TOUR Championship

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

East Lake Golf Club

Jay Monahan

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome to the TOUR Championship and our season-ending PGA TOUR update press conference with Commissioner Jay Monahan. I'm Laura Neal from the TOUR communications team and I wanted to thank everyone for joining us.

At this time it's my pleasure to turn things over to PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. Jay, it's certain to be an exciting and compelling finish to the FedExCup playoffs as we, our super season comes to a closeout after 50 events. I know that you have some opening remarks and then we'll go to questions.

Jay, go ahead.

JAY MONAHAN: Thanks, Laura. Really excited to be here today, really excited to be at the TOUR Championship for what promises to be an exciting week and an exciting conclusion to our 2020-2021 FedExCup regular season. I can't wait to see what transpires over the four days of competition and to crown our FedExCup champion on Sunday.

Now in its 21st playing at East Lake golf club, the impact the TOUR Championship continues to make is due to the support of Coca Cola and Southern Company. The tournament's charitable initiatives are creating positive change in this thriving community, including the East Lake Foundation, Purpose Built Schools Atlanta, Grove Park Foundation, and First Tee Metro Atlanta.

We thank and congratulate all involved, including and especially our incredible hosts Tom and Ann Cousins, for what's been accomplished throughout Atlanta over the two decades-plus together.

Our players are excited to have fans back here at East Lake. Since we returned to normal capacity in late May, we have appreciated their support in following our health and safety protocols to ensure their well-being and that of others.

Tonight we look forward to joining Tracey Stewart and her family in presenting Justin Rose with the Payne Stewart Award, a TOUR Championship tradition that dates back to 2000. This is undoubtedly one of the most special nights of the year as we recognize the life of Payne Stewart and honor Justin for his many contributions to our game both on and off the course.

This season we have seen more star power than ever before. We have the perfect balance of both young and established stars competing for the FedExCup this week. The 30 players who made it to the finish line here in Atlanta have all thrived on the biggest stages this season and this week will be no different given the spectacular golf we witnessed the last two weeks at the Northern Trust and the BMW Championships with sudden death playoffs at both events.

Couple that with the competitive friction we have witnessed, 14 playoffs. Think about that. Over 40 holes contested. We have had an 8-hole playoff at the Travelers Championship, a 7-hole playoff for the bronze medal at the Olympic games, a six-player playoff at the Wyndham Championship, four consecutive with two to conclude our FedExCup regular season and two to start our FedExCup playoffs. Add to that the fact that we have not had a 54-hole leader win outright since Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship has made for great theater throughout the season.

As we cap off year 15 of the FedExCup playoffs, it's abundantly clear that the top players in the world want to write a chapter in its growing history. 30 of the top 30 in the official World Golf Ranking qualify for the 2021 FedExCup playoffs and it's certainly become part of the fabric of the PGA TOUR for our players and fans.

Looking ahead, the PGA TOUR is in a position for unprecedented growth over the next 10 years, starting with the 2021-22 season. Next season official prize money will increase by approximately $35,000,000 and the FedExCup Comcast Business TOUR top-10 bonus pool combined will grow by $15,000,000 to $85,000,000. This total of $633,000,000 in comprehensive earnings marks an 18 percent increase year over year.

We're also excited to kick off our new domestic media rights agreements with CBS, NBC Golf Channel, and ESPN in 2022. These media companies share our vision for the future and these landmark partnerships that run through 2030 will be a major win for our fans as we expand and innovate our content and its delivery.

We recently announced the 2021-' 22 PGA TOUR schedule that includes for the first time three co-sanctioned events with our partners at the European Tour. This is just the first step in a strategic alliance that we will continue to build on in the coming years. With that said, I wanted to give several updates on the schedule since we made that announcement just a few weeks ago.

First, our plan is to play the 2021 ZOZO Championship as scheduled in October at Accordia Golf's Narashino Country Club outside Tokyo. ZOZO has been great partner and we have been in regular contact with the government and local authorities about the plans to successfully stage this event this fall. The successful and safe golf competitions at the Tokyo Olympic games helped provide some confidence going forward there.

