Woods wins with ‘strategic advantage’
Reader Greg Cooper was wondering about Tiger Woods and his playing in the last group and whether that affected the Masters (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 24).
On the 12th hole, Woods saw four players hit into the water while trying to make a high-risk shot. Why did those players attempt that shot? They had to assume that Woods would make that shot and score birdies and perhaps an eagle the rest of the way in. That is intimidation in its purest form.
After seeing all of the splashes, Woods had to make only good, competent golf shots rather than heroic ones. Being the last to hit on 12 was a huge strategic advantage for Woods, and he capitalized on it marvelously.
Some people bemoan those shots made by others as bad decisions because Woods won by only one stroke, but that misses the point. Had Woods been forced to make heroic shots on the back nine, who is to say that he couldn’t have done it?
A Tiger Woods who is content to win by one is far more dangerous than one who has to crush his competition. Regardless of which group he is in on Sunday, he will adapt his strategy to ensure that he plays well enough to win, and that should be intimidating to the field.
‘Meaningful insight’ from Azinger
I remain less than impressed with Paul Azinger as a lead analyst, but his Tiger Woods analysis in Gary Van Sickle's column is very interesting (“Simply the best because he believes it,” April 23).
Jack Nicklaus has promoted Woods’ return to competition, but he has not really shared his reasoning in the same way that Azinger has done. It's refreshing to see someone go so far out on the limb.
I agree with many readers that the Tiger hype can get out of hand, but Van Sickle provided some meaningful insight.
St. Augustine, Fla.
Red, white and sacré bleu
Julie Williams sure knows how to provoke and get attention (“Pros give fans a peek inside the bubble,” April 24). To wit, her opening line, “If we learned one thing at last fall’s Ryder Cup, it’s that in the head-to-head format, PGA Tour players are no match for their European Tour counterparts – at least in the current professional golf climate.”
I’m wondering whether Williams really wanted to alienate American golfers. It’s one thing to say that the Europeans are more engaging or communicative, but to assert that on a head-to-head basis they are clearly superior to the Americans is a bit much. Yes, the Europeans have been winning most team engagements of recent years, but let’s not forget that we’re basically talking about a collection of countries vs. one country, the U.S.
Plus, we can debate as to the reasons for the European dominance, such as: They care more? They out-strategize the Americans regarding course setup? They are more cohesive as a team?
But to assert clear playing superiority is another thing. Did Williams really mean that?
Robert Eaton Kelley
Golf’s Big Four of distasteful habits
It appears there are some very dedicated golf fans who limit their TV viewing only to golf tournaments and find the spitting distasteful (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 22).
These viewers obviously do not watch Major League Baseball, with its major-league spitting. And it is done in the confined space of the dugout and not in the open arena similar to a golf course.
But why limit indignation to spitting? Can we talk about cigarette butts casually discarded on tee boxes and next to greens? Then there is the occasional disintegrating cigar butt that can be confused with a dog's business.
Sunflower-seed shells are another staple in baseball that are being spit out on golf courses.
So, put spitting on the list with unraked sand traps, unfilled divots and slow play.
St. Johns, Fla.
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