From The Inbox

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That’s entertainment

I like Morning Read. I’ve been a subscriber from the start and continue to enjoy the daily online publication. It’s entertaining.

That’s why I was surprised with Alex Miceli’s choice to use the word in a derogatory fashion when saying that the Woods, Fowler and Mickelson grouping at the Players Championship this week was all about “entertainment” (“McIlroy’s candor counters Woods’ illusions,” May 9).

Professional sport is all about entertainment. If it weren’t entertaining, people wouldn’t come out or tune in to watch. Why does a movie producer elect to pay a high-profile actor millions of dollars instead of getting an actor of similar talent at a much cheaper price? Because fans know that they will be entertained by seeing the star. 

It’s all about entertainment, so I applaud this week’s high-profile grouping, and I’m going to watch because I know it will be covered extensively and I know that I will be entertained. 

As for Tiger Woods’ comeback wearing thin, well, as long as the number of tickets sold and viewers watching remains high, it will continue to be entertaining. 

Cary B. Sternberg 
The Villages, Fla.


Woods’ lower standard

Alex Miceli is dead on. Tiger Woods and those who promote the delusion (most of the media) that he is a competitive PGA Tour golfer are living in a world of fantasy. Yet, he and they extol the “only if” or “almost there” mantra. As accurately pointed out, he is not “there” and shows no evidence of getting there.

Notice how it is now news if Woods makes the cut? That seems an odd standard to measure being competitive.

Ted Comstock
Lancaster, N.H.


Mixed message

Alex Miceli, you wrote in your article:

“Yes, Woods is a ratings bonanza, but the novelty of the comeback has worn very thin. At some point, Woods, who hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since 2013 and has not claimed a major title since 2008, will have to show something better than he has produced recently inside the ropes. Until then, I’d rather read about Day, Spieth, McIlroy or almost anyone else – players who actually have produced and won major championships during the past decade.”

And yet, you write about him to get clicks on your website. Conflicted? 

James Wyatt


Woods’ time has passed

It’s probably the best article I've read about Tiger Woods and the media treatment of his “comeback.”

Those of us who have played the game since we were kids know, and appreciate, the difficulty of playing at the professional level. That said, I was more than amused at the “projections” of Woods' future play after a few rounds of mediocrity that the majority of the press saw as the Second Coming. Please.

Woods was a phenomenon that probably won't be seen again in our lifetimes. But at this late stage, he's got too many flat-bellies on the PGA Tour who respect him but don't fear him.

Greg Feustel
Apopka, Fla.


Good for the game

I enjoyed Alex Miceli’s recent article on Rory McIlroy and his outspokenness regarding his view of the Masters.

It’s refreshing when a pro such as McIlroy speaks exactly how he’s feeling and gives fans a glimpse into his thoughts. But I disagree with Miceli’s distaste about the continued obsession with Tiger Woods.

Like it or not, the average golf fan will tune in to see how Woods is playing, some rooting for success and some rooting for a missed cut. I would guess that the PGA Tour is OK with the ratings bump.

In the same way that a relevant Notre Dame football team is good for college football, or a relevant New York Yankees team is good for Major League Baseball, a relevant Tiger Woods is good for golf.

Tom O'Donnell 
Loveland, Ohio


Woods mania will start winding down

How many barely-made cuts and 40-50ish finishes will it take before the galleries aren't 10 deep, before they won't be told to “please hold” after Tiger Woods putts out before his playing competitors?

His comeback, if viewed through his game on the course, is teetering on becoming a non-event. But it will take a year or more of mediocre Woods play before the fans, and also the media, start to lose interest.

I'll be in the 12th-green ShotLink tower during the next four days at the Players Championship. I'll have a bird’s-eye view of Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler as they come through Thursday and Friday. It will be a much better view than most of the spectators gathered five or more deep, and I'm sure most of that throng won't be jostling for a peek of Mickelson or Fowler.

Dave Leonard
Ormond Beach, Fla.


Still not Tigeresque

Great perspective, Alex. I agree with you 100 percent.

We all do the what-ifs. I made a 50-60-foot downhill, left-to-right putt for birdie last week. I’m a pretty good putter, but that is not a putt than anyone makes too often, and they never say they shouldn’t have made it.

Tiger Woods played a couple of decent tournaments, but overall he really hasn’t done anything Tigeresque lately. He has become a decent golfer but hasn’t shown that he is the elite player yet. His stats can be misleading. I think that he still can win, but so can Beau Hossler.

Anthony S. Polakov
Los Angeles


Hagen’s sweet 16

I loved your speculative piece about the Players Championship as a major (“If only the Players were a major …,” May 8). Here, I offer something in a similar vein.

The Western Open was considered a major championship into the 1930s, when the Masters was launched. Using that yardstick, Walter Hagen's five Western victories puts him at 16 majors.

It's worth considering.

J.R. Schmidt
Park Ridge, Ill.  


A Little history behind the 14-club rule

Jim Kavanagh asks why golfers are limited to 14 clubs (“From the Morning Read inbox,” May 9)

Up to 1938 in the U.S. and 1939 in the U.K., there was no limit to the number of clubs that a player could use. For example, Lawson Little, who won the British Amateur and the U.S. Amateur in 1934 and 1935, often carried 26 clubs, according to his biography in the World Golf Hall of Fame. (Imagine his poor caddie.)

This was a by-product of change from hickory shafts to steel, which provided less variation in the length of shots. Enough was enough, so, rather arbitrarily it seems, the USGA and the R&A settled on 14, figuring skill and not technology should be the predominant factor in play.

That philosophy continues today with all the various regulations that have been imposed on equipment. 

Ed Smilow
La Quinta, Calif.


Fewer clubs, not more

Au contraire, Jim Kavanagh. The limit on the number of clubs should be reduced, not increased.

This site has voiced opinions about the ball, equipment and course conditions and how today's players are bombs-away, making some old courses irrelevant. It's time to put shot-making back into the game.

Instead of grabbing a 6-iron, let's go back to learning how to cut a 5-iron or hook a 7-iron. Let's go back to opening the face of a 56-degree wedge rather than reaching for a 60- or 62-degree wedge. And don't tell me that today's ball can't be worked left or right ... even though none of us has Bubba Watson's hands.

I routinely play with 11 or 12 clubs, even in tournaments. Truth is, it makes you think and makes the game more interesting. 

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.


Soaring with the ‘Ghost Riders’

Charlie Jurgonis picked the wrong song with "Ghost Riders in the Sky" if he doesn't want to hear music for the rest of the round (“From the Morning Read inbox,” May 4). I was a pilot in Company C, 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in Vietnam, and we were call-signed "Ghost Rider.”

All of my buds love that song. We can listen to it ... over and over and over.

Bruce Wyrwitzke 
Astoria, Ore.


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