Brandel Chamblee is known for bringing the heat as an analyst on Golf Channel. Despite what his critics think, Chamblee has the game to back it up.
On Monday the 56-year-old, who was on assignment last week for NBC Sports/Golf Channel's coverage of the Open Championship at Carnoustie, qualified for the Senior Open Championship with a two-under 69 at Scotscraig in Tayport, Scotland. Chamblee earned medalist honors, and will play in this week's tournament, which will be at St. Andrews for the first time in its 31-year history.
Chamblee, who won once on the PGA Tour in his career, walked away from professional golf in 2003, talked with Golf Digest this spring about his desire to return inside the ropes, saying the Senior Open at the Old Course “was too strong a lure to ignore." While he's very aware his play will be carefully watched, he doesn't seem too concerned.
“I get a chuckle out of people who try to denigrate my career,” Chamblee told Golf Digest. “I was an extraordinary golfer. I say that with all humility. There are 25 million who play this game, and I was 58th in the world. I was a decent tour player. I played at the highest level for the better part of 15 years. At times I got damn close to being really good.
“I don’t at all look back on my career with any regret. I gave it my all. I burned the candle on both ends, practicing sunup to sundown and thinking about it until I decided to do something else. I didn’t quit because I was playing bad or was hurt. I quit because of life matters, family matters and a goal of wanting to do something else in my life and see if I could be any good at it. That was it.”
Since 2003 Chamblee has played in just three tour-sanctioned events, the last coming at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2008. The Senior Open begins July 26. Bernhard Langer is the defending champ.