Pre-Tournament Interview With:

Wells Fargo Championship

Tuesday April 30, 2019

GARY SOBBA: Thank you, everyone, for attending today. My name's Gary Sobba, I'm the tournament director of the Wells Fargo Championship.

We're certainly looking forward to another great event as Jason Day begins to defend his title. Looks like a great week, weather's going to be great, the golf course is great.

Before we turn our attention to the golf, we've got one important order of business. For this we're joined by Kendall Alley, who's the region bank president for Wells Fargo, and Mr. Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA TOUR.

We would also like to recognize a special guest who's with us today. Our 2013 Succeeding Together contest winner, Reyhan Griffin.

There are a number of Wells Fargo team members who are attending today. We want to welcome from Quail Hollow, Johnny and Johno Harris. And from ProLinks Sports, Hollis Cavner and Tracy West.

As you know, Wells Fargo has been a tremendous partner both of the tournament and for Champions for Education. We're truly fortunate to have such a dedicated and engaged title sponsor, and we're very, very encouraged to talk about our future together.

Before I turn things over to Kendall, I'd like to first roll a video that highlights many of the proud moments of the championship since Wells Fargo began its title sponsorship back in 2003. Let's take a look.

(Video played.)

KENDALL ALLEY: Wasn't that a great video and what a great experience we've had for the last 16 years. Now we're playing our 17th Wells Fargo Championship. In 2003, Johnny Harris and the members of the Quail Hollow Club, along with our company, had the desire to build one of the best tournaments in America, and as the club always says, bring the best players in the world to Quail Hollow.

We have had, as you look at our champions, those players be here over the last 16 years. We're excited and thrilled that this partnership has had such great success. It's been great for our community and great for the process of what we've done. We have had, as you' look at our champions, those players be here over the last 16 years. We're excited and thrilled that this partnership has had such great success. It's been great for our community and great for the process of what we've done.

The purpose of the sponsorship for Wells Fargo is about encouraging and exposing our brand but also about taking care of our stake holders, who are our communities, our customers and our team members. And we have significant impact from each of those and I want to talk a little bit about it. From the branding standpoint, it certainly helps us build our business and get our name out there. And actually this, in my personal opinion, this is as good a week as Wells Fargo has for its brand and name and the Wells Fargo I know is represented very well by what we do right here at this tournament and we do very well.

We also have been able to give over $22 million through the championship to our local communities and we've been engaged and involved with a lot of really great things to include making sure that we're taking care of the people that are here and we're engaged and involved with the folks in the community through those contributions and the opportunities that we have to make a difference in the lives here. That also is what Wells Fargo stands for.

And finally, our team members. We have almost 2600 volunteers at the Wells Fargo Championship and over 300 of those are Wells Fargo team members, and I would like for the few team members that are here today that were able to break away from their duties out there to come in here. If you would raise your hand, I want to thank you for the time and energy that you spent with us over the years.

And some of you have been here since day one so thank you very much for being here since day one.

The $22 million that we've been able to impact, it really impacted a lot of places in Charlotte and around the area to include The First Tee, Levine Children's Hospital and Teach For America. The impacts that those contributions have made continue to help lives and make things happen for the betterment of where we are.

But beyond the dollar amount, there are some really good stories to tell. Just this morning out on our new Patriot Outpost on hole 14 and 15, Wells Fargo again had a chance to give a very deserving combat wounded veteran a mortgage free home; and another family, who had lost one of their family members in the war, a car debt free to encourage and improve their lives. This is over the 380th home that we've given in those scenarios and we're so proud to be able to do that. Today, if you would have been at the military outpost when we christened it this morning, the pride and the energy and the motivation of being associated with those veterans is second to none and it's a wonderful place for us to be.

It's an honor to serve those who serve our country.

Another great story is Reyhan Griffin. In 2013 he was our first Succeeding Together winner. For those of you that don't know, Succeeding Together is a contest that we run in conjunction with the First Tee where young men and women in the First Tee will send us an essay around their impact of the core values of the First Tee and what they do and the impact. Reyhan was our first winner, we did videos back then. I got to tell you, it was a really great video. He walked into here and, of course, he chose Rickie Fowler and then he outplayed Rickie on the front. And on the 13th hole, I'm proud to say, I walked up and he was a little worried about a putt and I told him it two feet outside, and he made it from 40. So we really had a great time but he was an outstanding winner.