Second, following discussions with HSBC, we can confirm the cancellation of the 2021 WGC-HSBC Champions. Although it's unfortunate to have to do so, we must ensure that we abide by the epidemic prevention policies of different markets which may cause inconvenience to the players and make tournament operations very challenging. Therefore, after careful consideration we had to make this difficult decision to cancel the event.

Finally, with the cancellation of the HSBC Champions event, we are excited to announce that the Bermuda Championship will be played as a stand-alone event with full FedExCup points and an increase in the purse size.

I would now like to spend some time revisiting a conversation and commitment the PGA TOUR made one year ago this week. At the 2020 TOUR Championship, I sat here and pledged that the PGA TOUR would be part of the conversation and the solution surrounding racial and social injustices in our society. We made a commitment to communicate, learn, show compassion, and ultimately demand better. That started with and, frankly, continues with doing a lot more listening than talking.

Last year we launched our commitment of at least a hundred million dollars over 10 years, headed by our vice president of Community and Inclusion, Marcia Oliver, to support racial equity and inclusion efforts.

We're working with our tournaments and their local communities to build on the incredible impact they're making already through increased understanding, support, and engagement with non-profits leading equity and inclusion work. One aspect of our focus is helping to grow diversity inside the ropes through our expanded relationship with the APGA TOUR. Working closely with A PGA president and Executive Director Ken Bentley, we have already seen progress with players like Willie Mack, III, competing successfully on the PGA TOUR. Willie won the inaugural Billy Horschel APGA TOUR Invitational presented by Cisco, hosted by our 2014 FedExCup champion at TPC Sawgrass. And with his victory at the APGA Mastercard TOUR Championship, Willie receives a full scholarship into Korn Ferry TOUR qualifying school.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. What we're doing today is identifying, preparing, and transitioning top African American collegiate golfers into professional golf. The efforts of Kenyatta Ramsey, a PGA TOUR employee since 2008, have been instrumental in our progress in the player diversity space. Kenyatta now oversees this relationship in an official capacity as senior director player development.

That's where we are, that's where we were, excuse me, and where we are.

Next I'd like to share where we're going. First, there's our new grant program supporting the nation's historically black colleges and universities. Expanded collaboration with HBCUs is a key point of emphasis moving forward, and thanks to our partners at United Airlines, we're pleased to announce that every one of the 51 current men's and women's HBCU golf programs across the country will receive a $10,000 grant. We're thankful to United Airlines for taking initiative in supporting the HBCU grant program, which will give so many schools the opportunity to travel and compete in new events for the first time and we look forward to announcing full program details soon.

Next, there's the APGA TOUR Farmers Insurance fall series. The top 3 ranked players from this new three-event series will be invited to play in the 2022 APGA TOUR Farmers Insurance Invitational played opposite the TOUR event at Torrey Pines.

In addition, Worldwide Technology is now title sponsor of the APGA player development program which will provide vital new resources to the APGA TOUR and its players.

Another significant focus for the PGA TOUR is a reinforced commitment to First Tee, particularly within marginalized and underserved areas of communities in training more coaches from diverse backgrounds to serve as mentors to our chapters. For the last 18 months First Tee has been working on a $200 dollars fundraising campaign of which more than $125 million has been raised to date. The majority of those funds have come in after the TOUR's diversity equity and inclusion pledge that we made here last year. A portion of those dollars raised will go toward direct financial support of diversity and inclusion initiatives. Our goal is to weave diversity, equity, and inclusion into all fabrics of the PGA TOUR's business. In fact, we recently launched the Office of Social Responsibility and Inclusion led by Neera Shetty, who's been an instrumental leader of the TOUR's Inclusion Leadership Counsel.

The creation of an Office of Social Responsibility and Inclusion is the next step in our foundational commitment to this area. We will work across our tours and with our tournaments, sponsors, and partners to identify ways to have a positive impact both socially and environmentally in the communities where we play.

The golf industry is working together like never before and despite the challenges of the pandemic, the continued growth we have seen in recreational participation and in growing and diversifying our sport, our global game has never been stronger. Thank you, and thank you all for your coverage throughout the year. On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I and we appreciate all you do and the sacrifices you make to cover us throughout this year, especially across this Super Season.

