Not that hard for him to do!

JamesB
JamesB

@The Computer Store Owner @Stephen35 I'm going to quote you on your "Top 10 in OWGR" comment for as long as you keep posting on these boards.


The guy went from 50+ to #1 last year, and you don't even think he'll crack the top 10 ever again?!?!


Nothing you say ever has to do with fact.  All emotion, emotion, emotion.  I bet you're the kind of guy who talks a lot about his feelings.

HeyJoe
HeyJoe

That's fair, I agree he's far from done.

JamesB
JamesB

@wvesely Fair enough.  As a former bartender, server, barback - all of it - I'd be furious if this dude came to my bar and stiffed me.  Put the damn tip your credit card slip, man!

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