As one of only 51 golfers to have won 16 or more PGA Tour events, including 1 major title, Weiskopf deserves a spot in World Golf Hall of Fame, reader contends
Reader Gregg Cook's opinion on Tom Weiskopf's career left me quite astonished (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 23). Cook wrote, "Sixteen PGA Tour victories, including one major championship, isn’t great . . .”
I looked up the record book, and Weiskopf is one of only 51 golfers in history to have won at least 16 PGA Tour events, including one or more major championships. In my book, being in the top 51 of anything all time is “great.” Weiskopf did have a number of runner-up finishes, including two to Jack Nicklaus in the Masters. But when the greatest major champion of all time is the only person to deprive you of two potential Masters victories, that has to be factored.
In comparison to the historical greats such as Nicklaus, Woods, Hogan, Snead, et al., Weiskopf does pale in comparison. But if we used that standard, the World Golf Hall of Fame would be quite barren. Weiskopf did more than enough to earn a spot.
(Harman is the national course director for the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation.)
Setting minimum standards for Hall of Fame
Reader Gregg Cook got me thinking about one of my favorite pet peeves: the World Golf Hall of Fame (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 23).
I have been watching pro golf since the mid-1960s, so I will address only players from that era onward.
Let’s assume that any man who has won three or more majors is an automatic, although I cringe a little bit that Padraig Harrington and Larry Nelson get swept up in that pre-requisite, but I digress.
Of those who have won two majors, I count Johnny Miller, Greg Norman, Bernhard Langer and Ben Crenshaw as worthy, leaving out Hubert Green, Curtis Strange, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson and others.
The standard gets much tougher for those who have won only one major. There are five retired or almost-retired golfers who passed the eye-test for me: Tom Weiskopf, Davis Love III, Tom Kite, Fred Couples and Jim Furyk. I would have no problem leaving them all out if a two-major minimum were considered.
At least one major is a must for induction: sorry, Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie and Rickie Fowler.
And then there are those currently playing who look as if they one day could enter the hall, including one-time major winners Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Jason Day and Justin Thomas.
Finchem’s record wasn’t all that great
I take exception that former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem deserves to be in the World Golf Hall of Fame this soon (“Tim Finchem earns his spot in World Golf Hall of Fame,” April 21).
Perhaps that was in his retirement package. Granted, he could get in later, but perhaps it rings true that money drives the wagon. I dare say that without Tiger Woods, Finchem’s reign could have been very mundane.
I respect the former commissioner immensely, but Woods made all things possible, and Finchem’s success was a byproduct of it. If anything, Woods should earn induction from two categories: player and contributor.
Losing the great sponsors such as Shell and then having to pull the Colonial sponsors due to lack of substance during Finchem’s tenor were not great achievements.
The Villages, Fla.
Any Woods-Mickelson event beats present fare
C’mon, Alex Miceli. You’re starting to sound like a crabby old man – and an elitist, at that (“Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson rematch has got to be better,” April 24).
For a lot of us mediocre golfers, “The Match” wasn’t as bad as you seem to think. Right now, I could cheerfully watch Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson sit in a room and stare at each other.
Staten Island, N.Y.
Somehow, he survived
Do you sanitize your back yard before you let your little tykes out to play?
Yep, I’m 70 and proud to have made it. I am dumbfounded by the insanity I’m witnessing. Few things, if any, are more revealing than a sincere and measured handshake ("Coming to grips with an outdated golf tradition," April 21).
It appears as if the PGA Tour is taking an optimistic approach to the coronavirus pandemic by contemplating playing tournaments without fans (“The show goes on: Why the PGA Tour will be just fine, with or without fans,” April 20).
As health officials realize that golf can be played by the public while they maintain social distancing, a tournament also can be played.
Obviously, the PGA Tour has a new set of logistics to keep the players and support group safe while not having to shepherd thousands of fans to and from the course and providing food and drink.
As the PGA Tour pioneers sports sans fans, it will be an interesting experiment and it will be great not to have the misguided "in the hole" and "you da man" nonsense fueled by fans who are drinking.
As the nation opens up in phases, should we think of spectator-less sports events to be a phase-one step to the new normal? Should June be the time for a PGA Tour event? It seems that as the data are collected, analyzed and revised, maybe a June opening would be good. If the data indicate that golf should wait, give the decision makers credit if they delay. Don't be a Monday morning quarterback, I-told-you-so type.
During this time, let's promote a positive attitude. Eventually, the virus will be dealt with effectively. Will golf and sports in general be the bellwether that marks the first steps to whatever becomes the new normalcy?
Let's hope so.
St. Johns, Fla.
I completely agree with reader Charlie Jurgonis regarding post-round handshakes ("From the Morning Read inbox," April 24).
After watching my playing partners visiting a convenient tree at least once and sometimes multiple times during a round, the last thing I want to do is shake their hand.
TNT can do something simple and easy to make “The Match” sequel with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson worth watching (“Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson rematch has got to be better,” April 24). Open the microphones from beginning to end. No cutoffs when players are speaking “privately” with their caddie or partner.
I recall a 2001 televised team match in which Woods and Annika Sorenstam defeated David Duval and Karrie Webb. When Woods was talking to his caddie, Steve Williams, the microphone often was shut off, even though you could see they were yukking it up over something. That is what I want to hear.
El Paso, Texas
I have been watching some old tournaments on TV. I noticed two guys on the broadcast named Peter Kostis and Gary McCord are pretty good. That McCord guy is pretty funny.
CBS should think about hiring them full time. Golf telecasts could use a little entertainment, which these two supply. CBS?
Just a thought.
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