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Presenting the Wanamaker Trophy to Tiger Woods was a highlight of Brian Whitcomb's week. (E.M. Pio Roda/PGA.com)
Presenting the Wanamaker Trophy to Tiger Woods was a highlight of Brian Whitcomb's week. (E.M. Pio Roda/PGA.com)

Whitcomb Blog: Thanks and congratuations to Tulsa

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In the final edition of his blog from Southern Hills, PGA of America President Brian Whitcomb offers his appreciation to PGA Champion Tiger Woods and, just as important, to everyone in Oklahoma who made the week such a success. 

TULSA, Okla. -- As we conclude the 89th PGA Championship, I want to take this moment to do something that is first and foremost on my mind: I need to say "Thank You" and "Congratulations" to a wide range of people who made this championship as unbelievable and incredible as it was.

Russ Myers, the Superintendent here at Southern Hills, and his crew have done one of the most marvelous jobs of course preparation and maintenance I've ever seen. To keep this course in such incredible condition in the sweltering heat and also have it be a great test for the world's best players, it has been unbelievable. They deserve a huge tip of the cap from everyone.

Also, the staff and membership here at Southern Hills, they have embraced the challenge and the enormity of hosting this championship and have done a simply remarkable job. The community of Tulsa and the state of Oklahoma deserve great praise. They are knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and gracious, and we couldn't ask for better support. Thank you so much. And of course, the 3000 volunteers who gave their week in this heat to support the game of golf and this championship, I wish I could thank them all personally because this tournament can't happen without them.

I also want to take a moment and acknowledge all 20 of the PGA Golf Professionals that competed this week in this championship and give a special congratulations to Ryan Benzel and Mike Small for making the cut and playing into the weekend. These two men represent the very best of what club professionals are all about. They promote the game always, they teach the game, and they showed that many PGA Club Professionals can play the game at its very highest level.

Think about some of the players who did not make the cut -- that shows you what a challenge it is to make it to the weekend, and these guys did. Mike Small, who had an incredibly busy week playing in two tournaments, has long distinguished himself as an elite player, and his winning the Low PGA Club Professional Award only emphasizes that about him.

So think about that: These 20 PGA Professionals took a week off of work to come play in a major championship and two of them are playing on the weekend while a few others came very close to making the cut. Absolutely amazing. We are very proud that these individuals represent all the men and women of the PGA of America.

And as for the tournament, well, what can I say that hasn't been said a million times before. Obviously, we are honored and thrilled to have Tiger Woods be our champion. What a performance he put on this week and what a terrific asset he is to the game of golf.

I'll let all the writers and reporters in the media tent talk about his incredible win, but I'll say that you couldn't find a finer person to represent your championship -- either on or off the course. He is as great a person outside the ropes as he is a tremendous talent when he tees it up. Obviously, that's saying something, but I mean it sincerely.

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And so what's next? Well, the first thing is to take a deep breath. As an organization, we'll take a little bit of time to celebrate because we have something very special to celebrate. This has been a superb championship and we have a great champion to represent us for the next year.

But after that, it's right back to work. We have our fiduciary and professional responsibility to debrief; find out what we did very well and what we did that we can improve for the 90th PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. Our goal is to have the ultimate experience for the players and the fans so we are constantly looking for new ways to enhance their experience at our championship. So yes, our goal is to present the next PGA Championship even better than this one was, if that's even possible.

So, short celebration, and then back to work.

Thank you to everyone who's been watching on TV or via the Internet, and of course, for reading my thoughts each day. I hope you have all enjoyed the great action from the course. Thank you for all of your support to our championship, our great association and its programs, and for taking part in the world's greatest game.

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