Before I open it up, Laura, to questions, I just, I wanted to take a minute to address a topic that's been top of mind lately for our players, fans, and of course, for those of you in the media. I'm talking about fan behavior and the interaction with our athletes, when that behavior crosses the line and what we should all be doing to address it when it does.

It's been a long season, yes, but it's been a fantastic season. 50 events, THE PLAYERS Championship, six majors, the Olympics, these four consecutive playoffs, two to start the FedExCup playoffs and here we are at the TOUR Championship. It's been historic and compelling at every single turn. All of that on the heels of a lot of pent up demand with people stuck at home separated from their favorite sports and athletes like never before due to COVID and the various and necessary health and safety protocols in place to ensure we can get back to playing. It's been frustrating at times for all of us and then we get the opportunity to finally engage with our favorite sports or teams or players.

Well, I think we can all agree that we have seen issues as of late across the sports landscape where that pent up demand plays out in an ugly way. Golf is not immune from unfortunate and disruptive behavior, although I would say that we do have the very best fans in the world. This is about just a few bad actors. And for the record, this isn't about any one particular player or one particular incident, but in some situations it's apparent that we have gotten away from the very civility and respect that are hallmarks to our great game.

We began working on an updated fan code of conduct program in 2020, but put it aside last summer when we were playing without spectators and needed our focus to be on implementing the complicated yet necessary health and safety plan. Once we began returning to normal capacity, we made it the highest of priorities to reinforce an environment at PGA TOUR events that allows for everyone to enjoy in a safe environment, and that is spectators players, volunteers, literally everybody.

We have to be intentional about our expectations for fan behavior and I believe our fan code of conduct does that. By coming to a PGA TOUR event, you're expected to contribute to a welcoming and safe environment by refraining from and reporting any unsafe, disruptive, or harassing behavior. Comments or gestures that undermine the inclusive and welcoming nature of the game will not be tolerated, nor will any harassment of players, caddies, volunteers, officials, staff, or other spectators.

Fans who breach our code of conduct are subject to expulsion from the tournament and loss of their credential or ticket. Now, I would ask our fans, again, the very best fans in the world, to take a moment and think about what it means to be a golf fan and to enjoy a PGA TOUR tournament. We're going to be leaders in this space. We're going to show everyone how easy it is to enjoy yourself at an event while also respecting the athletes in the field of play and the fans around you, many of whom are families with young kids who have a chance to be lifetime fans of the game themselves. Quite honestly, we should expect nothing less from each other, whether we're at a golf tournament or elsewhere in life.

As always, I look forward to the fantastic support of our fans in Atlanta this week as they help us close out what will certainly be a season to remember for all the right reasons. Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Jay. I would now like to open it up to questions.

Q. If I can just follow up on your last as it applies to the very real world situation with Bryson, would "Brooksie," would that qualify as had a razzing behavior?

JAY MONAHAN: I'm sorry, you broke up there.

Q. Sorry. Would "Brooksie" classify as harassing behavior when it's said to Bryson on a golf course?

JAY MONAHAN: Yes, and the reason I say yes is, you know, the barometer that we are all using is the word "respect," and to me, when you hear "Brooksie" yelled or you hear any expression yelled, the question is, is that respectful or disrespectful? That has been going on for an extended period of time. To me, at this point, it's disrespectful, and that's kind of behavior that we're not going to tolerate going forward.

Q. To follow up on that, have you talked with Bryson and Brooks and have you asked them to sort of ratchet down the, you know, kind of the back and forth that's going on here for the last few months?

JAY MONAHAN: I've had conversations with both players. These observations go back to pre-COVID as it relates to general concern around code of conduct at our tournaments and they certainly exist prior to that analysis that the team had led, and so -- and I've been out over the last, at a lot of our tournaments this year, particularly since our return to play, and this issue isn't specific to one or two players. I think it's an opportunity to reassess overall civility at our tournament and fan behavior and reset the expectation through our fan code of conduct.

