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May 6, 2014
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA
LAURA NEAL:¬† We'd like to welcome PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem to the interview room, as has been customary at THE PLAYERS Championship.¬† Thank you for spending some time with us for some general remarks about the tournament and questions from the media.
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Thank you, Laura.¬† Good afternoon, everybody.¬† Thanks for joining us again this year for THE PLAYERS.¬† I will have a State of the Tour meeting with you later in the year in the fall, given our new schedule.¬† It'll be into a wide range of topics.
Today, at least, my comments are going to be solely about THE PLAYERS, and I'll make a few comments and then take your questions.
As you know, we always look at THE PLAYERS as, fundamentally, a combination of three key things, starting with the golf course, and we like and have always liked the way the golf course tests the players.¬† It tests every part‑‑ puts pressure on every part of their game, but at the same time it doesn't favor any kind of player.
If you look back over the last 40 years, most of those being played on this golf course, you have every kind of player in the winner's circle, players who are long, players who aren't so long, etcetera.¬† We like that about that golf course.¬† We start with that.
And then on the golf course, we have what we think is the deepest field of the year and a field that, from top to bottom, is a field where any player in the field has the opportunity to win and has demonstrated elements of that in the past, and that has resulted over the years, those two things, in a list of past champions which we're very proud of and really speaks to the quality of the tournament, if you look down that list.
I think that the two things that we've tried to focus on with the championship, given those three dynamics every year, are related to our fans.¬† First, our television audience fans and then our fans on‑site.
With regard to the first, with television, we start with the television structure, and we think, if you're a golf fan, it's second to none in terms of the structure of the telecast with limited commercial inventory.¬† We and the Masters are the only two tournaments that enjoy that format, and we get a great reaction from our fans every year.
We're pleased with all the work that our partners in that regard, starting with Comcast, NBC, Golf Channel, have put into preparing for this year's telecast.¬† There's going to be a lot of new innovations out there.¬† Tommy Roy‑‑ of course Tommy Roy is always excited, but he's very excited about those innovations, and we are, too, and we think, again, this year the telecast will continue to be better, as it has virtually every year.
From a distribution standpoint, given the number of great players from outside the United States that are here, we're delighted that our household reach now is bumping a billion in over 225, 230 countries, and the thing that's changed about that in recent years is actually the quality of that telecast in a lot of these areas with supplemental coverage.
We're doing some things, I think most of you are aware of, digitally, to really take that up a few notches in the next five or ten years, as well.
As far as on‑site goes, starting with the stadium features, so you can actually see all of the golf that's out here to see, if you want to, and you want to move around the property, the enhancements that have been made over the last five or eight years for the fans in terms of hospitality, different activities on property, and different things we do to reach the fan on property, with what's going on with the competition or things surrounding the competition, we like the movement in that area, and we like our continued progress, and we will continue to move in that direction.
The last thing I'll just mention is the Playoffs.¬† We announced a few weeks ago a new playoff structure.¬† We've been out yesterday and all morning talking to the players, and they are in agreement that we will have a playoff this year.¬† It may take a little work in regards to making sure that happens.¬† We'll see how it comes down on Sunday.¬† But there will be a playoff on Sunday, I'm pleased to announce, and it will involve three players.¬† I'm not going to tell you who they are just yet.
But we really like the idea, seriously, of being able, for the first time, to reach our television audience with a multi‑hole, gross score playoff structure that we've seen at the Open Championship, we've seen it at the PGA Championship, we think it's an exciting way to go, and we are hopeful that we have a chance to roll it out in this very first year.
With that said, I'll be happy to try to answer any questions you have about THE PLAYERS.¬† I think our weather pattern is going to be good, and we're going to have a great week.
Q.¬† What kind of certainty, probability is there that we'll find a different kind of Bermudagrass to play on these greens before next year's tournament, and have you discussed what type of grasses?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Well, we're out planting grass on them right now.¬† Of course, we made the decision to‑‑
Q.¬† Will there be any re‑sodding to a different strain of Bermuda?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Yes, we decided last year, just to give you a little history, we've struggled since we came to this date, since '07, with being able to get the golf course ready.¬† A lot of things have happened.¬† We started closing the golf course for three solid weeks before the tournament.¬† We put heaters under the greens.¬† We've done an awful lot of things‑‑ reduced play during the winter.
