By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
TRANSCRIPT: Tim Finchem
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem held an impromptu Q&A session with the media outside the press room Sunday morning, and he addressed a number of topics. Among them were Tiger Woods, drug testing, the schedule and more.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key points:
• On Tiger Woods and whether the TOUR pressured him to play, Finchem reiterated what he said earlier in the week and said, flatly, no. “We communicate with players all the time about weak field events and we encourage players to move their schedule around and try to include a weak field,” Finchem said. “We never go to a player and say would you please, please, please, play X event, this event or any other event. Ever.” As for when Woods will be back, Finchem doesn’t know. He sent a note to Woods wishing him well but there’s been no indication as to when Woods will return from his latest injury.
• On disciplinary matters: “Our policy is we don’t comment on disciplinary matters. We don’t announce disciplinary decisions,” Finchem said. “We do reserve the right to clarify the record if an individual or the involved player makes a statement that’s not consistent with the action. We renewed it a number of times. We like the policy.”
• On THE PLAYERS’ move to May, which took place five years ago: “We like the flow of May, we like the weather,” Finchem said. “We had the storm [Saturday] but it’s the first delay we’ve had in five years. We’re still working on getting this golf course ready [for May] but we like it, the players like it, the fans like it. We’re very pleased with it.”
• On the TOUR’s drug testing policy and whether it would reconsider its policy on testing for human growth hormone: “Possibly,” Finchem said. “The big question about HGH is reliable testing. That’s the challenge with all sports. If there is reliable testing available and it’s only blood, do we want to go to blood, which is another step. As part of that review you’d want to think about whether HGH makes a difference in this game. We’re testing for a lot of stuff right now that quite candidly doesn’t make a difference, but we do it so our program has credibility in the anti-doping world. We’re supportive of the coalition to find answers on HGH on all these questions and we’ll see what develops over the next several years. It may be something that comes to our doorstep with golf entering the Olympics in 2016.”
• On next year’s schedule: “There may be some changes in the schedule for next year,” said Finchem, who added that next year’s schedule isn’t set and that there’s a large focus on 2013 and beyond as the TOUR enters television negotiations. “We haven’t finalized things for next year, so there may be some movement.”