From The Inbox

Ex-G-man rips Miceli’s opinion about Koepka: Nyet!

From the Morning Read Inbox readers respond to recent articles on Koepka, Miceli and Player of the Year on the PGA Tour

Ex-G-man rips Miceli’s opinion about Koepka: Nyet!
Vladimir Putin is an ex-Soviet KGB agent, and I was in the FBI in the 1970s. Alex Miceli kind of lost me by quoting a communist dictator (“Even Putin wouldn’t OK Tour’s secret vote,” Sept. 13).

The PGA Championship is the most inferior major. The PGA Tour runs two key tournaments, the Players and the Tour Championship. Rory McIlroy won both, five months apart.

Nope, you didn’t convince me.

Joseph Kershaw Dreitler
Columbus, Ohio

Miceli emphasizes majors too much
As usual, Alex Miceli missed the point (“Even Putin wouldn’t OK Tour’s secret vote,” Sept. 13).

This is the Player of the Year Award, not Player of the Four Majors Award. Miceli gave far too much credit for winning a major or contending in a major than he did for the other tournaments held during the year. Like other members of the media, Miceli put too much emphasis on the majors and too little on the other tournaments.

As for how many players voted in the award, why is it so important to have the numbers? So what if Vladimir Putin gives the numbers of the Russian election. They are simply a joke to anyone who has any common sense. If Rory McIlroy won by one vote or 20 or 40 votes, who cares? The award is now out there, and we can move on to a new season.

Finally, why have two player-of-the-year awards? Because the PGA Tour and the PGA of America can’t come together for the good of the game. Each organization is looking out for itself and couldn’t care less about the other, unless, of course, it leads to more money.

Miceli’s reasoning on this Player of the Year Award is faulty, and it needs to be replaced by a more objective assessment.

Jerome Koncel
Schaumburg, Ill.

A vote for co-players of year
If I were on a debate team, I could argue both sides of the PGA Tour’s voting for player of the year (“Hawk & Rude,” Sept. 13).

Yeah, Brooks Koepka probably would win, but I could make a good case for Rory McIlroy, too.

On the other hand, because it’s a players’ vote, it always can become a bit of a popularity contest. Koepka’s performance in the major championships certainly was awesome, but could it be that the players are a bit tired of a guy who seems to have an opinion on everything and seems to want to tell every live mic what it is? I know I am.

Charlie Peterson
Keller, Texas

Tour players likely view majors differently
I entirely agree that Brooks Koepka should have won the PGA Tour’s player of the year, and I think that if you were polling journalists or the general public, that would have been the outcome (“Even Putin wouldn’t OK Tour’s secret vote,” Sept. 13).

The people who actually vote, though, are the players who toil away week to week on the PGA Tour. Some of them never have played in a major championship. Many never have seriously contended. Only a select few actually have won a major. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many of them think that success in majors is overblown.

Most of the public do not regard the Players as a fifth major. Because the Players is run by the PGA Tour and the four majors are not, and the Tour routinely tells us that the Players has the strongest field in golf, can you blame the Tour members for equating or even preferring success in their event over the four majors?

It’s not necessary to postulate that only a few members of the Tour actually voted to account for the outcome. Consider, though, that if Rory McIlroy voted for Koepka and Koepka voted for himself, then if only five guys voted, the result was unanimous among the non-contenders.

John Dives
Victoria, British Columbia

Consider best scoring average
Who had the best scoring average? (“Even Putin wouldn’t OK Tour’s secret vote,” Sept. 13). Is that not a fair measure of who played the best over the course of a year?

John M. Hales
Laguna Beach, Calif.

(Editor’s note: Rory McIlroy led the PGA Tour in scoring during the 2018-19 season, averaging 69.057 strokes in 72 rounds. Brooks Koepka ranked fourth, at 69.395 strokes in 81 rounds.)

Players title favors McIlroy
For all the talk about how Rory McIlroy did not win a major championship … well, perhaps he did (“Even Putin wouldn’t OK Tour’s secret vote,” Sept. 13).

