From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

PGA Tour should run U.S. Open

Hasn’t the USGA now proved conclusively that it is incapable of running a professional golf tournament? (“Mickelson, USGA disgrace U.S. Open,” June 17).

While the U.S. Open is a tournament into which an amateur can qualify to play, it is very much a professional golf event that unfortunately is being run by amateurs who continue to butcher course setup and rulings during play. I can’t imagine the members at Shinnecock Hills being actually able to use their incredible golf course again for probably weeks until the greens recover from the abuse heaped on the course by USGA “agronomists.”

This is our national championship, and the PGA Tour, which knows how to conduct a proper professional golf tournament, should be in the middle of planning and executing this major championship. Amateur hour is over.

Steve Bettencourt
Bluffton, S.C.

 

Let golf course play as designed

Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills was wonderful to watch. Tommy Fleetwood’s 63 and Brooks Koepka’s second consecutive Open victory were sights to see. Unfortunately for the USGA, its officials made another double bogey. 

Deciding a course setup based on weather assumptions can lead to disaster, as we have seen yet again when it comes to the USGA and Shinnecock Hills. 

The ruling body that oversees golf in the U.S. should allow the course to be played as it was designed to be played. It is for this reason that the USGA selected the course in the first place. It certainly would help avoid things like Saturday’s course conditions from happening again. This would be good for golf and for the USGA.  

Mark Anderson
Alexandria, Va.

(Anderson is a PGA of America member.)

 

USGA vs. R&A: It’s no contest

It pains me as an American to say this, but the USGA comes in far behind the R&A when it comes to presenting a national championship.

The R&A runs the British Open with an understated elegance on beautiful and fair courses from its rota. The R&A does not try to be center stage of the championship but rather endeavors to assist players by showcasing their talent in a fair way. The announcers likewise allow the viewers to observe the tournament undisturbed and refrain from annoying patter, which always accompanies an American telecast.

The USGA should be removed from running the U.S. Open.

Ron Yujuico
Euless, Texas

 

Mickelson needs positive influence

Phil Mickelson could have taken a better course of action on the 13th green Saturday in the U.S. Open.

He should have let the putt roll out, go to where it came to rest, pick up the ball, put it in his pocket and walk to the media tent to explain why he no would allow the USGA to make a mockery of the game that we all love and respect. Think how powerful that statement would have been.

Another option: Get up the next morning, have a nice breakfast, go to the aforementioned media tent and say, "I couldn't sleep last night. I sincerely apologize to golf fans for my inexcusable behavior on the 13th hole yesterday. I'm withdrawing from the tournament because, at its core, what makes golf different from other sports is the code of honor we follow as players. Golfers don't intentionally break rules, just because they can. I hope, in some small way, my withdrawal from this tournament will help the USGA come to its senses about course setup. See you next year at Pebble Beach. Let's all hope the talk next Father's Day is about the play and not the USGA's mistreatment of that historic venue.”

Mickelson needs better friends who can help him see “the right thing.” He obviously doesn’t have that kind of help.

Gary Howard
Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

 

The USGA’s annual letdown

I half-watched the U.S. Open, not because I wasn’t interested and didn’t look forward to it. Rather, after watching a part of the tournament each day, I had to turn it off and go hit golf balls, mow the lawn, sweep the garage or anything more fulfilling.

Shinnecock Hills may be a wonderful course for the members and have a great and storied history, but it is not so wonderful for the U.S. Open and the USGA philosophy. I will go a step further and say that maybe there isn’t a course anywhere on which the USGA should be running a tournament. It seems that the USGA is a relic of the past and should get out of the tournament business.

Add that to the poor broadcasting with Fox and Joe Buck, who seemingly wanted to disrespect the game and be more of a social commentator than deftly broadcast a golf tournament. It made for an abysmal tournament to watch.

The USGA let the game of golf and the players down again.

Bob Mattucci
Castle Rock, Colo.

 

USGA could learn from Masters

The USGA and the PGA Tour need to study the attendee control that is used by management of the Masters Tournament.

The gallery at the U.S. Open was so out of control that watching on TV inserts the viewers into a mob environment that is very unpleasant to hear and watch. Screaming "get in the hole" is stupid.

I do not want to sound like an old fart (even though I am one), but a golf tournament is not the Super Bowl or March Madness. 

