Alfred Wright's Open article (A Summit of Drama, June 27) sounded like one written by a press agent committed to the Hollywood star system. It was Palmer "Wham! zap! zowie!...that cataclysm with legs...an orange sweater bursting through the fog...playing like an Olympian," while it was Casper "patient...flawless, but conservative." Let's face it, Bill Casper whipped the pants off Palmer, and he did it using the same come-from-behind method that made Arnold so famous.
EDWARD J. HALLIGAN
Ridgefield Park, N.J.
Not to take anything away from Billy Casper's fine golf, I can't understand the sudden big deal about Palmer. He's still the greatest in my book, and Casper himself put his finger on the reason for it with his own definition of "charging" a golf course. "To me," said Casper, "charging the course is hitting onto the green so that you have a reasonable putt at a birdie...to Arnie, charging is tearing out the flagstick with every approach." Well, isn't that the difference?
J. D. DONATELLI
Of all the accounts I read of the recent national Open, only yours came within a two-iron of touching the critical factor in Palmer's collapse—the psychological change in Palmer's attitude from his seven-shot recovery in 1960 to his seven-shot collapse in 1966. Alfred Wright is to be commended.
Allow me to congratulate you on your awareness that " Arnold Palmer can still set a tournament on fire." Although I do not consider myself one of Arnie's Army, I feel that Palmer should not be counted out of any tournament that he enters.
For as long as I can remember, I have felt that the Masters was the tournament to win. However, after your excellent coverage of the 1966 U.S. Open I am beginning to have a change of heart. SI has once again captured all the flavor of the U.S. Open from all points of view.
BRUCE C. MONTGOMERY
Beach City, Ohio
Letter writer Richard E. Porch says, "If I bet against The Greek, I was much better off" (19TH HOLE, June 27). He's off all right—way off. As sports editor of the Las Vegas Sun, I can vouch for Jimmie The Greek any time. Snyder has been unusually psychic during the past nine months, averaging 81.2% right, including an 84% average on his pro football picks last season. Another example: in his last three "big race" predictions he picked Amberoid to win the Belmont, Buckpasser in the Arlington Classic and Drin in the Hollywood Park Cinema Handicap.
In his recent article, Ready for the Goal (June 20), Jack Olsen compares Jim Ryun's suffering during years of training in Kansas' severe weather with the California kid who "if there's a little fog outside says, 'Ah, it'll be real nice tomorrow and I'll work out then.' " While Mr. Olsen was writing his article Tim Danielson (FACES IN THE CROWD, July 4), an 18-year-old miler from the San Diego area, was getting ready to become the second high school star (after Ryun) ever to break four minutes, with a 3:59.4 mile at the recent San Diego Invitational. I'm not sure that he was able to accomplish this by training only on "nonfoggy" days, as Mr. Olsen suggests.
C. C. DARBY
A MANN'S TEARS
I would like to congratulate Jack Mann for his fair appraisal of Wes Westrum and the New York Mets (A Team That Can Make a Man Cry, June 27). Westrum is doing a fine job with the Mets this season. As Mann said, to follow the managerial reign of Casey Stengel is an unglorified task, but Wes has put the right amount of spirit and grace into his position. Perhaps 1969 will be the year for the Mets.
Maybe next time you decide to write an article about a tear-jerking baseball team, you will try the hapless Chicago Cubs. Not even the second-best manager in baseball (behind Wes Westrum, of course) will be able to save the Cubs from a 10th-place finish this year. In the meantime, as the Mets move upward through the standings, they will truly show themselves to be "a team that can make a Mann (Jack) cry."
The Mets have grown up. It's about time the writers that cover them did too. The time for mocking is over. This is a team of professionals. You don't mock the Yankees, and they are in even worse shape on the field than the Mets.