From The Inbox

These ‘pedestrian’ champions walk the walk

Masters' ‘one-shot wonders’ rate more respect than recent jab, and they certainly prefer green jacket to FedEx Cup, reader says

Reader Tom Gorman, apparently a golf journalist, lists no fewer than 14 Master champions whom he thinks are “one-shot wonders” and “pedestrian” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 16).

As a golfer and a writer on the sport, he should know a little more about what it takes to win a golf tournament. I've been playing for more than 50 years, and I've won just two significant scratch events myself. You bet I felt as good as a Masters winner when I did, because it's rare, and it's hard. Their best week happened to be that week, and they beat everyone else who came along.

I've occasionally come on top of the season's standings, too, and it bears absolutely no comparison to getting the trophy in an event you have dreamed of winning for decades. So, no, Tom, I don't believe any of those guys would swap the green jacket for the FedEx Cup. They wouldn't even have to think about it.

As for being “one-shot wonders,” those guys boast nearly 100 PGA Tour wins among them, plus many more worldwide victories (Ian Woosnam had 28 in Europe), in addition to two U.S. Opens and one Open Championship, world No. 1 status, and even two more Masters “ties” that were lost in playoffs.

“Pedestrian”? Wish I could walk that walk!

Terry Wall
Winchester, England

FedEx title fails to deliver
Does reader Tom Gorman work for FedEx? (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 16).

The editor’s note at the end of his letter says Gorman is the publisher on a golf website. Is he trying to drive clicks to his website by saying something outrageous? Most of the professional golfers whom I have seen asked the question rank the Masters as the major championship they would prefer to win, although several Europeans do say “the Open Championship.” I have heard numerous players say their goal for the year was making a Ryder Cup team or winning a major; I have never heard a player say his goal for the year was winning the FedEx Cup.

A FedEx win gives a player a boatload of cash. A Masters win gives a player a lifetime (within reason) invitation to return, membership in an exclusive fraternity that meets each year, but more importantly, immortality among golf fans.

I know who Larry Mize is because he won the Masters. Ten years from now, no one will remember who won the FedEx Cup this year.

The FedEx Cup is a PGA Tour-created money grab initially conceived as a means of getting fans to watch golf instead of football in the fall.

The “magic” of playing for a huge purse of someone else’s money has not succeeded in doing that, except perhaps for Tom Gorman.

Mike McQueen
El Paso, Texas

Charlie Sifford paved way for Lee Elder in Masters
It’s admirable that Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters chose to honor Lee Elder. But rather than ESPN and CBS gushing over Tiger Woods and his golf accomplishments, I would have liked to have seen a piece on Charlie Sifford.

Lee Elder was the first African-American to play in the Masters, but had the same eligibility rules that allowed Elder to play in 1975 existed in 1969, Sifford’s L.A. Open win would have allowed him to be the first, six years before Elder. It was the Masters’ exclusion of Sifford that changed the rules which made Lee Elder eligible.

Much has been made about how Lee Elder’s appearance in 1975 paved the way for Tiger Woods. But it was Charlie Sifford who paved the way for Lee Elder.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

Gary Player doesn’t deserve a pass from Masters
There have been quite a few comments about the Wayne Player incident, and rightly so (“Don’t hate Masters in the Player game,” April 15). The one thing that no one seems to have addressed or even noticed is that a public apology was issued on Twitter by Wayne's brother, Marc, but no public apology was issued by Gary Player.

It seems to me that Gary Player should have been the one to issue the apology. Perhaps he issued one privately, but that doesn't count, as far as I'm concerned, and he had to be the one who made it possible for Wayne to be there in the first place. Yet not one word has been said about Gary Player’s involvement (or non-involvement) in this incident. Why is he being given a pass?

For those who think that what Wayne Player did was no different than what Lee Elder, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus did in displaying their logos, I would say that they are golf professionals who have earned the right to display their logos.

John Abercrombie
Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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