Perhaps the players are thinking that the Players Championship, while not officially named a “major,” is the equivalent of one. Furthermore, year after year the Players has the strongest field compared with any of the majors.

Brooks Koepka’s own comments about how the majors are easier to win because of the makeup of the fields might have come back to haunt him. Therefore, if the other players view the Players as an equivalent to a “major,” and McIlroy’s two other victories are as good as Koepka’s two other victories, it is not hard to see why McIlroy won the voting. The quality of all of his top finishes throughout the year was the tiebreaker.

Stephen Joost
Jacksonville, Fla.

Perhaps Koepka’s penchant to bare all hurt in vote
That was a good article by Alex Miceli about the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year Award (“Even Putin wouldn’t OK Tour’s secret vote,” Sept. 13).

I wonder whether Brooks Koepka’s fellow players might be tired of Koepka’s outspokenness and ESPN the Magazine “Body Issue” self-absorption.

Maybe Koepka is not well-liked by his fellow players, thus the vote.

Ed Deeken
Menomonee Falls, Wis.

Miceli shouldn’t muddle; McIlroy deserves POY
Rory McIlroy deserves the PGA Tour’s player of the year. He was consistent all year. He had more top-10 finishes than Brooks Koepka, in fewer events, and his scoring average was lower (“Even Putin wouldn’t OK Tour’s secret vote,” Sept. 13).

Perhaps PGA Tour players value consistency more than they value playing well at the majors. Both had great years. McIlroy missed the cut at the British Open, but his performance on Friday in nearly making the cut was amazing.

Perhaps he is more liked on Tour, as well. However, Alex Miceli doesn’t have the right to tell Tour players how to vote.

McIlroy had a great year, and he finished strong on the final Sunday when Koepka really was not a factor, though he was playing in the final group.

Tim Murphy
Elmhurst, Ill.

Players victory elevates McIlroy as POY
What’s driving Rory McIlroy’s win as player of the year is the victory in the Players Championship (“Even Putin wouldn’t OK Tour’s secret vote,” Sept. 13).

There is plenty of evidence that the Players has the best field in golf, and PGA Tour pros value it perhaps a bit more than do the writers.

Mark McAdams
Wilmette, Ill.

Just another ‘useless’ award
This was so obvious, and yet the players voted elsewhere? (“Even Putin wouldn’t OK Tour’s secret vote,” Sept. 13).

So now we have the PGA Tour along with various entertainment genres handing out useless awards voted by them. We stopped watching all of the entertainment-award shows more than a decade ago. We stopped when we “accidentally” had seen most of the movies/actors up for awards and did not agree with their choices.

Same for the Nobel prizes that at one time really recognized significant achievements and discoveries, but alas they fell to political pressures.

Let’s just call the player of the year the PGA Tour’s version of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, where people can lobby or pay for their own day in the lights with no one else around. I do not think that Rory McIlroy lobbied for this award, but this shows this is as useless as a teat on a bull. And speaking of bull. . . .

Bill Martin
Quitman, Texas

McIlroy? Koepka? Why not both?
Rory McIlroy had a wonderful year of consistency and three victories on the PGA Tour. It could be argued that the Players Championship is a fifth major, which would go some way toward silencing the naysayers for his Player of the Year Award.

Having said all of that, Brooks Koepka had at least as good of a year, though perhaps a little less consistent. Both players earned the right to be POY. No matter who was chosen, some people would be unhappy.

For once, joint POY might have been more appropriate. It never should be a choice based on personality.

Paul Sunderland
Los Angeles

Turn down the volume, please
Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner is no doubt a talented and professional golf commentator, but how nice it would be if he could dial his comments back a bit on the tournaments that he works.

His verbal barrage at the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier tournament is almost nonstop. The good Lord gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason, so we could listen twice as much as we talk.

Bill Boutwell
Jacksonville, Fla.

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