That's something that we have identified. It's something that I've talked to not only those two players, but a lot of our players about. It's something I've talked to our partners in the industry about, and we have all agreed that together we have got to come together and demonstrate what is truly exceptional about our game. And if you go back to the history of the game, the values of honor, integrity, respect that have been central fabric to the game since the point in time, our expectation is that that's what we're going to experience at our tournaments.

And I made the point earlier about families and kids, and we have volunteers that are giving so much of their time, and the game has never had more people coming into enjoy the game and experience it than we have had really over these last several months, and we want more people to come in. We just want to make certain that everybody can have a safe, healthy, and enjoyable experience, whether you're inside the ropes or outside the ropes and that's what we're intending to do.

Q. Can I ask you a question with your European Tour board hat on. Without stating the obvious, what's the benefit for the European Tour players playing in the co-sanctioned events in the States, apart from the obvious of getting a TOUR card? And on the back of that question, if I may, there was a bit of talk about the fact that the Scottish Open is probably one of the premier events of the tournament European Tour, but the two co-sanctioned events, without taking anything away from those two events, they're sort of on a lesser scale than, say, a Memorial or an AT&T Pebble Beach or a Genesis Invitational. So I'm just wondering whether in going forward, can we see events of the stature of a Scottish Open being co-sanctioned with those bigger events on the PGA TOUR?

JAY MONAHAN: I think putting my European Tour board hat on, I think you have to look at the Scottish Open and the Barracuda and Barbasol events as a collective. And I think that the Scottish Open itself, with inclusion of half of the field of PGA TOUR members and the strength of the field that the European TOUR brings to that event, I think puts us in a position where you've got a great fan for players, a great event, excuse me, for players, for fans, and you've got an event that now has a great runway thanks to the sponsorship by Genesis of the Scottish Open.

And then I think that when you look at those two weeks and you look at those two events now where you've got 50 players that will be participating from the European Tour, those players not -- most of those players not competing during those two weeks, it gives them an opportunity to come, to come play in those two events to enhance their position as European Tour members. Should they win, it gives them the opportunity to potentially pursue a career on the PGA TOUR and ultimately, I think, for the world to see PGA TOUR European Tour players playing together back-to-back in these opposite events with more high quality fields than we have had in the past here or the PGA TOUR's had in the past, I think it's a positive all the way around.

And as it relates to any future scenarios, you guys are far better at the hypotheticals than I am, but this is just, this is, as I said, this is just the start of our alliance. It's a demonstration of what we can and will do together and we're spending a lot of time together thinking about what those opportunities might look like, what a future product model might look like, and I'm excited to get to work next week to be with Keith and the team.

Q. While stating the obvious that the pandemic is not over yet, so far we're a year and a half into it, and I think anyone would fairly judge that the PGA TOUR's come through with flying colors. But I would like to ask you, going back to the spring and summer of 2020, it wasn't at all clear that things would go this well. Things were really uncertain. And hopefully this question is easier to answer now, but I would like to know, what were the most challenging moments, what time period was, I don't know if scary is the word, but challenging and uncertain? Just to get a peek behind what you guys were all doing at that point.

JAY MONAHAN: Well, to the first part of your question, we're still going through it and we're still not without our challenges and we're still looking at those challenges day-to-day, market to market, and making the best decisions we can alongside community partners, health officials, and medical experts.

But I think when you go back to that period of time, it's really hard to pinpoint one particular moment because whether you're talking about when we stepped aside at THE PLAYERS Championship, whether you're talking about the 91 days between THE PLAYERS Championship and our return, and then when you're looking at those first five weeks, the reality is the PGA TOUR, like every other organization, was dealing with a ton of uncertainty.

And so I just go back to that entire period of time and I'm proud of the way our team, our players, embraced the fact that we were dealing with uncertainty and working with our board, tried to just make steadily make rational decisions about our return to golf always with health and safety as our No. 1 priority. I think once you got into it, you never know how things are going to work until you get into it. In our case, it was returning at Charles Schwab, and then I think up until Friday of RBC Heritage we were, we didn't have any positive tests, and I think in the days and weeks that followed, we started to get some, and that entire period was gut wrenching.

