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From the Morning Read inbox

Impressive ride for ‘Italian stallion’
How about Francesco Molinari for 2018 Player of the Year?

With his victory Sunday in the British Open (“Molinari grabs his biggest prize yet,” July 23), he has won a major championship, plus victories at Quicken Loans and the European Tour’s BMW PGA, and runners-up at John Deere and the Italian Open in the past eight weeks.

Molinari outshines Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka and all other comers so far in 2018. Let’s give the Italian stallion his due.  

Tim Dowling
Reston, Va.

McIlroy should have won
Golf is such a weird game. I don't mean to take anything away from Francesco Molinari (“Molinari grabs his biggest prize yet,” July 23). He kept the ball in play, got up and down when he needed to and made the necessary putts. But, really, the one player who easily could have won the British Open was Rory McIlroy.

While the others in contention blew their chances with wayward drives and low-percentage distances for putts, McIlroy put the ball close but couldn't make the short putts.

I haven't watched all of the analysis, but I'm sure that if someone studied his missed putts within 4 feet, they'd find that McIlroy had at least three of them, which is all he needed. But I'm sure there were many more.  

So, McIlroy, get that putter working.

Tim Schobert
Ottawa, Ontario

‘A very worthy champion’
I'll use the title that the R&A uses to refer to Francesco Molinari from Italy, who won the recent British Open at Carnoustie. He is the Open’s first “champion golfer of the year” from Italy.  

In sports, it is always pleasant to witness someone with a mild demeanor who accepts his victory with grace, style and dignity. Molinari is such a person. Watching him play supported my belief that in golf, everything works in moderation: keep it simple, and less is best. It’s a good game plan to follow.

The 2018 Open was a success and showed yet again how well the R&A administers its biggest championship. It had everything that we expect from the Open. Our American guys played admirably, but Molinari would not be denied. A bogey-free weekend at Carnoustie is quite remarkable. He is a very worthy champion. Congratulations, and molto bene.

Ron Yujuico
Euless, Texas

It’s a sure bet

Yelling in the backswing/downswing, such as what happened to Tiger Woods on the 18th hole Sunday at the British Open (video), will become the norm when “fans” start legalized betting on golf (“Would PGA Tour’s bet be worth gamble?” April 17).

Mike Sprouts
Wallburg, N.C.

NBC’s star search misses mark
While it’s plainly obvious why NBC devotes so much attention to its biggest draw, it clearly does a disservice to its core fan base.

We admire many touring pros and want to follow their progress throughout the tournament, other than seeing names on a scoreboard. During the British Open, there were so many instances of extended airtime showing Tiger Woods and other “stars” far from being ready to play, when others could have been covered (“Woods gives NBC a must-see show,” July 23).

The endless network self-promotion and frequent commercial breaks are maddening.

Does anyone offer a pay service for pure golf coverage, without commercial interruption? If so, sign me up.

Until then, I will just turn the sound off and suffer Johnny Miller.

Ken Chojnacki
Delran, N.J.

No, NBC, you can’t play through
I agree with John Hawkins that the announcing team at NBC did a fine job at the British Open (“Woods gives NBC a must-see show,” July 23).

However, I was ready to scream at the amazing number of commercials that NBC crammed into its coverage on Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps network officials believe that their “Playing Through” window on the left side of the screen entitled them to run multiple commercials, seemingly every five minutes. Even with a large-screen TV, I was hard-pressed to see anything meaningful, given the poor camera angles that plagued the entire event.

Golf Channel/NBC did announce a disclaimer early in the coverage that it was reliant on a feed from another presenter for the pictures. It's a shame that an event of this importance cannot have first-rate camera coverage and the “limited commercial interruptions” that many marquee events provide today.

William Rinehart
Jupiter, Fla.

Another view of so-called gender bias
In response to Betsy Larey’s “Words matter” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” July 23):

This is glaring example of what’s going wrong in this country, where people’s ignorance leads them to see racism and sexism everywhere – except in their own ideas.

The reason there is no “boys amateur” is that the tournament is gender agnostic. You can be of any gender and compete, as long as you qualify from the same tees.

The same holds true for the U.S. Open and the U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Only the “women’s” and “girls” events show any gender bias, as they are restricted to those who are that gender in accordance with the USGA gender policy.

So, Betsy, give us a break and take your anger elsewhere.

Robert Engels

Too many seniors are ‘unwatchable’
I agree with Betsy Larey that all events should be identified by gender if they are open only to that particular gender (“From the Morning Read inbox,” July 23). I am a fan of LPGA, PGA Tour and junior golf, especially the golf and ideals promoted by The First Tee.

I am not particularly a fan of senior golf, men’s or women’s. I’ve seen them all play in their glory days. Watching them score in the 80s in not an attraction. I can (and do) enjoy watching my fellow club and association members do just that. 

I have volunteered at more LPGA and PGA Tour events than I can count. Early in its existence, I volunteered for the Legends Tour. However, I found that most of the players were unprepared for the tournaments. 

I believe this was true with the U.S. Senior Women’s Open. It was no contest. The one player who has kept her game in shape and still plays on the LET and LPGA tours was a runaway winner. Laura Davies is no gym rat, but it was no contest. She was ready. Juli Inkster stays ready to compete. Most of the rest of the field was unwatchable. 

Many of the present-day LPGA players will be better prepared when they become eligible for the senior events. In general, they spend more time in the gym and more time practicing than their predecessors did. I am a fan of the global tour. It doesn’t bother me that the Asian players do well. They work hard to be successful. It would be nice to have more Americans do well in the LPGA. That all starts with junior golf. 

Ginny Kavanagh
St. Augustine, Fla.

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