The grass is something we've looked at, as well, and so we had already determined and are currently planting TifEagle on the Valley Course.¬† We have two golf courses within a couple of miles that have TifEagle.¬† They perform quite well.
We are virtually at a point where we will commit ourselves to TifEagle to go in next summer, not before next year's tournament.¬† We just can't do it quick enough for next year's tournament.¬† So we'd be planting in the summer.
Now, when I say that, I'm saying we're 90 percent sure.¬† We're still looking at some other varietals, but that's our current plan, and one of the things we're going to do, too, is, since we've had strain on these three or four greens virtually every year, if any of you were here before last year's tournament, about 10 days before the tournament No.4 didn't look as difficult as it does right now, but it didn't look good, and so it's a similar pattern.
One of the things that needs to happen with these three or four greens is that they're all small, they're the smallest greens on the golf course, they all get a lot of foot traffic, and we're going to look for some ways to deal with that as we rebuild them in '15.¬† And maybe that means a little bit more space, another pin placement, a little different ingress and egress.¬† It's challenging because we don't want to give up the strategic value and the historical aspects, but we're looking to do some things around the edges that will help us during winter, but right now we would be headed for TifEagle, to answer your question.
Q.¬† Did you consider this before 2007 and the move to May, that this might be an issue?¬† Was this something that was talked about?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† When we decided to move to May?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Yes.¬† You know, it's a hard thing, because if you overseed, some years the heat gets to the point where you're going to get into transition.¬† If you don't overseed and you have a late cold spell, you have difficulty bringing the greens in.
It's interesting, it's not a challenge in a lot of what we do.¬† You just go out there and look at the golf course, it's magnificent.¬† Our fairways are perfect.
Now we went to Celebration with the fairways this past summer, and we tested it for five years, and we really like it, and we think our fairways are pretty good.
But this Celebration, in addition to being a great surface, is a tough grass that doesn't allow much mutation, so it will actually last longer.
It's a limited negative impact, and it has to do with the amount of traffic we get, and some other variables.
But when we were looking at it, to answer your question, we were concerned on both fronts, and what's happened in the last seven years is we've had atypically cold winters three of those years, and then this year we had an atypically cold winter, but also a very wet winter.
That was one of the four or five factors that kept them from coming back at the last minute that they have two of the last four years.¬† They were pretty tough, two weeks out, and they had to move, and they did, and this year they just haven't moved as quick as they needed to, so that's what we're dealing with.
Q.¬† What did you think when the NFL moved its draft to the week of THE PLAYERS Championship, and any hope that it goes back?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† I wasn't really concerned about it.¬† I think most of the‑‑ from the standpoint of the weekend that weekend, from a television standpoint primarily, I just didn't‑‑ I continue to believe that it won't have much of an impact on our telecast.¬† Most of the hoopla is around the first round.
Having said that, I've noticed that there are a number of teams complaining about the date, and the thing that I wasn't prepared for was an enormous amount of press coverage, which has been criticized in some quarters because people are kind of tired of hearing about it.
But it does‑‑ to the NFL's credit, they're spreading out the time period when they can maintain the interest of their fan base, a longer period of time leading up, and that's in their interest, I would think.¬† I can understand the reasoning.
I don't think that really has an effect on us, but it does.¬† There's only so many column inches out there and things online that people are going to read, and there's been an awful lot of drill‑down into the little amounts of what goes into the draft.
I'm not troubled by it, but I suppose if they moved it up, it wouldn't hurt.
I don't think it's a big deal.
Q.¬† Will you watch the draft?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† It depends.¬† If Shad would share with me who the Jags were going to draft in the first round, I might watch that, but I'm not big on watching the draft, particularly the weekend of THE PLAYERS, I don't think.¬† Perhaps somebody will put a capsule version on my desk about what happened.¬† We'll see.
Q.¬† It's been about six weeks now that we haven't had Tiger.¬† Can you just talk about the effects of his absence on the TOUR?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Well, you know, it's not the first time we haven't had Tiger, with injuries and whatever.¬† We're kind of used to it.
The thing is that, when people look at Tiger‑‑ Masters is a good example.¬† So there was all this publicity about Masters ratings were off.¬† Masters is a great tournament.¬† They had a great rating.¬† It's just that when Tiger plays, it's higher.
Everybody looks at it, when Tiger is not going to play, there are bad things happening.¬† I don't look at it that way.¬† When Tiger plays, good things happen.¬† When he doesn't play, it's fine.
