6-14 Press Conference with Jay Monahan

6-14 Press Conference with PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan

Press Conference
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us this afternoon. We've got a group of media members who have been here all week in the media center at the Charles Schwab Challenge. I know they're eager to hear from you. We'll go right into questions.
Q. Jay, if you're being really honest with yourself, what was your biggest concern as everyone started showing up in Fort Worth for the week?
JAY MONAHAN: Biggest concern? I think the biggest concern given the amount of time that we put into our testing and safety protocols was that even though we felt really good about the plan we had in place, if we saw the number of tests that were positive or we got into a situation where we were dealing with a number of positive tests, that's something, candidly, that I lost a lot of sleep over in the weeks that preceded coming in there.
A lot of challenges, but I would say that would probably have been the biggest concern because it's the one that we've all been dealing with, wrestling with, trying to understand and trying to prepare for.
Q. I just was wondering, obviously we don't have a winner yet, but where we stand right now, is there a favorite moment you've had this week and what is it? Even if it was just what you just talked about, having those tests cleared right off the bat, that first tee on Thursday?
JAY MONAHAN: Yeah, I think -- I would say it's hard to pick a favorite moment because there's so many along the way. I think just everybody being back together and being on property on Thursday, recognizing that the PGA TOUR was returning, and to see our players, to see all of you, to be back together in the environment of a PGA TOUR event, knowing the incredible amount of teamwork that went into getting there, and I think seeing players interact with each other, players and caddies interact with each other. It's almost like when you went away for school for the summer and then you come back in the fall, those first couple days, seeing people that you haven't seen in a while, it's that good feeling you have as a result of that. I think that was the thing that was to me really, really powerful and meaningful.
And then when you add on top of it the 8:46 moment, and I look at the caddie bibs and I see the respect that we as an organization were paying to the front line healthcare workers -- I mean, just a lot of things that roll up into it. But I think that Thursday morning was really, really a meaningful moment.
Q. If I could just ask you, is there anything that maybe you learned this week that you adjusted going forward as far as the plan, the things that you probably didn't know about a month ago when you came up with the plan?
JAY MONAHAN: I'm sure there are, and we're going to be on the phone later today and further tomorrow to talk about some of those things, but yeah, I'm sure there are adjustments that we'll make. That's a commitment that we made going into it. But I wouldn't say -- I would characterize any change that we're making as probably slight adjustments to a plan that we feel has worked very well thus far.
Q. I was wondering, is the feeling as you play out this week a sense of relief or a sense of excitement that everything is back and now you go forward?
JAY MONAHAN: I think it's a sense of excitement. You know, you can't have one without the other, I guess, in this environment. But we've got five or six holes left to go here and a great championship, and players have really played exceedingly well and handled this environment so, so well. So I'm excited to see how this concludes.
Our work, there's more work to be done. As I said to you guys earlier this week, this is about a sustained return, but I think as we sit here late in the day on Sunday, there's no question that this has been an exceptional week.
Q. I know you told us earlier this week that you heard from some of your peers in other sports wishing you good luck. I wondered if you'd heard from any of them this weekend or today, and I wondered also if they've expressed a desire for you guys to share notes from what you've learned during the lead-up and this week?
JAY MONAHAN: You know, I've heard from some of my peers, and I think as I mentioned as we go forward, we will share -- we'll share everything that we've learned and how we're applying our protocols, and I would imagine some of those calls will happen over the next several days. But I know there are a lot of people that when you're in an industry and you're in an important time like this where we're all trying to take our own respective sports and make sure that we're doing -- we are prioritizing the health and safety of our athletes and all of our constituents, really that each sport is different, I think that there is -- I know there's a lot of people that are watching us, and hopefully they're proud of what's been done here.
Q. I just wanted to get your take on what you thought of Colonial and Fort Worth and coming back here, and especially when you look two years ago this tournament was kind of in jeopardy without a title sponsor.
JAY MONAHAN: Well, I think the club has always been exceptional. I mentioned to you that right away the club and Charles Schwab raised their hand and said, when you reset the schedule, not only do we want to be back, but we'd like to be considered to be the first event. You saw Mayor Price was out here earlier in the week. We've had her support throughout. That has been very, very meaningful.
