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Brandel: Tiger Era Over, "Coup d'etat By Self Immolation"

Nice spot by Emily Kay seeing and transcribing some of Brandel Chamblee's latest strong comments about Tiger in conversation with Trip Isenhour.

"There was a beginning of his career, a middle of his career; this is the end of his career, no question about it," Chamblee said on Saturday after Woods carded a 1-over 73 in the third round of the Open Championship and a day after he eked out a 77 to make the weekend cut on the number. "And if you want to qualify ‘era’ as dominance, then the Tiger era is over, and we’ll never see it again."

Jay Yarrow transcribed the coup d'etat line and analyzed the remarks so some of us wouldn't have to.

"I’d say this was a coup d’etat by self-immolation," said Chamblee on TV. "We’re talking about a guy who has willfully dismantled a golf swing that made him the best player in the world. Saying ‘I want to get better’ is one thing. But most people say that because, well, they’re not good enough, and they’re not the best. Well, he was the best, and he willfully dismantled the golf swing that made him the best player in the world."

The clip:

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Reader Comments (40)

To borrow a line from Princess Bride, I don't think that word (coup d'état) means what he thinks it means.
07.21.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPat
Tiger still has a chance to do some great things, but they would involve getting rid of his current swing guru, adjusting his thinking on the swing and eating some crow. Probably not capable of it.
07.21.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
If the Tiger era is over, then that should also mean the Tiger talk is over, Brandel.

Good luck finding a new gig, because you've basically wasted your talents by focusing on one player for the past decade. No matter how right you might be in your commentary, the game has always been bigger, and continues to be bigger, than the one person that you and your co-analysts have obsessed over.
07.21.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPA PLAYA
Seems a little harsh, PP, although the coup d'état reference certainly wasn't Brandel's best.
07.21.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPasaplayer
Swing changes removed, history is not on his side. With the exception of the man who's record he's chasing, the great players were done winning majors after their 35. Who would have guess Watson would never win another major after he walked off the 18th at Birkdale in 1983 at the age of 34. Who thought Seve was done at 31 after the 1988 British. Even Palmer was done 35.
07.21.2014 | Unregistered Commenterscall1968
It is inescable also that the great Scandal of 2009 changed everything, and mostly how Tiger views himself perhaps.
Injuries? Didn't he win his last major on one leg?
07.21.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeff
The Tiger Era likely ended a half dozen years ago.

The "Era" is defined as dominance - winning majors and psychologically impacting the field.

Somewhere between Torrey and the Fire Hydrant, the "Era" ended.

The Nicklaus Era ended in 1980. He was still around after that even though the "Era" was no longer. And that's what made catching lightning in a bottle in 1986 so remarkable.

Even though his "Era" is over, Woods will still be around. And, if he is lucky, he might be able to catch lightning in a bottle once more and retire as the 2nd best ever to have played the game.
07.21.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
Of course, Brandel knows a thing or two about being done.
Marriage???? Done
Playing career??? Done

May need to listen
07.21.2014 | Unregistered Commenterof course
Clearly Chamblee and Woods have issues. Btw, did we ever get to the bottom of that grade school test and whether or not Tiger cheated?
07.21.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBoyer
Swing changes whatever... Tiger can't putt anymore. Oh well there's always the yearly wins at bay hill, Torrey, and Firestone.
07.21.2014 | Unregistered CommenterV60golfrrr
Like him or not, Chamblee has the stones to say what many are thinking: it's over. Yes, he may win another major and certainly a strong pick to win a few PGA titles, but the era of dominance is done.
07.21.2014 | Unregistered Commentermeefer
@scall68: That only applies to some great players. Others have won plenty of majors after turning 36:

Ben Hogan: 8
Sam Snead: 5
Jack Nicklaus: 4
Gary Player: 4

...but having said that, I too believe that Tiger's winning days are over. It's impossible to win without a driver these days, and without a drastic improvement in his short game and putting, he won't be able to contend at all, anywhere.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
What meefer said.

BC is not a tiger hater...he seems to just really really like watching and analyzing the game.

Simple as that...and every cowboy I've known has never been a shrinking violet when it comes to looking at the facts and speaking their mind.