And I really mean that.¬† That's not to say, listen, we'd love to have, not only the No.1 player in the world, but he's defending.¬† But I do think what we've found over the years, and the strength of‑‑ talking about television ratings and some other things that you can measure, is the strength of interest that we get from focus on the young players.¬† And when Tiger is in a tournament, I don't care what tournament it is, he dominates the media focus, and that's fine.¬† But the negative to that is that the young players coming up don't get the kind of attention that they need to develop and become athletes that the fans really recognize.¬† So it kind of holds back the development of our stars.
When he's gone, that goes away a little bit, and it opens up more time to capture them.¬† That's a real advantage.¬† It may not feel like it at the moment, but over time it means a lot.¬† The history of the TOUR is more and more stars, and we need that.
It's like any bad situation; there's always some silver lining, and that's, I think, certainly the case here.¬† So we're not really concerned about it, but we're hopeful that he gets through his rehab and gets back out here playing.
Q.¬† Before becoming commissioner 20 years ago you were promoted to the role of deputy commissioner.¬† What was it you learned in that role that helped you become successful in your job?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Well, how to be commissioner.¬† You learn everything there is about‑‑ you work very closely with the commissioner.¬† The way Deane structured it with me is everything reported to me.¬† So it was, operationally, so that when I transitioned into the commissioner's job, there really wasn't much difference in the job, except that you are the backstop and you take the responsibility for pretty much everything.¬† So that's different.
But functionally, not that much difference.
You know, there's a lot of different aspects to our business.¬† It's a great business, because there are a lot of different aspects to it.¬† There's a lot of different kinds of pieces to it.¬† To do the job effectively, you need to understand and grasp all those different areas, and having that time to do that really prepared me for the job.¬† I thought it was healthy.
Now, if you're referring to Jay Monahan in your question, he already knows all this stuff, so he doesn't have to worry.¬† And he's Irish.
Q.¬† In light of the new playoff format, will tee times be affected Sunday or are you still shooting for a 7:00 finish?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† No, they're not going to affect tee times.¬† We feel like, if it's a two‑man playoff, we feel like we can get four to five holes in.¬† We'd finish the first three.¬† If it was still tied, we could get another hole or two in.
If it's three players, I think I'm right‑‑ one of our folks here tell me if I'm misspeaking ‑‑ but if it's three players, we're talking about four holes, maybe as few as three, if something happens to slow it down.¬† So that's okay.
I think if we were to go‑‑ we're not going to jockey the air times to assume a playoff and get another hole or two in.
The great thing about this format is if you play three holes and you're tied and we run out of daylight, it's a really good story for the next day when we come back and finish.¬† It's great highlights all night.¬† Golf Channel will be having a good time with that.
Q.¬† What kind of feedback have you gotten from the players that you've spoken to on the greens, on the three that are closed?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Generally what's been referred to in the media this morning and what we heard from players.¬† We had a few players come in last week, players who hadn't paid attention to the fact that we were closed, but they came in and hit balls.¬† At least the ones I've talked to‑‑ I'm going back out there to talk to some more players‑‑ but pretty much taking it in stride.¬† They think it's very playable.¬† I think it's going to get better this week before we get to Thursday.
We had a pretty good‑‑ the greens, the biggest greens, the troublesome spots in the greens did start to come back 10 days ago.¬† We got that little heat for three days.¬† And then it went back to wet and cold for four days.
So we're hopeful that now we're in the third day of‑‑ we're hopeful that we'll get some movement here in the next 48 hours.
But I think they're being, not just understanding, but kind of okay with it.¬† My guess is when we have 140‑some players on any golf course, you'll get a lot of different opinions.
When you build a tournament and you're shooting for perfection, which is what we do, it doesn't make it‑‑ and we have some imperfections, it doesn't make it any more palatable that the players are being good about it.¬† I mean, it's just, we need to fix our greens, and we intend to take all the steps I just mentioned and some others aggressively next year.¬† So I think we're going to be fine.
At the end of the day, to answer the question I had earlier, if we can't maintain consistent conditions, and I think they will be competitively fine this week on balance, then we may have to examine the date.
I really feel like‑‑ you know, if you go back to the March date, where we had overseed, which is easier to manage the situation in the early spring with overseed, it still took us 10 years to really get it dialed in, in terms of the speed and firmness that we wanted.
