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Letters to the Editor: March 2004

Davis Love III and the gallery

Davis Love III has got to be one of the calmest players out there and for him to be 'riled' by the comments they had to be very offensive, I agree with Tiger the fan should have been escorted off the course earlier. If the tour officials who where with the group did not do anything then the fan gets what they deserve if the Pro goes after him after all the Pro has
been PROVOKED by the comments and has a right to sort it out then and there.

Fans can be raucous but not offensive; there is a fine line when that is someone's work place and a disruptive person fronts up at the office the would be removed by security post haste with out much ado!

Russ Miller, via email

You are right, possession of a ticket does not give a fan the authority to heckle the PGA pros. The PGA can't police every tee, fairway and green, but no matter what happens, you'll always have a few village idiots in the crowd. Perhaps the more noted players need a security marshal with them that can take care of potential problems before they occur. Unappreciative fans will always be in the crowd.

I was at the Western Open when Love III was heckled 2 yrs ago, standing a mere 20 feet away from him when that occurred. They should let the fans pummel whomever does it. The person who did this was lucky there was security that carted him away. There were many Love fans there when they he did it and they were ready to pound him into next month. Not sure if there is a good answer Doug - short of having more marshals.

Mike, via email

I'm an avid golfer, 80 games per year in our 4 month season. Wayne Gretzky has a breakaway, 16,000 fans at the forum are on their feet screaming: The kicker has a 50 yard field goal to win the super bowl, 60,000 fans are going wild. Michael Jordan has a free throw to win the game, 25,000 fans are screaming, they are waving banners directly behind the basket: Tiger Woods has a 10 foot putt and the WORLD HAS TO STAND STILL. Rubbish. Focus and concentrate like pro Athletes in other sports do.

Charlie Norris, via email

I think the PGA Tour & USGA staff, need to put a stop to ALL hecklers etc. We can't have golf turn into a wild spectator sport like hockey, football, baseball,basketball, etc. The kids I coach need to learn respect for the game & how to behave at a golf tournament. I do think that a lot of tour players are primadonna's & they need to lighten up a bit. Backing off of shots for birds flying by, coughs, sneezes, etc is a bit overboard. How about us who play when mowers, construction equipment, etc. is going on when we play early or before 3:30 when most course workers quit.

Joe Bernabe, via email

Golfing with The King

Tom Bedell, you are one lucky man! Great story. I hope you realize how many of us would die for the same opportunity you had. Love to hear more about it, but, if we ever meet the beer is on you!

Kevin Torner, Swisher, Iowa

Tom Bedell's "Another Round With: Arnold Palmer." What a fun read. I hope when he does tell his grandkids the story, they enjoy it as much as I did. I think every duffer who loves the game has fantasized about playing one round with the King. Tom's telling was just what I imagined it would be.

Robert Hoon, Cary, N.C.

I am a fan of Ken Venturi, but now I look at him in a different light. It's too bad what he is doing to Mr. Palmer after all these years. I too had a similar experience. As a Golf Professional myself, I truly cherish the memories of the half dozen shoot-outs I played in at Bay Hill (even though I never played in the same group as Mr. Palmer) and especially the time in the grill room after the round. When I read your article I felt as if i was reliving those moments of some 13 years ago. Thank you for the reminder of old memories. Arnold Palmer is truly one of golf's greatest heroes.

Craig Lindsey, Madison, N.J.

Venturi-Palmer feedback

In regard to the Palmer/Venturi story: Like Venturi can afford to make even more people dislike him? Sad....it's just a game and Arnie was obviously in the right.

Michael Barton, SwingSong LLC

It's all about publicity by a man who thinks he is above it all, and obviously still has a chip on his shoulder.

John Rogers, via email

Venturi is a bitter man I worked for him at Eagle Creek in Naples. I have no idea why he's bringing this up about Arnie; not too classy from a former Open Champion.

Greg Steele, via email

Venturi didn't want to speak out, he says, because of his relationship with CBS and The Masters. Well, that relationship lasted 35+ years. 1958 was more than 35 years ago. Why Venturi didn't say something in 1958 or 1959 is beyond me. Carrying a grudge to this day about it has served nothing as Palmer still has that green jacket plus 3 others and a slew of other major (and non-major) championships. And there are few other professional athletes with the respect and dignity of Arnold Palmer.

Vijay Singh was accused of cheating and was even banned from the Asian Tour. And yet, he's won a Masters and a PGA Championship. Those championships do not deserve to come with an asterisk. Things that happened years ago under really murky circumstances shouldn't affect the reputations of great champions and grudges held for nearly 50 years serve no purpose other than belly-aching and in Venturi's case, stirring up a little controversy in order to sell a few more books.

Arbon Reimer, via email

Pressure-packed golf

This is real competition, not the not the game played to give the TV companies revenue. The added pressure of match-play gives every game an edge. If Tiger, or other of your favorites, doesn't get to the final it's because they weren't good enough!

Brian Wimpory, via email

Golf in its purest form

Match play is the pure form of golf. Every hole means something. The gamesmanship and mental side of golf come much more in to play than stroke play. True golfers appreciate good shots - while it is nice to see the top players - at the end of the day, it is the quality of the shots that count. Isn't it nice that in a sport - if you play well you win more. Witness the Ryder Cup - any given day a world class play can win. I say - we need more match play! If Steve Stricker and Peter Fulke play well enough to beat Tiger et al what a great show!

Chris Helik, via email

Every hole counts

The match play format made every day -- and every hole -- of the tournament meaningful and interesting. Personally, I'd like to see two or three more tournaments like this during the season.

Nick Aramino, via email

Upset potential

You reported incorrectly in your newsletter that there were only two players to watch on Sunday, when the consolation match was also televised. Granted, it wasn't shown very much, but I would guess that if Tiger and Davis hadn't been in the final, we would have seen more of the second match. I like the match play format. I think it leads to the upset, which I find interesting, and it leads to the drama of someone coming from behind with great play in the last few holes.

Todd Andrews, via email

Local knowledge

Your article on St. Andrews Bay was indeed interesting! Where do you get your information from? st andrews bay is the biggest white elephant as far as golf courses is concerned, it lies empty most of the time, it is too expensive to play for locals, it is not a links course but a gluey clay course that is not pleasant to play most st andrews golfers give it a big miss. We have excellent courses in st andrews old/ new etc. and we can play at Kingsbarns a superior course to St. Andrews Bay for next to nothing. St. Andrews Bay - try to coax Americans to come and play there but they too do not come and play in big numbers. If you want real information on St. Andrews, ask a local golfer.

Richard Morris, St. Andrews, Scotland

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