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THE RYDER CUP ANNOUNCEMENT
July 8, 2020
JULIUS MASON: Hello, everyone. I'm Julius Mason from the PGA of America and I'd like to thank you for participating in today's call. We are joined by the CEO of PGA of America, Seth Waugh; the PGA European Tour's Deputy CEO, Ryder Cup director and Chief Commercial Officer, Guy Kinnings; and PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan.
With that, I would like to ask the three of our guests for comments before we go to Q&A. Seth, lets begin with you. Can you take us behind the scenes and let us know what went into the decision to reschedule the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits to 2021 and how tough a decision it actually was for you and your entire team.
SETH WAUGH: Well, thanks, Julius. It's good to be with everybody this morning, this afternoon and be with our great partners Guy and Jay and everyone out there, so thanks everyone for taking the time. I remember literally my first day on the job was about 21 months ago in Paris at the beginning of the Ryder Cup, and I was sitting in the stands for that incredible moment of the Ryder Cup, that first shot on the first day, and the flags are waving and people are singing, and jets are flying over. It's one of those incredible, iconic moments in sports, and Michael Jordan is kind of right next to us and I was sitting right next to Darrell Crall, who's our chief operating officer, and he could see that look in my eye and he goes, yeah, it's an awesome responsibility, isn't it.
And you realize that that's what we have, right. It's a gift from our forebears, this incredible exhibition that brings out so much passion.
So to answer your last question first, it was a very tough decision. I think people think this is -- it might be easier than it is, but frankly since the speculation started a couple months ago in the press and elsewhere that Ryder Cup would be postponed, we've kind of done everything we could to make it one of those kind of Dewey-beats-Truman headlines, that we really wanted to play this, and it's not -- when I say that, not because where the rumors came from. That's great; that's what makes the Ryder Cup so special. It's the passion that it arouses, the tribalism, the nationalism. It's news even when it's not news, and that's the beauty of this incredible event. So we tried everything we could to make it happen because it would have been such a special year given what everybody has gone through to have pulled it off.
What an exclamation point it would have been at the end of the season and this miracle that Jay has pulled off by playing the game and being pretty much the first back. I think it also took on even more importance after the Olympics got postponed because it would replace some of that nationalism that everybody cares so much about.
But obviously we always have looked at everything through the prism of acting responsibly, the safety of everyone involved has led everything that we've talked about and considered from the start: The fans, the players, the volunteers, the media, the citizens of Sheboygan and Wisconsin and indeed the world. So we talked to everybody we could think of over the last few months. We hired an infectious disease expert to advise us. We've talked to the CDC. We've talked to the Broad Institute, we've talked to Scientists versus COVID, the governor of Wisconsin, the county of Sheboygan, obviously our great partners constantly with the TOUR, Ryder Cup Europe, our hosts, the Kohlers, our broadcast partners at NBC. We called the captains. We called many of the players. We talked to some fans. I even went and spoke to Mark Murphy at the Packers, who obviously had some what we thought would be pretty good local information to see what they were thinking, and his perspective was, you know, we hope to play and we hope to play with fans at some point, maybe start with 25 percent and go from there, and I said, we actually need to build Lambeau Field between now and September. And he kind of paused and he said to me, he goes, boy, that's really complicated. He said, I think you might have the hardest decision to make of anybody I've talked to since this thing started, and I said, well, thanks very much. That's very helpful.
But anyway, everybody has been great. But the complexity of the fact that one of the teams, a large percentage of the fans, was also coming from Europe and what that meant in terms of travel, what that meant in terms of quarantining. If you think about it, if you had to be quarantined on both sides of the three-day event, you'd have 14 days on the front side and on the back side where you had 31 days to kind of watch a golf tournament, which is pretty hard to imagine.
