From The Inbox

A big loss for PGA Tour

Jon Rahm isn’t only one to suffer from a forced withdrawal, reader contends, noting that PGA Tour and sponsors feel loss, too

I guess my usual punching bag, Alex Miceli, gave the Jon Rahm assignment to John Hawkins (“Jon Rahm incident should serve as shot in arm on PGA Tour,” June 9).

Based on his commentary, how educated is Hawkins to COVID-19 and Rahm’s unique situation? Apparently, it is woefully inadequate, from what I read. I would have done exactly what Rahm did, had I been in his shoes.

Rahm is 26 years old, previously had COVID, defeated it and thereby developed the natural antibodies to the disease. The long-term effects of the vaccine are unknown. The natural antibodies are said to be a better long-term defense to the disease than the vaccine. Most intelligent people wouldn’t wear two condoms, either.

I thought the PGA Tour erred in not considering a scenario such as this: Rahm, who would have led by six strokes after 54 holes, was a 99-percent guaranteed winner on Sunday. What happened was inequitable for many reasons. The situation should have been “all for one and one for all.” It could have happened to any player, sponsor, equipment company, caddie or other stakeholder. It should have been treated like a rainout. Rahm should have been declared the winner. Everybody else should have played for second. Or, isolate Rahm and have him play solo with a pull cart. 

Callaway, Rahm’s equipment sponsor, lost tremendous TV time on Sunday. His caddie lost $167,000 as the customary 10-percent cut of the $1.674 million winner’s check. Rahm got no Fed Ex points, nor the three-year PGA Tour exemption that goes to the Memorial winner. The list goes on and on. The potential losses in this situation, whether monetary or emotional, are incalculable. Commissioner Jay Monahan should lose his parking place for not having considered this scenario. Rahm took an enormous loss, but so did every so-called partner in the Tour’s continuing prosperity.

Hopefully they now begin to consider other scenarios and solutions that are more equitable to all stakeholders with the PGA Tour. A forced withdrawal was an easy way to handle it. Ten years of litigation might make Tour leaders reconsider.

David Hofer
Davie, Fla.

Stick to golf shots, not vaccination shots
Is this a golf site? Why are we getting political commentary on vaccinations? (“Jon Rahm incident should serve as shot in arm on PGA Tour,” June 9).

If someone chooses to get or not to get a vaccination, that is his or her choice. The last that I checked, we have not turned into an unfree society.

Doug Ferreri
Shalimar, Fla.

More questions than Hawkins and Miceli have answers
While John Hawkins and Alex Miceli are bashing the PGA Tour players, one needs to ask other questions (“Jon Rahm’s COVID-19 caper at Memorial could have been avoided,” June 7; “Jon Rahm incident should serve as shot in arm on PGA Tour,” June 9).

Have all of the volunteers and PGA Tour staff been inoculated? What about the media folks who stand within a few feet of the players? What about the fans without masks we see in the background?

My wife and I were lucky because of our ages to get in on the program as it first opened in our area, though we had to drive many miles to find a site.  

Inoculation is a prudent step in the right direction for most people, unless they have problems with some of the materials and growth medium used in the development of this strain.

While Alex Miceli points his finger at Jon Rahm and others, he might want to point a finger at China. Be wise and prudent but be safe.

Patrick Scott
Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

It’s time to clean up golf’s ‘play it as it lies’ rule
Kudos to Gary Van Sickle for a well-written article on the Memorial Tournament (“Patrick Cantlay picks up where Jon Rahm left off at Memorial,” June 7).

I’m sure that a lot of people are saying that Jon Rahm got hosed and the playoff should have been for second place.

The only thing that upset me was Collin Morikawa’s second shot in the playoff, as his ball had a load of mud on it after almost plugging in the 18th fairway. The tremendous rain showers softened the fairway enough that Morikawa was unfairly penalized for not being able to clean the ball. Cantlay, by comparison, had no such issue in the middle of the rough.

Perhaps it’s time to review this rule (Rule 9: “Ball Played as It Lies; Ball at Rest Lifted or Moved”).

Paul Sunderland
Los Angeles 

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