August 5, 2020
San Francisco, California, USA
Harding Park Golf Club
JULIUS MASON: Hello, everyone, and thank you all very much for your interest in the 2020 PGA Championship, our first on the West Coast since 1998.
Before the best in the world tee off tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. we want to make sure you have some quality time with our PGA of America President, Suzy Whaley; Chief Executive Officer, Seth Waugh; and Chief Championships Officer, Kerry Haigh.
Suzy, let's begin with you. You are joining us today from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, but we will soon see you here at Harding Park. Can you please tell us what you've been focused on since, say, mid-March when our whole world changed?
SUZY WHALEY: Yeah, thank you, Julius, and hello, everyone. We are certainly grateful to have this week happening and to be at TPC Harding Park. As you said, it's been a challenging year for some businesses, which included the golf industry.
We are really proud of how we reacted to that. We started the Golf Emergency Relief Fund that of course include some of our PGA Professionals, as well, and pleased to report that we have contributed over $7 million to that fund as the need is great and still continues on.
Also really proud of the efforts above of Back2Golf where right now we have seen so much play on the upswing; in June alone, we are almost a 14 percent uptick in the game, really due to the advent of having golf be a game that lends itself to social distancing, our PGA Professionals across the country taking that very seriously, because they want the community to be able to engage in a healthy and well way at their facilities; I mean, to have some fun. We really want people to try to get back on the course and to engage with PGA Professionals, and just to be able to get back outside. And so excited about the Back2Golf and so grateful that golf is a game we continue to play in these challenging times.
But as we look to the 2020 PGA Championship this week, which we are all incredibly excited to showcase for everyone around the world, what we are really hoping to do is to lift people's spirits and inspire them perhaps while they watch on a device or it's in their home. We want them to pick up a club and find a PGA Professional; if they have never played the game, we can't wait to take that journey with you and help coach you through it, but we welcome all to the golf, and hopefully inspire a few as through the best male golfers in the world as they watch this week to get out and play some golf.
And finally, I just want to highlight the PGA Professionals in the field. As the President of the PGA of America, we have 29,000 PGA Professionals cheering on our team of 20 this week, headlined by Ryan Vermeer, our 2019 Player of the Year. He's the PGA Director of Instruction at Happy Hollow Golf Club in Omaha, Nebraska. We are just so proud of all of our PGA professionals as they are working harder than ever as golf is really popular right now at their facilities.
But these 20 PGA Professionals work in the business day-in, day-out, but also, I have no doubt they are ready to compete against the best golfers in the world in this major. We are just so proud of them and wish them well.
JULIUS MASON: Seth, the journey to San Francisco and TPC Harding Park this week was filled with many twists and turns for you. Can you please talk a little bit about a PGA Championship without spectators and what went into the decision to play on.
SETH WAUGH: Look, thanks, Julius, and thanks, Suzy. It's great to be here, and it's great to be with you, some of you on site, and the rest of you remotely, viewers on the virtual media hub and hopefully that's going to be useful for you, and maybe something we'll incorporate going forward as well given the great reviews we're getting there.
Look, it's great to finally be back doing what we do. That's why we're put on earth, to grow the game and serve our members and this is the engine that allows to us do it, and it's just a great feeling to be back here.
Kerry Haigh already looks about ten years younger. You can see the bounce in his step as he's finally -- he's like the dog at breakfast time, and we're getting rave reviews. Kerry is going to do what he always does; there's no questions he's the best in the world at what he does, and we're already hearing that from the players. I've already bumped into dozens of them over the last couple days and they are raving about the place and what Kerry and his team have done with it. Looking forward to that and watching the course whisperer back at work.
There will be relief on Sunday night when we hand out a trophy because this has been a long, circuitous route, up-and-downs and working with the Tour to find a date we thought would work, and here we are.
But there were, you know, challenges along the way. We have had amazing partners. The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has been nothing but supportive from the start, saying, "We want to do this."
Our perspective was that we never wanted to force anything. We only wanted to do if it was good for the state and for the city and they made it clear that this is what they wanted to do, and Mayor London Breed and both their staffs who have been terrific partners.
