A New York state of mind-numbing buffoonery
OK, I am going to sound like the old geezer who shouts, “Get off my lawn!” but I have just about had enough of the modern sports fan.
The crowd at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y., during the recent PGA Championship seemed to think we were all tuning in to hear their witty comments screamed at the direction of the players. The constant yelling and oftentimes distracting comments were tough to deal with as a viewer.
I know that the TV networks think it might be charming, and the players would not dare say how they really think for fear of becoming a target of these boisterous knotheads, but the PGA of America and the PGA Tour need to seriously consider nipping this in the bud.
I stopped going to NFL games years ago because of the drunk and obnoxious fans. I hope golf isn’t headed down that road.
You can have the Waste Management Phoenix Open and its imitators. Thank God that I at least still have the Masters.
Expect Koepka to keep winning
Brooks Koepka won – or perhaps I should say that he survived – the PGA Championship (“Koepka takes a bow on another big stage,” May 20).
Bethpage Black again is the huge winner, and how hard it really is, especially with the wind that blew Sunday.
Koepka not only has a great physical game, but his mental game is very strong after bogeying Nos. 11-14 in the final round.
As great as Dustin Johnson is, he’s not the closer that Brooks Koepka is.
If I were making an early prediction for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach next month, I’m going with Koepka to win it.
Middleburg Heights, Ohio
(Coleman is a member of the PGA of America.)
‘Survivor Bethpage’ rewards man on a long island
Congratulations to the PGA of America for the great setup test at Bethpage for the recent PGA Championship. This is the way all majors should be set up.
Also, notice that the top two finishers are now Nos. 1 and 2 in the world rankings. That’s a perfect example of how the best play the best on difficult course setups. No walk-in-the-park back nine. The leader had to work extremely hard on the back nine to win as the pressure mounted.
All major championships should have difficult setups instead of the usual birdie-and-eagle feasts. Save those setups for regular PGA Tour events. Brooks Koepka survived and deserved to win.
Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Quick … somebody get Harmon on the line
While Cameron McCormick, Jordan Spieth’s long-time teacher, is one of the best in the business, change can be a good thing. Maybe the time has come for Spieth to make a change.
Butch Harmon would be just what the doctor ordered to get Spieth back into the winner’s circle, and in a short period of time. Why? Because Harmon seems to have a unique ability to fix not only a player’s swing, but also his mind.
It’s probably not going to happen, but it would be magical if it did.
We’ve got Europeans right where we want them
Weren't we told that Le Golf National, the site near Paris of the 2018 Ryder Cup, was tight and ideally suited for the Europeans and not the American bombers? Wasn't Bethpage Black, site of the recent PGA Championship, tight?
Look at how the top 12 Americans and top 12 Europeans placed at the 2019 PGA:
U.S. – 1, 2, T-3, T-3, 6, T-8, T-8, T-14, T-16, T-16, T-16, T-23.
Euros – T-3, T-8, T-8, T-16, T-16, T-23, T-29, T-29, T-29, T-41, T-41, T-48.
I can't wait for the 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage. Let's hope that the PGA of America sets up Whistling Straits tough, tight and long for the 2020 Ryder Cup.
Color analyst speaks in black-and-white clarity
Alex Miceli’s Brandel Chamblee interview was excellent (“Chamblee, on Koepka: He’s a major enigma,” May 20).
I really like Chamblee, and the very fact that so many people get their feathers ruffled because of what he says tells you that he is worth every dime that he is being paid.
A color analyst is supposed to deliver color.
The overall opinion seems to be that the PGA of America caved in making the decision. Let me point out that no “caving” took place; the PGA simply was following the rules laid down by the Americans with Disabilities Act and confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
But walking is an integral part of the game, you shout! Sorry, but the USGA tried that argument against Casey Martin, and the court didn't buy it. Sure, there are many individuals in more dire straits for whom the required relief is life critical, but the funny thing about laws is you don't get to pick and choose to whom they apply.
So, hate Big John if you must, but try and untwist your panties and face the reality of existing law that has gone through every level of our judicial system.
St. Paul, Minn.
As Yogi might have said, timing is timely
I totally agree with reader John Fischer, and have long thought that every player has a window of opportunity to rise above the competition that he or she faces during a playing career (“From the Morning Read inbox,” May 17).
There have been many great players in all sports who have come along at a good or bad time, depending on the competition. For instance, I give Phil Mickelson a higher grade for his five majors and 40 other PGA Tour victories because he did it while Tiger Woods was at his best. The same is true for Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Billy Casper and Lee Trevino, because they had to beat Jack Nicklaus. There are too many to name, but there have been many great players who don’t quite get their due because of running into one superior player for a long stretch of time.
One old but funny anecdote came from Joe Garagiola, a pretty fair catcher with a good career in the major leagues and then another as a sportscaster. He was asked about always being the best catcher in his city and state as he was growing up. His answer: “I have never even been the best catcher on my street, much less my city or state. Yogi [Berra] grew up three houses away.”
It’s hard to argue with timing.
(Nixon, who played on the PGA Tour in the late 1970s and early 1980s, is the director of golf operations for the Tennessee Golf Trail.)
Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.