And so it became clear sort of call it a month ago that 40,000 fans had pretty much really no chance; 40,000 fans a day had very little chance of being practical. So then we began to explore the responsibility of reduced fans, call it 10,000 or so. We got excited about this idea. Obviously Jay was kind of planning it at the Memorial, as well, and we talked it through and talked to all those same people all over again, and it really came back to the conclusion that there was really zero certainty that we could do it with fans and really a huge high degree of risk that local authorities were uncomfortable with even that kind of concept.
I think from the beginning and certainly in the press, everyone is kind of generally if not universally agreed that a Ryder Cup with no fans is not a Ryder Cup. Every event needs fans, certainly the majors, and we're going to have our PGA Championship in a month or so without fans. We think that's in the best interest of the game. Obviously Jay has proven that out over the last few weeks.
But the Ryder Cup is uniquely about the fans. It's kind of what makes it. It's that moment as I mentioned on the first tee.
We frankly didn't want to build Lambeau Field, get hopes up and then have a canceled Ryder Cup, and it certainly felt that's like where we were headed, especially as I said after building Lambeau in the meantime. And then very recently, obviously this nasty virus has shown its teeth again with the resurgences that are coming across the country, and it really became clear very recently that a postponement was real logical, practical or responsible move that we had.
And so frankly thus began the most complicated deal of my career, and I've done a few, because of all the moving parts, how many parties are involved, and the urgency of getting it out relatively quickly. And this is really good news. Luckily we have incredible partners throughout this crisis, Jay and his team at the TOUR have been amazing in terms of thinking about the best interest of the game, not just their own self-interest around the table of governing bodies. We talked a lot about Golf, Inc., and those of us that are lucky enough to be in those seats are collectively kind of the board of directors of the game, and our major shareholder is the game. So everything has been decided in the prism of that.
Everyone understands the value of the Ryder Cup, how important it is to the ecosystem of the game. But we also realize that we're invited guests every couple years into the schedule. So certainly it wasn't our decision. It was very much a team one.
The TOUR has gone through an incredible amount of change and pain to create the existing schedule as it is, and it became clear early on as we began to talk about it that moving the Presidents Cup had another whole set of complexities, a very tough thing for them to do, and yet they acted in, again, the best interest of the game, the move with Wells Fargo and other things which I'm sure Jay will talk about. They immediately engaged, were phenomenal partners and friends, so I want to thank Jay and his whole team as well as Guy for sticking with us through this arduous process. Our great partners, the Kohlers at Whistling Straits, our broadcast partners at Comcast and NBC, the captains, the players, everybody who's kind of weighed in on this.
Look, this has been a very long, very arduous process, but I think we also need to put it in perspective, right. This pandemic has caused so much pain across the world, and this is a paper cut relative to what everybody else -- so many others are going through, and we're going to live to fight another day, and hopefully we're going to have the kind of Ryder Cup that we have dreamed about, that the fans, the players, the captains, the Kohlers, the state of Wisconsin and the world and the game deserve, and that's what this was about is trying to deliver that at the right time.
We think we're in the right place. It, again, was not an easy decision by any means, but we've gotten to that right place with really incredible partners and the thoughtful and gracious partners that we have, and that's what frankly life is all about. So I'd like to thank them all for that, and I'll turn it back to you, Julius.
JULIUS MASON: Seth, thanks very much. Guy, I know you and everyone at Ryder Cup Europe have been working very closely with us here at the PGA of America to reach today's decision. Can you please give us some of your thoughts on today's announcement?
GUY KINNINGS: Yeah, thanks, Julius, and thanks, everyone, for your virtual attendance today. First and foremost, I'd just like to echo everything that Seth said. It's been a privilege to work with him and his team through these challenging times.
The Ryder Cup, as we've mentioned, is an iconic sporting event, and that's one of the reasons for taking our time in trying to reach today's announcement, so that everyone involved wanted to give it every chance to see if we could actually play the match this year.
And one of the reasons for the event's kind of iconic status is the unique atmosphere generated by the fantastic fans from both sides. So when it was clear for obviously health and safety reasons that that couldn't be created in Wisconsin in September, all our stakeholders agreed it would dilute the magic of the great occasion.