We had a drop-dead date of June of locking hands and jumping off the bridge together, and we did and here we are. Couldn't be more excited about. We are honored to be the first major of the season, and, in fact, actually, really, the only technical major of the season given that this one ends Labor Day.
It's an honor to be in this position, and we also think it's bigger than golf. This is the first really major sporting event since the Super Bowl that's being played. We are excited about that. We're honored to be here, and as Suzy said, we think golf has this huge opportunity in terms of viewing, and certainly watching the best players on earth play, but also recreationally and what's been going on there.
We have seen a huge spike in numbers and we are trying to make sure that we think through and work with the industry. We have had a number of calls and meetings with the TOUR and the LPGA co-hosting it with us, and other players in the industry, talking about how do we make this a sustainable bubble. Kind of how do you think about if you can rewind the clock to when Tiger came on the scene and you had that burst of energy around the game, what would we do differently to make sure that it's kind of a generational growth, as opposed to people going back to work and the game declining a little bit again. We are working hard at that and we think this is an amazing way to advertise that through our '20 and the game itself.
Golf has distinguished itself in this crisis. I'm really proud of Jay and the Tour and how they have led sports back to the field. You know, when he was saying we're going to play in the middle of June, in the middle of May, that seemed like a dream and yet they have pulled it off and pulled it off incredibly well.
And frankly, we are lucky to have had eight weeks or so of watching and learning, and we are going to ride a lot of what we have learned from them and add a few things. Certainly the local authorities have tweaked things a bit, and so we are all trying to improve and sharing and going forward, but for us to have this date from Jay, and then for them to show the leadership to get us to this point.
And as Suzy said, it's not just the game. We hope we can provide a distraction to many, and joy. This week is certainly about the play on the field, but also the lessons of the game and how we go from there.
And I hope we can bring live theatre back into homes, right. That's what this week is about, and so for us, there was never a doubt as to whether or not we would do it without spectators. We think we always act in the best interests of the game. We think that playing this championship is exactly that. The players want to play, the fans want to watch and we want to do what we do. So we are going to hold it in any form that we could to get this in the books, and we are happy to do that.
I would be remiss in not thanking our partners in this. We have great partners in AIG and Constellation Energy and National Car Rental who you will see on property here this week. They have stuck with us through thick and thin. Not totally easy and very appreciate that. Hope they have a great experience, along with us; I'm sure they will. I've already said the State and City have great fans and supporters. And then the local area, we're sorry the fans can't be here, but hope we bring, again, some joy and shine the light on their city when that's a nice thing to do.
Julius alluded to the fact that we have not been to the West Coast in a long time, and it's the first in a while. The first time on the West Coast in a long time, but we feel like we are setting ourselves up for the future and we are coming back in 2028 at the Olympic Club, and of course The Ryder Cup which is now 2033 as opposed to 2032, so excited about that.
I want to mention our Northern California section and specifically our CEO, Len Dumas, and our president, Dede Moriarty. Thank you for being such incredible hosts, and I know Kerry is going to mention a few others along the way, but we have had so many great friends and partners that have helped us through this.
Absolutely need to mention CBS, our 30-year partner. We have had an incredible relationship and can't thank them enough for sticking with us. Sean and I have been tied at the hips through this, as well.
I want to thank Lance for all his incredible work. This is our last event with him. We had a little bittersweet moment with him yesterday in our last production meeting, and he couldn't have been more fun or a better partner to have along the years, and we want to welcome ESPN, our first year with them. Already they have brought new energy to this, and you know, whole new perspective. They are focused on innovation and we think you're going to see a lot of exciting things going forward. First time ever you're going to see every shot played this week, and that's probably, again, more important than ever.
Last thing I'd just say, look, there's so many storylines this week on the course with the young guns and J.T. and Jon Rahm kind of trading off on No. 1. You've got Tiger obviously in the field who has won here in the past, and Phil, kind of a semi-home game for him and had a great week last week. There's just amazing possibilities and we think the drama will unfold.