He is currently I want to back this up. He was a member of the First Tee of San Francisco and he's currently a student at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.

So Johnny, we've always been able to recruit, haven't we? It's pretty easy. We can make that happen and make it work.

Additionally this year we have another young man from New Orleans, Kobe Narcisse, he's coming in right now and tonight at the pro am he'll get the opportunity of the first pick of the pro am draft. Over the years we play with Rickie, we play with Rory, we play with Tiger, and it will be interesting to see who Kobe chooses tonight and where we go from that standpoint.

All those things have been accomplished by the great partnership that we have with Quail Hollow Club and the leadership that Pro Links Sports and others have given us.

What I'm happy to say and proud to say is that we will be continuing professional golf in Charlotte for the next five years with the renewal of the Wells Fargo Championship through 2024.

I would like to take a moment and thank the PGA TOUR, our friends in Hollis and Tracy and the team at Pro Links Sports who has really come along and helped us work and improve this opportunity to show what we're doing in this opportunity.

Champions for Education is a 501(c)(3) host organization that works it, I want to thank those board members. I want to specifically call out Johnny and Johno Harris and the Quail team, and Tom DeLozier here, the club manager.

You're at one of the finest facilities in America for golf and we have the opportunity and the pleasure of being a partner in keeping that here and you can see the level of investment, the level of commitment and the kind of beauty that it is. We always say, and we laughed about this, in the golf business that every year somebody says the golf course is in the best shape it's ever been in. And this year we will live to that bar very easily because of the great job that they do at Quail Hollow Club and thank you for allowing us to bring the Wells Fargo Championship to Quail Hollow. Thank you very much.

Now there is a small wrinkle in that process and that would be the 2021 Presidents Cup, which we are thrilled will be played at Quail Hollow in the fall of 2021. Because of that, that will give us an opportunity to take the Wells Fargo Championship on the road again. This time we will take it in 2021, we'll play the first week in May in Washington, D.C. at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms. We are excited about that opportunity. It is a property that the Tour knows well and is very successful, and D.C. is a wonderful market for Wells Fargo and we're thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to transition the tournament that year. But in '22, '23 and '24 we will bring it back home to Quail Hollow and we're very excited about that opportunity. I think this is a great opportunity for our community, for Charlotte and for Wells Fargo.

We're very much thrilled to be part of this championship, we're proud of our partnership with the PGA Tour, very proud of our partnership with the Quail Hollow Club and thank you very much for supporting the Wells Fargo Championship since its 2003 inception and we look forward to having you out here for the next five years. Thank you.

JAY MONAHAN: Hi, everybody. I'm Jay Monahan with the PGA TOUR and it's a great honor to be here today and to participate in this exciting announcement, this extension of five years. Pretty special indeed.

I want to say a special thank you to Gary for your leadership of the tournament, Kendall for your leadership through the years and in particular the last couple years that led us to this moment Tuesday. I want to recognize Champions For Education, an awesome host organization. As Kendall said, Quail Hollow Club, I see Johnny and Johno over to my right, Tom. I remember this tournament I see Paul Spangler out here.

There were two new tournaments on the PGA TOUR in 2003. I happened to be involved with one of them and that was the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston. The other was this great tournament at Quail Hollow. And we were playing catch up from the moment that this tournament was launched. It's been exceptional since day one and our players have looked at it from the outset as one of their favorite places to play, truly one of their favorite places to play.

We're proud of the fact that this week showcases Charlotte as one of the great sports towns in our country and in the world, and life is all about impact and our tournaments are all about impact. And the impact that we've made, as Kendall noted, $22 million since inception is absolutely remarkable and will keep growing now for another five years.

Strength and growth comes down to great partnerships, and as I said earlier, when you look at the partnerships here with Wells Fargo, with Johnny Harris and his personal investment and resource investment in this golf course and in this tournament, to the membership at Quail Hollow who opens our players and the PGA TOUR opens this club up with open arms and makes everybody feel so welcome and so special in such a unique way. And obviously the leadership that Gary and his team provide have been exceptional. So it's a winning formula. We have at least five more years of this winning formula and we're going to create more great moments. We've had so many in a relatively short period of time and look for another one here in the not too distant future, just a few days as Jason Day seeks to defend his title.

