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Was Bonk Full of Bunk on Norman?

April 17, 1999

Let me get this straight, Mr. Bonk. Greg Norman is out of action for nearly a year after major shoulder surgery, and the naysayers predict he'll never be able to play golf at his pre-injury level. He comes back and struggles in his four events this season before the Masters, and nearly everyone doubts that he will make the cut. Lo and behold, he not only makes the cut, but he's in contention for about 69 holes and winds up in third place, beating the likes of Duval, Els and the over-hyped Woods, and all you can write in your post-tournament summary is a mean-spirited, sarcastic and unhumorous account about Norman's travails at Augusta with an emphasis on what happened in 1996.

Norman has obviously gotten over it. Why can't you?

TITO MORALES, Pacific Palisades

*

I was very disappointed by the aptly named Mr. Bonk's coverage of the Masters. Personally, I find men who continue to pursue lofty, challenging goals despite numerous setbacks--as Greg Norman has done for years--to be much more courageous, and far worthier of my respect and admiration, than men who write thoughtless, mean-spirited columns on golf. I'll never tire of watching the Shark on his hunt for the green jacket; it's a quest that makes for compelling, inspiring human drama. But perhaps that's just my destiny.

TIM DAVIS, Santa Monica

*

Hats off, Greg. Despite what some two-bit sports columnist in the L.A. Times thinks, you are a champion and a great competitor. Even if you never wear that green jacket, at least you came closer than Mr. Bonk ever will.

KEVIN DOYLE, Los Angeles

*

One wonders whether Thomas Bonk has watched Greg Norman play or listened to him talk. If he had, he would understand that Greg doesn't consider anything that happens on the golf course as "tragic." Golf is a game, tragedies are reserved for real life. By the time this note appears in The Times, Norman may have suffered more indignities at Augusta. It doesn't matter, though, because even if he wins, I'm sure Bonk will find a way to demean the accomplishment. Regardless, the real fans will continue to admire the classy Norman. Bonk, on the other hand, is as enjoyable as a three-putt green or double bogey.

BOB BAEDEKER, Laguna Hills

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