And it's also the place, right. Harding Park has a lot of history. It says a lot about who we are and creating places to play for everybody in an equal and great way, and there's so much history here, the names, Sandy Tatum, Ken Venturi, Johnny Miller, Harvie Ward and so many folks who have graced this place. We are excited to be here.
Last thing I would say is this week is going to be different, no question about it, but we are not going to apologize for what isn't. We are going to celebrate what we've got. We are grateful to be in this position, and again a lot of leadership from Jay and the Tour and others that have allowed this to happen, and the industry in terms of making golf different and having it stand out. All other sports are struggling, and so we have both an incredible opportunity, but also an obligation I think to do this, and without the Olympics and all sorts of things being canceled, this takes on a whole other level of importance.
Kerry said it yesterday, this is going to be the greatest championship we've ever had and we're taking that perspective to it. We need to, again, celebrate what we have rather than mourn what isn't here and be grateful for this incredible opportunity.
Grateful for all you do for us and we feel like we have great partners in the media, and we appreciate it and we are here to help you in any way we can this week. If something isn't working, let us know and I'll just call Kerry and get him to fix it. Thank you, everybody, and look forward to your questions.
JULIUS MASON: Seth, thanks so much.
For the second straight year, The PGA of America is staging its annual championship at a municipal course, last year at Bethpage Black, and this year at TPC Harding Park. What can the golfers expect on the golf course from your perspective?
KERRY HAIGH: Thanks, Julius, and thanks for what you said.
Firstly, I'll start with the golf course and reiterate what Seth said in thanking the PGA Tour for their efforts in putting together our entire COVID-19 testing plan and strategy. Prior to golf starting again, we started regular calls with the PGA Tour to talk through what they were going to do and how they were going to do it. But we felt it was important to follow similar guidelines and protocols so that, A, the players would be used to it and the caddies, and we weren't trying to reinvent the wheel. So to that end, Andy Levinson, Andy Pazder, Tyler Dennis and have done yeomen's work to help put this entire golf business back in play. Thanks to them.
With that, we ended up and are using the same testing entities that have been used for the first ten weeks, Drug Free Sport and Sanford Health, and with only one player remaining to be tested, all players and caddies in the field have cleared our COVID-19 protocol. So I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that, and I'm sure 155 players and 156 caddies are just happy, so thank you to all of them.
On to the on-course golf course information. As Seth mentioned, I and we could not be happier with the overall conditioning of the golf course, and a special thanks and tribute to Kevin Teahan, the golf and turf manager; Omar Valenzuela, the superintendent, and Geoffrey Plovanich, the agronomy manager here at TPC Harding Park.
For those who have been around or seen it, it is in outstanding condition. But it doesn't just happen overnight. This has been going on for two, three years, we have been meeting and talking, and I'll just briefly touch on some of the changes that we made to the golf course.
For those that don't know, we did identify five new teeing grounds here at Harding Park: Hole 2, hole 5, hole 8, hole 13, and hole 18, we added new teeing grounds. Some of those or most of those were to either keep the bunkers in play, bring them into play, or on hole 5 was to change the entire direction of the hole, from a very sharp dogleg-left, it is actually now a slight turn to the right. So those five changes.
In addition, we did adjust the fairway contouring, the aim being to try to bring in a lot more of the existing challenges of the golf course. So the bunkers that are out there, the fairway bunkers, we tried to bring them more into play by sort of moving the fairways closer to or into those fairway bunkers.
And where Lake Merced or other features of the golf course came into play, we sort of tried to adjust the fairways to bring out the character of what is a wonderful test of golf, a great golf course.
The order of the holes we are playing in the normal order that the club play in. So the front nine are all on the inner part of the golf course, and the back nine go clockwise around the exterior of the golf course.
The roughs are at three and a half inches. We topped the roughs last evening, and that will likely be it for the rest of the week. But as I say, could not be happier with the golf course and how it's playing.
One interesting note that I've been made aware of, I guess the ball is not traveling quite as far, or the players are hitting longer clubs than they are normally doing. With all the talk about distance, it's quite interesting to see how that's affecting and what clubs players are playing. That's certainly an interesting twist to what we will all see this week, and you know, maybe we'll all learn something from it.
