From the Morning Read inbox
September 13, 2018
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Mickelson simply doesn’t fit U.S. team
When Paul Azinger persuaded the PGA of America to increase the number of captain's picks from two to four for the 2008 Ryder Cup, the purpose was to give the captain the ability to select players who were playing well rather than be saddled with a player who accumulated his points in the first of the two years. Has 2018 captain Jim Furyk taken full advantage of that change?

Consider that three of his picks (Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Tony Finau) have a combined one victory during the two years from the most recent Ryder Cup. Is that taking the best players, or is it similar to betting on racehorses who are fast closers but who can't seem to get to the finish line? Our Ryder Cup team already has one of those in Rickie Fowler. Let's hope that Furyk is right.

I have to agree with the readers who say Mickelson should not be on the team (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Sept. 6, Sept. 7, Sept. 10, Sept. 11, Sept. 12). Forget the condition of his game. He just doesn't fit. He's almost of a different generation of the other members of the team. He has very little in common with the rest of the team. Woods may be older than the others, but at least he lives in the same area as many of them and interacts with them on a regular basis. He's one of them. Mickelson is not.

I have been a Mickelson supporter since he won on the PGA Tour in 1991 as an amateur. I was on his side during his issues with the Securities and Exchange Commission and even supported him on Morning Read during his U.S. Open antics (“Mickelson, USGA disgrace U.S. Open,” June 17). But he (and Woods, to some extent) lost me with his ego-fulfilling, publicity-seeking, money-grabbing match scheduled for Thanksgiving. It'll be interesting if this match even comes off now that Woods has his game at such a level that he doesn't need Mickelson.


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If it does happen, it'll be like the Patriots playing the Browns.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.


Only 8 truly merit Ryder Cup spots
You know who “deserves” to be on the Ryder Cup team? The players who finished 1 through 8 in qualifying, that’s who. Nobody else “deserves” it.

The other four players are captain’s picks, players who, in the opinion of that year’s captain, round out his group to make the best team and give them the best chance to win. Neither Tiger Woods nor Phil Mickelson – nor Xander Schauffele, for that matter – deserves to be on the team.

There are arguments on both sides of Mickelson and Woods, but it’s Jim Furyk’s choice. If they fail miserably, feel free to say “I told you so.” But don’t tell me that anyone else deserved it. They didn’t.

A player should work hard enough to make the team and take the uncertainty of the captain’s choice out of the equation. Only eight guys deserved it, and they all made the team already.

Gregg Cook
Mechanicsburg, Pa.


Don’t like Ryder Cup picks? Then don’t watch
For three months now, I have been reading virtually every morning what a terrible person Phil Mickelson is because he chased after his ball and struck it before it stopped rolling (“Mickelson, USGA disgrace U.S. Open,” June 17). What an egregious affront to the Rules of Golf!

Yet, I dare say (though I admittedly have not seen) every one of those who complain about Mickelson’s actions have missed a putt and grabbed the ball with their putter before it stopped rolling. But it’s OK for them to do it because they aren’t getting paid to play golf. Hypocrites. Get off his back.

I am far from a Tiger Woods fan, but what the man has done this year is beyond remarkable. Can he or Mickelson beat Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau or Kevin Kisner all the time? Not likely. Neither can anyone else. But who has been more consistent this year? Mickelson beat a pretty good group of players in Mexico, and Woods contended at the British Open and PGA. Does either play a good round of golf every day? No, but rarely do any of the pros. Where has Dustin Johnson been in the playoffs? Maybe he isn’t good enough to be on the Ryder Cup team. How’s his record on the team? How are Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson or Bubba Watson doing?

Furyk could have picked a dozen or more other guys and still had a very capable team. He picked the four guys whom he thought would be the best for the team, as players and as team members.

If you don’t like the makeup of the U.S. Ryder Cup team and you don’t think they can beat the Europeans, then go watch football, soccer or whatever. You can even go play a round of golf, but remember not to grab your ball before it stops rolling. And don’t roll it in the fairway (or rough) to get that perfect lie, either.

And while I’m on the subject of complainers, all of you readers who don’t like the FedEx Cup playoffs, why do you watch it? Next to the major championships and the Players Championship, it’s the best golf there is and the only tournaments that I watch all four rounds, even instead of football.

Richard Walker
Greenville, S.C.


Eager to see Mickelson, Woods again
I can't quite understand the ill will regarding the choices of Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods for the Ryder Cup.

This might be the last time we get to see these two golf greats at a Ryder Cup as players, and both will bring incredible skill and good vibes to the team.

Woods has come from the abyss physically to having played himself into the Tour Championship with solid and sometimes stellar play.

Mickelson has done some zany things this year, but he is ranked ahead of nearly all his teammates in putting averages for the season.

It seems to me that Jordan Spieth could use Mickelson as a partner. I am looking forward to seeing the two greats of my era one last time represent the U.S.

Jason Marineau
Bristol, Conn.


A vote from north of border for Woods, Mickelson
As a Canadian golf fan, I have no pony in the Ryder Cup, but I certainly do have a keen interest in these matches.

If I make the assumption that Phil Mickelson is “over the hill” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Sept. 12), I must ask how it is that he is playing in the Tour Championship when others – notably Jordan Spieth – are not? Further, note that Tiger Woods has rather impressive stats for a so-called has-been.

The roars I hear when either of these men get on a roll send a tingle down my spine, and I'm at home watching, often from thousands of miles away. If you want to whip up a crowd in your favor, then give these two guys an opportunity to do so.

Baird Heide
Bradford, Ontario


Furyk opts for experience, intangibles
I have a different opinion on why U.S. captain Jim Furyk picked Phil Mickelson for the Ryder Cup: experience and intangibles.

Having a very experienced Ryder Cup player on the team will help younger players who never have played in the match, and even those who have. Mickelson won a PGA Tour event this year. He will rise to the occasion, knowing that he isn't going to play every match.

Why was Tiger Woods chosen as a non-playing part of the Ryder Cup team two years ago? I believe for his experience to help players who were competing. Furyk was chosen as the captain of the U.S. team. He had the right to make those picks, and that should be respected.

Remember to keep things in perspective. These matches are for entertainment, not a life-and-death situation.

Gregory Tatoian
Port St. Lucie, Fla.


Calling out Furyk for Mickelson pick
Golf performance is more than just winning. Top 5s and 10s need to be evaluated. In that context, who should be on the Ryder Cup: Phil Mickelson, who is playing at a C-minus level and who poked his thumb in the eyes of the golf world, or young guys Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele, who have been playing better all year?

Let’s call out U.S. captain Jim Furyk for bowing to the pressure of the PGA of America for picking the cheater because of ratings.

Gary Cohen
Great Neck, N.Y.


Mickelson is on a roll
When Europe wins the Ryder Cup, what does everyone say? Europe made all the putts!

Phil Mickelson is wielding a red-hot putter this year. He leads in putting average on the PGA Tour, and he ranks fourth in strokes gained putting. Never mind that he can save par from anywhere and, more importantly, knows that he can.

Give me Mickelson.

Bobby Elmore
Crestview, Fla.


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