From The Inbox

OK, so McIlroy is no Woods, but that’s just fine

Rory McIlroy wins with his good nature, which sets him apart from Tiger Woods

Yes, John Hawkins, Rory McIlroy has not won a major championship in more than five years, and he doesn’t have the “killer” attitude that Tiger Woods displayed in winning his 15 majors (“McIlroy needs to start playing with an attitude,” Nov. 6).

But you know what? McIlroy is 30 years old and has won four major titles, and he almost certainly will win some more and end up ranking as one of the greatest players who ever lived, all while displaying a love for the game and his fellow players and fans of which Woods never dreamed.

McIlroy is the closest thing to Arnie and Jack that I have seen, a player who loves the game and compels fans to root hard for him.

Woods certainly was the most dominant player of his or maybe any generation, but the way he disrespected his fellow competitors with his on-course antics and his fellow human beings with his off-course antics was pathetic.

So, Rory, do what you have to do to get back on the major track, but please don’t go down the Tiger road. Be yourself every day of your life. It’s pretty darn special, and that’s why you’re the most beloved golfer in the world today.

Frank Blauch
Lebanon, Pa.

McIlroy simply needs to start making some 10-footers
I’m going to take issue with John Hawkins’ take on the state of Rory McIlroy’s major-championship game (“McIlroy needs to start playing with an attitude,” Nov. 6).

McIlroy already has had a hall-of-fame career, but the majors drought of the past few years simply might be because the competition has been fierce and he didn’t have mastery of his game like Tiger Woods did at his peak.

It’s not because McIlroy doesn’t have a killer instinct.

McIlroy’s putting always has been average by PGA Tour standards, which is quite common for superior ball-strikers, but he recently has started to find that fifth gear on the greens. That could give him the total package and command that he needs, not a false bravado or attitude adjustment. If McIlroy stares down those 10-footers and thinks he can make 60 percent or 70 percent of them, he’ll be a holy terror.

Mark McAdams
Wilmette, Ill.

Kim acted on her only option: Doing the right thing
Gary Van Sickle got it right: Christina Kim did the right thing in reporting a rules violation committed by Kendall Dye and Dewi Weber, via her caddie (“Don’t blame Kim for playing by rules,” Nov. 4). In fact, it was the only thing that Kim could have done under the circumstances.

Dye, Weber and their caddies denied knowing Rule 10.2a (“Advice and Other Help”), which, as Van Sickle pointed out, seems unlikely because it is one of the very basic rules. Of course, had they admitted knowing the rule, they would have acknowledged intentionally cheating, which certainly is a more serious violation.

Professional golf has a problem with adequately monitoring play and rulings at tournaments. I never liked the viewer calls and the next-day rulings, some of which reversed on-the-spot decisions by tours’ own rules officials. There is no reason not to have a rules official with each group, and a senior official readily available to provide a second opinion, if necessary. A final ruling on the spot. Will they always be correct? No. They aren't now, and they'll never be perfect.

One more thing: Van Sickle should educate himself about the McDonald's coffee case, if he’s going to use it as an example of modern behavior. McDonald's had a long history of injuries caused by company policy concerning serving temperature, with multiple opportunities to correct it, and failed to do so. The lawsuit (Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants, in 1994) simply forced what should have been an easy fix that would have spared many customers serious injury.

By the way, a judge’s award of $640,000 was much reduced from the initial jury award of $2.86 million, although these stories prefer that initial amount. It makes their umbrage seem more justified.

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.

Luck is a big part of the game
I fully agree with the principal point made by Gary Van Sickle (“Don’t blame Kim for playing by rules,” Nov. 4). Nevertheless, I disagree with two things that he wrote.

First, the rule against fixing spike marks was long overdue. Those playing first in the day did so on a pristine putting surface. Those playing later encountered “mountains,” perhaps intentionally made and left by a fellow competitor. Not fair.

Which brings me to my second exception. Golf is fair precisely because it is governed by rules which eliminate all inequality except individual skill, and luck: the rub of the green. There is nothing unfair about being lucky rather than good.

David Ranowsky
Fairfax, Va.

Bad lies and pressure putts help golfers improve
Reader Ron Friedland writes that while on the course, he and his golf buddies are out to have fun and "try to improve our skills" (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Nov. 6). Yet he also states that they will tell one another to "give yourself a decent lie" and to "pick it up" as a gimme while playing a round.

Friedland also mentioned that golf purists would hammer him for his view. This may or may not be true. But my question is, How can you improve your skills when you don't face the challenge of a bad lie or a pressure putt?

Ken Staroscik
Firestone, Colo.

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