As Seth described it, we now face an array of logistical challenges with our colleagues at the PGA of America and with PGA TOUR, with Whistling Straits, with future venues both sides of the Atlantic, with our commercial and broadcast partners and with our various event suppliers, and we are so grateful for the understanding, cooperation of everyone involved in that process.
As Seth outlined, we're particularly grateful to you Jay and your team at the PGA TOUR, for your willingness to see the big picture by moving the Presidents Cup into 2022. It's actually this sort of collaboration that I think is one of the three positives that come from today's announcement, and it is highlighted by that.
Firstly, at the start of the pandemic, the four majors, European Tour, PGA TOUR and the LPGA got together to figure out a direction of travel for the whole sport to get started again in 2020. Now ourselves, Ryder Cup Europe, and the PGA of America have worked with the PGA TOUR to get to where we are today. Golf has hopefully shown its ability to work together for the greater good of the sport.
The announcement is also good for the brand of the Ryder Cup as a whole, as it allows us to plan the match to be played in front of a full house in September '21, creating that wonderful atmosphere that Seth described that he saw in Paris that makes the Ryder Cup the envy of many around the world.
It also will allow for a full qualification process for both teams, ensuring the 24 best players will be in action for Europe and for the U.S. in 15 months' time. Indeed the changes to our qualification process have just been announced ahead of the resumption of the European Tour in Austria tomorrow morning.
Finally, as regards Ryder Cup Europe, it's great news for our future venues. Although plans in Marco Simone remain firmly on schedule, today's news that the 44th Ryder Cup will now take place in 2023 instead of 2022 will give Italy, a country which has an amazing history of staging very special sporting events, extra time to prepare for hosting golf's greatest team event in what will be an extraordinary occasion in Rome in just over three years' time.
And as for Adair Manor, well, 2027 will be a truly magical occasion. The island of Ireland already has a very rich history with the Ryder Cup, having produced three of the last four European captains, including our current one, in Mr. Padraig Harrington. It's also seen many of its players produce winning points for Europe over the years, Christy O'Connor Jr., Eamonn Darcy, Philip Watson, Paul McGinley and Graeme McDowell, and that rich history will now see it stage the centenary Ryder Cup in 2027, with the first match having been playing at Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts in 1927.
Thanks again to everyone for joining today and for the partnership shown by everyone involved in finding a way to do what's right for the Ryder Cup and what's right for the game of golf. So thank you.
JULIUS MASON: Guy, thank you very much. Jay, the 2021 Presidents Cup was scheduled to take place at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte and will now be played in 2022. As Seth mentioned, navigating the global calendar couldn't have been easy. What are some of the reasons for making this change for the PGA TOUR?
JAY MONAHAN: Well, thanks, Julius, and it's great to be with everyone. I just want to say that it's an honor to be on this call, and I think, as you've heard from both Seth and Guy, it's indicative of the great collaboration and the close working relationships that we continue to share where we put the game at the center with the decisions that we're making.
It was very clear, as both Seth and Guy have talked about, that once we reset the schedule and we started to think about every event but in particular the Ryder Cup in September, that there were challenges, and as you heard the both of them say, and I can attest to the fact that they did absolutely everything they could to play the Ryder Cup and to play it with fans, and when it was clear that that was not something we were going to be able to do, then we as a partner came to the table and were able to reach the right outcome for players and for fans and for our organizations and for the partners of both the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup.
It was a very complicated process, and we have experienced tremendous momentum with the Presidents Cup. We were excited to host it next year. We're equally excited to host it in 2022. We're very fortunate to have great partners in Quail Hollow and the Harris family, our global partners, who have supported the Presidents Cup throughout, both sides, the U.S. and international teams, and there's so many people that we want to thank.
But ultimately this is about a really challenging set of circumstances, making the right decisions for our players and our fans, and Seth and Guy have done so with the Ryder Cup, we believe we've done so with the Presidents Cup, and the game is going to benefit. Again, we're honored to be here on this call and excited for both the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup.
