From The Inbox

Oh, so that’s what ‘NBC’ means

Programming switch during U.S. Women’s Open leaves viewer feeling shortchanged about dramatic ending

I can see it now: Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau are in a playoff for the U.S. Open as NBC pulls the plug in the middle of it, and the next thing on the screen is an infomercial for a pasta maker.

Yeah, like that's going to happen.

Yet, NBC (the Nothing But Crap network) has no problem pulling the cord on a playoff between two Asian female golfers Sunday at the U.S. Women’s Open, moving the finish to Golf Channel (“Dream comes alive for Yuka Saso at U.S. Women’s Open,” June 7). Unbelievable.

I wish I had advertising with NBC. The network wouldn't have it any more after Sunday.

Pulling the plug on a playoff of the most important women’s golf tournament in the world and starting hockey playoff games, sometimes not until the game is well into the second period ... how does NBC get away with it?

Golf Channel is a shadow of its former self, and now this.

NBC validates its Nothing But Crap programming decisions again. Lucky us.

Ken Drake
Albany, Ore.

Finish what you start, NBC
In reading Arthur Buonopane’s lament regarding CBS’ “Eye on the Course” policy for commercials in the coverage of the Memorial (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 7), I’m writing to applaud the generous decision by Rolex to pay for uninterrupted coverage of the U.S. Women’s Open on NBC last weekend.

This was a phenomenal event, revealing the Olympic Club in San Francisco as a truly amazing test for the world's best female players (“Dream comes alive for Yuka Saso at U.S. Women’s Open,” June 7).

In Canada, The Sports Network did give us the feed of the tournament beginning on Thursday, but TSN disregarded the Rolex/NBC decision and liberally infused its coverage with ads every seven or eight minutes. Fortunately, we also have the NBC feed here on cable, so that was a great option for us over the weekend.

The ongoing drama of the final round was quite riveting to watch, especially the last half-dozen holes. So, it was an extremely poor decision by NBC suddenly to cut its coverage of the playoff of eventual winner Yuka Saso and Nasa Hataoka, once Lexi Thompson’s final-hole bogey eliminated her from qualifying for the playoff.

I understand this was due to NBC’s commitment to covering the U.S. Gymnastics Championships (evidently the reason for their pressuring the USGA to have threesomes and earlier tee times in the Open on Sunday), but here in the West, the NBC stations ended up running infomercials at the time. We in Canada were able to go back to the TSN feed for the playoff, but from Twitter traffic it was evident that many LPGA fans not having access to other feeds were extremely annoyed, and it reveals yet again the uphill battle that women’s sports have in gaining mainstream coverage.

Mike Whan, here's one of your most pressing challenges in your new position as the USGA's CEO: The USGA and LPGA deserve better.

Len Ratzlaff
Edmonton, Alberta

What was Lexi Thompson thinking?
I was shocked watching the back nine of the U.S. Women’s Open on Sunday as Lexi Thompson continued hitting driver with a big lead (“Dream comes alive for Yuka Saso at U.S. Women’s Open,” June 7).

Yes, she is a great driver of the ball, but because the Olympic Club course was set up short, with heavy rough as the only defense, why didn't she go conservative and hit 4-iron or 3-wood? The fairways were yielding a lot of roll, and hitting fairways and greens is a formula for the leader. Her second shots still would have been with short irons.

I also don't understand whether she had been mis-clubbed on approaches on the last two holes, with both resulting in bogeys. It seems as if she depended too much on her caddie's advice. His best advice would have been to have her keep the driver in the bag on the back nine

Winner Yuka Saso played great golf for the last nine holes and putted well, with nerves of steel, especially on some of those long second putts for par.

The tournament was very exciting, but because I was rooting for Thompson to win, it was hard to watch the last few holes. She's a great player, and I wish her the best.

Gregory Tatoian
Port St. Lucie, Fla.

‘The best tournament of the year’
The U.S. Women's Open was by far the best tournament of the year (“Dream comes alive for Yuka Saso at U.S. Women’s Open,” June 7).

Olympic Club was beautiful, the competition was great and the outcome was amazing. But the best part of the telecast: No commercials and no God-awful “Eye on the Course” or “Playing Through” or whatever it is called. 

Kudos and many thanks to NBC and Rolex for a job well done.

Ken Staroscik
Firestone, Colo.

Thanks for the tip
I could not agree more with reader Arthur Buonopane, who wrote about his displeasure with the advertising policy of CBS golf broadcasts (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 7).

The ads are the tournament for CBS, and the tournament is just some fluff stuff between ads. Buonopane did make a great suggestion to DVR the event and skip the ads. That’s what I will do on the golf broadcast this week. 

Lou Body IV
Jacksonville, Fla.

Painful ending for Thompson
Drop all the mental gymnastics. Lexi Thompson has the yips (“Dream comes alive for Yuka Saso at U.S. Women’s Open,” June 7).

The TV talking heads don't want to say so.

She needs to get her right hand out of her putting stroke. There are plenty of putting gurus out there to help her. Left-hand low, claw, etc. Look at all the changes that players on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour are using. The answer is out there.

Thompson did hit some bad shots – that happens – but putting can save some of the mistakes. Take another look at her stroke on the 18th hole to get into the playoff. Ouch.

John Seiter
The Villages, Fla.

Reader comes to Jon Rahm’s defense
Alex Miceli wrote about Jon Rahm (“Jon Rahm’s COVID-19 caper at Memorial could have been avoided,” June 7): “Rahm paid a price for his error, though nothing on the level of any of those 597,000 victims.”

Please inform Miceli that any person choosing not to get vaccinated for personal reasons is not making an “error.” Did he interview Rahm to see whether not getting vaccinated was a personal choice? If a person stands up for a personal choice, then it is not an error just because it cost said person a large sum of money. 

Miceli’s view on Rahm’s personal health views or any other person’s views should not be considered an “error.” It was a poor choice of words.

I’ve had COVID-19 and have no intention of getting the vaccine. Natural protection beats any manmade, untested vaccine.

I don’t say people getting vaccinated are making an “error,” however. 

Mark Neiheisel 
Dayton Ohio

Jon Rahm’s ‘very poor decision’
I totally agree with Alex Miceli’s analysis on Jon Rahm, although Miceli could have put it in stronger terms (“Jon Rahm’s COVID-19 caper at Memorial could have been avoided,” June 7).

Rahm made a very poor decision not to get vaccinated sooner. Hopefully what happened to him will encourage others to get vaccinated so they will avoid a similar fate.

Gary Saretzky
Lawrenceville, N.J.

Stick it to ’em, PGA Tour
In retrospect to Jon Rahm’s disqualification after leading the Memorial Tournament, I have a hard time understanding why the PGA Tour doesn't have a requirement that each player must be fully vaccinated in order to even qualify for the tournament (“Jon Rahm’s COVID-19 caper at Memorial could have been avoided,” June 7).

Considering the varied amount of contact with the field, spectators, and all trappings available to players and spectators, vaccination really would help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Bobby Goforth
Bristol, Tenn.

… and keep sticking it to ’em
Though the PGA Tour might have erred in the way it handled the news of Jon Rahm’s positive COVID-19 test, it doesn’t remove the fact that the Tour should require all players, caddies, and everyone else associated with the Tour to be vaccinated (“PGA Tour mishandles message with Jon Rahm at Memorial,” June 7).

People are routinely vaccinated for the flu, measles, smallpox, and many other ailments. Why the trepidation for this?

Mitchell Sklare 
Chicago

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