But we recognize that we were going to need to learn to live with this and we were going to need to continue to make adjustments as we went forward and I think that we, I think that's exactly what we did, and that's exactly what we'll continue to do as long as we're forced to continue to deal with this pandemic.

Q. What are your concerns about having a player in Bryson, who very well could win this thing and who is one of the biggest stars on TOUR, not, not communicating with the media now, and what are his responsibilities in addressing some of the issues that you've addressed as far as fan conduct or anything else that comes up over the course of a tournament?

JAY MONAHAN: Yeah, listen, I think that as it relates to Bryson, listen, Bryson is a star. He has fascinated golf and sport fans around the world since our return to golf. He's also a young man that's growing and evolving, not just on the golf course, but off the golf course. And I would just say to you that I look at this as a point in time. I don't think this is the way things are going to be for a long period of time. I'm hopeful that we'll get back to a steady cadence of communication that he'll have with the media. But he's working through some things and he's going to have my and our support as he continues to do so.

And, listen, I think that as it relates to general fan behavior and any individual's role in it, I take it, I take that on as an organizational responsibility. We have had challenges in the past. We'll have challenges as we continue to go forward. And so long as we build the right systems, we effectively communicate with every one of our tournaments, we are planning and preplanning effectively, the marketplace knows the expectation when we're on-site, I think that we're going to, you know, we're going to get back to, we're going to get back to a great environment. We have a great environment. We'll continue to improve our environment at our tournaments going forward.

Q. Just to follow on that, on Bryson, do you think it's a bad look that a guy almost shoots 59 and won't speak to the guy who almost wins the tournament and have you talked to him about that?

JAY MONAHAN: I've talked to Bryson about a lot of things and obviously our preference would be to have him talking to the media, you know, and on a regular basis, and certainly in that instance when he has a historic performance.

But like I said, we're in the situation we're in right now. I don't, I'm hopeful that that will not be the case on along-term basis, and I think that sometimes as hard as it is to contemplate and understand, I think human beings and individuals need some space, and I think that's what's going on right now.

And as I said, I think when we look at this over the long run, I think that this is something that he'll get through. He'll get to the other side of and he'll be better for it. But that's my perspective on it. It's not binary, you know, he's working through it in a way that he feels is best for him and he knows he has my and our support.

Q. Have you ever considered, as they do in tennis, any type of a fine for players not fulfilling media obligations if they are indeed media obligations?

JAY MONAHAN: I would just say to you, in any instance, we're always going to focus on the player, the relationship with the player, understanding the player, trying to work with them to get to the right place and try and understand what's going through their heads. And so a fine, I'm not sure what that is going to do for us in the long run. Ultimately we want the player presenting his best self when he's in front of the media, when he's in front of fans, and that's ultimately the goal for any player that's in a situation like that.

Q. Last week was the first time in PGA TOUR history that two guys finished 27-under or better in a 72-hole stroke play event. Obviously there's been a ton of rain in the area, can't really get the courses firm, but is that too low? Is there a point where the course is not fighting back enough?

JAY MONAHAN: We're an outdoor sport. We don't get to choose our conditions. When it rains like it rained the first two weeks and you put the best players in the world on any golf course, they're going to have the upper hand. And that's what happened here. And the bottom line is, I look at those two weeks and my question is, how do you replicate that environment more often? We had two extremely compelling events that ended in playoffs, and in the case this past week, I don't know if I've ever seen a conclusion to an event and a playoff like the one that we saw.

So you want these golf courses to -- and the golf courses themselves, they want to have perfect weather coming in so that they can prepare the golf course in the best possible manner. Unfortunately, it's just, that's not always doable. I'm really proud of the teams that we have at Liberty National and at Caves Valley, the superintendents, the staff. It's just incredible that we were able to get those two events in in the manner that we did.

And you know I'm an optimist. I look at that situation and, I got more text messages in the last couple weeks about those two events than I have in almost any event in a long period of time. They have captured the attention of everybody and I think they have served us exceedingly well as we walk into this week's TOUR Championship.