So with that, I'm happy to pass it back to Julius and answer any questions.
JULIUS MASON: Thanks, Kerry, very much.
Q. You've been setting up these championship courses for 30 years. I'm sure each venue has its set of challenges. This year was totally different, totally new ballgame. Could you talk about the biggest challenges you had to clear? And secondly, expand a little on the fact that you seem to have embraced the challenge that you have.
KERRY HAIGH: Yeah, it has been a truly unique year. We started off with our plans to have spectators and corporate hospitality and the golf shop and what-have-you, and then as the sort of pandemic started upon us, we thought -- we put together a Plan B with no spectators.
So we kind of work continually with David Charles, Harry Deitz, all of our staff, had regular calls to talk about, well, what if; what will we do. And at that time, we didn't really know what a no-spectator championship could or would feel like. We had more meetings and Zoom meetings than we had ever had, and ultimately the decision was made not to play the championship with spectators.
So vendors who had been building for two months to build a lot of the grandstands, had started a lot of the corporate suites, the locker room, a lot of those facilities were put on hold, and once there was no spectators, we had to start taking them down. We did that with the grandstands but repurposed a lot of the other facilities. What was going to be the golf shop is now the locker room and caddie area, and what was originally the locker room is now the media center.
That in itself was fun and challenging, and really, we all had to think out of the box, just as we are with this virtual media center. The one thing I would say, and that challenges everyone, is this is going to be one of the greatest experiences that all of us will ever have in golf to work an event such as this major championship with no spectators.
Yeah, I've done it for 30 years, but this could be the most challenging, most unique, but hopefully the most memorable one that I've ever done. I can't wait for tomorrow and hopefully the players are as excited as I am to play this wonderful golf course here at Harding Park.
Q. The players have it pretty easy. They can decide whether they have had a good week based on the score on their card. For you and your staff, setting up the golf course, how do you measure whether it was a good week or not, whether you did a good job setting up the course?
KERRY HAIGH: That's a great question. I think as we do for every year at our championship, we just try and set the golf course up so it is a fair test of golf; that it's a stern test of golf; that the good shots are also rewarded and, you know, birdies, eagles are available, but also trouble and bad shots can and should be punished. Just trying to set it up in a way that's fair, makes the players think their way around.
Hopefully we are out of the way and nobody sees us or hears from us all week long, and whatever the score is, we hope it could be 20-under; it could be 2-under. That doesn't matter. It's more important that it is a fair and challenging test of golf for the best players in the world, because they are so unbelievably good at playing the game. It's just going to be a pleasure to see them play a course like Harding Park.
SETH WAUGH: Julius, can I just add to that a little bit? Kerry said something to me very early on which I have taken to heart, which is that he always wants to find a winner, not have somebody lose a golf tournament. And I think that's what creates such incredible drama down the back nine on Sunday for us because that's his perspective, and you just heard it live.
And so we are hearing it before they have hit their first shot, but I've also heard it after their last shot last year at Bethpage, and it's always viewed as a challenge but fair and fun, and they always say that's the way the game is supposed to be played, and I think that's how we should judge it.
Q. I know you like to look at the practice rounds and listen to some of the comments, and obviously with this incredible cool weather, it may not have been what you imagined in May. Have you made any adjustments to your plan for this week in terms of what you're going to do, tees used, anything based on the practice rounds?
KERRY HAIGH: That's a great question. You're right. I've been looking out there seeing where balls are landing, and you're right. Some of the holes, I'm surprised that some of the clubs that the players are having to hit into some of the greens. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. The fact that some of the par 4s are playing significantly longer than was anticipated or that I anticipated, for sure, and I would think most did.
So yeah, we absolutely adjust as we do every day, and you know, whatever we have in the plans is just a plan, and tomorrow morning, depending on the wind and the weather and what-have-you, we will make adjustments each and every day during the championship, be it easing up on a hole location, turning a hole location, moving a tee up or not. That's all part of the fun and the mystique of trying to set up a golf course for the best players in the world.
