Langer succumbs to ‘pressure’ in finale
After Bernhard Langer finished his round Sunday in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, he was asked about the fairness of the Champions Tour’s Schwab Cup playoffs. His response sounded just like a player who knew he didn’t play well enough to win. He said that perhaps changes are needed. I guess he’s referring to his dominant season, only to blow it in the final tournament (“Keeping score,” Nov. 13, http://bit.ly/2zGvOl9).
What Langer fails to realize is that pressure to the end matters. In hockey, there’s a delay-of-game penalty. It happens when a team that possesses the puck launches it over the glass without it being touched by the glass or an opposing player. Most of the time, this penalty occurs when the player possessing the puck is – you guessed it – under pressure. Everything counts. Just like you have to finish your round, you must finish the tournament and you must finish the season. Pressure is present all season long.
Langer apparently flipped the puck over the glass and blew his chance. Ashamed, he blames the system and not himself.
Hickory Hills, Ill.
Golf needs to scrap ‘one-size-fits-all’ rules
The problem with golf is there's one authority that makes the rules for all levels of the game: the U.S. Golf Association (“Langer, McCarron pile up W’s and skeptics,” Nov. 10, http://bit.ly/2jmACI5). It's a one-size-fits-all approach that has the nine-hole women playing to the same rules as PGA Tour men.
Other sports have ruling authorities for different levels of the game. Major League Baseball uses wooden bats; college and below use aluminum or some composite. College football has different rules than the NFL. The NBA has different rules than college basketball. The NBA has different rules for the women's game, including the size of the ball.
For the professional golf tours, put some controls on the ball. That's what Tiger Woods was suggesting now that guys smaller than he are hitting it farther than he ever did (“Woods fails to sway key Euros on ball debate,” Nov. 7, http://bit.ly/2iE04on). Limit the length of the putter; make the putter the shortest club in the bag.
The way touring pros play is worlds away from the game played by 90 percent of us. Why make us play by the same rules?
Support for European Tour’s Pelley
I admire Keith Pelley's enthusiasm for change (“Pelley gives European Tour a hip new look,” Nov. 13, http://bit.ly/2AGQfhY).
He is right to recognize that more interest on Thursday and Friday is needed. Maybe he needs "day money," which could come in the form of bonus Race to Dubai points. It wouldn’t cost anything but would put more emphasis on opening days.
I’m not so sure about music on the range.
Drawing a clear line on Rule 8-2b
If you want to speed up play, start enforcing a rule that is already in the Rules of Golf.
Rule 8-2b: "On the Putting Green" states, in part, that “A mark must not be placed anywhere for the purpose of indicating a line of putt” (Rule 8: http://bit.ly/2mmJXAL).
A straight line drawn on the ball is a “mark,” and the ball is “anywhere.”
This illegal alignment aid employed by almost all pros takes away from the fundamental and traditional skills of golf regarding distance and direction, which separates skilled players (who can hit the ball a certain distance and direction without artificial aids) from others.
The next time you are watching golf on TV, just count the number of seconds (maybe even minutes) that it takes a player to adjust the ball, realign, adjust and realign on every putt. Amateurs and juniors are mimicking this activity, which will be more pervasive in the future.
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