Q. I think a question to all three in no particular order is just what was the feedback from the players about the decision? We've obviously heard in recent weeks about their feelings about the Ryder Cup being an event where the crowd are pivotal, so just wondering how much feedback you had from the players and how central perhaps it was to your decision making, along with other factors I admit, but maybe how central were the players' views here?
SETH WAUGH: I'll go first and let Guy and Jay jump in. Guy, I also want to thank you for putting the Ryder Cup in your background. Bring it to Whistling Straits next September, will you, for the 2020 Ryder Cup. I want it in my backdrop for the next conference call.
You know, this is all about the fans and all about the players. They're doing this as an exhibition. Obviously we're going to talk to them all. I've talked to both captains, not constantly but continuously, if you will. I'm lucky to have a number of relationships on both sides of the teams, and talked to a number of them over the last couple months.
I think it was very universal that no fans was clearly what was driving kind of the decision about where we would end up. I think if they had said we'd still love to play, we maybe would have had a different kind of perspective on this.
It's also, again, complicated by the fact that you really do want a significant portion of those fans to come from each side of the team, right, and so it is -- and it became increasingly clear that it was going to be very, very difficult if not impossible for European fans to attend this year, given the world circumstances.
I did have the chance to talk with both captains last night. I called them out of courtesy to make sure that they knew the final decision. I think they all had guessed at it to this point, given rumors, et cetera, et cetera, and they were both, I think, relieved, happy. Steve on his side absolutely wants to have -- obviously it's a home game for him in Wisconsin. He wants to have it in a way that he's always dreamed of, and it wasn't going to look like that.
Padraig, I think, different perspective is that he's just worried about the safety of everybody traveling here and how difficult that would be. I think they appreciate -- they're disappointed, obviously, that we're not able to do it because they build their tempos and those that are qualifying obviously were excited about it, but I think there's relief in the certainty of knowing where we stand, and I think the messages are all about, look, you did the right thing. I know it was hard, but you've kind of done the right thing. That guided us from -- really from the beginning.
GUY KINNINGS: As you rightly say, one of the things that has been a result of the process is that from the first moment the postponement was even talked about, we've obviously focused on wanting to give the event every chance to be played. But that has taken some time, and the result of that is it's allowed us a chance to listen and we have listened, and clearly we're going to listen to the players, they're critical to the event, we listened to the fans, we listened to all of our stakeholders. And you bear all of that in mind, and it's very important. The two captains have been very strong on this and we've been able to have regular conversations.
At the end of the day, the health considerations become very important for everyone. We all recognize that that is critical, and everyone knows that that is the primary reason for looking at that. But we have been able to have a proper thought about it and listen to everyone, and therefore the decision that's reached is a considered one with having listened to everyone.
JAY MONAHAN: I'd like to add that if you go back to the minute where we reset the schedule, I think players on both sides had questions about whether or not we were going to be able to play the Ryder Cup. Everybody wants to play it. But I think as we sit here today, for Seth and Guy, players completely support and understand the decision and are likely very proud of the amount of thought and effort that went into trying to stage it, and it just wasn't practical to do so.
So I think this is a really good solution for players. For us, one of the hard conversations that I had was with Trevor Immelman, captain of the international side, recognizing that now it's a year for him, but as we talked and as he said, if the shoe were on the other foot and we were going to these two organizations, you know, they would respond the same way, and that's the beauty of our sport and that's the beauty of the way that we work together, and this is the right decision for the Ryder Cup, therefore it's the right decision for the Presidents Cup, and we're going to be supportive of it.
SETH WAUGH: The only thing I would add is that I think the players would have been comfortable if we could have done it with less fans. I think we all were. Our media partners were, if you could have -- I used the number before, 10,000 fans. It's kind of an arbitrary number, but as long as you could have some percentage of that, a healthy percentage, 20 to 25 percent, be from the away team, if you will, but we just couldn't. So the players were thoughtful about that. We did run that around. They wanted to play, as Jay says, but it just wasn't to be, sadly.