Certainly it would be nice to see, more clubs being hit -- more different clubs being hit into holes than maybe would have been the case otherwise. So that certainly excites me. I've seen 8 and 12 and 13, and certainly a lot more club being hit into those holes than was done at either of the previous events where you studied the distances and where the drives were going then.
Yeah, it will be fascinating. I can't wait to see it.
Q. Curious your take on why it's important -- you mentioned two straight PGAs at municipal courses, why it's important to grow the game, for the future of the game, to have events like this at munis.
SETH WAUGH: Sure. Hopefully you've all heard me say it, but we are for making the game look a lot more like the world so that the world can look a little bit more like the values and the beauty of our game, right. So creating a place to play for people of any means or any location is important to us.
We have recently added to our foundation that track. We have always had, you know, Junior League and sort of our junior programs. We have had HOPE, which is our veterans' program. We have had our adversity inclusion pillar, which is the third, and recently we added a Place to Play; and the idea being that we need to figure out how to help restore these incredible properties, and most of them were built in the 1910s and 1920s by Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt after the industrial revolution to get people outdoors on their one day off on Sundays. They built baseball fields, parks and golf courses and they were built in exactly the right places, in urban areas that should give access to lots of different folks and spread around the country.
Unfortunately over the hundred years, they have been under-invested in, and a lot of places -- you think about this place, Sandy Tatum had to come back and restore it. Bethpage, the U.S. Open did that in the '80s, I guess it was, or early '90s. And so we think that programatically creating or recreating, restoring these places around the country is really important. To advertise on our biggest stage municipal golf courses is a wonderful opportunity for us to do, and we have had the chance to do it for two years in a row, and they are also incredible pieces of property.
I mean, you know, Bethpage, it's a miracle that it was built and a bigger miracle that it still exists in a lot of ways, and Harding Park was built right in the center of San Francisco. Enormous history here from the city championship and other things that have gone on, and so having municipal ties -- by the way, a lot of these, Bethpage, Tillinghast and MacKenzie has them and they are all around the country, these incredible tracks; that we would like to figure out how to get them back to their past glory, if you will, not us taking them over but helping the communities through public, private partnerships help restore them.
Thanks for the question. It's a big part of our character and kind of who we are and what we should be doing, which is growing the game.
Look, we do this for one week a year. We are an invited guest. But the rest of the year we and our members are growing the game. If we think we can make 29,000 lives better and millions of lives better through this beautiful game of ours, and munis are a big part of that, or community golf should be a big part of that. So thanks for the question.
Q. Looking ahead, how do you make this happen more in the future if you look at the future venues for the PGA Championship, Kiawah, a resort course, but then mostly private clubs for the next ten years. How do you keep munis in the mix here?
SETH WAUGH: It's a great question. Good news, bad news, not to blame anything, but I inherited a series of events and venues over the next 10 to 15 years, and so it is what it is. But we can certainly find other places to play some of our other events and continue to do that, and I hope, again, through our grass roots and through the foundation, we can do it in real life and real places so that it's not just about playing championships. It's having real people play great golf courses in their backyard at affordable prices, right.
So that's where I think our real work is going to be done, not so much on venues, but we certainly want to use this opportunity the last couple years to advertise that and create interest in doing just that.
Q. You've had a lot of cooperation, obviously, from your corporate sponsors. Were you able to do some additional things for them this week in order to keep them interested and happy with the tournament and the various functions? Ordinarily there would be a lot of people on site and they would have a great opportunity to see a major golf tournament, and this week, they don't.
SETH WAUGH: Look, as I said earlier, it's going to be different, right. On the other hand, there are, what we are creating, opportunities. We have done a lot of virtual things around this. We are going to do some of those over the weekend, trying to make sure that I'm speaking on Zoom calls for some of those partners and others are, as well, trying to give them an inside look at what it is. I talked about the signage that you'll see on-course which we think creates an awful lot of eyeballs and opportunity for them to advertise themselves.
And we have actually seen renewed interest from new parties that sort of look at this model of partnership differently. And so we actually are hopeful in the future that we are going to bring kind of more partners in in certain ways, as well, because of kind of the changes that are going on in the world and how different companies are doing relatively well or relatively poorly in this environment.
