Koepka stands out for more than victories
Brooks Koepka has catapulted over a number of players on my favorites list. He just came within one do-or-don’t (if he would have gotten it up and down on 18 and Gary Woodland wouldn’t have done so on 17) of doing something that no American player ever has done: winning three consecutive U.S. Opens (“Koepka falls 3 shots shy in bid for history,” June 17). But he honored his commitment to play this week at the Travelers Championship.
Koepka could have withdrawn and everyone, including the Hartford fans, would have understood. But he traveled across the country to play in an event that has little significant bearing on world ranking or FedEx Cup standings. That says something about him, along with giving the little girl in the gallery the ball from his miraculous par on No. 2 in the final round at Pebble Beach.
Phil Mickelson is playing Hartford for the first time in more than 10 years. Knowing that Pebble Beach likely was his last shot at winning the U.S. Open, he too could have not honored his commitment and people would have understood. But he’s in Hartford despite his major disappointment. Maybe he’s there because he’s on a Derek Jeter-like victory tour of his winning locations. But regardless, he gets points for showing up.
After the Masters, Tiger Woods gave caddie Joe LaCava a lot of credit for his comeback. Woods thanked LaCava for sticking with him and passing up any number of offers to get another bag while Woods was out. LaCava is from Connecticut. I wonder whether Woods ever considered thanking LaCava by playing the event in his home state. I believe Fred Couples played while LaCava was working for him. It would have been a nice gesture on Woods’ part. And it would have been a once-in-a-lifetime proud moment for LaCava. So, no points for Woods.
Woods fans will find reason to support him for not entering. Those same fans will find some negative in Mickelson for showing up. Your guy is always right, and the other guy is always wrong. Sounds like Washington, D.C.
But Koepka is a no-brainer.
Woodland shines as ‘a real man’
Thank you, John Hawkins, for a great read (“A worthy champ from an American classic,” June 18). It was really fun.
I am now a Gary Woodland fan, especially after reading about his reaction giving credit for his young friend Amy Bockerstette and her motto, “You’ve got this!” (“In nod to Amy, Woodland wins U.S. Open,” June 17).
Woodland is the real deal, a real man who is about to be a great new father of twins, enhanced by winning on Father’s Day.
Fox scores points, but Buck fails to hold serve
Although Fox was much better at this year's U.S. Open, Joe Buck still is suited better for lacrosse or pingpong (“Finally, Fox can focus on golf at U.S. Open,” June 17). Also, show the complete leaderboard once in a while.
Downers Grove, Ill.
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