From The Inbox

Lack of crowd control mars Mickelson’s moment

Potentially dangerous situation at PGA Championship adds another chapter to ‘knucklehead behavior’ in televised professional golf

Phil Mickelson’s win at the PGA Championship was a wild ride that was exciting and historic, but I am sad to see it marred at the end by the reaction of the crowd at the 18th fairway (“Thrill of a lifetime: Phil Mickelson prevails at PGA,” May 24).

I can’t help but think that the PGA of America lost control and created a dangerous situation and that the association’s leaders have no one to blame but themselves.

Putting aside the fact that people are still being encouraged to social-distance (that is a topic for discussion in itself), the PGA Tour long ago started encouraging the young, drunk and loud spectators at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. I guess polite and appreciative fans were not creating enough bang for the TV buck, but it is really hard even to watch a tournament on TV now with all the knucklehead behavior being displayed.

I guess it’s too late to put the toothpaste back in the tube, so we’re left with the unfortunate result. Sad.

Frank Blauch
Lebanon, Pa.

Mickelson records mind-altering victory
What a historical day in golf. Phil Mickelson completely changed his mind-set as a golfer to win the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island (“Thrill of a lifetime: Phil Mickelson prevails at PGA,” May 24).

Mickelson played strategic golf, and I think he played slower than he normally would, to slow down Brooks Koepka, who is a faster player typically.

I’m not a Mickelson fan, by any means, but this win was huge for him and for the sport. No one saw this coming.

A couple other thoughts:

Where does Brooks Koepka go from here?

Also, it was an excellent week for Rickie Fowler, who got a special exemption from the PGA of America to play in the PGA Championship. Let’s hope that he continues playing well.

Kiawah Island is an incredible test of golf. This definitely shouldn’t be the last time that it hosts a big tournament. 

David Coleman
Middleburg Heights, Ohio
(Coleman is a member of the PGA of America.)

From one 'old guy' to another: Attaboy, Phil
I've slammed Phil Mickelson in Morning Read’s “inbox” and lost respect for him because of his shenanigans at Shinnecock Hills, when he hit a moving ball in the 2018 U.S. Open, but you have to give him credit (“Thrill of a lifetime: Phil Mickelson prevails at PGA,” May 24).

His PGA Championship victory was an outstanding effort for an old guy … coming from an old guy myself. 

Congratulations, Phil.  

Kenny Drake
Albany, Ore.

High-stepping Mickelson impresses reader as an athlete
I have to relate a quick story about Phil Mickelson and his incredible focus.

In 2011, I was standing just outside the ropes at the Shell Houston Open. Mickelson’s drive had come my way, and the ball was outside of the ropes. He was walking down the fairway, with his eyes on the ball. When he came to the rope, the marshals hadn’t had time to lower it, so he stepped over it as if it weren’t even there. His eyes looked kind of glazed over as his thought appeared to be on only one thing: the next shot. He hit his next shot and went on to win the tournament.

I learned two things about him:

1. He has incredible laser-like focus, and …

2. He is a very big man. His height and ability to step across the rope without breaking stride showed me that he really is a gifted athlete.

Daryl Lott
Houston 

Mickelson vs. Miceli: It’s no match
Alex Miceli takes potshots at Phil Mickelson for his sunglasses? (“Phil Mickelson emerges as story of week, but too bad he doesn’t want to talk about it,” May 22). That’s golf journalism? Seriously? A new low standard.

Mickelson just proved that he's one of the greatest (“Thrill of a lifetime: Phil Mickelson prevails at PGA,” May 24). Miceli proved what he is.

Tim Maupin 
Overland Park, Kan.

Miceli’s questionable relevance
Reader Patrick Scott’s assessment of Alex Miceli is spot-on (“From the Morning Read inbox,” May 23).

Because Miceli can’t hide his true feelings, his relevance in golf reporting must be questioned.

Doug Baker
Austin, Texas

You’re off-base, Miceli
Alex Miceli was a bit out of place with his criticism of Phil Mickelson (“Phil Mickelson emerges as story of week, but too bad he doesn’t want to talk about it,” May 22).

Maybe part of Mickelson’s mental plan was to avoid the circus and stay focused.

Miceli’s criticism reminded me of a Chicago sportswriter who, after being blown off by a baseball player after a game, stated, “You don’t have a job without me!”

Methinks some of the media think too highly of themselves.

Jim Wenzel
Barrington, Ill.

Golf’s would-be Big 3
Now that Phil Mickelson has a five-year exemption into the U.S. Open, I wonder who is more likely to complete his career Grand Slam over the next five years: Mickelson at the U.S. Open, Rory McIlroy at the Masters or Jordan Spieth at the PGA?

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

Way to go, ESPN … and take some notes, CBS
Congratulations to ESPN on its coverage of the PGA Championship. It was a refreshing change not having that irritating NBC “Playing Through” commercial that detracts from the enjoyment of watching golf on TV.

But then after two days without that irritation, along comes CBS.

David Coleman
Webster, N.Y. 

Latest fare from CBS: Ambient noise and mashed potatoes
Well, I was hoping to leave some feedback with the CBS pooh-bahs, but that's a faint hope, at best. So, I thought I'd at least put myself on record at good ol’ Morning Read.

During CBS’ coverage of the PGA Championship, it was good to know that the usual suspects such as Jim Nantz, Nick Faldo, et al., were in attendance. But for much of the broadcast their voices were drowned out by what we usually call “ambient noise.” This is something that we most often think of as lurking in the background. Unfortunately, in this case, it became the foreground.

What with scraping cleats negotiating the gravel, caddie and player mumbling unintelligible gibberish, the wind whipping across microphones, and crowds shouting “mashed potatoes” and other witticisms, the deathless commentary of our intrepid analysts was lost to the ages. A shame … uh, I guess!

Tim Schobert
Ottawa

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