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Whitcomb Blog: Reflecting on a wonderful week so far
In his fourth blog from the 89th PGA Championship at Southern Hills, PGA of America President Brian Whitcomb reflects on his week up to Saturday, including his meetings with local officials, a couple special dinners and a word of thanks to the media.
TULSA, Okla. -- As weekend play started today at the 89th PGA Championship, I had a chance to reflect for moment on what an amazing week it's been up until now. Watching the greatest players in the world compete on this superb golf course is such a treat for me, as a fan of the game as well as an officer of the PGA of America.
One of the great ironies about being president of the PGA of America during the PGA Championship is that I don't get to watch near as much golf as I would like. All of the officers are packed with many meetings, events, and media obligations.
We've met with so many local officials, including the governor of Oklahoma, mayors, congressman, taken part in many community outreach programs, Play Golf America initiatives, just so many important gatherings that promote and grow the game of golf. So no, being president doesn't mean getting the best seat in the house to watch the championship.
But that doesn't mean we can't have some fun. The Champions Dinner hosted by Tiger Woods before the start of the tournament was great. The Distinguished Service Award Dinner where we were able to deliver our most prestigious award to Jack Burke Jr. was an incredible night. And last night, we had a dinner to welcome Bermuda as a proud partner and host to our Grand Slam of Golf. We are going to miss our friends in Hawaii; they were an outstanding host for us, but we are excited about Bermuda as well.
Also, believe it or not, we rehearse a little bit for some of the public presentations we have to make. And along those lines, we have many media obligations to tell the world about not only this great championship, but all the wonderful programs with which the PGA of America is involved.
There's one quick note about the media I'd like to make if I could. Our partners at CBS Sports, TNT, here at PGA.com, and everyone else involved in helping bring this championship to the millions of fans around the world -- they have been spectacular. Our friends at Turner could not have been nicer or more open to what we're doing and we are so appreciative. I've seen some of the ratings and traffic numbers and "wow." It's good to know that people are watching and reading, and boy are they.
As for the tournament, Tiger himself said that this tournament isn't over and that he needs to go out and have a good Sunday before the Wanamaker Trophy can be presented. I'll take him at his word. But we all know what a great frontrunner he is in the major championships; his record speaks for itself. So we'll see how tomorrow plays out. All I'll say to that right now is that Tiger Woods has been an incredible defending champion for us and a superb human being. If it happens to be Tiger Woods, we'd be very happy of course. As they say, "that's why they play the game."