Why won’t European Tour suspend Garcia? Money
There's been much written about Sergio Garcia's so-called meltdown in the third round of the Saudi International (“Spaniards steer Garcia toward apology,” Feb. 4). Many sportswriters have written that he should be suspended. I think the sportswriters are wasting their time writing about Garcia ever getting any sort of punishment. It's not going to happen.
However, if Joe Nobody who is No. 1,000 in the world rankings acted out like Garcia, he would be suspended until he had grandchildren.
Garcia is a money-making player for everybody. And you can't have a top-ranked player not playing because of a temper tantrum.
Keith Pelley, the European Tour’s chief executive, said, "The incident is over. We have dealt with it. Sergio has apologized to the players, and we move on. The feeling among our officials is that Garcia did enough damage to his reputation with this latest episode, and the harm done to his image is punishment enough.”
How about the greens superintendent? Did Garcia apologize to him, too? Garcia also needs to apologize because apparently at this tournament he thought there was too much sand in a bunker, so he tried to remove the sand with his club.
Hey, Pelley, Garcia already had a bad reputation after he spit into a hole at Doral in 2007, threw a shoe in anger at Wentworth in 1999 and racially insulted Tiger Woods at a tour dinner in 2013 by saying he would serve him "fried chicken.”
Money talks, and it apparently speaks loudly, doesn't it, Pelley?
Underwhelming visit to Hall of Fame
At almost 81, I have been playing golf for 70 years. I have been a club champion, a junior champion and even played in the U.S. Amateur many years ago. I usually play more than 100 rounds a year, and I have worked as a patent attorney for hundreds of golf inventions. It follows that I should be a perfect individual who would enjoy the World Golf Hall of Fame.
I did visit once about 15 years ago, but my experience was underwhelming. As I recall, there was nothing memorable. A bunch of plaques and a selection of exhibits that I can’t remember, except the Swilcan Bridge replica, which was no big deal, given that I have been on the real thing a few times. Actually, the highlight of my trip was playing the two golf courses that are above average and available for play by the general public without having to take out a second mortgage to cover the green fees.
All of the above supports Gary Van Sickle’s position about the HOF (“It’s time for Golf Hall of Fame to evolve,” Jan. 28). There is something missing.
The Baseball Hall of Fame maintains a lot of interest among the fans by hyping who is eligible before the vote, and it provides a rundown of the voting afterward, with the chances of players gaining entry in the future.
If the WGHOF were given more publicity in the magazines, on golf broadcasts and Golf Channel, that would stir interest. At a time when golf is not growing, anything we can do to promote our game is a step in the right direction.
Learn the rules, adjust and get on with it
I fail to understand the continuing issue regarding Rule 10.2b(4), known as the “alignment rule” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 6). This has been in the headlines for a couple of weeks, so everyone who follows golf should now be clear on the rule. For those who do not know the rule, perhaps a reminder is in order. It is the responsibility of the golfer to know the rules. And that includes the pros.
The 2019 rule changes have been much publicized and debated on TV, in the press and on social media. Golf-course committees all over the world have sent numerous emails to their members with details of the changes, some with excellent graphic explanations.
This was not just one change in the rules. It was a long-overdue overhaul of the rules, and most of the changes seem to be sensible. As with all such changes, it will take time and experience before the dust settles and the new rules are accepted. Yes, they are not perfect, and there may be some amendments, but I suspect very few. It is now time to get on with the golf.
‘Alignment rule’ targets small number of golfers
Reader Allen Freeman's concern about scramble teams standing behind their partners is pretty small potatoes (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 6). With rare exception, he is referencing teams of people who are the least-serious golfers on the planet. Their major concern is the exact location of the drink cart, not the golf ball.
As for four-ball competitions, there is no prohibition against partners standing on an extension of the line beyond the hole. This practice always has been acceptable.
By the way, I think this rule is aimed mainly at a certain very small segment of the golfing population. The justification is that having someone line up the shot diminishes the skill required to play the game. Most of us are happy to make solid contact, with the hope that we got the clubface square to the line.
St. Augustine, Fla.
It’s an open door for more confusion
The question of where other players in a group stand in relation to one player putting is opening the door to controversy (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 6).
I get it that standing directly behind the player who is putting should be prohibited. However, other players also can gain information while standing in a variety of places on the green. Should standing close to the line of a putt from the other side of the hole be an infraction, as well?
I would define gaining knowledge from watching a putt as a normal part of the game. It’s no more of an infraction of the spirit of the game than watching the wind’s effect on a ball hit by another player in your group.
There are any number of situations in which players gain information that can be useful while watching others play shots. How about a ball that lands in tall grass near another player in your group? The player nearest to the ball knows where the ball came to rest. Should a golf rule prevent the player nearest to the ball from disclosing where the ball lies, thus giving the player who hit the ball an unfair advantage?
Thanks for the history lesson
When I read another of John Fischer’s "history lessons," I am reminded about why I enjoy Morning Read (“Early Crosby event lured A-list amateurs,” Feb. 6).
Thanks, again, for an interesting piece.
Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at email@example.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.