GOLFERS, A AND B
Thank you for the shrewd article, All Alone at the Top (April 19), which presumed to prove conclusively that Jack Nicklaus has taken Arnie's crown. We look forward to similar articles when Billy Casper takes the U.S. Open, when Tony Lema repeats at the British Open or when Bobby Nichols repeats at the PGA.
How can you possibly say that the "Golden Bear" has emerged as the superman from this one Masters victory? Certainly Nicklaus played superb golf, quite possibly the best tournament he will ever play. But when history repeats itself and Arnie takes the even-year Masters, will Jack still be alone at the top?
We viewed in amazement the tapes of Jack's fine Saturday round. But we also noted that Arnie's Army filled the mikes with bigger cheers than anyone. Let's face it! Arnie still is the spokesman for the game. It takes more than 72 holes of golf to be called the King.
Tell those boys from "Jack's Pack" to write the PGA and see who has the greatest record. It will be Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer. Nicklaus hasn't been on this earth long enough to really know what is going on.
I thoroughly enjoyed the article by Alfred Wright, but hasten to add that his question, "Is there a B. Palmer?" deserves an answer. Who among comedy lovers, golf lovers or even would-be lovers will ever forget Bob Hope's classic, "I have an Arnold Palmer shirt; Arnold Palmer slacks; Arnold Palmer clubs; and a swing like Betsy Palmer"?
There certainly is a B. Palmer! Evidently Mr. Wright didn't watch the Masters on television, as did us common folk, or he would have seen TV's own Bud Palmer.
THE HORSE'S MOUTH
Thank you for your well-presented article on our victory in England's Grand National Steeplechase (The Jump that Won a Grand National, April 5). As you know, there has been some controversy over the coverage of the last fence, and I would like to say that both your quotes and the inferences you drew from the photographs are entirely accurate—except that the decision to fly the last fence so spectacularly was not mine but Jay Trump's.
Approaching the last fence, I was driving Jay Trump for a very quick fence and was myself surprised that it turned out as quick as it did. As you said in your article, the three-fourths-length lead gained there won the race.
I would like to reiterate my praise of the coverage by the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED team.
CROMPTON (TOMMY) SMITH
In response to your statement concerning fads (SCORECARD, April 12), we find that you have made an unforgivable error. You state that, "Panty raids and goldfish swallowing are Out. So are elephant racing and packing telephone booths." This may hold true for panty raids, goldfish swallowing and telephone booth packing, but it is definitely a slur on the proponents and sponsors of elephant racing.