From The Inbox

Tiger prompts readers to show their stripes

Woods has time, ability to reach 19 majors

True, the odds don't favor Tiger Woods getting to 19 major championships, but he is not one to let the odds determine his fate (“You’re dreaming if you think Woods will catch Nicklaus,” Oct. 29).

The odds were against him winning the Masters, and yet he did just that. What Morning Read’s John Hawkins discounts is Woods’ mental toughness and will to win. Remember when he won the 2008 U.S. Open on a broken leg? If anything, his will to win is as strong or stronger than ever.

Another thing that Hawkins appears to overlook is how Woods has changed his game. Nobody more so than Woods realizes that he no longer is able physically to play the game as he once did when he dominated. To that end, what we are seeing now, and will continue to see, is Woods playing a more technical game in which knowledge and finesse takes the place of power. That's exactly what we saw at the Zozo Championship.

Woods still is the best iron player on the PGA Tour, and no one can out-think him around any course. As long as Woods remains physically healthy, he will continue to win, and that includes majors, plural. If Woods remains healthy, he still has at least another good 5-8 years of competitive golf. Within that time, all he really has to do is prep to win four more times if he were to concentrate just on majors. It's not out of the realm of possibility that he could win two majors in one season.

Woods has proved the doubters wrong time and time again, and he will continue to do so. He feeds off of it.

Hawkins should feel free to write again about Woods reaching 19 majors when he decides to stop playing some years from now. It will be interesting to compare what he writes then compared with now.

Maurice Hutchinson
Honolulu

Telling it like it is
I liked John Hawkins’ article (“You’re dreaming if you think Woods will catch Nicklaus,” Oct. 29). It’s refreshing to read a realistic point of view

Vince Recine
Centennial, Colo.

Don’t doubt Woods
Regarding John Hawkins’ article (“You’re dreaming if you think Woods will catch Nicklaus,” Oct. 29): Haven't we heard this before? Tiger Woods will never win another tournament.

I never say how many majors Woods will or will not win. The Masters was unbelievable.

This man will not go away. He has too much heart.

Marvin D. Ball
Pittsburg, Calif.

There’s a lot to Love
Davis Love III should be a fascinating addition to CBS golf telecasts (“CBS Sports adds Davis Love III for golf telecasts,” Oct. 29).

He is, of course, very knowledgeable about current PGA Tour players and venues, and I expect his commentary to be insightful and interesting.

However, Gary McCord and “stale” do not belong in the same sentence (“How old is too old to talk about golf on TV?” Oct. 27). McCord brought depth and a wide range of knowledge to his commentary, as well as his unique sense of humor. Part of his great wisdom is the knowledge that you can't take anything in golf too seriously. McCord would be an asset if Golf Channel or Sirius XM were to pick him up for tournament coverage.

Mike Augsdorfer
Savannah, Ga.

‘A refreshing change of pace’
It’s hard to believe that CBS would pick a Hall of Fame golfer with 21 PGA Tour wins, including a major championship, and a Ryder Cup captain for its golf announcing team. No qualifications there, and a nice person to boot. What is CBS thinking?

It seems as if Morning Read’s Mike Purkey, John Hawkins and Jeff Rude are afraid that Love won’t provide viewers with enough hard-core criticism and controversy, along with what will be otherwise extremely credible announcing (“CBS serves up scoop of vanilla for golf fans,” Oct. 31; “What’s not to Love about CBS move? Plenty,” Oct. 31).

The three sportswriters should consider switching from covering golf to covering politics, as they will get all the criticism and controversy that they want, daily. I will welcome Mr. Nice Guy Love to CBS’ golf coverage. It’s a refreshing change of pace.

Bill Boutwell
Jacksonville

A straight shooter from Broken Arrow
I’ve never been a big fan of Gary McCord, even before he got the boot from the Masters in 1994 (“How old is too old to talk about golf on TV?” Oct. 27).

I was irritated by how he tried to pack too many cutesy comments in his time on air. I considered him to be more of a comedian than commentator.

Ed Fox
Broken Arrow, Okla.

Good riddance to McCord and Kostis
I might be in the minority here, but I will not miss Gary McCord and Peter Kostis on CBS’ golf coverage (“How old is too old to talk about golf on TV?” Oct. 27).

McCord thought the broadcast was about him and not the golf. Every once in a while, he’d come up with a funny line, but the constant attempt at humor got a little trying for me.

Kostis was fine calling shots, but his swing analysis was way too technical for the average golfer.

The only real problem I have with CBS and the other networks that cover the game is the constant Tiger Woods talk. Please give it a break.

Frank Blauch
Lebanon, Pa.

Don’t expect much from Love
Reader Bob Geismar points out that because Davis Love III still participates on the PGA and Champions tours and has personal and professional relationships with players on both tours, he might be hesitant in calling out some players (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Oct. 30). That’s a valid concern.

But to take it further, Love was a compensated director of the PGA Tour. It also has been reported that he’s a longtime and close friend of Lance Barrow, the golf producer for CBS.

When you add it all up, Love, golf commentator, has relationships with the players, had and maybe still has a relationship with the Tour and has a friendship with the CBS guy who hired him. And we expect him to be critical?

I suspect he’ll be robot-like ... or very similar to his underachieving career during which he won one major championship, that being a PGA at a time when it was considered to be the stepchild of the majors and diluted with club professionals.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

Knock off the swarmy fawning
It is certainly surprising the amount of comment that the firing of McCord and Kostis has generated (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Oct. 28; Oct. 29; Oct. 30; Oct. 31). With very few exceptions, golf commentary is remarkably bland and unlikely to create even a minor ripple in the golf pond. Everyone is a "fine young man," and "we'll be seeing a lot more of him in the future.”

Well, maybe. In fact, most players will be lucky to win once or, at most, in single digits for their careers. Just ask Gary McCord.

As to the fine young men, my experience is that any group of 200 or more individuals is bound to include a number of jerks. I don't really expect announcers to be calling out said examples, but the smarmy fawning is over the top.

To be fair, there is too much of this in all sports reporting. The fear of losing access to the players ensures that most reporters are very circumspect in their commentary. Give me Johnny Miller or Brandel Chamblee any time. Each provides – or, in Miller's case, provided – an informed realistic assessment of players without being rude or disrespectful, even though certain players may feel otherwise.

Paul Azinger is a good current example of someone who understands the Miller approach to commentary, as well he should because he was a target of Miller's sometimes cutting comments. When informed after a 1991 Ryder Cup match that Miller had suggested that Azinger had choked on a crucial shot, he called Miller “the biggest moron in the TV booth.” When asked the next day about that comment, Azinger provided the best walk-back ever, saying that Miller was “the biggest Mormon” in the booth.

Azinger proved that he had the chops to step into Miller's shoes. Are you listening, CBS? You've got to be kidding with Davis Love III.

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.

Simply ‘Terrific’
Thank you, Morning Read, for the article about Tom Seaver (“ ‘Miracle Mets’ win again with Terrific father-son pairing,” Oct. 30). Marty Parkes’ profile of this superstar was heart-warming and brought tears to my eyes.

More intimate stories surrounding the game of golf and its history would be most welcome.

Ken Chojnacki
Delran, N.J.

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