Brandel Chamblee, the Golf Channel analyst who found himself in the spotlight after giving Tiger Woods' season a failing grade despite winning five tournaments, has no interest in changing his opinion after the backlash.
Chamblee responded to the criticism in an email to the Associated Press, via ESPN.com, in which he defends the grade and says he chose his words carefully while giving out the "F." The former member of the PGA Tour came to the conclusion that "ethics matter more than athletics."
Chamblee never says outright he thinks Woods cheated. That was by design.
"I think 'cavalier with the rules' allows for those with a dubious opinion of the BMW video," Chamblee said Tuesday in an email to the AP. "My teacher in the fourth grade did not have a dubious opinion of how I completed the test. But she was writing to one, and as I was writing to many, I felt it important to allow for the doubt some might have, so I chose my words accordingly."
The analyst was referring to a story he told as a part of the analysis. He discussed receiving a failing grade in fourth grade after his teacher caught him cheating. Instead of immediately calling him out, she crossed out the 100 and made it an "F" to make a point.
He mimicked the style while grading Woods. As the AP report points out, that drew the ire of Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, who not only lashed out at Chamblee but also raised the possibility of bringing legal action to the table.
Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports Management, the agent for Woods, was so incensed that he released a statement to ESPN.com that accused Chamblee of a desperate attempt to garner attention. In an interview with ESPN.com, Steinberg said he would "have to give some thought to legal action."
Clearly, the comments from Steinberg weren't enough to get Chamblee to change his tune. Instead, he continued to point toward a rules violation Woods had at the BMW Championship, which cost the No. 1 player in the world two strokes and apparently sealed his fate with Chamblee.
I don't feel I'm the one that needs to justify the 'F.' The BMW video does it for me, followed by Tiger's silence -- until confronted -- and then by his denials in the face of incontestable evidence to the contrary of his petitions," Chamblee said. "To say nothing of the fact that he was disrespecting his position in golf, the traditions of golf and his fellow competitors, in my opinion.
Whether it was fair to give a golfer who won five PGA Tour events, which was three more than any other player, a failing grade for the year is very much up for debate. But Chamblee was clearly trying to make a point, and now it's being heard loud and clear.
For what it's worth, Woods' fellow golfers voted him the Tour's Player of the Year despite the controversies, including one at the Masters, involving rules violations.
It's safe to say Woods wouldn't have received Chamblee's vote.