Q. My question is for Seth. There are a couple of near thousand ticket holders who are probably anxiously awaiting direction on what to do about their tickets. Will they be able to opt into tickets for next year, and if they choose not to, are those tickets then resold or reassigned?
SETH WAUGH: That's a great question. So look, again, we said it's all about the fans, and so we want to treat everybody the way they want to be treated. And so absolutely, everyone who owns a ticket can roll it into next year. We think that's the right way to do it. If someone for whatever reason is uncomfortable coming because of world issues or just scheduling can't do it, then we will effect a refund, and that's how we're going to handle ticket holders. If we end up with tickets that are coming through, we're going to figure out a fair process to sell those to people that do want to be there.
As you know, the worldwide demand for this is enormous. A lot of people -- the excess demand for Whistling Straits was extraordinary. There was much more disappointment about who couldn't get a ticket than people that would want to get out, I guess. And so we are presuming that most people will want to roll and that we're actually acting, as we've said, in the best interest of the fans in terms of trying to get it to a place where people can safely attend and we can act responsibly.
We hope every fan will be grateful. Disappointed, again, but grateful that it is postponed, and we're hopeful that most if not probably certainly not all will roll. But they will be offered a chance to roll and a chance to refund.
Q. Not to be Debbie Downer, but what guarantee do you have of being able to have a full house next year?
SETH WAUGH: You know, none, frankly. We think that this is the right thing to do. I think I would bet on science, I guess, is what I would say personally, about the ability to figure out treatments/vaccines or protocols for safety, given that we have 15 months to do that. But there frankly is no guarantee. I certainly wouldn't have thought on March 1st even, certainly January 1st, that we'd be having this conversation right now.
I think at the end of the day, this is the best possible decision. Frankly if we do get to this time next year and we can't responsibly hold it, it likely will result in a cancellation at that point. I don't think we can perpetually roll things forward. That's not fair to the game. That's not fair to the Presidents Cup or anyone else.
We're hopeful that we will hold it, but all bets are off in terms of what's going on in the world. But as I said, if I were a betting man, which I sort of am, I guess, I would bet on science to figure out how to truly reopen the world in 15 months' time.
GUY KINNINGS: Yeah, and I think what we can do is make a decision that's right for now. The one thing we know about this extraordinary crisis is unprecedented times and we don't know what's coming, and all we've been able to do is make a decision that is right for now that we believe gives us the best chance to do what we'd like to do in terms of delivering the event in the way that it can be seen at its best, and Seth is 100 percent right. We don't know. We hope it will give us the time to do it, but we will just deal with whatever comes along, and as we've shown, we've managed to find a way by working together to find the right solution for now. We'll try and do the same whatever happens in the future.
Q. Question for Guy Kinnings if I may. Obviously a knock-on effect here is 2023 for a home Ryder Cup for Europe. Can I just ask about the European Tour's level of comfort with that and obviously promoting an economic basis because it would be a delay in terms of revenue for you guys?
GUY KINNINGS: Yeah, thanks. The one good thing that has been the case is that we're coming off the back of what was probably our most successful commercially Ryder Cup that we did in Paris in 2018. I think you've seen the results of the economic impact studies. That was a huge success on course and off course for us, and that's allowed Ryder Cup Europe to put in place a lot of commercial arrangements that have given the Europeans some significant resources that allow us to make the decision based for the right reasons. Absolutely there are decisions that get made based around -- economics do come into it. But as is clear throughout this, what we've decided to do is do what is best for the event, what is best for the fans. We've listened to all the stakeholders, and we've therefore made the decision for the right reason, and we believe we're in a strong enough position to do that and be able to deal with whatever comes.
And as I said, I do think there are some really strong benefits to the delay into 2023. I think it'll allow Rome to be an even more extraordinary event, and as I said, I think also Ireland in 2027 for the centenary will equally add to in many ways the value of the brand and allow us to do some things that will benefit and improve the tournament still further.
