Wednesday, August 22, 2012

McDermott Speaks In Defense


National Open Champion Regrets Unwarranted Remarks Hurled at Englishman.

Special Telegram to the Public Ledger.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. Aug. 29. – J.J. McDermott, twice national open champion and professional at the Atlantic City Country Club, has at last spoken in his defense in answer to the storm of criticism hurled at him, because of his alleged discourteous remarks at the recent tournament at Shawnee. The young star is worried greatly over the affair, and has almost broken down under the strain.

“Please help me set this matter right in the newspapers,” said the young champion, when seen by reporters at the Country Club today. “I have been horribly misquoted in the papers, and people not cognizant of the true facts are censuring me right and left. The correspondence, as well as some of the golfers at Shawnee, too, my words in the wrong light and this caused all the trouble. They should have looked at them in a broadminded manner and not taken exception to a few harmless words, delivered in a laughing manner.”

“The papers read, ‘The open champion, with a sneering twirl of his mouth, jumped on a chair and said, the visiting English golfers may as well go back home, as their quest of the American open championship honors would get them nowhere in particular.’ My exact words were ‘Wish Ray and Vardon great success, but the people of this country needn’t worry or fear as to the cup going to the other side. The professional gloves are able enough to take care of the trophy and protect it, as conditions are all in their favor, just as much as they were in the visitors’ favor on their home courses across the pond.’ I then dwelt shortly on the method of scoring, saying that ours was equal to the system abroad, and hence all of the American professionals were sure of holding their own under any scoring plan.”

“On dismounting, it was called to my attention that the Englishmen were hurt and felt insulted at these words. I was told to see them personally, and I apologized to Vardon, Ray and Reid, beseeching his pardon if either thought my words were directed at slurring, and likewise told the newspapers.”

“I meant nothing less than my words ordinarily would have been interpreted. The Americans, in my opinion, were equally clever at the game as foreigners, and hence would fully able to hold their own with all ‘invaders’ to this side, being especially favored with familiarity with home greens and other conditions.”

“I am broken hearted over the affair, and the way the papers used my speech. No harm was meant, and I am certainly sorry that my talk has been taken up in this manner.”

“All expected that the incident had been forgotten that evening, but the thing was aggravated and aggravated by others until I finally find myself forced to speak in my own behalf. There is at present no breach between Vardon, Ray and Reid and myself as far as I know, and I am certainly sure that they will be liberal-minded enough to see the thing in the light that I explained to them.”

McDermott has received sympathies of Philadelphia and other visitors to the greens this week, because of the alleged mishandling of his statements of the press, especially the New York papers. Several were down that attended the Shawnee tournament, and said that the attack was unwarranted.

The home star will play in competition with the English golfers in the national open matches on September 16 at Brookline, Mass. It is expected, however, that the incident will now be closed and the affair dropped.

McDermott acted right in apologizing at the moment following his speech, and his manly attitude in going direct to the foreigners when he realized that they felt insulted should exempt him from further criticisms. His supporters here are still loyal, and everything has been done to console the unstrung local professional.

BK Notes: Many thanks to Peter Trenham, Sr. for locating this news report and sharing it with us. 

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