2013 Golf: PGA Report Cards are out, Does Tiger Woods Deserve an F ?


I had the pleasure this morning to read the Report Card that Sports Illustrated Contributor, Brandel Chamblee has posted at Golf.com. I pretty much agree with most of his grades, but was reminded how much the former PGA golfer turned media star dislikes Tiger Woods. I remember the Saturday morning at Augusta when the 51 year-old Chamblee was calling for Woods to disqualify himself for the illegal drop he took at the 15th hole debacle that occurred on Friday afternoon. 

That’s why it didn’t surprise me that in the posting entitled: Brandel Chamblee’s PGA Tour Season Grades are in….Tiger Woods gets an “F”Chamblee has decided to give the five-time winner a failing grade.

As you read the article, you get the feeling that he is accusing Tiger Woods of being a habitual cheater. Although Tiger was involved in three, or four controversial decisions this year, one has to remember, he is the most televised player on the tour because he is the number one player in the world. We don’t always see mistakes other players make because they aren’t as readily televised.

I think Tiger’s ego gets in the way when he hits a bad shot, and he fails to call an official over. He thinks he understands the rules, and makes decisions that are not always correct. The bad drop at Abu Dhabi was an honest mistake somewhat like Dustin Johnson grounding his club in a somewhat vague bunker at Whistling Straits at the 2010 PGA Championship.

The incident at Abu Dhabi could have been avoided had Tiger called an official over to make a ruling. Had he done that, he would have found out that he was officially in a fairway bunker, and would not be allowed to remove the ball from the plugged lie.

The drop Tiger made at the Masters would have been ok had he not explained to the cameras later that he moved back two yards because he hit his wedge two yards too far. That was intentionally trying to gain an advantage, and that’s a penalty. I was ok with Tiger getting a two-shot penalty, but wasn’t ok with him being disqualified for signing an incorrect score card. Sorry Brandel, I don’t agree with you on this one.

The incident at the BMW Championship bothers me. I can understand that maybe he didn’t see the ball move when he removed the twig, but when he was shown the video, it was pretty clear that the ball moved. I’m reminded of former President Clinton debating the word “is” on television. We got involved in a conversation about the difference between oscillate, and moved.

This is an indication that maybe the rules of golf are a little too complicated, and either need change, or further definition. I understand, and agree with Commissioner Tim Finchem that to add an official to every group would destroy the nature of the game, but in the 21st century where there are millions of dollars on the line, maybe it’s time to re-think having officials make calls like they do in all other sports that we watch and take the pressure off of the players, and sometimes the fans that call in mistakes from all around the world.

I’m not ready to give Tiger Woods a 100 that is marked down to an “F” because of the bad drops he made on the year, and I think maybe Brandel Chamblee is a little rough. I am not willing to give him an “A” at this point either. Yeah…he deserves a good mark for winning five tournaments in the 2013 season, but based on his goals, not an “A”.

Because he picked up four of the five wins at golf courses he absolutely owns, and with the poor finishes he had at the majors, I’m going to give him a solid “B”. Two of the events were WGC tournaments against strong fields, and the Players Championship is like the fifth major. For that, he gets a good grade.

If you are going to fail him for the questionable drops, I think you’re not giving him the one think you owe him for keeping this sport alive for 15 years, the benefit of the doubt.

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