From The Inbox

There’s one in every crowd

A Presidents Cup miscreant brought out the worst in Patrick Reed’s caddie, who got what he deserved from the PGA Tour

The PGA Tour got the discipline of Reed’s caddie correct (“Patrick Reed loses 3 matches, 1 caddie in Presidents Cup,” Dec. 14).

Each of us is responsible for our behavior, including the spectator near the players. To think that Patrick Reed should have been suspended from the final day of the Presidents Cup as well, according to reader Bill Martin (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Dec. 14), seems to carry the “team” concept too far.

Golf isn’t the only game in which spectators and players can get very close to one another. I attend NBA games, and before tipoff of every game, the league plays a video about respecting the game, the players and other spectators. This was instituted due to incidents similar to what Reed experienced.

It’s unfortunate that the behavior of the public affects athletic competition to the degree that it does. Of course, the vast majority of golf fans who attend tournaments are respectful and supportive of the athletes and their caddies. I still shake my head because there always seems to be a jerk in any crowd who tries to ruin the experience for everyone.

Daryl Lott

Unruly fan had it coming
Tolerance of fan behavior notwithstanding, if the fan in question truly was inebriated at a high-profile, high-class sporting event, the fan probably got what he deserved.

I have served as a marshal at LPGA events for years, and handling obnoxious fans (or an individual fan, as the need might be), is not always easy, but surely is a responsibility. Creating a toxic environment for a player, even if it was a so-called away game for Patrick Reed and the Americans in the Presidents Cup, is not and never has been acceptable. For a fan to scream obscenities at a player during the middle of his round is inexcusable.

There was plenty of booing and unwelcoming behavior in this event to shake off, but to have one drunken fan verbally attack Reed could have cost shots. No doubt that caddie Kessler Karain acted without thinking and in an instantly protective mode, especially being related to his golfer. Reed might not have had even a second to stop his caddie's reaction. Karain should have been trained to let it go, but obviously could not control his reaction at that moment.

There has been quite enough made of this incident already, and as we saw when Reed was announced on the No. 1 tee box for his singles match on Sunday, the fans made sure that he was aware of their dislike for him.

At the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, upon entering, we were asked to wear a button that read “Be Nice to Monty!” to help defuse some disquieting talk and calm everyone. Nothing was done last weekend by the Aussies to try to provide an acceptable working environment.

Janie Ebersberger
Ocala, Fla.

Reed’s caddie has nothing on Woods’ ex-bagman
The incident surrounding Patrick Reed's caddie, Kessler Karain, is unfortunate, and he was penalized justly. However, was Karain penalized because he is Reed’s caddie?

Case in point. During the 2004 U.S. Open, Steve Williams, Tiger Woods’ caddie at the time, also took matters into his own hands. Williams had two different instances during the U.S. Open when he was confronted by cameramen. During Woods’ pre-shot routine, a photographer for the New York Daily News took pictures and had his camera kicked by Williams. During the same tournament on a different day, Williams took the camera from a fan who turned out to be an off-duty police officer.

Probably the worst incident happened on the 18th hole during the last day of the 2002 Skins Game. A fan clicked off his camera while he was situated near Woods and Williams. Woods was in the process of playing an important recovery shot from the sand, and he clearly was disturbed by the sounds of the camera after hitting a poor shot. Woods glared at the fan, and Williams walked over and pulled the camera from around the guy’s neck and then deposited it into the lake next to the green.

I don't know whether anything happened to Williams. He certainly didn't get suspended. Maybe he got a fine from the PGA Tour and the amount was considered private.

Maybe suspensions and fines don’t apply to caddies for Tiger Woods.

Layne Yawn
Jonesboro, Ark.

Where were marshals and security during catcalls?
Perhaps if the marshals and security had done their jobs better and not allowed the comments from the spectators to get out of hand and continue for four days at the Presidents Cup, Patrick Reed’s caddie would not have reacted as he did (“Patrick Reed loses 3 matches, 1 caddie in Presidents Cup,” Dec. 14).

Not that Kessler Karain has any excuse for attacking a spectator, when he should have complained to the marshals to remove the person. But the marshals should have been on their game, too, and proactively controlled the situation.

My husband has marshaled at a number of events, and there is protocol when a member of the audience is behaving in an unacceptable manner.

Ann Tarpey

In face of evidence, just deny, deny, deny
Patrick Reed broke a rule, got turned in for breaking the rule, saw the visual evidence of his breaking the rule ... but denied any wrongdoing, even though all the evidence is against him.

When someone in Australia disagreed with his position, his caddie sided with Reed and physically confronted the individual who disagreed with them (“Patrick Reed loses 3 matches, 1 caddie in Presidents Cup,” Dec. 14).

I guess Reed is Captain America 2019.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

A simple case of misrepresentation
Patrick Reed does not represent me.

John Malko
Sewell, N.J.

Make Presidents Cup interesting by adding women
What would make the Presidents Cup interesting and competitive would be to add the international women to the roster (“U.S. comeback sends Internationals to another defeat,” Dec. 15).

The U.S. is dominant on the PGA Tour (sans the Ryder Cup), but the international women are dominant on the LPGA. A combination of U.S. men and women against a combination of international men and women would square things up, make it competitive and give the Presidents Cup the unique quality it has been seeking instead of being the Ryder Cup knockoff it appears to be.

John G. Donovan
Big Lake, Minn.

More than just another Smith
I enjoyed watching most all of the Presidents Cup matches. One name infrequently written about is Cameron Smith.

While the golf media pronounced American Justin Thomas as the best player in the game, Smith handled him easily in their important singles match.

Watch for Smith to be in the hunt in many tournaments in 2020. He's young, smart, determined and a great ball-striker. This match will propel him into a profitable 2020.

Jim Kane
Palatine, Ill.

Epic fails: Split screen, Azinger and Reed
NBC/Golf Channel’s “Playing Through” coverage with the split screen is the worst innovation yet devised.

The golf is difficult to follow, even on a large screen. I always mute the ad, so whatever the sponsor is presenting is completely lost. In the past, the network would present taped replays of action missed during commercial interruptions, a much better option.

I also would question Paul Azinger’s role as a golf commentator, not just for the Presidents Cup but overall. He always states what is obvious and follows up with meaningless prattle to defend his statements; he avoids all controversy; he is the perfect example of “more is less,” filling every break in coverage with his irritating monotone that grates with every syllable. NBC/Golf Channel should not renew his contract.

Lastly, Patrick Reed cheats, and no one will step up and tell us that the emperor is not wearing any clothes. Fred Funk came close, but he couldn’t spit out the words. Reed first clears away the sand on the right, then resets his club and clears it on the left, all while his caddie was watching. Both should be banned.

I applaud Ernie Els’ pointing out to Tiger Woods that any fan behavior at this Presidents Cup coverage paled with past fan antics on U.S. courses. Does everyone not remember the treatment in New York and the frequent abuse heaped on Colin Montgomerie?

Bruce Harris
Kula, Hawaii

Split-screen ads produce singularly off-putting result
The split-screen advertising during NBC/Golf Channel coverage is a joke.

It is distracting and irritating.

Who watches it while the golf is on?

Companies hit it out of bounds again.

Jack Konrade
Lompoc, Calif.

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