From The Inbox

Here’s a reality check regarding Tiger Woods

Woods is far from finished as a contender on the PGA Tour, and he just might win again, perhaps even a green jacket, reader writes

So, it’s time for Tiger Woods to “face reality,” eh? Reading that piece by Mike Purkey made me chuckle (“It’s time for Tiger Woods to face reality,” Nov. 23). Are we scraping the barrel trying to find something to write about?

Yes, Woods doesn’t play as much these days, by physical limitation or by choice – probably a little bit of both. He certainly doesn’t need the money. Yes, the Masters is the most likely major championship for him to win, on paper, because he could play Augusta National in the dark, probably.

But let’s look at some other examples.

This week, we say Robert Streb wins for the first time on the PGA Tour since 2014. That’s six years between wins.

Brian Gay did something similar a few weeks ago, and it was even longer between wins: seven years. He’s 48, so clearly he needs to face reality, too.

Stewart Cink, at 47, is another one. He won the Silverado tournament for his first win in 11 years. He also needs to look in the mirror, I suppose.

Sergio Garcia won last month for the first time since his 2017 Masters victory. He’s 40 now. Does he need to face reality, too?

Yet, Woods has won a Masters and another PGA Tour event, the Zozo Championship, in the past 18 months, yet it’s time for him to face golf’s grim reaper?

But what really made me scratch my head was the reference to Woods making a 10 on the par-3 12th hole this year, implying that he simply can’t concentrate anymore because he is a senile old man now.

Didn’t Jordan Spieth make an absolute mess of the 12th hole in the 2016 Masters, when he started the back nine with a five-stroke lead? Did he need to retire, too, at age 22, because he couldn’t focus?

Tom Weiskopf made a 13 on the 12th hole in 1980. Did he need to retire? Obviously, he couldn’t concentrate.

No, a lot of people make a mess of the 12th hole. It happens. It’s a short but very difficult hole, which makes it one of the greatest holes in golf.

Actually, I also would point to Woods’ amazing closing stretch of five birdies in the last six holes as evidence of tremendous focus, concentration and willpower. That stretch of golf is one of the most amazing things that Woods has done in golf, and it showed exactly what made him great: he’s always focused and never gives up, even after making a 10.

I don’t think Woods is done. We should have learned by now not to write this guy off. I fully expect him to get at least one more win for No. 83 and set the record that he shares with Sam Snead on the PGA Tour. I don’t expect Woods to win four more majors and surpass Jack Nicklaus’ mark of 18, but it wouldn’t shock me if he were to get another one.

Jon Lucas
Little Rock, Ark.

Let Tiger Woods decide when the time is right to retire
Was Mike Purkey’s commentary an example of covert racism in action? (“It’s time for Tiger Woods to face reality,” Nov. 23).

Did Purkey call for the retirement of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Davis Love III or Phil Mickelson from the PGA Tour, even though they had stopped winning? What is the difference here: white men versus a multiethnic man.

Purkey, please, examine your motives and allow Tiger Woods to retire in his own time and not at your behest.

Pamela Hall
Plantation, Fla.

Commercials push another golf viewer to react
Reader Gary Radford hit the nail exactly on the head with his observation about commercials every five minutes during golf telecasts (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Nov. 24).

Actually, it is approximately 7½ minutes, as I timed it.

That split screen is a joke and should be abolished. I do what Radford does: I tape it and watch it later, fast-forwarding over the commercials and the split screen.

This past Sunday, I watched the final round of the LPGA’s Pelican Women’s Championship. This telecast did have commercials every five minutes. I couldn’t take it any longer, so after the first hour, I just taped it and watched it later.

If there is one main reason why golf is losing viewers, it is because of the many commercials between golf shots. We all know commercials are necessary but not to the extent shown on golf telecasts.

Arthur Buonopane
Winchester, Mass. 

Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at steve@morningread.com. Please provide your name and city of residence. If your comment is selected for publication, Morning Read will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.

Sign up to receive the Morning Read newsletter, along with Where To Golf Next and The Equipment Insider.