Brandel Chamblee’s Incessant Bullshit

[In the Monkey See, Monkey Do Department, Golf/SI is repeating Chamblee’s nonsense 90 percent number, which he totally pulled out of his ass:  “He pointed to Woods’ 13-17-3 Ryder Cup record compared to his almost 90 percent win rate in regular match play.”

In what other sport are the reporters so incompetent that if one of them says, “San Diego won four Super Bowls,” the other will all repeat it as fact?  The incompetence of today’s golf reporters is staggering.]

Brandel Chamblee was yesterday discussing Tiger Woods (what a shock) on Golf Central.  His point, as I interpreted it, was that Woods should not be a member of the Ryder Cup captain’s entourage because Woods was never really passionate about the Ryder Cup and had a bad record playing in it.  The obvious inference was that Chamblee was linking the two: Woods didn’t care much, so he played like crap.  Okay, whatever.  But then Chamblee pointed out Woods’s 13-17-3 Ryder Cup record and said that elsewhere in match play, Wood had an “almost 90 percent win rate.”

My bullshit detector went off, of course.  90 percent means, you lose one, you win the next nine.  Forever.  I know Golf Channel goes out of their way to exaggerate Woods’s accomplishments and justify their obsessive coverage of him, but this claim went beyond ludicrous.  But, hey, it’s not like I’m infallible.  Chamblee said it so confidently and used such a specific number, he must have done the research.  Right?

Yeah, right.  Saying bullshit confidently is Chamblee’s bread and butter.  So it is pretty much a waste of time for me to dig through the numbers to disprove a factoid of Chamblee’s which was almost assuredly created out of thin air.  But I did it.  For you guys.  That’s the kind of swell person I am.

Just The Facts, Ma’am (These numbers come primarily from Adam Sarson’s website, with a couple of the totals from other sources to speed things up.  If you see anything wrong — and you well might, as I did this quickly — please tell me):

 Ryder Cup Total          13-17-3    43.9%
 Ryder Cup Singles         4- 1-2    71.4%
 Ryder Cup Team            9-16-1    36.5%
 Presidents Cup Total     24-15-1    61.3%
 Presidents Cup Singles    6- 2-0    75.0%
 Presidents Cup Team      18-13-1    57.8%
 Everything Else Total    39-14-0    73.6%
 Everything Else Singles  36-12-0    75.0%
 Everything Else Team      3- 2-0    60.0%

Okay, you can quickly see no number comes anywhere near 90 percent.  But there are many other things to note:

  • Chamblee was comparing Woods’s Ryder Cup total percentage to an imaginary 90 percent which simply does not exist in this reality.
  • If you compare Woods’s Ryder Cup total percentage to the the highest category, you are then comparing Total (Ryder Cup) to Singles (Everything Else or Presidents Cup).  Apples to oranges.
  • If you compare Singles to Singles, Woods’s Ryder Cup is 71.4% to 75%, hardly a staggering difference.
  • Everything Else numbers include a lot of matches vs WGC #64 seeds.  Note, too, the Presidents Cup International team has been consistently weaker than the Ryder Cup European team.
  • If you compare totals, the numbers are Ryder Cup 43.9%, Presidents Cup 61.3%, Everything Else 73.6%.  You could make a valid argument that strength of opposition explains much of that difference.
  • Obviously, Woods’s results in team events are greatly influenced by his playing partner.

Subtlety, nuance, and circumspection are hallmarks of intelligence.  They seem to be missing from Brandel Chamblee’s toolbox.

In fairness to Chamblee, at least he was — in contrast to a Gary Williams — saying something with the potential to ruffle a few feathers.  The problem is… Chamblee made it up.

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20 Responses to Brandel Chamblee’s Incessant Bullshit

  1. Sports-realist. says:

    ……..Not a surprise anymore….Exaggerate the accomplishments, ignore reality, pretend it’s STILL 2000—rinse, wash, and repeat……..

  2. JoseyWales says:

    and Brandel Chamblee’s Ryder Cup record is?…wait for it…nothing, zilch, nada. Brandel Chamblee is a nobody in the golf world trying to be a somebody. Another Golf Channel loser blowing smoke hoping to keep his job.

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem to be of the belief that you need to have participated before you can offer an opinion? How does your Ryder Cup. CV read?

      • lannyh says:

        I know. By that logic, O.J. Simpson would make a better NFL football announcer/commentator than Jim Nantz.

        I’m no fan of Chamblee; he has me blocked on Twitter, for crying out loud. But, as a former Tour player (even winning an event), his “cred” is plenty high enough.

        There are lots of examples where the best instructors or teachers were only mildly successful at what they teach.

        So while, on a scale of 1 to 10 on the Chamblee Fan Scale, I’m a zero, I don’t think the fact that he isn’t a Hall of Fame golfer makes him a bad commentator. What makes him a bad commentator is… well, that would take a long, long time.

  3. JoseyWales says:

    When things are slow in the golf world, the golf media must play the Tiger Woods Card…you can bet on it.

    • Bird says:

      And whether busy or slow, you can always count on this site using the TWC. Chuckle.

      • lannyh says:

        Why the insult? Are you upset? Would you rather me not have pointed out Chamblee’s insane exaggeration about Woods? Certainly no one else in the media did. Golf/SI even repeated Chamblee’s “fact.”

  4. JoseyWales says:

    the sad truth is…golf is just not that interesting…so the TWC is always a safe bet…lol

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comment is a tad naive and sweeping. Golf not that interesting? It is extremely interesting to a certain section of society, as are many other sports. Popularity by numbers is misleading as well. MacDonalds post impressive numbers, and are popular but they can’t be classed as fine dining.

  5. JoseyWales says:

    TV Ratings…Presidents Cup Overnights Down
    ◾Tape delayed coverage of golf’s Presidents Cup drew a 0.9 overnight rating on NBC both Saturday and Sunday, down 18% from the comparable telecasts in 2011 — the last time the event was held overseas (1.1 on both days). The 2013 event took place in the United States, earning overnights of 2.2 on Saturday and 2.5 on Sunday.”
    I’m sure Geoff Shackelford will say the ratings were “sky high”…lol

  6. Pingback: The Lanny Awards for Golf Journalism | Lanny H Golf

  7. Anonymous says:

    Chamblee doesn’t get it right all the time, but who does. I often feel he is gagged by those who writes his pay cheque. This wha never more obvious than at the 2013 Masters. Him and Faldo wee forced to do a 180. Sad but understandable

  8. JoseyWales says:

    “You seem to be of the belief that you need to have participated before you can offer an opinion? ”
    Chamblee can offer any opinion he wants…but his record as a player was so poor that his “opinions” carry no credibility whatsoever…he is a nobody. His opinions are worthless.

    • lannyh says:

      I disagree with that completely. Do you think O.J. Simpson is a better football announcer/commentator than Jim Nantz? Is Butch Harmon a worse swing coach than any and everyone who got their PGA Tour card?

    • Anonymous says:

      I doubt if I’ve ever read a more narrow-minded comment in my life. There are plenty of people who don’t have a pedigree of winning events whose opinions are not only relevant but are highly regarded. I believed your comment was simply naive. It is much more than that.

  9. JoseyWales says:

    Chamblee has done zero…as a player…or as an announcer…to earn any credibility whatsoever.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Lack of credibility based on success in his sport? My thoughts drift to Peter Dawson. He achieved next to nothing on the links, but he is an educated man who knows his golf. Not much point in Baker- Finch, Feherty, McCord, Peter Alliss, Fienstien, and a host of others giving their opinion.

    Bones McKay and Steve Williams achieved nothing swinging the club. I guess their opinion would be useless as well.

    • lannyh says:

      Oh, caddies, that’s a great point. Imagine Greller commenting on a matter, and someone dismissing him because he “never even played on the Tour — totally unqualified!”

      I blame it on politics. If someone is the “enemy,” you bash them on everything, even things you would praise on your own “side.” Somehow we went from a logical matter-at-hand driven culture to a personality-driven lover/hater culture. We’ve really dumbed down American society — and that is measurable.

  11. Pingback: Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods as Ryder Cup captains |

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