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NCAA champion deserves spot in Masters

It should be academic that the best collegian merits an invitation to Augusta National, reader contends

As long as we are talking about invitations to Augusta National, as reader Charlie Jurgonis was referencing, I would like to add a thought (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 17).

I don't understand why the men's NCAA individual champion is not invited to the Masters Tournament, as long as he stays an amateur. The NCAA individual champion has beaten the strongest field of college players assembled at one course. The college players are mostly in the 18-22 age range. And, these players have to keep up with their college classes so they can maintain a good GPA that allows them to continue to keep a scholarship and stay on the team. That's pressure.

Augusta National is leaving out a very good player by not letting the NCAA champion tee it up at the Masters.

Layne Yawn
Jonesboro, Ark.

A vote for Charlie Jurgonis as Augusta National chairman
Kudos to reader Charlie Jurgonis for the detective work on Augusta National not reserving a spot for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion in its Augusta National Women's Amateur tournament (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 17).

Jurgonis postulates a couple of whyfors, but none seems to rate as valid. 

What’s up with that, Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley? You do it for the men’s U.S. Mid-Amateur champion in the Masters, so why not do the right thing for the women?

Peter Croppo
Bayfield, Ontario

Goforth suggests that tour pros go forth, and do it quickly Concerning pace of play with DMDs, reader Frank Blauch stated my comments a thousand times (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 16).

Most up-to-date courses have 200-, 150- and 100-yard markers. If you play enough to validate each club’s distance, you know how hard to swing to add or subtract 5 yards. I have been known to yell, “Hit the damn ball and move!” I even yell it at PGA Tour players who take four practice swings, address the ball and then decide that they have wrong club. They need to be sent to the practice range.

As with putting, reading a green from four different directions and then missing the putt just gets publicity time.

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Bobby Goforth
Bristol, Tenn.

Pebble Beach is better without the amateurs
No, Alex Miceli. I thought the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was a much better tournament without the amateurs (“Pebble Beach lacks its usual appeal without amateurs,” Feb. 12).

The amateurs (celebrities) have grown stale. Bill Murray, Kenny G and company were not missed.

If the PGA Tour would make the Pebble Beach tournament an all-pro event, it might attract more of the top-20 golfers. It’s an event that the top golfers should not miss.

Bobby Phillips
Rock Hill, S.C.

C'mon, NBC/Golf Channel
If Tiger Woods were returning to action after 13 years, NBC/Golf Channel would be all over it 24/7.

Annika Sorenstam’s return after 13 years gets tape-delay coverage (“Annika Sorenstam will tee it up again for real on LPGA,” Feb. 10).

I guess moving from Orlando to Connecticut didn't shake any brain cells loose.  

Peter Torry
Toronto

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