Congratulations to Tiger Woods, whose birdie chip on the 16th hole at the Masters was truly remarkable (Perfect Pitch, April 18). In the 16th round of his four championships at the Masters, Tiger's chip shot on hole 16 took exactly 16 seconds to reach the bottom of the cup and hung on the lip for 1.6 seconds--check the videotape with a stopwatch, as I did. I think Tiger has a new lucky number.
W. Lynn Augenstein
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
It is ridiculous for Alan Shipnuck to dismiss all other outstanding golfers based solely on Tiger's win at the Masters: "... with all due respect to [Chris] DiMarco, last week was a reminder that Woods's only real competition is with Nicklaus's legacy of 18 major championship victories." Come on, Woods won this Masters by the slightest of margins. If DiMarco's chip on the 72nd hole finds the bottom of the cup, Shipnuck is singing an entirely different tune.
Mill Creek, Wash.
Al Tielemans's, Fred Vuich's and John Biever's photos accompanying your Masters story are as good as it gets. Thanks for letting me relive some special moments through your pictures.
John Borland, Stafford Springs, Conn.
Ring of Truth
I remember my dad talking about Emile Griffith's toughness, but never once did he mention that there was a question about Griffith's sexuality (The Shadow Boxer, April 18). What a man Griffith must have been to fight two opponents--the one standing across from him and himself--at the same time.
John Barnett, Fort Branch, Ind.
Thanks, Steve Rushin, for bringing attention to the NCAA Frozen Four hockey finals with your witty and insightful column (Air and Space, April 18). Now, never write about it again. The last thing this superb tournament needs is for the corporate suits to turn it into another March Madness or a BCS nightmare.
Mark Thompson, Foxboro, Mass.
Pitching Your Tint
So Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt stopped handing out pink practice jerseys to players who loaf in practice so as not to offend breast cancer and gay rights advocates (Scorecard, April 18). But are the orange jerseys of archrival Texas that he considered giving them any better? Orange is the chosen color of multiple sclerosis and leukemia victims. Almost every hue now represents some cause. Even the red the Razorbacks wear is associated with AIDS/HIV, MADD, D.A.R.E., heart disease and Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. Here's a question: When the Rangers of Denver's Regis University don their blue and gold, are they upholding their school's Jesuit tradition--or vying for the honor of designated drivers?
La Habra, Calif.
The Bear Facts
As a Baylor alum and a fan of women's college basketball, I'm grateful for your story about the Baylor Lady Bears' national championship (Scorecard, April 18). And kudos to Kelli Anderson for predicting that "the upstart Lady Bears are the team that no one wants to face in March" (Fiery Five, March 21). Anderson showed uncanny foresight, even if she didn't pick the Bears to win it all--as I did.
Brent McBurney, Alexandria, Va.
Chris Ballard wrote a terrific article on Reggie Miller (Last Shot for Reggie, April 18), but he should have added that in the last 16 years Miller has led the Pacers to 15 playoff appearances, tops in the Eastern Conference.
John Ries, Coppell, Texas
If Spike Lee or any other normal Knicks fan reads what I'm about to write, I'm sure they will think I'm crazy. Ballard's article on Miller had me teary-eyed while riding a New York City subway on the way to work at 7 a.m. As much as this 30-year-old Knicks fan hates to admit it, thanks for the memories, Reggie.
Charles Helly, Bayside, N.Y.
Your Tale of the Tape (PLAYERS, April 18) regarding Louisville's 5'3" sophomore Chris Cates was accurate in that he is one of the smallest players in the nation. However, another 5'3" college player, senior second baseman Royce Fukuroku of San Francisco, has started for four years and was an honorable mention Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and Second Team All-Conference (WCC) in 2002. That same year, in a game against Loyola Marymount, he went 6 for 7 with seven RBIs. Fukuroku, who has started at six positions during his career, currently is near the top of the WCC in home runs and batting. Hats off to Cates, but Fukuroku holds the title of best 5'3" baseball player in America.
Blaine Clemmens, San Francisco
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¬†Fukuroku has helped USF to a 31-14 record and first place.
AL TIELEMANS (COVER)