We checked in with PGA WEST Director of Golf Jerry Eye, who talked about what it will be like to host this week's Bob Hope Classic. Last year was extra special, as Bill Haas claimed his first PGA Tour win at the same place his father, Jay, won in 1988. Eye says Haas is ready to defend and also expects to see a scoring record broken.
PGA.com: Thanks for joining us, Jerry. The Bob Hope Classic is home to the only scheduled, five-day tournament played over four courses on the PGA Tour. What kinds of challenges do you face with the extra day of play?
Eye: Thanks for having me, T.J.! The extra day doesn't create any extra challenges other then a little longer week for the staff. If anything, the extra day provides the opportunity to enjoy one more day of great golf. The event is a lot of fun and the week goes by very quickly.
PGA.com: Last year, Bill Haas earned his first PGA Tour win at the Bob Hope Classic, a tournament his father Jay won in 1988. That had to be pretty special to witness firsthand. Can you tell us about it?
Eye: I am sure it was a very special day for Bill to win his first tour event with his dad being a past champion. What made the day even more unforgettable is that unknown to Bill Haas, his dad was in the crowd watching him win his first tour event. Certainly, Bill is hungry to defend his title to give him one up on his dad.
PGA.com: In ideal conditions, which we've become accustomed to year in and year out in the desert, the Bob Hope Classic is usually a birdie-fest. Those courses can't possibly be as easy as the Tour players make them look. Is there any reason to suspect that it might not be a birdie-fest this year as well?
Eye: The tour players will make lots of birdies again this year, the courses are in perfect condition and the weather should be ideal. To answer your other question these courses are not that easy for the average player - myself included - but the tour players are that good. With the perfect weather conditions and the strength of the field, I would not be surprised if the tournament scoring record is broken. We may even see a 58 shot this week.
PGA.com: If I remember correctly, 2010 was your first Bob Hope Classic as the Director of Golf at PGA WEST. Looking back, what was your most memorable moment of the week?
Eye: My first Bob Hope as Director of Golf at PGA WEST was a bit of a challenge because of the weather conditions. One of the most memorable moments was the staff and I pulling together to execute the event which meant trudging through 2 feet of water looking for practice balls on our driving range. I had to buy new shoes that day!
PGA.com: Final question, Jerry. What's your dream scenario as to how the 2011 Bob Hope Classic will end? We're pretty much assured some late drama with a reachable par-5 closing hole, right?
Eye: I would love to see perfect weather particularly on Sunday and David Duval shoot 58 on the Arnold Palmer Private Course at PGA WEST beating his course record to win the Bob Hope Classic. Birdies are what the spectators want to see and I am sure the tournament won't disappoint.