We didn't rebuild the greens with the sand cap until '07, which allowed us to have firmness after a rain delay.¬† So it's a work in progress.¬† I'm very optimistic.
Our staff, we've got 12 people on the agronomy staff.¬† They oversee the agronomy at 90‑some events all year, and you just go through all three tours and look at the agronomics, and week in and week out it's superb.
We have the expertise, we have the people in place, it's just a few things that need to be adjusted, and I think we're going to be fine.
Q.¬† You mentioned 10 years for it to get dialed in, in March.¬† How many more years are you willing to give this to make sure you can get it right before you consider a move back?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Well, if we're doing everything we can and it just is a continuing weather problem that we can't beat, I suppose we'd rethink the date.
But when you're talking about a perennial problem of three greens, three or four greens, which have been stubborn most years since '07, I think we'd probably go a different set of greens on those holes, different kinds of greens.
These are small greens.¬† We can make bigger greens and probably not have a problem.¬† We were trying to maintain the heritage of what these greens mean, historically, so you don't want to do that.
We'd probably go to that first, though, before we switch dates, because we love the date.¬† So, one way or another, I think moving the date is unlikely.
Q.¬† Just to follow up on the deputy commissioner question, what will Jay be doing this week maybe that he wouldn't have been doing before?¬† You mentioned that you were the backstop in a lot of issues, I'm assuming he would be the backstop this week.¬† And also, a lot of players didn't seem to know Jay when you named him.¬† I'm wondering if that's something that's occurring this week, if he's learning more of the players and being introduced to them.
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Yeah, Jay was at our Player Advisory Council meeting at Hilton Head.¬† He's been out seeing players the last two days.¬† He'll be very active with players.¬† And he'll do‑‑ Jay already knows a big portion of our business intimately, because he's run pieces of it.
So he'll be getting his feet wet with some other pieces of the business.¬† He'll be working closely with our senior staff, which is a phenomenal group of people, and we have a team ethic here at the TOUR that works.¬† That's not going to miss a beat.
So it's just a matter of getting him some more exposure, and then eventually the board‑‑ now, the board has the authority to name anybody they want.¬† It's not my decision.¬† My job is to create candidates.¬† We have a number of people that can serve in this job.
If Jay decided he wanted to move back to Boston next week, which I don't think he's going to do, given the weather pattern up there, we have other people.¬† But he's younger than some of the others, and we wanted to make sure he had a full exposure to the board, like the others have already had to some extent, before such time as they make that decision.¬† And that raises the question about when am I going to leave, and that's to be determined, based largely on what's in the best interest of the organization, what's that time frame.¬† But it's nothing imminent.¬† I'll be here for a while.
Q.¬† In your two decades in this job, which of your original ideas do you feel best about?¬† Where would you take your regret mulligans, and what issues have kept you up most at night?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Well, there's kind of, I think, a misconception about all of this.¬† You read things about my tenure and Tim did this and Tim did that.
The new ideas are germinated from‑‑ there may be a spark that comes from me, but ideas formulate when smart people get in a room and they talk about options and dream things up; and we have a great team that's done that.¬† I'm just in the quarterback's position.¬† So that's kind of overstated.
But all the things that have happened that we've done together over the years I think have generally worked out pretty well.
The ones I have, I would look at and say, I wish we hadn't done that, I'll probably leave for another day to talk about.
Things that keep me up are occasionally you get a big problem, like the financial crisis in '08 or things that have a mega‑impact on your business or things that we do that are totally unpopular with the players.
But largely it's distractions, things that take away from the positive focus of the sport, drive me crazy and we don't like those.
No, I've been blessed to be in this position for a good number of years, and I look forward to finishing out my tenure.
Q.¬† About eight years ago, if recollection serves, there was a study done on the economic impact of THE PLAYERS Championship in northeast Florida.¬† I wondered if you have any‑‑
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Update?¬† Do we have any updates?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† I'm not sure.¬† I don't think we've done another one, but we probably should.¬† I know it was more recent than eight years, wasn't it?
LAURA NEAL:¬† 2007.
TIM FINCHEM:¬† We'll get you the information on the most recent one, but we encourage our tournaments to do them at least every five years.¬† So if we haven't, we should do that.¬† They're good things to know about and talk about.
