Brandel Chamblee’s competitive golf career is quietly trending upwards

September 16, 2019

As ever, Brandel Chamblee is making more noise with his golf takes than with his golf results. That much is likely to continue. The 58-year-old Golf Channel personality caught the most attention over the weekend for his vehement stance that the Players Championship is golf’s “premier event” and his defense of Rory McIlroy for PGA Tour Player of the Year.

But in the background, Chamblee was quietly recording his best finish yet on the PGA Tour Champions. While he hardly challenged for the win, Chamblee posted scores of 76-70-69 to finish T46 at the Ally Challenge in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

The event marked Chamblee’s fifth competitive start on the senior circuit, but it’s the first time he’s cracked the top 50, and the first time he’s broken par for the week.

Last year, Chamblee caught the golf world’s attention when he qualified for the Senior Open Championship, and he qualified again for the 2019 edition — but missed the cut each time. Still, he made it clear that he was getting serious again about competitive golf despite no real tournament action in over a decade.

“I love doing my job, but I want to see if I can make full use of all the time I’m off,” he told GOLF.com. “I just want to see if I’m able to put to use all the things I’ve been studying for years and years and years. And use myself as a guinea pig.”

In 2019, he accepted exemptions to play in the Principal Charity Classic and the Shaw Charity Classic, where he finished T74 and T64, well off the pace.

Brandel Chamblee's T46 marks his best PGA Tour Champions finish yet.

Chamblee hardly challenged for the lead (Jerry Kelly won the event at 16-under) but finishing middle of the pack in the 78-player field marks a step in the right direction. Chamblee isn’t among the tour’s longer players, but he missed just two fairways over the final two rounds and his Sunday 69 featured four birdies against just one bogey.

With the result, Chamblee collected his biggest paycheck yet, for $7,600, and moved to No. 143 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. We don’t think he’ll quit his day job any time soon — or get any notes of congratulations from Brooks Koepka — but Chamblee’s upward trend is worth keeping an eye on.

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