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May 08, 2006
Master Phil
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May 08, 2006


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Master Phil

Watching the final-round pairing of Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples at the 2006 Masters reminded me that friendship and mutual respect need not stand in the way of all-out competition (Master Craftsman, April 17). I thank them both for a battle worthy of the Masters. And I thank Phil especially for reminding us, in his moment of victory, to pray for Tiger's dad.
Hall Wilson, Rochester, N.Y.

Alan Shipnuck accurately described Mickelson's relentless march to the green jacket and the balky putter that kept Tiger from challenging Phil and, perhaps, winning the tournament. I take exception, however, to his statement that the, "... deafening ovation ... was a reminder that around Augusta, as elsewhere, Woods is respected but Mickelson is beloved." For myself, and many knowledgeable golfers, it is the other way around: Tiger Woods represents all that is great about sports--the unending pursuit of excellence, determination in the face of adversity, fierce competitiveness, humility in victory and grace in defeat, and a never-quit approach to the game and to life.
Rex R. Schultze, Lincoln, Neb.

Brotherly Love

Kudos to Gary Smith on a well-written, well-researched piece that gave us startling insight into the death of Sam Kellerman (Blood Relations, April 17) at the hands of a bipolar boxer he had tried to help, James Butler. I hope Sam's older brother, Max--the HBO boxing analyst-- takes the advice given to him: "Don't let this guy kill you both."
Ryan White, Hicksville, N.Y.

After reading Smith's article on the Kellerman brothers, I immediately phoned my older brother, Paul, back in Michigan, to tell him that I loved him.Pete Finger, Bar Harbor, Maine

Knowing Kobe

I'm a loyal fan of the Lakers and of Kobe Bryant, and I get tired of hearing from the ever-present Kobe-haters. Reading The Great Unknown (April 17) by Jack McCallum and L. Jon Wertheim was refreshingly positive because it showed Kobe's deep heart and passion.
Michael Mendelson, Valencia, Calif.

As a black man, I'm amazed that the question Is he black enough? is still being asked--about Kobe or anyone else. Must all black athletes be placed into the hip-hop, bling-loving mold? And what is this "African-American experience" that Kobe was supposed to have been divorced from because he grew up in privileged circumstances? The backgrounds of African-Americans are as varied as those of any ethnic group. Let's all enjoy Kobe's on-the-court talent and leave it at that. The rest of us have our own lives to lead, and we're not really concerned who likes him or not.
Paul Olden, Burbank, Calif.

Mug Shots

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