Q.¬† Do you have any idea if you think you'll open those three greens for play tomorrow?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† I don't know.¬† I'm behind on that.¬† We made that call about today, yesterday, and we'll make the call about tomorrow later today.¬† I haven't been out there yet this afternoon, so I don't have any new info, so I can't answer that.¬† But we'll know by 5:00.
Q.¬† Is there any discussion on the table at all to add any length to any of the holes in the future?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† We talk about length all the time.¬† I mean, we have room out there on a number of holes.¬† We evaluate the golf course after every year's PLAYERS with that and a variety of other factors in mind.¬† Our staff does a great job of evaluating.¬† And also setup, pins, tees.
The question of length is an interesting one for us because our view is we like to maintain the continuity with, any kind of game can win here, and given a kind of player, a particular advantage is not of interest to us.¬† That's one factor.
Another factor is on a hole like 16, which has been suggested a number of times that we add length to, but we like essentially 50 percent of the field trying to reach the green, 50 percent of those trying to reach the green achieving it.¬† A lot of things happen at 16, and we like that.
Actually, I think the bigger debate is about pin placement.¬† We went to that front left pin placement at 18 last year, because we were back left for years, and there was very little movement because of that.¬† It just seemed like it was a lot more interesting to watch that left front pin placement.
I'm more interested in pin placement personally, but we do look at length.¬† We added some length a few years ago when we rebuilt it.¬† We're looking at a couple things.¬† But I wouldn't assume we would add length at this point.
We take note of the fact that, on average, the golf ball is going within a couple yards of where it was when the limits were put into place finally in '03.¬† Hasn't been huge movement.¬† Now you've got players like Gary Woodland and Bubba Watson and others that motor it.
My own personal view on that is if you can hit it out there and control it and maintain distance and nobody else can hit it out there, you should be entitled to that advantage.
I mean, Jack Nicklaus out‑drove everybody, by a good margin, for 20 years, 15 years, and he was rewarded because of it, because he managed his game around it.
So I don't think length in and of itself, based on a player‑‑ now, if everybody hits it where Bubba hits it, maybe it gets to be a little boring, so we have to watch it carefully.
But right now I think the game is really interesting, exciting for fans the way it is, and I wouldn't recommend we do much in that regard, right this minute.¬† But I'm not saying 10 years from now you wouldn't.
Q.¬† Speaking of things that might keep you up at night, there are a lot of committees being formed these days to grow the game.¬† Do you think golf is shrinking?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Is shrinking?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† I think there's a misnomer involved in all that discussion in the sense that I think sometimes we confuse the number of people that are in golf and number of rounds that are played.
I don't think there's any question that rounds have come down.¬† If I took a show of hands right now, how many people play as much golf today as they did five years ago.¬† I ask that question a lot.¬† I rarely find somebody that says, no, I play 10 rounds more a year.
It's because of changes in society, the way we look at time, having a screen in front of our face all the time, all those things.
But that's different than whether there are people in the game.¬† So on the question of making the game, changing the game in such a way that it attacks the big culprits:¬† Time, money, difficulty, those culprits have been there for a long time, and a lot of people have managed to get in the game in spite of it, making it more accessible and more cost efficient I think are things we really do need to look at.
Changing the nature of the game, I don't think that's the way to go.
I don't think many people do, but I think there's a confusion, with some of the committees and things that have been suggested, sometimes there's a confusion between efforts that are really designed, not to change the game, but to bring people into the game more effectively, get them excited about the game.
In Sweden, I asked the Swedish Federation 20 years ago, how come you're generating world class players, how do you do that in Sweden, of all places.¬† And they said, it all starts with what we call golf play.¬† In preschool‑‑ this is one of the forerunners to the First Tee‑‑ we get young people to play around with golf, and it makes it less intimidating later on when they pick up a golf club.¬† It's really helped us in Sweden.
Well, the First Tee had snag, which is not golf, but it's a golf‑like thing for K through 5, and it seems to increase interest in trying the game and it seems to reduce intimidation.
I had a guy come up to me at a cocktail party last week and say, aren't you concerned that the scoring at your tournaments is going to look weird, given historical scoring, with these bigger cups that you're going to be going to?¬† I said, wait a second, we're not going to bigger cups.¬† It's just something that you use from time to time and you let people have some fun.
I think we're a little concerned that ‑‑ we have to be careful about confusion, and we have to be careful that the core golfer likes the game just the way it is.