Whiz Williams
Canfield, Ohio

 

With USGA, the joke is on us

The USGA has become a joke, and its leaders are not the guardians of the game that they think they are or would like to be. I know I'm not the only one who hasn't been taking part in their bag-tag associate program for the past few years.

Why can the PGA of America, the R&A, Augusta National, the PGA Tour and other premier tournaments (Memorial, Bay Hill, et al.) all manage to run top-notch competitions without the controversy and nonsense of the USGA?

I can only imagine how bad the USGA will have screwed up the rule changes when we finally see them fully later this year.

Thank you for telling it like it is, and not owing to anyone or sugarcoating it, as the announcers on Fox did all weekend.  

Tom Boland
Northborough, Mass.

 

No shades of gray in disrespect

I used to be a big Phil Mickelson fan, but not anymore. Done. All respect is gone. I see a lot of comment from people who say they do this all the time when they play their local foursomes. So, does that make it right?  

Then they compare Mickelson’s incident Saturday at the U.S. Open with Tiger Woods’ foul-mouthed rants and say it was less than that disrespect. Maybe, maybe not. I don't see disrespect in shades of gray. It is or it isn't.  

To some of us, golf is the gentleman's game in which you call a penalty on yourself because you respect the rules. Not only was Mickelson trying to break the rules, but he also seemed to just wait for the USGA to give him the penalty instead of him calling it on himself.  

He should have been DQ'd. If he wants to go play a money game with a bunch of hacks, then let him do what he wants with his high-roller buddies, but not while playing on the PGA Tour. He knows there are better ways to affect a rule change, and doing this sort of juvenile stunt is not what grown-ups do.  

Debra Forrester
Atlanta

 

The Daly double

I am sure that when the USGA had its meeting about Phil Mickelson after he hit a moving ball on No. 13 at Shinnecock Hills on Saturday, one of them must have said: “We can't DQ Phil. We only gave John Daly a two-stroke penalty for doing the same thing at Pinehurst No. 2 in 1999.”

Ken Byers
Kennewick, Wash.

 

Mickelson’s circus act

Would Phil Mickelson now be justified if he hit the 13th green at Augusta in two with a front-right pin and he has a long quick putt from the back left that he follows and, once he sees it picking up speed, he decides to hit his ball just as it passes the cup and into the hole for a 4 net 6 after the two-shot penalty? I think not. I think he would not be invited back.

His disgrace to the game is getting a pass here, and it is wrong. Ask Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. You can't ask Arnold Palmer, but we know what his answer would be.

Mickelson is now no different than the clown show known as John Daly.

Greg Cooper
Hinsdale, Ill.

Mickelson should have DQ’d himself

Phil Mickelson made his point. But when he explained in the news conference that he did it on purpose, he should have DQ’d himself.

Howard Brazee
Lafayette, Colo.

 

Mickelson should donate Open earnings

The least that Phil Mickelson could do is donate his $27,952 winnings from the U.S. Open to The First Tee or some equally worthy organization that teaches young golfers not just the rules of golf but also the rules of life. 

Pete Desjardins 
Haverhill, Mass.

 

PGA member calls for probe

Thanks for getting this out there (“PGA applies double standard in Levy case,” June 17).

The PGA of America’s leadership has chosen to ignore the conduct of Paul Levy for several months and possibly years. They are self-serving and fall short in many categories, with leadership being at the top of the list.

The standard and precedent was set with how they handled Ted Bishop. Most of the same people are involved with the Levy issue as were with Bishop’s removal as president in 2014. To me, this is a form of discrimination, hypocrisy and double standards.

I believe that a full investigation of our association should be launched to determine what else our leaders are not being transparent about.

Patrick F. Casey
Santa Monica, Calif.

(Casey is a PGA of America member and past president of the Southern California Section.)

 

Levy needs to resign as PGA chief

As a 35-year member of the PGA of America who lives and works in the Metropolitan Section in New York, I read your story in Morning Read. I have not talked to one professional here who thinks that Paul Levy should stay in office. The consensus so far is that he should resign and deal with his issues. 

John Hobbins
Rye, N.Y.

(Hobbins, a PGA of America member, owns and operates Greenside Golf Academy in New York.)

 

Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at steve@morningread.com. Please provide your name and city of residence. If your comment is selected for publication, Morning Read will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.