From The Inbox

A tarnish that Patrick Reed won’t be able to rub off

Latest rules escapade leaves Reed unfit for play in a setting more honorable than on PGA Tour: reader’s Guadalajara Saturday group

One of the things that makes us proud of our Saturday golf group is the honorability with which every member conducts himself. Even knowing that, whenever one of us sees a potential rules issue, we ask for the presence of one of our playing partners, to ensure that he witnesses the scene.

Why wouldn't Patrick Reed, a skilled professional whose fame is tarnished by numerous incidents and who is seen by many as a cheater, do the same on Saturday at the 10th hole of the Farmers Insurance Open? (“Patrick Reed shrugs off another PGA Tour rules controversy,” Feb. 1).

With the shadow of doubt constantly over Reed, and seemingly to clean his name, it would be in his best interest to wait for a rules official before moving his ball. But he didn't, and now only he knows whether his ball indeed was embedded. To many of us, after seeing the ball bounce before resting, there is a real possibility that it wasn't embedded, and that Reed altered the scene before the arrival of the rules official.

Though Reed won the tournament, this incident will tarnish not only him but the tournament and the PGA Tour, as well. 

Felipe Rojas 
Guadalajara, Mexico 

The 'science' behind the drop
The catch phrase during the past 11 months has been “follow the science.” Patrick Reed followed the science, i.e., the rules, and his actions were supported by the scientists, i.e., the rules officials.

CBS Sports' Nick Faldo, Jim Nantz, Ian Baker-Finch, Frank Nobilo and Dottie Pepper have expressed their opinion that what Reed did on the 10th hole during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open was wrong (“Patrick Reed shrugs off another PGA Tour rules controversy,” Feb. 1), primarily because they say that's not what they would have done. Their opinions are not relevant when science proves otherwise.

Charlie Jurgonis 
Fairfax, Va.

Brit speaks out on behalf of ‘sparky’ players
Gary Van Sickle's article on what makes a favorite golfer was fun to read, but even here in the United Kingdom some might not agree that Patrick Reed's gesture to quiet the crowds during the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles was really disliked (“What makes a fan favorite? It’s complicated,” Jan. 27). We respect sparky guys and are happy to take it as well as give. My guess is that Reed likes to play on the European Tour because he has fun with the crowds as well as the players, many of whom seem to have a good time on and off the course, judging by the spoof videos they keep putting out. 

Van Sickle is so right about Lee Trevino, though. Trevino came along to my club the week after he won his second Open Championship, in 1972, gave the 200 spectators who walked around a great show, broke the course record, had a clinic showing some interesting ways of swinging, then auctioned off for charity the gear he had worn to win the title. Nick Faldo might not be the guy to do that, but his Faldo Series for aspiring young golfers is very successful. Different strokes.

Being a popular guy due to your accidental permanent smile might be a benefit, but don't let it slip like Matt Kuchar. Your reputation can slide pretty fast.

Terry Wall
Winchester, England

Mickelson should trim PGA Tour schedule to events he can win
I agree with John Hawkins that Phil Mickelson has nothing to gain (“Phil Mickelson has nothing to gain on Champions Tour,” Jan. 26).

I'd love to see Lefty stay on the PGA Tour for another couple of years, where I think he can be competitive.  However, it is hard for a champion such as Mickelson to just accept being competitive. He's not content with getting a good paycheck for a top-10 finish. He wants to win. And though at times the 50-year-old Mickelson can play like 25-year-old Mickelson did then, he often can't, and that's when he seems to get in trouble.

Mickelson needs to take a more pragmatic approach to his game, much as Kevin Na does. Na concedes that there are only 8-10 events on the PGA Tour that are played on courses where he has a chance of winning. He can play well and do well in those other events, but he knows that he won't be contending for a title. But in those 8-10 events, he knows that if he sticks to doing what he does best, he can win. And so can Mickelson.

Mark Liquorman
Land O’ Lakes, Fla.

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