I think Alfred Wright has lost his head over Young Jack the Mighty Master (April 15).
Saying that Jack Nicklaus is starting a new era in golf seems a bit premature at the present. Such greats as Jones, Hagen, Snead, etc. established their greatness over many years, but Jack is only in his second pro year.
This young Master may very well dominate the game of golf in years to come, but it is too early to say now that he is the best in the game. That honor still belongs to the unmatchable Arnold Palmer.
IRY L. FINKEL
The Bronx, N.Y.
It was only 24 months ago that Mighty Jack played in his last Ohio intercollegiate golf tournament, representing the mighty Ohio State Buckeyes.
The rain came down so hard the competition was reduced from 36 holes to 18 holes. The wind blew the rain in sheets, and it was a sight to see Jack slushing down the fairways of the long Ohio State University course carrying his own bag, since there were no caddies.
On the long, tight, hazardous 12th, Jack drove into a gale of wind and rain, and was home with an iron for an easy birdie. No one else in the field came close to the green in two, as was the case at Augusta's 15th last Friday.
I only know Nicklaus casually, but I can attest that he is a gentleman and a great tribute to our professional golf trade. He deserves to be at the top. It couldn't happen to a grander guy.
Alfred Wright singles out for recognition only those top-name, popular golfers who placed in the Masters top 10. He gives not even passing mention to Ed Furgol, who, at 46 and once more on the pro circuit, played the steadiest and sometimes the most exciting game at Augusta (an 80-foot putt from off the 16th green in the third round). Going into the final round, Furgol was one under par and only one stroke behind the leader, Jack the Mighty, and at the end of the tournament he was three shots behind the winner and tied with such notables as Gary Player.
MARNE OBERNAUER JR.
New Haven, Conn.
I was greatly interested in Robert Cantwell's article on Grey Owl (Mysterious Genius of Nature Lore, April 8). You may be interested to know that Grey Owl is perhaps the only naturalist and author to have a golf tournament named after him.
Riding Mountain National Park, as noted in your story, was the first site of Grey Owl's beaver restoration. The park still maintains his original cabin and also boasts one of Canada's finest golf courses, the site of the Grey Owl annual. In a short time it has become probably the most popular golf tourney in Manitoba, drawing amateur entrants from three provinces of Canada and the northern United States.
The tournament is played in the first week of June every year, and the winner receives the rather striking trophy shown in the accompanying picture (left) and the right to wear a green coat as in the Masters.
As one of the organizers of the tournament and its volunteer historian, may I say your most detailed background of Grey Owl will have its place in our pages.
Your article on Grey Owl once again makes me realize that this is an unusual magazine. Every once in a while you come up with stories that should have been printed a long time ago but weren't. Keep it up. Sport doesn't consist of just hockey or football or baseball players. Grey Owl in his own way was a superb sportsman.
J. R. JOHNSON
FOURTH FOR ODDS?
Your article on the probability of dealing four perfect bridge hands is slightly in error (A Very Big Deal at the Ladies' Bridge Club, April 15). I am disposed to think that this problem was solved correctly originally but somewhere down the line your mathematician must have made an error in the arithmetic. Instead of reading 2,235,197,406,895,366,368,301,559,991 to 1, the last part should read 999 to 1.
For shame! You say the odds against four perfect bridge hands are 2,235,197,406,895,366,368,301,559,991 to 1, when actually they are 2,235,197,406,895,366,368,301,559,999 to 1. This makes the actual occurrence even more improbable!
JOHN B. IRWIN
How many other readers told you this?
CHARLES G. GROESCHELL
•A few short of 2,235,197,406,895,366,368,301,559,999.—ED.
So often one reads something in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED that lifts the heart and helps one to carry on. Hal Higdon's story of the Boston Marathon (On the Run from Dogs and People, April 15) has just done that for me. And Robert J. Morgan's moving letter on boxing (19th HOLE, April 15) topped it off: "...difficult situations must be faced." It is the lesson taught by virile sports, a lesson of incomparable value in life.
I know. I was born privileged. I never knew privation. But from as far back as I can remember, something urged me to a strenuous physical life: running, boxing, rowing, mountain climbing. I still remember vividly the sheer terror of waiting in the track room for a race, the exhaustion. And, worse still, I remember the despair of making a major mountain climbing ascent where two ill-equipped youngsters won through over a seasoned party of older climbers. At 50 I won the "privileges of a private pilot," and that was 22 years ago.
And then, last year, my wife, and ever my boon companion in adventure, was killed by the idling propeller of my plane. And darkness compassed me. The light is coming now again, thanks to the Lord, who I now realize must have steered me from soft living and, through tough sports, given me enough strength of will to face the starkest of all realities, and to stagger on, somehow, like those last runners of the Marathon.
GEORGE V. CAESAR
Harbor Beach, Mich.
Hal Higdon stresses the arduous hill climbing in the Boston Marathon. Clarence DeMar, my boyhood scoutmaster and seven-time Boston Marathon winner, contended that it was the descent that was the worst. Each downward step brought the full agonizing weight of the runner shockingly down on his heel. As the race progressed these became sledgehammer blows.
H. MONTGOMERY LANE
Congratulations on your excellent treatment of the Wally Butts-Bear Bryant incident (A Debatable Football Scandal in the Southeast, March 25 et seq.).
Having been associated closely with football for some 19 years, I have met many people who are close to both gentlemen. I do not know either man personally, but from all I have heard from those who have played for and been connected with them in some capacity and from the high esteem in which they are held by other people connected with the game of football, I cannot believe they were involved in anything underhanded. I cannot conceive, even under the most dire circumstances, that Wally Butts would call Bear Bryant with the idea of betraying not only the institution with which he has been associated for so long, but also the game which has been his life.
Neither can I believe that Bear Bryant would accept such information even if it were offered to him.
One aspect of the whole affair which has been neglected to a large degree is the fact that Mr. Burnett has not been close to football in a long time. As you know, in the last few years football has become exceedingly complicated and much more of a science than in the past. To a lay person not familiar with today's football lingo, a discussion of generalities might sound like inside and informative facts. This could have easily happened in this particular case.
In any event, there seems to be good cause to believe that Butts did call Bryant and that Burnett did possibly hear the conversation, although it was not as informative as he thought it was.
I personally choose to believe that all three are men of integrity and that it is possible that all three are, in fact, telling the truth.
Lake City, Fla.
Contrary to the report in SCORECARD (April 22), the NCAA did not limit collegiate participation in the Pan American basketball trials through enforcement of "its stringent rules."
The NCAA Council granted permission allowing student-athletes to participate in Pan American tryouts and competition, as it has in the past.
The major deterrent to collegiate participation was the fact that many student-athletes were unable to sacrifice the class time necessary.
CHARLES M. NEINAS
Assistant to the Director, NCAA
Kansas City, Mo.
Colonel Eddie Eagan's appeal for contributions as head of the People-to-People Sports Committee (19TH HOLE, April 15) is in a worthy cause. However, let me offer a slight correction. Colonel Eagan's letter is misleading in its implication that Olympic Fund donations are tax exempt only in Olympic years. This is incorrect; contributions to the Olympic Fund are always tax deductible.
Secretary, U.S. Olympic Committee
New York City