Congratulations on what made for one of the best years in PGA Tour history. Anyone who finds reason to question your status in the game these days needs a swift wedge to the behind!
So now its 2004 and Id like to suggest a few things. First, take a moment to reflect on all the good things that could come ' aside from money. You have deservedly become one of the tours top draws and with that comes attention. You cant and wont be able to escape it, so try to embrace it. Fanfare is cool! Smile about your success and the fact that so many people want to hear from you.
Secondly, please make a better effort to find the media room. If youre leading the tournament, (which happens quite often these days) put on the microphone. Even on Thursday. Let us hear what you have to say about things. Your opinion is big these days. We media folks work for the fans. If you take a pass, they want to know why. And if we cant get hold of you, we feel the need to tell newspaper readers and television viewers why we failed at our job. If you dont want to go how about signing more autographs and we can get quotes while you do it?
Now, all that said, I realize youve had some disagreements over the accuracy of your comments once they hit the press. Lets start fresh. Ive heard many insightful things from you. Your laugh is great ' youre a funny guy. There has to be more where that came from, right?
Did you see our two-hour interview with the embattled and challenged David Duval last year at the PGA Championship? He was enthusiastic about the forum, we played fair, he opened up, and in turn came off with more support than he had during his time at the top.
Give us a chance. Join us on the show. Make us laugh, make more friends.
The way things are going, you just might be No. 1 before the years out. Lets not wait. Golf fans want to cheer their superstars, not find reason to discard them.
Wow! What a way to come out of the box! It seems like you might be on to something. And believe me when I say that lots of us are glad about that. This whole major thing has run its course. We dont want to talk about it any more than you do.
Last year was a tough one. Who can blame you for putting golf in its proper place with what your family went through.
Lets try something new. Lets make this run back to the top together, shall we? Youve got the fan support ' we know that. Put the media back on the bandwagon because some have fallen off.
The PGA Tour is better when you are at your best. Golf is a better sport when you are at your best. We like our job a whole lot better, too.
You said last week that you love the challenge of trying to win major championships. How about we take that and go hard with it? Dont dismiss the talk, try embracing it. See if that works. Because when that first major comes, Id like to see that day arrive with a party bursting at the seams with folks trying to get a peek, not with a bus full of fans and media members whove simply had their fill of Phil.
All the best,
Theyre gaining on you! Any chance you can add a few events to the schedule this year? The last two years youve played 18 events. How about you going back to the 1999 season when you played 21? You play for success in the majors. The other big ones find their way onto the schedule. The Buick events are a given as well, and a very, very, very select handful of others.
Just for kicks, how about paying a return visit to Milwaukee? How about the folks in the Quad Cities? I remember the support you got there. I just know what your support would mean to those places. There are others, too.
Far be it for me to tell you how to run your professional life, but a trip to Brewtown never hurt Kenny Perry, and Vijay found some comfort at the John Deere. If you would come back, believe me, it would come back to you.
I save your note for last, but your bit of news this week comes first in my mind.
Congratulations on the post of Solheim Cup captain! You played in the first, and you are a big reason the event is around for a ninth time.
Dont worry about your place in history being tied to the result of next years competition. Enjoy the spotlight. Use the platform to promote the tour you helped like no other. Talk about how great the talent is on the LPGA ' even if the tour itself doesnt spend whats necessary to promote its own. Never a better time to follow the stars on the LPGA, make people realize it.
Oh yeah, winning the Solheim Cup back wouldnt be a bad thing.
Your fan, Your friend,
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