Q. This is for both Guy and Seth. When the Ryder Cup was founded back in 1927, the obvious point of it was the exhibition between English and American pros. It's obviously been postponed other times in the past, but as you two gentlemen are the keepers of this trophy, can you kind of address I guess the awesome responsibility that it is to maintain the traditions of what Mr. Ryder had envisioned? I've heard you both say this is bigger than anybody, it's about the game. This is obviously a sad day, but at the same time you're also kind of bringing in some hope that we'll get back on schedule, we'll get back to normal, and Seth, I'm with you, I'm a betting man, as well, 15 months' time I think we can get this thing under control. Can you guys just address how you're kind of internalizing and feeling about moving this event by a year to keep the game, as you say, where perhaps -- keep this competition where Mr. Ryder had envisioned all those years ago?
SETH WAUGH: Well, it's a great question, and look, I think an exhibition has turned into the greatest team event in golf, with all apologies to Jay and the Presidents Cup. We're not competing with the Presidents Cup. They have a great event, we have a great event. And we think our decision today had very much exactly what you're asking about in mind; how do we protect not only the game, how do we do the right thing in the game, but how do we sort of protect the brand and the importance to the ecosystem of this awesome responsibility, right. And that's why we came to the conclusion that no fans really wasn't a Ryder Cup, right, because that's what it's become. Most of you I'm sure have been to one.
It's no longer just about golf. It is about -- it's the one chance for Europe to be a country, if you will, and certainly a team. It is a rock concert. It is the Super Bowl. It is bigger than the game. You think about it, the most important shot in the entire tournament is arguably the first shot on the first day because that's where the tension builds, and if you've been on that first tee, which again, I'm sure most of you have, it is incredible.
And so it is -- everything we do around our decisions here, again, are in the best interest of the game, in this case the best interest of safety and acting responsibly, but also what is in the best interest of the brand of the Ryder Cup because we think that's in the best interest of the game. And so all of our decisions are framed by what's the right thing to do.
Look, we don't -- we play it every other year, and Guy and I have had this conversation a number of times, but it's sort of a 24/7 both brand and frankly focus of both of our institutions because it is so important to our -- not just our livelihood but our ability in my case to do the mission, to do all the things that we do 365 days a year and represent the 29,000 members to grow the game, to make their lives better so they can make millions of lives better.
The Ryder Cup is a huge feeder of that, both financially as well as kind of spiritually, if you will. It is our family silver, if you will, in terms of how we think about this asset. It's an amazing gift from our forebears that kind of happened organically over time. Most people trace it back to Kiawah, I suppose, in terms of when it really hit the trajectory that it has.
But if you were in Paris last year, it was incredible -- excuse me, a year and a half ago. It was incredible. You had 60,000 to 70,000 people in a day in a market that no one necessarily believed would work to come watch this amazing team event.
We hope to nurture it and care for it forever. I'm lucky enough to be around a perpetual institution, and my job is to leave the room better than how I found it, and the Ryder Cup is a huge part of that and always will be.
GUY KINNINGS: Yeah, I think given the time we had to listen to the reaction of people, we realized how much people wanted to see the Ryder Cup played. It would have been a great thing to have been able to do, and you realize the levels of passion it brings. We always talk about the Ryder Cup being the occasion when not necessarily -- when non-golf fans are drawn to the game. There is something about that uniquely tribal atmosphere and the emotions that you see from players that you see in no other occasions, and from the fans. And you realize what an enormous responsibility it is, and it's exactly the right word to use, and this is why no decision could be taken lightly. You know how much people would have liked us to have been able to do it. We wanted to give every chance to players because it has that unique position.
But there's also an amount to because it has that unique position in the game and sport itself and so many people care about it and have such strong opinions, you've got to listen. We have to work through the process, and ultimately the decision is can we make sure that we do it as well as it can be done and safely. When the answer became no, then you really have very little alternative. But what I do believe it does is it gives us a chance to build on that legacy of Ryder Cup has become. You talk about the history and you look at what's been going on and you know how much it matters to the players, and I think hopefully the decision we made, albeit a very hard one and one we'd rather have not made, but I think it is the right one and hopefully will allow the event to grow to even greater heights in the future. That's got to be our goal.
