The Loop

Brandel Chamblee addresses his "Tiger Hater" label, and why he and Woods have more in common than you think

August 12, 2015

If you watch the PGA Championship this week, you'll probably also catch some of Golf Channel before and after CBS' coverage each day. And if you do that, you'll definitely hear Brandel Chamblee talking about Tiger Woods.

At that point, there's a good chance you'll think of Chamblee as that guy who hates Tiger. And you'd be wrong -- at least, according to Chamblee.

"I don't hate Tiger at all. I love Tiger. I think what he's doing is amazing," says Chamblee, who seems to perpetually be in analyst mode -- in large part due to the long hours he logs at the game's biggest events, including this week's PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. "Taking four different golf swings to No. 1 in the world? Who would have thought of that? But why would you do that? It's perplexing to me. His singular pursuit of perfection trumps winning. He'd rather have a perfect golf swing than win. Why else would you do what he's done? That's my opinion."

Chamblee preparing for an episode of "Live From."

Still, Chamblee acknowledges many people know him mainly for his perceived dislike of the game's biggest star.

"Is it frustrating? To some extent it is, but it comes with the territory," Chamblee says. "I've been privileged to watch Tiger. I've been privileged to play with him . . . Because I sit in a chair where someone asks me about him every two minutes and I've had to give my opinion -- If I put together all of the video I've ever had of me talking about Tiger Woods, 85 percent of it would be me lauding him. If you and I sat here for an hour and I tell you that you're a great writer and I say I enjoy you're company, but in the last two minutes I say I don't like you're haircut, that's all you'll remember. You'll say, 'that asshole didn't like my haircut!' I get it. That's human nature. People remember the criticisms."

And it turns out Woods and Chamblee are linked by more than Tiger's ever-changing swing that Brandel is constantly being asked about. When recalling his own career, Chamblee says he became one of the top amateurs in the country at the University of Texas without ever taking a lesson before being surrounded by a stable of great teachers like Phil Rodgers, Mike Adams, Chuck Cook and Dave Pelz. Chamblee says he "got worse immediately" when he started taking lessons from everyone around him and reading every book he could find and that he was never as good on tour as he was in college.

"I modeled my swing to an ideal and I didn't just play golf intuitively," he says.

Sound familiar? Maybe Tiger's pursuit shouldn't be so puzzling to his most vocal critic after all.