From The Inbox

Unmasked fearlessness

Alex Miceli misses mark regarding criticism of PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, California reader contends

Alex Miceli's criticism of Jay Monahan is unwarranted (“Talk is cheap for PGA Tour’s Jay Monahan amid pandemic,” March 10).

Unfortunately, the very real, deadly virus became highly politicized. With a year of data now available, the outcomes of California and Florida are almost identical despite their polar-opposite approaches toward mitigating the effects of this pandemic.

There is a rising tide of justified resentment toward politicians who engaged in unprecedented lockdowns of society, with little regard for the collateral damage. 

At age 75, I am in the high-risk group and have been vaccinated, but I understand why a young person with little to fear from this virus would demur. What I don't want to do is spend the rest of my life in a germophobic state, wearing a mask and being fearful of everyone whom I meet, not being able to see a face or engage in polite conversation.

Al Jamieson
Burlingame, Calif.

There he goes again
Alex Miceli has become very predictable. You can always tell which way he leans (“Talk is cheap for PGA Tour’s Jay Monahan amid pandemic,” March 10).

In Wednesday’s rant about PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, Miceli says Monahan should be mandating masks at all tournaments. It’s probably – and I say probably – true that 540,000 Americans have died with COVID. However, it will be chronicled long after this is over, exactly how many died of COVID.

We as Americans should manage our own risk when it comes to COVID. It’s time to move forward and get our lives back.

Doug Baker
Austin, Texas

Miceli is right: Wear a mask or stay home
Good article by Alex Miceli (“Talk is cheap for PGA Tour’s Jay Monahan amid pandemic,” March 10).

It continues to amaze me that so many non-medical types don't enforce the recommendations of disease experts. Simply put, to protect the players and other spectators, patrons should be required to wear masks to attend a PGA Tour event. If, for whatever reason, they think that's too restrictive, they can stay home.  

Many were wearing masks at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and I initially assumed it was a requirement, but then I saw others not wearing masks.  

I continue to contrast the courage of doctors and nurses who risk their lives daily to treat infected patients, with others who find it too difficult to observe the simple guidelines of wearing a mask to protect themselves and others.

Bob Burian
Doylestown, Pa.

Don’t expect Monahan to be chief of mask police
Alex Miceli, were you at The Concession Golf Club for the WGC Workday Championship two weeks ago? If so, you saw that the PGA Tour was quite active in making sure that all spectators wore masks. I was there for four hours on Saturday afternoon and did not see a single person not wearing a mask, except while eating or drinking (“Talk is cheap for PGA Tour’s Jay Monahan amid pandemic,” March 10).

Maybe the marshals at the Players Championship need to be a little more pro-active in getting spectators to wear masks. Commissioner Jay Monahan cannot be expected to spend all of his time doing so.

Juan Gutierrez
Sarasota, Fla.

Just stay home, Miceli
I couldn't disagree more with Alex Miceli (“Talk is cheap for PGA Tour’s Jay Monahan amid pandemic,” March 10).

Miceli should stay home if he doesn't feel safe. People need to live their lives. 

Jim VanBoven
Canton, Mich.

Money ball
Captain Louis Renault, in the movie “Casablanca”: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here."

Waiter: “Your winnings, sir."

Reader Gary Cohen ended his letter to Morning Read by writing, “The PGA Tour is selling its soul for the almighty dollar.” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 10).

Surely, Cohen was no more shocked than Claude Rains, as the redoubtable Captain Renault, at this revelation. Golf may be a game, but the PGA Tour is certainly not the game. It is a money machine run for the benefit of the participants and hangers-on, which would include the commissioner and his staff. The charity portion is mostly a result of onsite fans and local civic groups, and probably the concomitant tax benefits.

The PGA Tour is a nonprofit, dontcha know. 

The Tour is not the game of golf, or even a game; it is a big-money competition that is based on the game that we amateurs play. Golf is and always will be the game of the amateurs. The game we watch on TV only resembles the game we play but is certainly not what we experience in our daily rounds.

Golf is extraordinary in that the game consists of millions of amateurs: hackers, low-handicappers and even the elites who choose to remain amateur. This is not true of the other major-league sports. Yes, people may play pickup games or even compete on recreational or league teams, but it is nothing compared with the professional versions. No one thinks of these pastimes when they talk about baseball or the other major sports. The PGA Tour may pretend to be the tail that wags the dog of golf, but if the Tour were to go belly-up tomorrow, golf would not feel even a ripple of effect. Well, maybe we wouldn't have to listen to any more talk about the ball going too far. 

So, rail against the big bucks on the PGA Tour, if you must, but it’s just shouting into the wind. “Show me the money” is a more accurate tagline for the PGA Tour than “These guys are good,” even though they are. 

It's still OK to enjoy the show. Just keep it in the proper prospective. 

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.

Keep your hands off my game
Reader Stephen Cooney of Pottstown, Pa., can play in our group any time (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 10).

We moan like everyone else when we end up in a divot or a bunker footprint, but that lasts about five seconds. Then, it’s on to, How can I execute the next shot?

That is golf. It is part of the game. It’s the rules.

I was never more disappointed in the PGA Tour than I was on Saturday, when the announcer said they were playing “lift, clean and place” due to “anticipated bad weather” at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Seriously? Who made that call?

Please don’t ruin the game that I love.

Frank Blauch
Lebanon, Pa.

What if Patrick Reed had gotten that ruling?
Imagine the hand-wringing and hysteria from the Stewards of Goodness and Integrity if Patrick Reed had been given that ruling for free relief near the 16th green at Bay Hill rather than Bryson DeChambeau (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 10).  

I'm not suggesting that it was incorrect or there was nefarious intent on the part of DeChambeau, but I'm just saying . . .

Jim Westerman
Hanover Park, Ill.

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