People who slam BC have no idea what they're talking about. He'd spank all of us here on the course.... tomorrow!
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohnnnycz
I prefer Brandel to those still fawning over Tiger and picking him to win every tournament he plays. Not sure if Tiger will ever be treated like the golfer he really is: just one of many.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Matthew IV
I basically agree with Chamblee. However, I blame Tiger's demise more on what he's done to his body than the swing changes. In fact, I think the swing changes may have been made necessary by his body changes. At the Open it was more apparent than ever that he's so thick and muscular through the chest and shoulders he's lost the flexibility for a longer, faster swing... the old swing that once ruled the golfing world. I keep saying he may have another major in him if the stars align, but with each event I see him in I think less so. He'll never dominate again. It remains to be seen whether he's toast.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterTroglodyte
I am neither a tiger hater or lover, but basically I think he is done as a major force. Now I just wish he would give the appearance of enjoyment when he is on the course. The networks show most of his shots in every round he plays. He had no chance of winning last Sunday, he would have done himself well if he had just sucked it up and smiled a few times, even after the bad shots. As it was, he looked like a miserable &*^%$ for the entire weekend. If he hates it that much, he should take his millions and quit.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBDF
it's clear to me that BC's job on the Golf Chanel is to play bad cop when it comes to Woods... certainly Kelly or Frank or Trip or Rich... or any others aren't gong to say anything negative about Woods. Will he win another major? maybe... just like Jack did in 86 ... but the fields are much deeper and the courses are much longer which make the odds even higher.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBSP
Love to see the old Tiger footage and more specifically, swing. Seemed like he just "played" golf back then.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
@Troglodyte - Agreed, he is so bulky in the upper body that he cannot swing like he once did. Add to that the leg and back issues he has had and you have someone who bears little resemblance to the Tiger that PGA Tour fields once crumbled for when he appeared on a leaderboard. Maybe he could still win by bunting it around but that does not seem like his style.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterGreg B.
Chamblee has picked up on the formula perfected over on cable news shows: Say outrageous things, gets clicks and replays, assure your job for another week.

What I'd like to read is an analysis of Chamblee's analysis from a respected authority. Does Chamblee acknowledge that Tiger had to change his swing to save his knees?

What the hell happened to Chamblee's sense of humor, anyway? I remember when he first appeared as an essayist, he was totally charming. Now he's this finger-waggling scold.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterClaude
Thanks Claude. You saved me some typing. It's obvious Chambles is just trying to be a part of the conversation, no matter how tabloid his position often is.

I watched Brandi tee off at Torrey one year with his 265 cut/bunt. Hard to feel completely confident part of his shtick as an analyst isn't fueled by the bitterness of his own playing failures.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterP-Dog
Please, people - stop saying that he won in 2008 "on one leg". Watch the re-runs. He walked just fine, only a few blips when he over-swung.That's not on one leg.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBillV
I've got the over/under on this thread being 47 posts.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
The long descent continues, and plays out the definition of tragedy to a tee -- a man of greatness, favored by the gods, brings about his own downfall through a fault of character.

Tiger will continue to win occasionally. But only to keep the cycle of ultimately disappointing everyone (including himself) going. Once into this cycle, it's very difficult to get out.

To see this once great athlete, now trailed around by a little jester with a shoulder bag and video camera, is something you couldn't make up. It's a sight out of a farcical royal court painting of old. And those of you who criticize Chamblee for describing what is there for all eyes to see are just courtesans still admiring the emperor's new clothes.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
This may be utter nonsense, but another factor leading to Tiger's "self immolation" may be that his double life had slowly become an important ingredient to his success. Again, I'm just throwing this out there and I'm not by any means saying there's any validity to this. Anyway, here it goes:

The harder he focused, the more he needed an outlet for release, which in time became his double life. The more he ratcheted up his double life, the more he was able to pressure against it, so to speak, to focus even more strongly. This kept going, each feeding the other. Then it all became exposed, and he no longer had anything to reenforce his ability to focus so hard. He can still focus every now and then, but not like he used to, and not for such extended periods of time.