So again, proud to be here, and as Kendall said, 2021 will be at TPC Potomac, a course that we invested in significantly going back to 2008, hosted the Quicken Loans Invitational in 2017 and 2018, and will embrace the Wells Fargo Championship in that one year and we'll be excited to get back here in 2022.

Finally I want to close with what really does matter, and Kendall mentioned it, but when you think of Levine Children's Hospital, when you think of the First Tee of Greater Charlotte, and you think of this Succeeding Together program, and you think of Teach For America, three world class organizations that are very important to this city and to this area, we're very proud of what we contributed and we're excited to continue that for a long time to come, so thank you very much.

GARY SOBBA: Thank you, Jay. Thank you, Kendall. And we will open it up for questions

Q. Maybe both of you could talk about now with this security of five additional years how the tournament can grow and evolve and what kinds of things you have in mind for the future?

KENDALL ALLEY: So this year in particular is a good way to sort of see what transpired. So this year we'll be opening on opening, and we christened it this morning our Military Outpost. You'll see a new process around tents, exposures, opportunities for patrons to see and experience our tournament in more ways. The beauty of this property and what Johnny and the folks at Quail Hollow have created is our opportunities for advancement and improvement are basically unlimited.

As we mentioned before, we've learned a lot in the last couple years. When we moved to Wilmington in 2017, PGA Championship was here. What they have experienced through the Presidents Cup and the things that they've done and unique experiences, and right now the exposures and opportunities to give people fun at a golf tournament really make a difference. We can continue to see the kind of crowds that we've always been successful with. We had people laughing yesterday on Monday that we had crowds following people and having a good time. And really today, if you look around, we've got folks everywhere. The wonderful part about tomorrow is we still have a lot of kids that come and get autographs from players.

And for another reason, school is closed tomorrow and we expect to be bombarded with kids so we think that will be good. Just tell them to bring their mom and dad and their checkbook and everything will be great.

We don't see anything in the forefront that we can't continue to expand and grow and with the leadership of Champions for Education and the Tour, what Mr. Harris sees when he goes around to the different places he's associated with, those ideas continue to be here because our goal and it was the our goal in 2003 is to be the best tournament on the PGA TOUR. That's the mindset that we have and we continue to drive towards that.

JAY MONAHAN: I would just add that from day one, as I said, this tournament has been so well supported by the fans of Charlotte that what this does is this lays a foundation through 2024, and given the response we have year in and year out, sold out corporate hospitality and huge crowds, it allows the fans to prepare for what they're going to be doing over the next five years.

Q. Kendall, if you could just go through the process of how you selected the D.C. course.

KENDALL ALLEY: So having had the experience of 2017 where we were able to off the great recommendation of Mr. Harris to take the tournament to Eagle Point, as we learned through that process, it's a chance to take our brand and show it to different markets. Here in Charlotte, we're proud of Charlotte. We have 26,000 team members in Charlotte. Our company has 260,000. I can tell you the power of what Charlotte is. So we're proud to be branded here in what I would call the headquarter city of the east coast for Wells Fargo.

This opportunity to take it on the road gives us a chance to expose the brand in a different way. We believe the tournament and the way that it activates around customer experience to ensure what we do with the players, how we're trying to give it the excellence of this, is the exact same way we operate at Wells Fargo. So taking that to D.C. is a really good opportunity for us.

We, as always, through the Tour's help and others' help, had recommendations of places to go. One of the beauties of taking a PGA TOUR somewhere that's had a PGA TOUR event is they understand what that means. It is a challenge for the golf course. You've got a lot of things happening that aren't normal to a membership so those that already have experience and exposure in it, it makes it a lot easier for them to understand what's going to happen when we come to town. It's a very good thing but it does impact their daily membership strategy. So they've got to be supportive and want it.

In this particular structure, the Tour made this recommendation. We went up and looked at the golf course. The golf course has just recently been redone. We listened to the players who told us they enjoy playing the golf course. It's historically been in the summer, so we'll have it in the first part of May, which is the bloom season in D.C. So I think it will be a great time for us to be there. So that will be a large driver of why we want to be in D.C.

Q. I was out at the blessing this morning with Gary for the veterans but I also was out at the women's event and Nancy Lopez was there and it was a really big impact. Are you folks looking at bringing any of the women's championships or tournaments here?

KENDALL ALLEYI'm going to defer that one to Mr. Harris. (Laughing.)

JOHNNY HARRIS: First of all, let me just say how special it is for all of us at Quail Hollow to be part of this great tournament and be part of a partnership that includes the two men that you see sitting in the front. To be partners with Wells Fargo is really a pleasure. To be partners with the PGA TOUR and to have had the success we've had over the last 15, 20 years with these organizations is astounding not only for the club and for Charlotte but for the whole region.

Our job has always been, in our minds, to bring the best players in the world here, to take this facility and make it basically second to none on the PGA TOUR. I don't want to sound arrogant, but we spent $22 million over the last 30 years on our facilities here at Quail Hollow. Not a penny of the money from the tour events has gone anywhere but back into our facilities to try to make it the kind of place that the tournaments want to come to and that the tour wants to come to, and the best players in the world want to come to.

As relates to women's golf, I think all you have to do is look down the road into Georgia and see what an experience the women had with the amateur championship down at Augusta to understand that the women's golf is going to become more and more important to growing the game throughout the world, and it wouldn't surprise me if you saw a tournament like that come to Charlotte in the future. I hope it happens, and we would be very supportive of it wherever it was played. Thank you.

Q. Going forward, are you satisfied with where the tournament sits on the schedule now with the changes now I guess being right in the middle of between the Masters and the PGA?

JAY MONAHAN: I'm happy to answer that.

We couldn't be more pleased with where the tournament is situated on our overall schedule. Now that we've gone kind of making our way through this season of championships and the changes that we've made to our schedule, every single tournament on our schedule is a great tournament, is a competitive tournament.

But as we've talked about here for the last 15 minutes, given the roots and the bones of this tournament, given the affinity that our players have for Wells Fargo and Quail Hollow Club and the way that they've been received by this community, and given the consequence of what players are playing for week in and week out certainly at this tournament but as they make their way to the end of the season and the new Wyndham rewards top 10 and the FedExCup Playoffs, given the familiarity, given the prestige of this event, you're going to continue to see the best players in the world play here certainly for the next five years and we expect longer than that.

This event, I can't speak highly enough about how fast it's grown, how fast it's coming. I think most importantly when you ask that question, it comes back to commitment, investment. And just look at what Johnny just said. You know that five years from now, I'm not sure how, but this tournament will continue to get better and better and better, as we as a tour get better and better and better and bring more players forward. But couldn't be more positive and more bullish.

Q. Jay, while you're here, would you mind just talking a little bit about what you expect in 2021 since the Presidents Cup will be on this course that year?

JAY MONAHAN: Well, I think I was just talking to Johno before we came here, and 37 of the last 60 years you've had professional golf here at Quail Hollow, and you've had great championships, and this championship has really for us defined our presence in Charlotte. And for that one year, as we bring the Presidents Cup here, I think you just look to what you're going to see here over the next five days and look backwards in terms of what we've seen in terms of a response.

I think what you'll see is you're going to have more international travellers coming from all over the world to be here to experience Charlotte than you might have in a given week in the Wells Fargo Championship. But I don't think you can fit more people out here. It's going to have that same great energy, and it's a team event and it's unique and it's different and it's not something that this community has seen, so I think we'll have a great response. The Presidents Cup itself just keeps getting better and better and better. The response we've had this far out from the event from the international community has been really strong. For those that live in this town, live in this city and region, everyone around the world will be watching just given the composition of that event.

REYHAN GRIFFIN: This is off topic, but Kendall, how did you know that that pine straw was where I needed to aim to make that 40 foot putt?

KENDALL ALLEY: Never in doubt. It was easy. I know the talent you had. You had already been hitting it by Rickie. You had him 2 down at the turn. We were good. All we had to do was just throw it out there and you nailed it center. And he's majoring in something I can't spell at UNC right now.