JAY MONAHAN: I'd just like to add that you talk about the history of these events, and I think the history is obviously rich, extraordinarily rich, and then there is the future and looking prospectively, and coming off a Presidents Cup with Tiger Woods and Ernie Els as captains in Melbourne with that incredible atmosphere that both Seth and guy talked about, for us as partners to the Ryder Cup, these are the two greatest team events in golf, and we're building them together, and they help build our sport, and when you come together and you form Golf, Inc., and you're trying to make the right decisions or players and you're trying to make the right decisions for fans, it's really important that ultimately that's the lens that you're looking at this through, and for us we feel like it's the right responsible decision, and as we go forward with the Ryder Cup next year and the Presidents Cup subsequently, I think everyone will shake their head in agreement.
SETH WAUGH: Jay, you said it so well. I just think that we have two amazing events, and how we can kind of build off each other, feed off each other, obviously Guy is not a part of this part of it, but the captains tend to be the same people. The players are obviously the same people, and how do we kind of create USA Golf out of this, as well, I think is an important way of how we think about the whole ecosystem, right. They help each other, they don't hurt each other. We're not competing, we're collaborating on making each one better. And I think that's a really important part of how we think about it.
GUY KINNINGS: I think that's right, Seth, and I'd just add that along with these two great events, it's also important to recognize how fantastic the Solheim Cup has become, which is in itself a wonderful event, and as you know, I know you have and we've all worked very closely with Mike at the LPGA and the LET, and we're very keen to see that event grow, as well. And again, there are opportunities here that may allow that to do so, so we're mindful of the fact that the unique atmosphere in team golf, male or female, is so important, and I think by working together we can help build that because I think the one huge opportunity we have in the game is this diversity. It can be played in different ways, and people love team golf, so I think, again, responsibility for all of us to help with that.
JAY MONAHAN: The three greatest events in team golf.
Q. Guy, I'm just wondering how the postponement affects your dealings with the Irish government for Adair Manor. Is it just a question of changing the dates in the contracts from 2026 to 2027, or are there other ramifications in terms of the Irish Open and can you tell us if that will happen this year in the Ryder Cup date?
GUY KINNINGS: As you can probably imagine, as I'm sure Seth and Jay have encountered in their own dealings with the Irish government and with Adair Manor and with J.P. and his team have been very thorough. We've shared with them. We've had lengthy discussions, and it will probably come as no surprise to you to know that they've been hugely supportive throughout. They've fully understood the situation. They are, as you know, incredibly excited about what the prospects are for what we think will be an amazing Ryder Cup in Ireland, and I think the opportunity of it becoming the centenary, which none of us are envisaged, will allow us to build on that heritage that there is, as the island of Ireland has embraced. We saw it at the Open Championship last year and what we'll be building towards now in '27.
They've been very supportive. Of course there are details to work through, but I was in conversations early this morning with all of the parties involved, and we'll work them out and we'll start building towards that.
SETH WAUGH: As Jay has said, it's the beauty of the game, right, is that everybody does the right thing when they need to do the right thing, and it's great. I know that you mentioned the Harris family before, and obviously our partners in Rome, and we've got Bethpage and -- it goes on and on, that everybody has been incredibly supportive of what is the right decision.
Q. Seth and Guy, kind of following up, Seth, you said if for some reason you can't have the Ryder Cup next year, it would just be canceled, and we all know about what Wimbledon and the R&A did with the Open Championship. Do you have some kind of disaster insurance policy on the Ryder Cup, and if not, why not?
