From The Inbox

Reader sees a spark in Tiger Woods

With Woods ‘at peace with himself and his place in the game,’ reader predicts that ‘magic still can happen’

I read Mike Purkey’s piece with mixed emotions (“It’s time for Tiger Woods to face reality,” Nov. 23).

The 10 that Tiger Woods made on No. 12 in the final round of the Masters was a mental error (or a series of them), according to Purkey. In his post-round interview, Woods acknowledged as much, saying that the circulating wind caused him not to commit to his shot. When he said that, I thought that the Tiger of old would have stopped in mid-swing and backed off. He could do that better than anyone.

Backing off is a skill that most of us hackers don’t have, and it is underappreciated. Woods could do it while in his downswing, and I would marvel at the mental and physical prowess required for such a move.

Purkey rightly pointed out that the five birdies on the last six holes was very telling of Woods’ skill. Only Woods knows his body’s true limitations. I suspect that he will dissect his play at 12 and do all that he can not to repeat it.

I have hope in Woods because of the big smiles he produced in the post-round interview and in Butler Cabin after the disastrous 12th. He seems to be at peace with himself and his place in the game. Magic still can happen. He still moves the needle.

Daryl Lott

Don’t give up, Tiger
I disagree that Tiger Woods should retire (“It’s time for Tiger Woods to face reality,” Nov. 23).

I'm 84 and shot an 82 this year. Yes, it takes some mental toughness and some decent health to continue. Ben Hogan, after his severe traffic accident, came back to win again. I was a pro water skier and snow skier, and I haven’t quit yet.

Rodney Norwell
Arlington Heights, Ill.

Tiger Woods doesn’t need Mike Purkey’s advice
Someone should tell Mike Purkey that he should face reality (“It’s time for Tiger Woods to face reality,” Nov. 23).

The reality is that golf needs Tiger Woods, as long as he is willing and able to show up at a tournament. Eventually the TV ratings might be as good without him, and there might be another player with enough of the Woods magic to capture the imagination of the world, but so far, we haven't seen that person.

Tiger Woods doesn't need Purkey’s advice, and it's irrelevant anyway. Purkey should just let it alone and be grateful that the Tiger is still on the prowl. 

Shirley Stuart
Berkeley, Calif.

An end run around the networks’ commercial ‘subterfuge’
What greatly diminishes my enjoyment of golf on TV is not the various commentators, not the interviews, but the incessant commercials every five minutes or so (“CBS faces widening gap in its golf coverage,” Nov. 19); (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Nov. 23).

Now, the networks even have gone to this split-screen subterfuge, as if that’s supposed to placate the complaining viewers. The idea is utter nonsense. I find my blood pressure ticking up every time it happens.

The only way I watch golf any longer is recording it and then watching it later. Then, I can fast forward through all of this distraction. It’s not ideal but much more enjoyable.

Gary Radford
Fayetteville, N.Y.

It’s harder than it looks, and now more so than ever
I see that many golf fans have written Morning Read, mostly unhappy with television announcers and how the golf coverage in general is lacking (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Nov. 23).

I have worked on network TV golf coverage, and without a doubt it is the most difficult sport to cover, and in so many ways. Video and audio must link up perfectly, cutting from shot to shot, and the video-replay people are about to have heart failure for four hours. So, take it a bit easier on these people. Then, another force, the pandemic and social distancing required in trucks and on the scene, has made the job much more difficult.

Just be happy to watch TV coverage at all during this incredibly unusual time in our lives.

Bob Geismar
Boca Raton, Fla.

A rallying cry heard often from Chicago fans: ‘Wait till next year’
The Masters coverage was so-so this year because it was the last major, not the first (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Nov. 23).

It was hard to get as pumped for the final event in a year of nothing but bad news. Pandemic fatigue was even heard in the voices of the announcers, and let’s face it: Dustin Johnson doesn’t get excited when he plays, so it’s hard to get excited watching him.

Wait till next year. That’s what everybody wants: another year, and put this one to bed.

Larry Ashe

‘The Great One’ scores again
Dan O’Neill really nailed it in demonstrating his sincere appreciation of Dustin Johnson's quiet, classy demeanor when dealing with success (“Celebrate Dustin Johnson for what he isn’t: Full of himself,” Nov. 18). Maybe, in an indirect way, Johnson comes by it honestly.

During spring training of 2015, I was attending a Class A game between the Brewers and Angels, being played on a side diamond next to the Brewers’ main field in Marysville, Ariz. There were about 25 spectators in the stands. Along strolls Janet Gretzky, who proceeds to sit to my right. Moments later, her husband, Wayne, arrives and sits to her right. I suddenly realize that their son Trevor had just been traded to the Angels a few days ago, which explains their presence.

No one recognizes the Gretzkys. After a few innings, Wayne decides to stretch his legs and walks over to the backstop/screen along third base. I walk up to him and ask, "May I ask you one question?" He responds, "Hey! Feel free to ask me as many questions as you want."

I begin by asking, “Was there ever a time when you almost ended up as a Vancouver Canuck, or were the rumors just media hype?”

He proceeds to give me a fascinating, highly detailed account of two separate instances when he came close to relocating to Vancouver, but for incredible screw-ups by the people who could have achieved the move.

We then chat on a variety of topics, as equals, and at no time do I ever feel that he is “The Great One” and I am not.

A most remarkable 45 minutes of free-wheeling chit-chat.

Ray Edger
Surrey, British Columbia

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