Q. Two quick things: One, you talked about the success of this season. Do you recall going out on such a high note? Because obviously we were at the BMW championships and you can't pray for a better scenario than what you guys, what the guys put on there. And the second thing is, I don't know if it's more of a question or a comment, but speaking of Bryson, isn't it, so I guess it is a question, that in his case, he's changed his entire philosophy, his approach to the game, and so he's undergoing a lot of evolution, if you will, the evolution of Bryson. Doesn't that play a, do you believe that plays a factor in the quote/unquote behavior that everyone is talking about?

JAY MONAHAN: Yeah, well, on the first part of your question, I think that these are extraordinary times, and as we come in here to this week, I just can't wait to see what unfolds over the four days of competition. And for me, the pride I have is in every one of our players, every one of our tournaments, thankful that we continue to be so welcomed in every community where we play, thankful that charity organizations we support, thankful for the way that we have worked together with our industry partners to grow our respective tours and events and grow our game, thankful for the way people are embracing our game like never before, and this is the end to our season, our 2020-2021 season, and I'm excited to continue that momentum as we go into next year. And any -- we have had so many great years, it's hard to compare one to another. But as I stand here today as the leader of this organization, again, I'm really proud of everybody that's gotten us to this point and it's a legion of people.

And then I think that your question and observation is a good one and I don't know if, I've been thinking a lot about this, I don't know, since we returned to golf, I don't know of a player that's gone through a metamorphosis like Bryson has in such a short period of time, and he's continuing to push himself, to challenge conventional wisdom, to find unique ways to improve his game and create a difference in his game, and with it, and with the, with becoming a star, a superstar, a global presence, that brings new responsibilities.

And that's not something everybody's prepared for in their life. That's something that you grow into. And that's what he's doing. And by the way, he's done a lot of things exceptionally well. You watch him interact with kids, you look at the care he takes for, in youth golf. Look at him going out and competing in a long drive contest. There's so many wonderful things he's doing to shine a light on our game and to me this is, and I know it feels bigger to everybody else in this call, in the grand scheme of things, this is a moment in time and it's not as large, to me, it's something that he's going to, he's doing so many wonderful things, I don't think it should take away from all that great work and it's not going to.

Q. It's my understanding that the player impact program will run through the end of the year, that it won't be a seasonal thing. I'm curious, without giving a specific example of a player, but I'm sure you've seen the list, can you give me an example of maybe content or an engagement that counts as added value when it comes to the metrics that you're using?

JAY MONAHAN: Well, we're using five different criteria, to all of which are equally weighted. And you look at Nielsen, your Saturday and Sunday time on television, to Google Search to Meltwater, to MVP Index, and to, bear with me here, it's at the back of my head, I'll come up with it. But each of these areas lead up to a player's ranking. And the bottom --

Q. Q Rating.


Q. I believe Q Rating was the one you were thinking of.

JAY MONAHAN: Q Rating, yes.

The bottom line is when you look at any of those metrics, it's all about, for us, it's all about getting our players to engage in our game, help grow our TOUR, and help grow their own respective brands. And if you look at what drives engagement, it's on-course performance, and that's, that is part of the basis for the way the Player Impact Program was developed. You've seen how everybody's performed this year, and I think as we look at it and you think about the way that fans and the major story lines on the way fans have engaged, players have engaged fans through those channels, I think it's fairly intuitive.

The point I would make is that we're up, you know, this year we're up 41 percent when you look at cross-channel consumption. We're up across every metric. And I think that's, first and foremost, because of the quality of play, but I also think we're benefiting from some really powerful engagement from our players day-to-day and doing the things I just described.

Q. You kind of touched on some of this earlier, still having to endure the pandemic issues. Any consideration to bringing testing back for the players and support people or whatever on-site when the new season begins?

JAY MONAHAN: I think that the easiest way for me to answer that is that we're at, we need to respond to the realities of the pandemic and ultimately for us, that's a matter of working with our medical experts, continuing to follow CDC guidelines, and then most importantly, working very closely with local and state health officials or country health officials.

So, I mean, I think you're starting to see -- we do have some pre-event testing now, particularly when you're going into the international markets. Based on where we are, we don't, in the short term, we don't see that as a need given where we are from a vaccination standpoint and where we are from our own protocols and their acceptance with those local and state health officials.