SETH WAUGH: You know, I'd rather not talk about internal financial aspects. I would say this, that we have -- we've modeled out everything, understand where we are. Obviously this year has been very disruptive, as I said earlier. The Ryder Cup is very integral to kind of our four-year P&L cycle, if you will, and we have taken every precaution that we could historically and now to make sure that our perpetual institution will be perpetual. And we've done lots of budget cuts this year. We've modeled what it means not to have the Ryder Cup this year, and we've done the same into next year, and we feel very confident that we will absolutely weather the storm, whatever the storm is.
So I'd answer it in that way.
GUY KINNINGS: Yeah, I'm not sure I'm going to add a great deal more to what Seth said except to say that obviously the advantage we have now that we've worked together so closely is that we try to prepare for all eventualities. Clearly there are some that you never see coming. None of us would have predicted what we're going to be dealing with here. But we've had some previous experience of dealing with these things. We work also with some of the other governing bodies that you just referenced, and people are ready to sharing learnings and best practices. So we'll do everything we can to be ready to deal with whatever is thrown at us in the future.
Q. How important was it to keep the tournament at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin one year from now?
SETH WAUGH: Well, the Kohlers have been great partners for a long time. We've had PGA Championships there. We have a great relationship. They've been wonderful through all of this. Obviously when things became uncertain, we began to have conversations, and we frankly have at one point offered them an opportunity to step out of the contract if they wanted to, given the risks involved, and they are fully committed, fully excited about this. We think it's an amazing venue.
We've had a team in place out there for two years now. They're all going to be spending another year in Sheboygan, which they're excited about, and again, we just couldn't ask for better partners. I think obviously our captain is from Wisconsin. He couldn't be more excited about that. I think the fans are -- the response to ticket sales and corporate sponsorships and everything else has been incredible from the start, and so we'd like to do what we say we're going to do, and we have a commitment to be in Wisconsin in 2020, so we're going to hold the 2020 Ryder Cup, it's just going to be in 2021 where we had committed to do it.
I mentioned our worldwide partners and Guy mentioned his worldwide partners, suppliers, and thanking everybody, I should be thanking them, as well. They've been incredible. They've all worked with us and understanding they're all going through their own various troubles and challenges in this period, as well, and yet they've stuck through it with us through and through. I would like to thank them, as well.
Look, Whistling Straits is on the logo, and we're going to play it next year in 2021 and can't wait to do it. They deserve it. The game deserves it and the citizens of Wisconsin deserve it, and we're going to deliver it.
GUY KINNINGS: Yeah, and I'd simply add we're the visitors, and Seth has put it very well as the hosts, but all I can say is that everyone in the Kohler family and at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in Sheboygan have been so welcoming to all of us as a team and Mr. Harrington when we've traveled over there. We are delighted that the event will go back to Kohler, as Seth says. It's a wonderful venue. It's hosted fantastic tournaments. It's what it deserves, and it's one we truly look forward to. We're delighted that it will be the host.
Q. Seth, Europe announced today its qualifying process, its new qualifying process. When will you have your plan in place and announce it?
SETH WAUGH: Yeah, that's a great question. We are going to take a bit of time. We're going to work with everybody, with the captains, with Jay, with probably OWGR and others to make sure that we have what is the most fair process. We've talked about it. I mean, this is the first time we've thought of it, given where we are. But we really just are cancelling now as much as people think we may have canceled two months ago. It really is today, right.
We are going to have all the right conversations and will be back in a very timely way. I think we, again, wanted to be fair, wanted to reflect the fact that I think that people have been playing for this for a year and a half at least, and that should be reflected in their efforts. But obviously next year will be a whole 'nother opportunity to qualify. We're going to come back, and again, work with the Ryder Cup committee, work with Jay to come up with what is the right and what we believe is the fairest way to choose the team. Obviously this year we also went to six picks from four, given the situation of the pandemic and what's going on with the season. We will, again, consider that, whether that six still makes sense or whether we go back to four, and those are all things that will be on the table, and we'll make our choice sometime in a timely manner. But it's not today.
JULIUS MASON: Thanks very much for your question. Seth, guy, Jay, thank you very much for your time today.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports