On April 27th Canterbury Golf Club hosted the Senior PGA Championship Media Day. On stage, in front of a room full of local media outlets, Defending Champion Jay Haas was joined by Jim Remy, president of the PGA of America; Doug Grabert, NBC Sports golf director; and Bill Townsend, general chairman of the 70th Senior PGA Championship.
These gentlemen discussed details about the Championship, relived past Senior PGA moments and shared their memories of Canterbury.
The following are some of their quotes from the press conference. To read the full transcript, visit www.SeniorPGA2009.com.
Bill Townsend – General Chair for the 70th Senior PGA Championship
“I want to roll out the red carpet for the thousands of spectators, the people that really care and want to see great golfers like Jay, here to my left, play up close and personal. The red carpet is out for you, and I hope to see you in the end of May.”
Jim Remy – President of the PGA of America
Explaining one of his duties as the new president of the PGA of America:
“I want to take the opportunity to tell you that one of the great honors I have as president of the PGA of America is to make phone calls to recipients of awards and tell them they have won an award. And one of my most exciting days was the day I got to call Mr. Powell, Bill Powell, to let him know that he is the Distinguished Service Award winner for 2009.” Mr. Powell was on-hand at the press conference with his daughter, World Golf Hall of Fame member, Renee Powell.
Doug Grabert — NBC Sports Golf Director and Cleveland native who got his start with local NBC affiliate WKYC
Regarding the weather last fall when NBC came out to scout the course for the best camera locations:
“When we came out in October, it was so cold, they had to go out and find gloves in the lost and found at Canterbury. It was 30 degrees, no golf to be played, straw on the greens and fairways, but we really appreciated getting the gloves.”
Discussing his memories of Canterbury:
“… the biggest memory I have from Canterbury is as a high school boy back in the early ‘70s. The PGA of America had a rule at that point … that (professionals) had to use local caddies at the PGA Championship. I remember 10 days before the event sitting out on the patio on an evening, nervous as I am right now, and they started pulling names out of a hat. As they are going along, there are players, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and then they called my name and out of the hat they pulled Raymond Floyd. So that ended up being something for a high school boy. A memory I’ll never forget.”
Jay Haas – Defending Senior PGA Champion
Referencing his celebratory pose after winning the 2008 Senior PGA Championship:
“If any of you can take that trophy with one arm and lift it above your head, we’ll give you an exemption into the tournament in May.”
Regarding his defeat during the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill Country Club. With three holes to play, Haas was down three strokes. If he could tie his match the U.S. would have won the Ryder Cup.:
“And I happened to win 16 and then won 17 with a par, so now I got on 18 tee, and it’s a very difficult hole. If you’ve been to Oak Hill, it’s quite challenging. But I almost choked my guts out basically, but as you can see (referencing video highlighting his career) I was using one of those wooden drivers. Today, we have these big heads, you can’t hardly miss one. I hit a terrible drive.”
On being the defending champion of the Senior PGA Championship:
“To have my name on that trophy a couple times, is, like I said, the crown achievement of my career. To be here as a defender is really special.“
When asked if technology improvements have helped the seniors more than the regular TOUR player?:
“For me, I tell people all the time, in the early 80s when they first started doing the statistics, and my first year, I was about 252, 253 was my average driving distance. And for the last six or eight years, it’s been about anywhere from 275 to 278, somewhere in there. So, 25 yards longer, 25 years older, that doesn’t compute.”
To read the full media day transcript, visit www.SeniorPGA2009.com