Keeping Score

From the Morning Read inbox

An ‘Open’ in name only
On the heels of letter writer Jim Kavanagh’s analysis of the R&A's attitude (“From the Morning Read inbox,” July 20), let me add to that by saying that the qualification procedure for the “Open” Championship is a complete joke.

There are but 12 spots available in qualifying for all comers, in contrast to the U.S. Open's approximate 80. The rest of the 144 spots in the “Open” (and I use that term loosely) are reserved strictly for touring professionals and a handful of amateur champions.

I recall a couple of decades ago that there were many more spots available. Then the touring pros started complaining about having to travel to the U.K. to qualify, and the R&A caved in to their whining by granting them more and more spots, to the point that this no longer is an open tournament, in the real sense of the word.

So what if one-third of the field, 56 players, consists of qualifiers? The vast majority of the field still will be world-class tour players, but more hometown heroes will get their day in the sun. That adds not only flavor to the tournament, but adds another layer of interest among family and friends, golf clubs and the player's local populace. It also would make the “Open” Championship truly open again.

Mark Harman
Ridgeland, S.C.
(Harman is the national course director for the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation.)

Words matter
I read Morning Read regularly. I always look at the bottom to see what’s up for the next week.

I see we have the U.S. Junior Amateur and the U.S. Junior Girls’ Championship (“Keeping score,” July 22). So, we should assume every USGA tournament is the domain of men and boys only, unless we decide the girls and women are worthy of an event.

How long did it take the USGA to have a Senior Women’s Open? Forever. This was the inaugural year, and the tournament was ignored by almost every golf publication.

Earth to USGA: It’s the 21st century. Change the name to the U.S. Junior Boys Amateur and the U.S. Junior Girls Amateur.

Feel free to call me picky. I am. And you have to wonder why the sport has not caught on with millennials. Equality matters to them. And to me.

Betsy Larey
St. Paul, Minn.
(Larey is an LPGA teaching professional.)

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