From The Inbox

Phil Mickelson isn’t only one to blame

Saudis are no match for Chinese when it comes to repression

I read with interest reader Derek Turney’s vilification of Phil Mickelson in Friday’s Morning Read for going to Saudi Arabia to play in a tournament (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Dec. 5).

Turney was very selective by faulting only Mickelson. I didn't read anything about all the other players going to Saudi Arabia. How about all the players who go to China from the PGA Tour and the LPGA? China has a worse track record than Saudi Arabia for killing and suppressing its people.

Michael Merrill
McKinney, Texas

Mickelson’s world tour
The money-grab at these foreign events is appalling to see (“In other golf news,” Dec. 2; “From the Morning Read inbox,” Dec. 3).

I get that a non-winner on the PGA Tour would jump at the chance to make some type of much-needed cash, but those fringe players are never on the receiving end of appearance money. Guys such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Matt Kuchar already have made enough money for 10 lifetimes.

I like Mickelson, but his greed is thinly veiled as a chance to see a place for the first time. He would never, ever go to Saudi Arabia on his own dime, but throw him a couple of million dollars and he becomes a world traveler. Shocking ... not!

Jeff Mullen
Haddonfield, N.J.

Pros should take a stand against Saudis
I’m glad that Tiger Woods will not play in the Saudi International, turning down a reported $3 million, but the reason for not playing is basically self-serving: It’s too far! (“In other golf news,” Dec. 3).

As for Phil Mickelson, I find his playing in the event to be distressing, and his response is pitiful. I am very upset that Mickelson is going over there. Saudi Arabia was implicated in the 2018 death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was critical of the country’s rulers, and the rulers are living happily ever after.

If there ever were a time for golfers to take a stand for other human beings, this is it. This is a country that treats women as less than equals, if not as chattel. This is a country that treats foreigners who are not rich or connected as less than humans. Tell the country and its rulers to shape up or you won’t play over there.

I find it distressing that PGA Tour players are so obsessed with money and their own lives that they can’t express concern, empathy and love for other humans who are being persecuted. I thought that Mickelson had some morals, but alas he’s concerned only with himself.

Shame on Mickelson and the other Americans who are playing in the Saudi event. Show concern for fellow human beings and not just for money. Take a stand against inhuman treatment of others instead of just being a greedy, narcissistic pro.

Jerome Koncel
Schaumburg, Ill.

Hold Woods accountable
I differentiate between golf fans and Tiger Woods fans because there’s an obvious difference. Golf fans love the game. Tiger fans love Tiger first, then maybe the game, but nowhere near equally.

I write to state a case: Patrick Reed rules and Tiger rules.

At the 2013 BMW 2013, Woods removed debris from around and apparently under the ball, and the ball moved. Movement clearly was seen on camera.

At the 2013 Masters, Woods hit a shot that bounced off the flagstick and rolled back into water, and he took a questionable drop. At the BMW, Woods was not assessed a penalty; at the Masters, he was.

Those are violations that he did not call on himself.

At the 2015 Hero World Challenge, Patrick Reed placed his wedge behind the ball in a waste bunker, practiced his backswing and moved sand.

At the 2019 Hero World Challenge, Reed placed his wedge behind the ball in a waste bunker, practiced his backswing and moved sand – twice! He called no violation on himself (Rule 8.1a[4]).

So, what’s the difference? None, other than the fact that one is Tiger Woods and the other is Patrick Reed.

The golf media vilify Reed but make excuses and turn a blind eye toward Woods. I’m not absolving Reed. I’d like the bullying to stop. Hold Woods accountable in the same manner with which you have held Reed ... or anyone else. Woods’ transgressions are not spoken of – not today, not one to two days afterwards.

Steve Hoffman
Bonita Springs, Fla.

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