Golf Channel’s most well-known analyst had been relatively mum on The Match in the days following the Black Friday showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
In a column on Golf Channel headlined “The Match didn’t grow the game; it demeaned it,” Brandel Chamblee argues that the much-ballyhooed event failed to act as a vehicle to grow the game despite the promises made by Woods, Mickelson and organizers.
Chamblee references the Ben Hogan vs. Sam Snead match-play competition of the 1960s that was broadcast on “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf.” They were past their primes, he says, but the popularity of that match went a long way in helping launch the PGA Tour Champions several years later.
The Match, Chamblee says, didn’t have near the impact.
“The Match, which made promises it couldn’t keep, shined a light on the greedy – not the charitable side of golf – and put its two biggest stars in a position to fail,” he wrote. “The Match may grow the game, just as weeds grow on your lawn.
Let’s call this affair in Las Vegas what it really was: two stars trying to rehabilitate their images…”
You can read Chamblee’s full column here.
As Golf Channel’s top analyst and as the world’s most well-known players, Chamblee, Woods and Mickelson’s names are often intertwined. In an August 2018 profile in GOLF magazine, Phil Mickelson said “[Chamblee] and I don’t see eye to eye on anything.”
“I just like people who build up the game,” Mickelson continued. “I view this as we’re all in the game of golf together. We all want to grow the game. We all want to make it better. And I feel like he’s made his commentating career on denigrating others. And I don’t care for that. I like people who help build the sport up and promote it for what it is, rather than tearing down and ridiculing others.”
Chamblee responded to Mickelson’s comments by replying to a tweet.
In GOLF’s 2018 anonymous player poll, 64% of pros said they respect Chamblee’s opinions (27% said they didn’t and 9% said no comment).