One other thing: if this is true to any degree, I'm not in any way suggesting that he go back to having a double life (which would no longer work anyway). In fact quite the opposite: his ability to focus is still there, but he may need to find a positive anchor for it.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered Commenterwilliam
He'll try more futile things along the way. But there's one inevitable ending to this cycle: an aching man sits alone at sea on a yacht named Privacy, and even memories of his victories pain him.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
Good posts, RLL and William.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
@ claude,

what more 'respected authority' is there than a 24 hour golf channel filled with people who have played the game at the highest levels?
You want some English major trying to work his way up to senior editor, handcuffed by advertisers demands to analyse Chamblee's statements? Get over it. Tiger hasn't won a major in ages, you don't need to be smart or sensationalist to say the 'era' is over. You just need to be someone who's not frightened to say something about Tiger. That's the difference between Chamblee and most of the other guys covering golf, he's generally not scared to say it how it is. Also he does the same for lots of other guys on tour, all you have to do is watch the programs, his analysis goes far beyond just Tiger. It's just that the Tiger stories get covered by others more and those who don't watch the GC get the impression he only covers Tiger.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Well, in some sense BC give credibility to golf channel that it badly news, partly because the rest of the crew practically drool over Woods at every change they get to interview, which btw has not happened in a while. There is also something to be said about pushing it out to the right with a strong grip - yes TW got a problem here.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterNubi
To help fyg get to his 47, let me point out the obvious. I think BC meant coup de grace, not coup d'etat.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPat
If indeed Tiger is done, and he may well be, should we assume Brandi's salacious Sunday night obsession to personally put the final nail in the coffin is also done? Make no mistake, this is a man who has made a career out of the failures of another. Classy stuff.
It's never been the message for me, just the messenger.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterP-Dog
Agree the evidence points to Woods having peaked in his career and will probably never dominate like in the past.
That said, I'd like to see him win another couple of majors if for no other reason than to watch Chandel demonstrate seppuku on Golf Channel.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered Commentergov. lepetomane
"And those of you who criticize Chamblee for describing what is there for all eyes to see are just courtesans still admiring the emperor's new clothes."

Good one, RLL! Rebuking another's opinion is one thing, but to get in a sneaky dig at their masculinity with a word like "courtesan," oh, baby, total bitch slap!
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterClaude
"What I'd like to read is an analysis of Chamblee's analysis from a respected authority."

I don't know who you'd consider to be a respected authority, but of the ten guys who were asked the question over at Tour Confidential at, all ten were unanimous in agreeing with Chamblee. So, there's that.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered Commenterbadgolfer
Good lord it's not like Tiger pulled a David Duval or will still get all time wins and may/may not get anymore majors? Sitting on his yacht Privacy being pained by the memories of his victory's...lmao some of you take golf way too serious.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered Commentermarmooskapaul
So after just two tournaments following back surgery Tiger is history? Brandel is just going for the controversy. Will Tiger win at the rate of the past? Of course not. Tiger won five times last year with a bad back that was much worse than anyone knew at the time. By the way, how many golfers in the last 25 years have won 5 tournaments in a PGA season? A less than healthy Tiger last year plus many previous seasons, Mickelson, Singh and Price.

That puts Tigers "sub-par" last season in true perspective. The only thing that Tiger might have problems with this year is winning a tournament in just the 4-5 starts he will have before the FedEx playoffs. So timing may cause Tiger to delay his full reemergence to 2015. Looking forward to many Rory vs. Tiger matches and even I think Rory will get the best of him most times. Brandel has just gone too far over the cliff chasing those TV eyeballs/page views.....
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterStephenP
Just checked and Phil Michelson has won four times in a season three times. He has never won five times. Wood won five times last year in a "subpar, no major" year. That makes Woods, Singh and Price's achievements over the last 25+ years even more impressive.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterStephenP
Some of you need to spend a little more time actually watching Chamblee before you comment again. The guys spends as much or more time praising Tiger for everything he is and has been as he does being negative.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Brandels right. The tiger is era is over cause Tiger aint juicing anymore. Wife just got back from a physical therapy session with a guy who worked for a NFL team here on the west coast, etc saw all the rampant steroid and coke use, when asked Do you think tiger juiced? His answer. "uh duh of course" Its so frickin obvious. Wake up. The guy was beyond great cause he juiced just like every other great athlete from the past 20 years.
07.22.2014 | Unregistered Commentervwv60golferrr
So... Your wife was in a physical therapy session with someone who worked in the NFL and this proves what!!?? Lmao
07.22.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarmooskapul

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