When you play at a venue like Colonial every year consecutively since 1946 and you have the rich history and tradition we have, and it's such a great golf course, to me it's the perfect course to come back to when you've been out 91 days. You know, I think we're really thankful for the partnership that we have with Colonial.
It's very different for them. Not only do they get to host this event every single year, but in that town and over the course of the week, it's an opportunity to showcase the beauty of their club and to be around their fellow members and friends, and a lot of that didn't happen, but it did not in any way take away from the energy, the commitment and the enthusiasm from the leadership of the club.
Q. I'm guessing you're watching the telecast right now; what's your take watching it without any fans? Is it different to you or does it seem the same?
JAY MONAHAN: Well, I'm not watching it now because I'm talking to you guys and I can't do two things at once, but I would say it's -- listen, it's different. It really is different, but I look at the work that Golf Channel and CBS have done, and again, I think what they've been able to produce and present to our fans is remarkable. It's different.
I also don't think -- to me what I really have focused on is the intensity of the competition and the intensity that you see and experience from the players, and whether it's those opening tee shots the last couple days, the close of the round yesterday, throughout the course of the day here, I get the same level, I get the same feeling in my stomach as I'm watching these players compete for a PGA TOUR win on Sunday.
But to not have the fan roars, to see the way players are responding when they're making birdies and there's not noise, I mean, that's just all of our -- that's a new reality for all of us. But I still as an obvious fan, I feel the intensity, and I think that's what fans are experiencing, as well.
Q. Given all the challenges that we've spoken about all week, is this everything you could have possibly asked for this week? Is there anything that could have gone better for you other than obviously not having fans here?
JAY MONAHAN: Listen, there is more work to be done, but this is a phenomenal start to our return. There's no question about it. A lot of people that deserve a lot of credit for that, our players certainly at the top of that list for all of their involvement in the weeks leading into this, and the way that they've come back and adapted to these new protocols, again, going back at that our partners at Colonial, our partners at Fort Worth, our partners at CBS, our partners at Golf Channel. A lot of us came together to be able to put the PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry TOUR back in play, and I think as we leave here with the first -- concluding the first week of a new safety and testing protocol, to not have had any issues, and for players to adapt to that system so well, and for us as a collective to be focused on what's actually happening inside the field of play, watching competition, I think it's gone -- yeah, to answer your question in a long way, I think it's gone about as well as we could have hoped for. I'm proud of our team for that.
Q. When we talk about a successful week, which it seems like on our end, as well, is the real measure not until next week when everyone turns up at Hilton Head? And kind of on that note, have you gotten any test results back from the boys who had to do it yesterday getting on the charter?
JAY MONAHAN: Yeah. You know, I think that's right. I was asked what's a successful week look like. It means us getting to the RBC Heritage and having another successful week next week. I was on the phone with our team earlier today up at the RBC Heritage, and I feel very good about the setup there, and we're ready to go again.
As it relates to testing from yesterday and the charter flight tomorrow, I don't have those results back. That flight leaves tomorrow. But all indications are that we should be in a good spot for that.
Q. One more thing on fans that was brought up because it was kind of cool to see people erect tents behind like 15, 16, 3, people sticking their nose through the fence, which is probably good optics. What about next week? Is there any concern security-wise of all the homes that line the fairway and how many people will try and spill out on to the course, or on the perimeter anyway?
JAY MONAHAN: You know, I think that -- listen, I do think that next week -- we've all experienced Harbour Town and seen the houses that line those fairways, and I suspect that you'll see, as we've seen in the past, a number of people in the back yards that are rooting on our players. I was out watching the final group today on the back nine of the Korn Ferry challenge and saw a lot of people out in their back yards rooting on the players today. I think we'll see a lot of that tomorrow, and obviously as a partner in that community and working with Steve there, I know they're going to be communicating the importance of social distancing even on the perimeters.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #166 at 2020-06-14 20:48:00 GMT