From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

Sponsor exemptions look like airballs
I hope that Stephen Curry's second-round 86 at the past week’s Tour stop (26 shots higher than the day's best round and 10 shots higher than the day's next-worst round) finally will persuade tournaments to stop giving sponsor exemptions to celebrities who do nothing more than clutter the field (“In the news,” Aug. 11).

Give the exemptions to alternates who, like Mike Arnaud did at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in May, can have a magical week and change their entire career (“In the news,” May 21)

When a Stephen Curry or Tony Romo qualifies through his golfing ability for a national tournament, maybe then give him an exemption. Until then, let them get in through Monday qualifying.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

Bellerive proves to be worthy
I’m having difficulty understanding Gregory Tatoian’s comments about the course setup at Bellerive for the PGA Championship (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Aug. 12). He must have been watching TV while maybe playing gin, distracted on both accounts.

Pin placements, green contours, fairways narrower than suggested – basically no roll, too – bunkers 40-50 yards from flags, heavy heat/humidity, hilly golf course, rain delays, the pressure of a major, a stellar leaderboard all pointed to very difficult playing conditions.

I was there Saturday – Tuesday, too – and, yes, a couple of guys took it low. The rough was thick while not overly long, overcoming the conditions and slower-than-usual green speeds. Not to be too snarky, but maybe he should give it a try and break 80.

Put your ball in the wrong spot a couple times and 68 is out of the question. Miss a green and work very hard for your par.

Easy? Not on your life.

Jim Higginbottom
St. Louis

Not quite championship-caliber
TV can distort reality, but the pins at the PGA Championship appeared to be set in very flat positions, on very large green complexes. Player after player stroked putts that broke very little. Sometimes the huge greens and long distances presented challenges, but if the player got in the correct position on a given green, he appeared to have a relatively flat putt to negotiate.

That, combined with very soft, receptive greens for approach shots, made the putting part of the PGA less than championship-caliber.

Ted Comstock
Lancaster, N.H.

LPGA believed in St. Louis, too
Dan O'Neill forgot to mention that the LPGA had a tour stop in St. Louis for many years, and drew amazing crowds (“Believe it, St. Louis: You’re big-time,” Aug. 12). I know because I lived in St. Louis for 13 years and played in the pro-ams with Karrie Webb, Carin Koch, Sherri Turner and Dottie Pepper, among others.

Bob Ractliffe
Naples, Fla.

Pull the plug on McCord
Why is Gary McCord still on the air? Just because he couldn't play at a championship level, he insists on making woeful predictions on “impossible” shots that good players make routinely.

McCord's lame attempts at humor, no longer refreshing after 30 years, are annoying and distracting. 

Please, CBS, give him a retirement party soon.

Jim Kavanagh
St. Augustine, Fla.

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