There is only one adjective to describe the photographs (A 1,000 to 1 Shot, June 28) taken by Richard Mackson of Tom Watson's chip shot on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach: unbelievable!
I can't remember a more exciting U.S. Open than this year's Watson-Nicklaus showdown. SI has come through once again with outstanding coverage by Dan Jenkins, and even more outstanding pictures.
I don't know which was more unbelievable, Tom Watson's chip or Richard Mackson's photo sequence. I thought Watson was alone in expecting the ball to drop, but fortunately Mackson foresaw that possibility. Thanks for capturing and preserving one of the greatest Open shots ever.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
I was delighted with the way you showed us what "sports" really means—two talented, classy gentlemen, Watson and Nicklaus, going head-to-head, and deciding matters the way that Watson did on the 71st hole of the Open.
Dan Jenkins' article on the Open did a great disservice to Larry Rinker. According to an Orlando Sentinel article of June 20 by Larry Guest, Rinker didn't say the Open was an illusion. What he did say was that he was combating Open pressure with the illusion that "this is just another tournament." A friend had given Rinker a copy of Richard Bach's book Illusions, which is somewhat akin to Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking.
Larry Rinker is from a fine golfing family in Stuart, Fla. His brother Lee recently won the Florida State Amateur championship, and his sister Laurie won the 1980 U.S. Junior title. Rinker finished tied for 15th in the Open, and had this to say: "It felt great to finish birdie-birdie-par-par. I felt the heat coming down on the 18th hole. This was a step in the right direction for me. You need positive steps to reach success, and putting four good rounds together for my first good tournament was a positive step."
The reference to his "blond mane" and the statement that "his name actually was Laura Rinker" were unprofessional, and unbecoming to a writer of Dan Jenkins' stature.
Altamonte Springs, Fla.
I read with considerable regret your tongue-in-cheek exposé on Peter and David Paul (Honin' the Barbarians, June 28). I can't believe that your otherwise excellent magazine could tarnish eight pages with a recounting of the antics of these two clowns.
Their behavior is deplorable and, of course, not typical of any bodybuilder. Your article may set bodybuilding back 50 years. I have been a bodybuilder for 21 years, and I love the sport and admire strength and muscle. You have done a disservice to a grand sport.
"Nobody has ever combined the two disciplines of bodybuilding and powerlifting before, and the simple effrontery of the idea has raised goofiness to a high plane." So said Bob Ottum in his article about Peter and David Paul. I disagree. Many powerlifters have won physique titles, and although you may quibble about the differences between powerlifting and Olympic lifting. Tommy Kono was a world and Olympic champion in weightlifting and also a world titlist in bodybuilding.
New York City
I have shared the experiences of Bil Gilbert in canoeing on the Current River (Streams of Contentiousness, June 28). I have also canoed on many of Wisconsin's beautiful lakes and rivers, but none, in my opinion, is as much fun as the Current River.
There is only one thing I have to complain about—the jet boats. As our party passed the Blue Spring, a jet boat carrying three obviously drunk adults flew by, splashing its spray all over our canoes. The jet-boaters laughed as our canoes almost tipped over. But the most sickening sight was a trail of oil that the jet boat left behind on the ice-blue water.
I'm afraid if Missouri's citizens don't attack this problem, they won't have to worry about having too many canoes on their waters.
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
First, let me begin by saying that I thoroughly enjoy reading SPORTS ILLUSTRATED each week, particularly your outstanding coverage of baseball. However, I must make a complaint.
In your June 21 issue a SCORECARD item said I "had suggested that West Coast baseball was so strong that four teams from that part of the country, 'not just two,' should have been allowed to compete in Omaha" in the recent College World Series. This isn't true.
I realize you were trying to make a point about Eastern baseball with Maine's success in the series. And certainly I'm not trying to take any credit away from them. But I also do not want to be misrepresented in a national magazine.
Again, I want to emphasize how much I enjoy your publication. Everyone makes mistakes. We certainly proved that in Omaha!
Head Baseball Coach
The "riffraff from a combined Harvard-Yale touring team" to which you refer in your article on the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (A Club Like No Other, June 21) is actually the 1982 U.S. Prentice Cup team, which will compete against a combined Oxford-Cambridge team on Aug. 6 in the biennial Prentice Cup Matches.
Considering their accomplishments on and off the court, the members of this and previous Prentice Cup teams might take issue with your terminology. For example, two of the more recent American participants (Matt Doyle and Cary Leeds) competed at Wimbledon last year and Leeds reached the semifinals of the mixed doubles. Both Donald Dell, whom you mention for other endeavors, and Gene Scott, as members of Prentice Cup teams, ultimately went on to represent the U.S. in Davis Cup competition.
The Prentice Cup match, which was first played in 1921, is the oldest international intercollegiate tennis rivalry in the world. In this era of increasing commercialism in the game of tennis, this competition stands out as an example of how amateur tennis can and does prosper in the U.S. and Britain. We are indeed grateful to the All England Club for its support of the Prentice Cup over the years, and particularly to Sir Brian Burnett and Chris Gorringe, who bring to our event the same enthusiasm and interest that have enabled them to sustain Wimbledon as the finest tournament in the world.
MICHAEL C. BROOKS
Chairman, U.S. Prentice Cup Committee
New York City
Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.