But there's 20 of these things that, if properly managed‑‑ and I think the PGA of America is doing a great job bringing those things forward, pushing that, getting people focused on the benefits that can happen, including just getting more people on golf courses, getting them to try different things.¬† I think that's all healthy.¬† I think we'd be 100 percent in favor of that.
We've just got to be careful about delineating what golf is and what golf play is or whatever you'd call it.¬† But I think there's a lot of good thinking going on about how you do that.
Q.¬† Do you have an update on the TOUR's pace of play study that you announced last year?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Not really, but we will have by the fall.¬† We're looking at two or three different things, and when we do articulate how we're looking at it and what changes we might make in our system, when we lay it out, we want to do it in a comprehensive way that explains what we see are the issues, the kind of steps we should take, and how we're going to do that.
You know, here again, I think this is an area where people get confused.¬† If you're talking about the length it takes to play the game being an impactor on people playing the game, it's irrelevant to look at the PGA TOUR, because that's not the problem.
We have a problem with putting 156, 144 players on a golf course and getting them around, and that's a different kind of problem.
We also have a problem, if a player is playing slowly, it's not appropriate etiquette for his fellow competitor.¬† We have that problem.
But if I go out, if I go to my club and play golf and I'm standing around on the tee waiting for a group ahead of me to play at a reasonable pace, that's a negative experience for me, particularly as fast as I like to play. ¬†And that's a negative for the game.¬† That needs to be dealt with.
But the professional game has a different set of situations.
Q.¬† How do you think you've contributed either directly or indirectly to the problem?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Well, I think we can use our assets, our players, and our sport to tell the story, to the extent that the industry agrees that it's a priority, and there are a lot of priorities right now, but as a priority to tell the story about what pace of play means and how it affects the enjoyment of the game and how you can deal with it.
There's been some other efforts in this area, it's gone on for years, but I think the right message and getting our players to help tell that story would be pretty good because people that play the game listen to our players.¬† Having Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson or Brandt Snedeker talk about pace coherently to the fans, in terms of what they can do, personally I think it all starts with the facility, not the player, but that's a different question.
Q.¬† There are players who have found that, if they want to get into a World Golf Championship event or a major, it's sometimes advantageous to not enter a tournament rather than enter and not win or miss the cut.¬† Is this a concern for you in terms of the World Rankings?¬† Do you think they need to be tweaked at all, so that that isn't so much a factor?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Well, what you're referring to is, in the World Rankings, you get into a situation where you look at how you can come out by playing next week, you've got a trigger deadline two weeks from now for eligibility, and you make a decision that it's probably not in your interest to play.
Could be a number of factors.¬† Could be I've never played the golf course before, I don't think I'm going to play very well.¬† It could be I need to play at this certain level to help myself.¬† A lot of different factors.
We haven't‑‑ we're sympathetic to that.¬† However, we've never figured out a better way to do the rankings on that issue.¬† The rankings are an imperfect science that have a reasonably good result, and relative comparative competitive assessment.¬† They do a reasonably good job.
It's not a perfect science because you're measuring play of different tournaments, different fields, and you're not putting every‑‑ the only way to do it perfectly is you take 144 players, they play 25 times all on the same golf course, and then the one that played the best, he's No.1.¬† That ain't the way the rankings work.
But this is one of those variables in the rankings that we wrestle with from time to time.¬† I don't think we have any new ideas, is that a fair statement?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† At this point in time.
Q.¬† Just back to the slow play for a second, Jason Bohn last Sunday was, at one point, put on the clock and decided, when he was at 17 at Quail, which is a difficult tee shot, that he didn't take as much time as he should have on that tee shot and ended up double bogeying the hole, got himself out of a chance to win the golf tournament.¬† Is that how you want to see the policy work?
TIM FINCHEM:¬† Well, you never like to see that kind of situation.¬† But you either have a pace of play policy or you don't.
You could have a policy that says, if a player is winning the golf tournament, he's not susceptible to the policy; or a policy that says, if you're in the last three groups, we're not putting the clock on anybody.¬† You could do those things.
We choose not to do that.¬† We choose to apply the policy across the board when you're playing out there.¬† It's kind of funny that‑‑ but that's what we do.
You know, we're kind of looking at some of those things, under our pace of play review, but carving out certain players based on their potential finish position and treating them differently is not on the list at this point.
LAURA NEAL:¬† Commissioner, thank you for your time.
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