Keeping Score

There’s no ‘If’ about it for Koepka and McIlroy

From the Morning Read Inbox readers respond to recent articles surrounding Koepka and McIlroy and chatter on TV

There’s no ‘If’ about it for Koepka and McIlroy
Last month, I suggested that Rory McIlroy would win frequently as the monkeys were off his back (“From the Morning Read inbox,” July 24), but then he was blown away by Brooks Koepka.

Good job that he and I held our nerve. Those guys at McIlroy Mansion are building a new trophy shelf (“Keeping score,” Aug. 26).

I liked Koepka for his attitude and his golf, and now for his quoted comments about McIlroy. If the guy with whom you are playing beats you with great golf and you tell everyone how good it was to be there, it shows real class.

As Rudyard Kipling wrote more than 100 years ago: “If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same . . . you'll be a man, my son.”

Well done to both of those men.

Terry Wall
Winchester, England


Overwhelmed by ads and chatter
With the end of the 2019 PGA Tour season and an interesting Tour Championship, the only complaints are these: Advertisements every few minutes on TV and not a lot of golf help to turn people away (with the exception of the most avid) from televised tournament golf. I know that ads pay for the program, but a more balanced timing would attract more viewers.

Pace of play actually was not terrible, perhaps because we had two fast players, eventual winner Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka, in the final group.

Commentary is still too verbose, and the constant trying to make the tournament more exciting than it actually was is tiresome. We were, however, treated to some splendid golf by the best players in the game.

The only blot was the rule change that limits a ball search to three minutes (it’s OK for amateurs but not the pros).

Thanks to all the players, staff, sponsors, media and volunteers for a great golf year. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next season.

Paul Sunderland
Los Angeles


Fix FedEx scoring via big events
Like John Hawkins, I think that the FedEx Cup needs some tweaking for the very reasons that he mentions (“Tour playoff pays off but still needs work,” Aug. 26).

The new scoring system implemented this year for the Tour Championship should stay. But the problem, as Hawkins pointed, out, is the number of starting strokes that certain players should be receiving.

This can be remedied very simply. Right now, a winner of a regular PGA Tour event gets 500 FedEx Cup points, and the winner of a major gets 600 points, or a 20-percent bonus. Let's instead double the points for major winners and the winner of the Players Championship. Also, give a 50-percent bonus for winners of a World Golf Championships event. These changes would ensure proportionate recognition for events deemed to be higher in importance.

Next, points for playoff events also should be doubled, not quadrupled, as is currently. Yes, I realize they are "playoff" events, but to try to make these events more important than majors is absurd.

Finally, instead of starting with 125 players in the first playoff event, let's start with 75, to better reward players who finished higher on the points list.

These simple changes would better reflect season-long excellence while giving the playoffs, and especially the Tour Championship, the proper relevance that they deserve, and will reward players more proportionately than the current system does.

Mark Harman
Ridgeland, S.C.
(Harman is the national course director for the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation.)


Double, not quadruple, playoff points
John Hawkins wrote, “That [Justin] Thomas arrived at East Lake with a three-stroke lead over Brooks Koepka was absurd.” (“Tour playoff pays off but still needs work,” Aug. 26). I agree and think that awarding four times the FedEx Cup points for a playoff victory is the culprit. Perhaps two times the points?

Hawkins continued that the postseason “necessitates the idea of assigning stroke advantages earlier, when they would have a greater effect on the final results.”

I dislike the “stroke advantages.” It felt as if I were watching my club championship, where they award prizes to the low-gross and low-net winners (you can't win both).

I would like to see the PGA Tour award a trophy (and money) to the gross score winner of the year-end tourney.

The FedEx Cup awards should better reflect the work over a season, and the Tour Championship’s handicap system seemed to work, but I would prefer resuming the year-long FedEx points for the final event (and bring Steve Sands and his white board back.

For the final event, I'm OK with one person winning the low-gross and low-net results and am glad that one person won both.

Jim Carlson
Marana, Ariz.


Bombs away! Let ’em play modern game
There’s no need to roll back equipment (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Aug. 26). Narrow fairways and deep rough, especially Bermudagrass, is the great equalizer.

And how about letting the fairways grow a little so that the ball doesn't roll out 50 yards? But I really don't see the problem. I like seeing the professionals bomb 300-yard drives and hitting 6-irons 200-plus yards. If for no other reason, it's a game with which I am not (and never will be) familiar.

To play like the pros, l go to the forward tees.

Steve Pearcy
Aiken, S.C.


Let them eat cake … slowly
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reader Mike McQueen's comments about slow play (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Aug. 26).

First, McQueen outlines play at his private club, where four-hour rounds are too slow for most of the membership. And then? He tells all of us among the great unwashed who must endure 4½- or even five-hour rounds at public courses how to fix the problem. He even goes so far as to imply that he would be teeing it up at his local muni if the course would just fix its slow-play problem. Really? Thanks, but no thanks.

Almost all of the solutions offered are old hat and ignore the economic pressures that public-access courses face. Be content that you are well off enough financially to afford a private club. I am content at my muni, where we generally get around in four hours or 4:20, even with eight-minute tee times and at an affordable price.

Please, don't offer advice to the plebs. It smacks of elitism.

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.


Yo momma plays 5-hour rounds in Army boots
After playing public golf for 50 years, I have found that on the course you can call anyone and their mother and children any name in the book, but when you say that they are slow golfers, well, now you are getting personal.

Gary Cohen
Great Neck, N.Y.


Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at steve@morningread.com. Please provide your name and city of residence. If your comment is selected for publication, Morning Read will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.


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