A reimagined PLAYERS Championship experience
Brad Preber, Chief Executive Officer, Grant Thornton
Can you imagine what really goes into a championship event? We give you an exclusive look into what happens behind the camera and off the green.
How will golf grow with a new generation of talent? Desmond Howard, Jay Monahan, Mel Reid and Suzy Whaley discuss how the landscape of sports is swiftly changing and help us imagine a new future for the game.
Cathy Hyodo, Member of the Partnership Board and Los Angeles Office Managing Partner, Grant Thornton
ESPN Football Analyst
Desmond Howard joined ESPN in 2005 as a college football analyst. The 1991 Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl XXXI MVP joined the network a few years after his remarkable 11 seasons in the NFL. He has been an analyst on the Emmy-Award winning College GameDay Built by The Home Depot since 2005 and also calls midweek games on ESPN. He also contributes to a number of ESPN shows and platforms, including Get Up, SportsCenter and College Football Live.
In 2011, Howard was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted to the Gator Bowl Hall of Fame, the University of Michigan Hall Of Honor, the State of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.
PGA TOUR Commissioner
Jay Monahan took office as the fourth commissioner of the PGA TOUR on January 1, 2017.
Prior to joining the TOUR, Jay played Division III golf and hockey at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he was an Academic All-American. In 2013, he was the TOUR’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Prior to being named CMO, Jay served as an SVP in charge ofBusiness Development, and oversaw corporate partnerships and tournament entitlement.
A six-time Ladies European Tour winner, Mel Reid has been a star since she turned professional in 2007. Reid earned the coveted LET Rookie of the Year honor in 2008 and has continued to become a global steward of the game with three Solheim Cup appearances in 2011, 2015 and 2017. She also served as Vice Captain for the European team in 2019.
Mel has earned a top-three finish at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, and a top-ten finish at the Women’s British Open. Off the course, Mel is an action sports fanatic and snowboarder at heart. She’s also an active advocate in the in LGBTQ+ community and recently joined Athlete Ally as a Pro Ambassador fighting for equality and inclusion in the sport.
Honorary President, PGA of America
The first woman ever elected to serve as an Officer of the PGA of America, Suzy Whaley currently serves as Honorary President at PGA of America and the PGA Director of Instruction for the Country Club at Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. After serving two years as PGA Secretary, and two years as Vice President, Whaley was elected as the PGA of America's first female President in November 2018. Recognized as one of the country's top instructors, Suzy earned her Master Professional Status in May of 2018.
A dual member of the PGA of America and LPGA Teaching & Club Professional division, Whaley was an LPGA Tour member in 1990 and 1993. She famously qualified and participated in the 2003 Greater Hartford Open, becoming the first woman since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to qualify for a PGA Tour event.
Michael Wilbon is one of the nation’s most respected sports journalists and an industry-wide presence as a decorated sportswriter who broadened his career to include television, radio and new media. A co-host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption and an NBA contributor on ABC and ESPN, Wilbon left The Washington Post in December 2010 after 31 years to assume an expanded role for the network.
Wilbon and colleague Tony Kornheiser have co-hosted PTI since the show’s debut in October of 2001. PTI earned Sports Emmy awards in 2009, 2016 and 2017 in the Daily Studio category and it is among the industry’s most-watched studio programs.
Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Wilbon graduated in 1980 from Northwestern University, where he is now a member of the Board of Trustees, and was inducted into the inaugural class of the Medill School of Journalism’s Hall of Achievement in 1997.