From The Inbox

Patrick Reed vs. Bryson DeChambeau leaves bad taste

A petulant Sergio Garcia would make for a fitting addition to the group, reader contends

John Hawkins and Mike Purkey must have been sitting on my couch, watching the WGC Mexico Championship last Sunday (“Golf’s divisive dilemma: DeChambeau or Reed?” Feb. 28).

I was rooting for Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas to get in the mix. When they faded, I was left thinking, Whom do I want to win? And, Which golfer do I dislike more?

Patrick Reed always has been like sandpaper, starting with his in-law situation, and his college team treating him as if he brought bed bugs into the frat house. Yet, he was only a nuisance until he made those sandcastles, which makes you wonder how many times has he pulled a Judge Smails foot wedge into play and not been caught?

Yet, I probably will pull for him during the Ryder Cup.

Bryson DeChambeau is just annoying so far, but who likes a silver-spooned spoiled brat, which is how he portrays himself, with that silly hat and gloomy mug. He has stirred up a hornets’ nest among fellow players with their outspoken criticism of his slow play, which is amusing.

The only thing missing was to have Sergio Garcia in the mix, divoting the greens after a missed 3-footer.

The finish in Mexico was fantastic except for those two knuckleheads battling it out.

Can we get a Jordan Spieth-vs.-Phil Mickelson finale soon to wash the bad taste out of our mouths?

Bryan Farbisz
Batavia, Ill.

Reader isn’t buying what Reed, DeChambeau are selling
OK, the PGA Tour is all about entertainment golf (“Golf’s divisive dilemma: DeChambeau or Reed?” Feb. 28).

But golf has traditions over its long, documented history. Cheating and whining are not two of them.

My own personal pushback is a refusal to purchase products sponsoring Patrick Reed or Bryson DeChambeau.

Robert Patten Burns
Naples, Fla.
(Burns is a retired Iowa PGA Section rules official.)

Perhaps ‘Ensign America’ would be a salute to humility
Mike Purkey talks about Patrick Reed’s me-against-the-world attitude (“Golf’s divisive dilemma: DeChambeau or Reed?” Feb. 28). What’s wrong with that? In the PGA Tour world, isn’t every week me-against-143-other-guys?

And you expect someone who calls himself “Captain America” to be humble?

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

So much for cutting Reed any slack
In response to reader Jerry Adams' letter about Patrick Reed, urging readers to “cut the man some slack” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 28): A rules infraction would be when you do something on the golf course that is not within the rules, and you assess a penalty on yourself, or when your playing competitor mentions to you that there was a rules transgression, so you seek a ruling from a rules official.

Cheating is when you do the same transgression and hope nobody noticed.

Wayne Odin
Langley, British Columbia

Recreational players fuel game at highest levels
Recently, reader Al Fiscus pointed out that most golf fans actually play golf, unlike football fans and football (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 28). I would go so far as to say that golf is almost unique in this respect compared with the major U.S. sports. Tennis has playing fans but is not in the same league as golf.

Most of these player/fans might play regularly but don't have handicaps, and if they’re involved in any organized play, they are more likely to be in nine-hole leagues through work or a bar. A smaller percentage are golfers with handicaps in men's and women's clubs associated with a particular course, and an even smaller percentage are private-club golfers. With the exception of the Masters, and to a lesser extent the other major championships, professional golf does not attract non-golfing viewers.

Lately, golf participation has taken a beating, although it is showing some signs of recovery. Growing the game effectively should be at the top of the governing bodies’ to-do list, because the eyes on the game drive their revenue. Fewer recreational players equals fewer viewers, which leads to reduced sponsorship dollars.

Like the stock market, revenue on the PGA Tour and at the USGA can go down as well as up. Those hackers at Goat Acres actually matter at the elite level.

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.

That’s entertainment
I watch a lot of golf. Generally speaking, the only time golf is “exciting” is during the Ryder Cup.

I see good and bad golf on a regular basis, but mostly good. I do a lot of whining and complaining about the attention given to the “superstars,” stating I was a fan before TV made these guys superstars, and I’ll be a fan afterwards.

The Honda Classic, particularly on Sunday, was exciting. Congrats to all who played, announced, volunteered and watched. No one did anything to hinder the excitement.

Steve Hoffman
Bonita Springs, Fla.

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