But if we have learned one thing, things could change with this pandemic, and for us, we'll be in a position to do what we think is going to ensure the health and safety of our players, fans, everybody that's on-site at our tournaments.

Q. With some uncertainty with HSBC, not just this year, I'm not sure the length of the contract, actually, and could you just give an idea of where you see the WGCs in the next few years? Can you ever get to a point where Austin is still a match play, just not a WGC? How would you answer that?

JAY MONAHAN: I would -- we have two WGCs. It's unfortunate that we're not going to be able to play in Shanghai. I expect that we will be playing there as soon as it's acceptable, feasible, to do so, from a pandemic standpoint. We feel like we have got a long-term commitment to that marketplace in the form of a WGC.

And I think the same would hold true for the Dell, the WGC Dell Match Play. I think that those two events will continue to be World Golf Championships, certainly for the foreseeable future. I think, to answer your question, you know, I see the WGCs continuing to play an important role in our schedule, but I also think you know that when you add our European Tour strategic alliance, when you have an organization that's continuously challenging itself to improve its product, improve its schedule, continue to provide the single greatest platform for top players in the world, everything becomes in play when you're going through how you might get there.

So, unfortunately -- with certainty, I can tell you that those two events are carrying forward, and long-term, I just think that we're going to continue to make them an important part of our consideration.

Q. Can you see adding one or can you get by with two?

JAY MONAHAN: I could see adding one. I certainly could see that. I would also say that it's, again, the reason that we're at two, when you go back to our schedule announcement, was that the Northern Trust was not going to continue as our first FedExCup playoff event. That gave us an opportunity to initiate our FedExCup playoffs at TPC Southwind, which then led to the opportunity we had with the Genesis Scottish Open, the two opposite events, and what I think is a really strong sequence from that period, the three events leading into the FedExCup playoffs going forward.

So that's kind of, the vagaries of the schedule create opportunities, openings, and decisions that we make, and we always do it through the lens of what's the best possible schedule for players.

Q. Could you confirm what Rex said, that the PIP is going to be through the end of the year? I'm not sure you really answered that part when he brought that up. And also, is the quote/unquote winner of this or the people that are in the money, so to speak, is that ever going to be made public?

JAY MONAHAN: It is through the end of the year, and we don't have any intention on publicizing it.

Q. Why is that?

JAY MONAHAN: To us, it's a program that we created, was created by our players, with our players, for our players, and that's, that's what we decided that we were going to do when we created it.

Q. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being the apocalypse is upon us, how concerned are you that there could be a renegade tour starting in the next year or so?

JAY MONAHAN: I'm a hundred percent focused on our business and excited to be here at the TOUR Championship to complete this unbelievable season, to go into 2021-2022 with not only an incredibly strong schedule with great committed tournaments, but to be fully sponsored coming out of, coming through a pandemic, for us to have record consumption over the course of this year, taking that momentum into next year, for the value of the platform that these players are continuing to play on, for that to continue to grow, for the close work and relationship we have with our players and the way that we're going to continue to not only evolve our TOUR, but also evolve our game.

I'm incredibly thankful for the charities and the fact as we worked through a pandemic we're going to get back to or exceed numbers that we have had in the past. I'm incredibly thankful, I mean, proud of the fact that we have got these industry relationships where we're not only working very closely together to grow our respective events and tours, but together making a huge impact on our game.

So that's what I, you know, that's what I have been focused on, that's what I'll continue to be focused on and I think in life you always have to be cognizant of, No. 1, there should be zero complacency to anything you do and No. 2, someone is always going to try and do, someone is always going to try and take, compete and take something away from you. And I've operated that way every day of my life and I think that's why, with the great team I have surrounded by me, we're going to continue to grow this great TOUR.

Q. Would that be a not at all?

JAY MONAHAN: I told you what I'm focused on. So it's, yeah, that's what I'm focused on.

THE MODERATOR: That concludes our Q&A. Jay, as always, thank you for your time and we appreciate our friends from the media joining as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
111970-1-1044 2021-08-31 16:17:00 GMT

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