So it isn't the same. We're not obviously providing hospitality in the same way that we had. We hope we get back to that. That's certainly the plan. Excited to see what the Tour is able to do. We weren't able to do it this week, given California's rules, but adding small amounts of spectators, we think that's an interesting opportunity. If you think about this week, it's a private concert, right. It's like having the Stones for all of us, right, in our backyard, if you will, in that the best players in the world are going to be playing, as Kerry said, and without fans.
So those that are on property are going to have an incredible experience. If you can figure out a way -- we never thought you could get thousands of fans here but you might imagine getting hundreds of fans here and having a very different experience going forward, and I think the Tour will take advantage of that. Obviously we can't for another year, though we have our Women's Championship coming up in the fall and we may be able to take advantage of some of that, as well.
We are excited about the fact that, again, we have very loyal partners and we think we've delivered a lot of value to them over the years and they have repaid that loyalty by trusting us, and we're creating lots of online digital content as well as television content and driving it out through our PGA.com site. We took that back in-house and we think that's adding an awful lot of value, we hope, as well.
We'll go back and look at it after the fact and see how we did on a lot of these things and how well we can do going forward.
You know, one other thing, back to the question a second ago. It's not a muni, but I would mention, also, that Frisco is going to be our new home and that's going to come into our championship venue and that will have very much public access golf, right. And so it's not a municipal, per se, but it is a community golf course, if you will, so that will very much come into play as part of our narrative on accessible golf going forward, as well.
But Kathy, I hope that answers your question, sort of jump backwards once.
Q. Just wondering what The PGA of America is doing regarding the BlackLivesMatter movement this weekend. You look around the bubble and see it across sports, really. Is that message going to be conveyed or what plans do you have regarding that?
SETH WAUGH: Look, it's a great question. We have done an enormous -- we have been focused on inclusion, diversity in every form, certainly on the black side, as well, over the past five or so years, predated me. Not trying to take any credit for that.
It became start of our strategic plan I think five or six years ago. We have made what we think are pretty significant strides, though they are still a little bit of baby steps. I'm not saying we are remotely where we need to get, but we've played -- use a bad golf analogy, we've played the first hole or two. We've got a lot of holes to go in terms of making a difference.
Then since George Floyd, we've had public statements about it. We've had two forms with all of our black PGA members to get their feedback on how we can do things better. I convened -- I called Jay and Mike Whan and said, here is an opportunity for us to act as an industry. We kind of talk about it as Golf, Inc. How do we as an industry take advantage of, A, this bubble in golf and how do we grow it, but more importantly how do we grow it in new ways, how do we attract a new audience and how do we make it look more like the world, if you will. It's gotten a huge amount of traffic and we have huge groups setup on four tracks, sort of how do we market this and market the game, if you will. How do we get clubs in kids hands that can't afford them. How do we make sure that we are doing the right thing on the vendor side of things to have inclusion there. How do we create a pool of talent, most importantly, in the industry.
We want to have that at The PGA of America, but we really want it in the industry. We are looking at ways to support HBCUs and have a potential path towards endowing the programs there if we can sort things out, and a number of other initiatives that we think can change the game.
So we have done a lot internally. We have certainly made public statements about it. I think this week is about golf. We are not a political organization and so we don't think equality is political, by the way, or justice is political. We hosted on Tuesday Pride Day here because we think it's particularly important locally to this community. I know you're going to see from us a lot of real action, or the last month it's been about listening, acknowledging, affirming, and now it's about action steps. We believe we have them. We are working through those with our black members to make sure that they agree with kind of the action steps that we are working on.
So I know from the The PGA of America, you're going to see us making huge efforts on this front. I actually have a lot of hope. I feel like this is a moment in time that's become a movement that we have all been waiting for; that it is -- we're 250 years into an experiment of a country that's kind of built on equality, and we haven't done a great job of that.
So I'm hoping this horrible reason for it is going to create a true movement that will really move the needle. We absolutely want to be a part of that. We are going to be a part of that and we are trying to do it industry-wise because we think we can have that much more effect, and the enthusiasm across all the governing bodies and equipment companies in the game is huge. We are going to share best practices and we want to make a difference as an industry, and that's our plan.
