Brandel Chamblee will be trading in his analyst chair for a tee time this week in Scotland.
One day after Chamblee’s work dissecting the 147th Open at Carnoustie ended, the 56-year-old made the short trip to Scotscraig Golf Club in an attempt to qualify for this week’s Senior Open. Chamblee had qualified at Scotscraig to make the field for the 1995 Open at St. Andrews, and the course once again proved friendly as he shot a 2-under 69 to share medalist honors.
Chamblee earned one of seven qualifying spots available for the 145-man field at Scotscraig and one of 27 spots available across four different qualifying sites.
Chamblee started on the back nine and overcame an opening bogey by playing a five-hole stretch in 5 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 14th. He bogeyed four of his final seven holes coming home, but a birdie on No. 9 tied him for the day’s low score with American John Inman and amateur Robert Maxfield of England.
Chamblee has played sparingly in recent years, but he explained on a recent Golf Channel podcast that he hoped to make a return to competition at the Old Course, where he made the second of three career Open appearances 23 years ago.
“My game’s pretty good. When I’ve played, I’ve played some really good golf,” Chamblee said. “I’m looking forward to it for a lot of different reasons. I want to try to get back into competitive golf, and I would love to have another week at St. Andrews.”
This will mark Chamblee’s PGA Tour Champions debut. He last played a PGA Tour event in 2008, missing the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He’ll be joined in this week’s field by fellow NBC and Golf Channel analyst Gary Koch, who shot a 3-under 68 to share medalist honors at the qualifier at Lundin.