Ascension Charity Classic

Thursday, September 7, 2023

St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Norwood Hills Country Club

Jay Delsing

Press Conference

Q. What does it mean for you to be out here year three?

JAY DELSING: Oh, man, everything. It's hard to not get emotional. I look here and see what Norwood has done, what the members have done, what the St. Louis community has done.

I just went up and down the range, saw Tom Pernice, Duffy Waldorf, Fred Funk. Every single one of those guys said to me you guys are doing an amazing job here. They say I'm doing an amazing job. I'm like, Listen, I'm one of the team, the HNS team, the St. Louis community.

The charities are the winners. I really mean it. Nick Magone says that all the time. The money that we're raising is not just a throw-in. It really is meaningful.

So I'm just so proud. I love the fact that we have a tournament here and I can't wait to get going.

Q. How is your game coming into this week?

JAY DELSING: It's pretty good. It's actually pretty good. I don't play that much anymore, especially tournament golf. But I'm really excited for the challenge.

A couple of things, I don't putt out any short putts anymore, and I don't work on lies that are kind of difficult. You see the longer grass, so it's definitely challenging. I've been working on those the last couple weeks.

My body feels good, which has been the challenge for me for the last three, four years. Weather's perfect. Course is great. Sponsors, everything else is great. See what I got game-wise.

Q. You spent most of your career in what I would describe as the working class tour. Next year there's eight events for the working class are not invited. Obviously the TOUR is different today. How uncomfortable would you have been with a player knowing that percentage of the TOUR was not available? Do you think they should run an alternate site event?

JAY DELSING: That's a great question. I'm drawing a blank. The Mission Statement of the PGA TOUR is to provide playing opportunities for golf professionals. That's the Mission Statement. That's obviously very broad. You can't completely kowtow to the top end of the players of game. You just can't do that.

Look at what LIV is doing. They've turned the thing upside down. Greg Norman loves this disruptor role that he has. But it's turned the game into an exhibition. We've lost the competitive nature of that tour, right?

Now with what we're doing with these elevated events, I think it's going to remain to be seen. I don't like it off the cuff. I don't know what it's going to look like, so I'll reserve my final judgment.

The one thing that I love about golf, and I always have loved about golf, is that you are what you shoot. So play better. Everything was spelled out for me in my career: if I played better, I could have been No. 1 in the world. I was striving to be No. 1 in the world. I never got there because I didn't play well enough.

Honestly, the fact that all I had to do was look myself in the mirror and say, Dude, this is on you, play better. I like that. I really do.

That being said, the TOUR is more and more competitive now than it's ever been. It's extremely difficult. There's a lot of money to go around. I just don't know if this is a great way to do it. I really don't.

I'm going to reserve judgment because I don't really know. I was just reading about how the guys get back on TOUR this year. Through the Korn Ferry, now there's going to be a qualifying tournament for five spots to get you back on the PGA TOUR. I didn't know that. That's happening this year.

There's so many changes. I'm in the weeds. I read all the time. I'm not sure what it's going to look like. I'm a little concerned, though.

I love the PGA TOUR. It's been a dream come true to be a member, a lifetime member, but I don't like our reactionary maneuvers when it comes to LIV. In my opinion, we should have tapped the brakes, huddled as an organization, and we should have come out with a plan that wasn't so similar. I think it's just too similar.

Q. If you could go back to your younger days on TOUR, say first 10 years, is there a decision that you made that you'd make differently now?

JAY DELSING: No, I don't think so. I was just in that era that the tech wasn't important or wasn't even available. We didn't know what we didn't know. Golf balls changed. We just changed with them.

I can remember when we changed from the Balata ball to the Professional. I'm like, I can't hit this Professional. It doesn't stay in the air, it doesn't curve as much, all these different things.

Guess what? Two years later the Balata is gone. With what it is now, I mean, my game would have suited the modern game extremely well. I was wild off the tee but really long. What I did was a 1-iron and I pulled back. What the kids do now, they just bomb it then wait till they have a good week putting, then hopefully they win a tournament. My game would have suited that well.

I have no regrets, man. I'm probably the luckiest guy to be standing behind the microphone. I love what's happened to me. I love the fact that I'm 62 and I still get to play.

Do I wish my career would have been better? Yeah. But again, the mirror. The mirror doesn't lie. I did what I did and I get to wear it now. I did the best I could with what I knew. That's all I can say.



FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
136546-1-1004 2023-09-07 18:13:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129