Whether you see a lot this week, I'm not sure, but you'll see a lot in the years to come, because this is serious. This is not a reaction. This is not something we are looking at as kind of a short-term fix. This is something we feel strongly about and need to get right, and we are going to be part of that fix.
JULIUS MASON: Suzy, do you think you might want to touch upon some of our PGA black members that we might see this week with the help of some of our broadcast partners?
SUZY WHALEY: Happy to. Everything Seth said, we have 29,000 that we feel have a direct connection to facilities, to the game, and we are serious about welcoming all to it, not only amongst our members but in the workforce, in our vendor inclusion.
We have enormous plans in place, and as Seth said, by no means is that meant to convey that we are where we need to be. We have lots of work to do. But even Junior League, so happy to say that we have moved the needle there, amongst juniors and girls and minorities that are participating in PGA Junior League.
What we will also see this week with our partners, our broadcast partners at CBS is 8:46 where we have 11 of our black members telling their story and the challenges they face to the game, but how golf has impacted their lives in a positive way, and how they want to share that with the world, and we are proud of that and we are looking forward to you seeing that.
SETH WAUGH: I sort of walked on the lead. The 8:46 as Suzy pointed out we think is going to be hugely powerful, and exactly that. It's not specific to specifically BlackLivesMatter but it's very strong statement about who we are and the journey that's going to get us there. CBS could not have been a better partner on that front.
Q. Question on setup or general philosophy or the path you've decided to travel. How do you create a thorough test and a tough test and yet make sure it's a fair test? And was there an early PGA Championship that shaped how you would set up for years to come?
KERRY HAIGH: I guess I would say, we look at every championship; each golf course is different. So it's not just do it this way or do it that way. I think we try and bring out whatever we can in every golf course we play, and I think it is the question of studying the golf course as best you can. Learn as well as the players can learn it, or in our own way, so that, you know, you know its nuances and hopefully can find a way to bring out what makes a golfer think, and not just the best players in the world, but what any golfer would do on the tee. If something makes you think or how you've got to play it or think about it, then, you know, that to me makes a golf course more interesting and more challenging and more fun to play.
We are all playing this for fun, and although the players here obviously it's their livelihood and it's a major championship, but the reason golf is such a beautiful game and we all love it, we can all face those same challenges on the tee and in the fairway and around the green. Anytime we can make anyone think while you're playing the game, that's what's great about it.
Take it one day at a time, and you're only as good as your next day. Very nice things to say, but you've got to be careful every day, every hole location, every round, every tee. Nobody means to make errors but everybody in this business that tries to set up, you end up making errors. You just hope that it's not through a lack of trying and doing your best to make that challenge what it should be for the best players in the world. That's why hopefully you don't see us, we're not there, it's the players against the golf course showcasing their skills and may the best players win and let's have a great championship week, because I can't wait for tomorrow morning.
SETH WAUGH: Julius, before we go, I want to thank everybody for coming. There's so many great folks and friends out there. I just wanted to tell you a quick story.
A man wrote me a beautiful note last year after our PGA Championship, and that's Jack Whitaker, who we lost last year, who died on my birthday last year, believe it or not. Great reminder, and his letter was sort of one of his essays, if you will, and I just wanted to kind of recognize him and others, and Ken Venturi and some others, who have been so noble in this profession. My parents were teachers, and I think writing and teaching is such a noble profession, and reporting, and just thank you guys for all you do all week.
And the last thing I want to say in terms of walking on the lead, when I talked about the storylines this week, I failed to talk about the most important one, the biggest one, and that's Brooks Koepka trying to three-peat, right, which has obviously never happened. Excited that he's found form and playing well, and I know he's built to this and it's a really important moment for him.
So we are all rooting for everybody, but that's a really cool story that's going on, and I just felt badly that I kind of whiffed on it earlier.
Anyway, thank you, everybody. Have a great week. I hope I see some of you in person and appreciate what you do for us all year long.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you, Seth.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports