From The Inbox

Official had rules on his side, if only he had acted; good stories missed at Solheim Cup

Official had rules on his side, if only he had acted
Why does a tour official think that he needed to inform either player before Danielle Kang and Carlota Ciganda putted out on the 16th hole Sunday in the Solheim Cup of Kang’s would-be penalty for slow play? (“Slow play, slower ruling clouds Solheim,” Sept. 18).

The rule in match play is that an infringement needs to be enforced only before either player tees off on the next hole, not before the other player takes her next stroke. So, even if Ciganda had missed the putt, or even three-putted to lose the hole, she would have been given the win on the next tee, and both players would have known the score before playing 17, which is the point.

Keep up the good work on speed of play, Morning Read and Alex Miceli.

Easy fix: each group or player should have a marshal who starts walking down the fairway at about 3 mph immediately after a stroke is played. The shot time commences 10 seconds after the marshal arrives at the player's ball (the caddie had better keep up, too). If you want more time, get there first.

Time spent over your strokes in a round: 40 minutes. Possible saving: 5-10, maximum. Time spent walking at 2 mph: 2 hours 30 minutes. Possible reduction: three quarters of an hour!

Also, it's visible, so real golfers, i.e., those whom we have to play behind, would have something to emulate.

Terry Wall
Winchester, England

Miceli misses good stories at Solheim Cup
There were a number of good stories that Alex Miceli could have written during the Solheim Cup, but he obviously chose not to do so.

I agree with him about slow play being an issue, in general (“Got insomnia? Nod off with Solheim Cup,” Sept. 16). The weather conditions Saturday at the Solheim Cup probably were among the worst I’ve seen. So, 20 or 30 seconds should not have been a serious infraction. At least it wasn’t three-plus minutes, as we’ve seen on the PGA Tour this year.

I’m just curious as to why Miceli bothered to spend the money and go to Scotland. Did he notice that there were more than 100,000 fans on the hand for the final round? That’s more than showed up for the PGA Tour on the same day.

As my dearly departed mother used to say, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Betsy Larey
St. Paul, Minn.
(Larey is an LPGA teaching professional.)

Miceli misses point about LPGA pace of play
As a teaching professional in golf, I understand Alex Miceli’s statements about slow play at the Solheim Cup (“Got insomnia? Nod off with Solheim Cup,” Sept. 16).

Miceli should put himself and his buddies out there in cold, rainy weather – and let us not forget 45-mph wind – and tell me how long it would take them to play.

All of the players had to deal with the same conditions, and making a Solheim Cup team is the greatest achievement in their golf careers. They are proudly representing their countries and want to showcase their talents to the best of their abilities.

My suggestion to Miceli is to check in with the PGA Tour and count the number of slow players there. I think he would find that they far outnumber our LPGA players.

My other suggestion is, if Miceli has better things to do besides bashing the LPGA players, then he should not waste his time sitting in front of the TV.

Ingrid M. Stokes
Lewes, Del.
(Stokes is a semi-retired LPGA teaching professional.)

A potential solution for team golf
I have a suggestion for a revision in the Solheim Cup format (one that could solve an issue I also have with the state of team golf in the men's world, but let's get my outside-of-the-box idea started with the women).

Rather than excluding the Asian contingent of great female players from the LPGA and Ladies European tours, have a three-way competition with 12-person teams. Each side (U.S./European/rest of world) plays three team events among one another during each session, and concludes with six singles matches against each side.

This way, there's no need or ability for someone to be on the sidelines. Everybody plays every session. It would make the captains’ jobs easier, because they wouldn't have to decide who sits in morning and afternoon sessions, but harder in terms of where to put the strongest pairings, and against whom.

In the men's game, you'd eliminate the problem you face with the U.S. team being required to play every year (Ryder and then Presidents cups). The same format would work there as well.

Mark Smolens
Elmhurst, Ill.

‘Made-for-TV event’ will go unnoticed
Contrary to popular belief, a lot of golfers aren't going to watch the Presidents Cup. It’s a made-for-TV event (“Of course Woods will play Presidents Cup,” Sept. 17).

If Tiger Woods plays, even more won’t watch. His being No. 8 in the world ranking is a joke, past accomplishments notwithstanding. But he is on a golf pedestal, and the powers-that-be will think otherwise.

Al Pollack
Maplewood, N.J.

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