A mix-and-match idea for Match Play
You were barraged with opinions about the WGC Match Play Championship (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 27). There were lots of complaints, but, other than “go back to the old way,” not too many reasonable options were mentioned. I think I might have one.
First, exempt the top four players in the Official World Golf Ranking into the round of 16. This way, we can save the whales – I mean, the stars – so the casual fans will tune in on the weekend.
Next, most of us are familiar with a stroke-play round being used to seed the field for match-play tournaments. Let's have a stroke-play round on Wednesday, with the 60 non-exempt players to identify the 48 players who would continue. Twelve guys go home.
Third, the remaining 48 players would be seeded based on Wednesday’s results and then play 24 matches Thursday and 12 matches Friday. The 12 winners would join the exempt players for the round of 16.
This might not be perfect, and maybe you should check my math, but it seems like a starting point instead of just ranting and complaining.
By the way, if Morning Read subscriber Hans Mahler thinks Julian Suri's effort against Bubba Watson was some kind of fluke, then he is one of those casual fans who does not pay much attention except during big events. Suri has an impressive resume and might be the next star to emerge on the PGA Tour.
Disclosure: Suri is from my course and beat me like a drum from the time he was 12 years old.
St. Augustine, Fla.
Stroke-play qualifying would fix Match Play
A simple format change would add much more drama, entertainment and excitement to the WGC Match Play (“Match Play lacks drama of one-and-done,” March 26).
The best 64 players in the world should play medal play for the first three days, with the low 16 advancing to match play. Those tied for the 16th spot would have a sudden-death playoff for that spot. That would be pretty dramatic and meaningful. The sweet 16 would play lose-and-you’re-gone, as they do now.
Under this format, each day would be meaningful and action-packed. Theoretically the best players would advance to the match-play portion, satisfying the fans and sponsors. Win-win.
The Woodlands, Texas
Try automatic 2-down presses
Everyone wants to try and “fix” the WGC Match Play. Here’s my solution: automatic two-down presses. That’s what the average male player does, and it would add excitement. Kevin Kisner is all for it.
(Clark co-hosts “Lowcountry Links,” a one-hour golf show beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesdays, on WOEZ-FM 93.7 in Burton, S.C.)
Good work, if you can get it
“Played Match Play in Tucson in 2014. Early group on Wednesday, lost. Threw clubs in my car and was on my couch in Scottsdale by 2:00 pm. Collect 30K and spend the weekend at home. That’s a good format. This one sucks.” – PGA Tour player Graham DeLaet, in a tweet
Pardon me if I sound skeptical, but does this not come across as a remark from a “ticket puncher”?
In today's world, observing how hard people have to work to keep their heads above water, and reading about some guy who puts in five hours, rakes in $30,000 and goes home to his couch and family, it is understandable that this type of attitude does not sit well with many people. Why would any company ever consider endorsing a player with this type of attitude? What's even more unbelievable is, that a Tour player would ever put a remark like that in writing for all the world to see.
Perhaps it is only that many of us march to the beat of a different drummer.
An idea that simply won’t fly
Do we really expect the pros to inject a different ball into their game for one week? (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 27).
These guys are all about fine-tuning everything.
I remember Jack Nicklaus saying that his pitching wedge went 126½ yards. I was impressed by that exactness.
But for this tournament, the reduced-flight ball would make that wedge fly not much more than 100 yards. And when would the pros put this ball into practice? Not before the week of the tournament, I would guess. They would not screw up the previous tournament by fooling with a different ball.
Here is an amateur’s take: I used to play in a four-ball at a club where the greens were so thick that I had to change everything – pitching, chipping and putting – in a major way. Afterwards, I had to purge all of those changes. Guess what? I dumped the tournament from my plan, even after winning it once.
It simply was not worth it.
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