The Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, addresses the press, surrounded by team members and supporters of the Puerto Rico Open, including Andy Pazder Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer for the PGA TOUR and David H. Chafey, Jr., PRO Advisory Board Chairman.
DAVID H. CHAFEY, JR. REMARKS,
La Fortaleza (Puerto Rico Governor's Mansion)
Good afternoon to all, especially our Governor, who I thank for his support and for having invited us to La Fortaleza.
10 years ago, the Puerto Rico Open began with a visit to La Fortaleza from the Puerto Rico Golf Association and Banco Popular. I was part of that group of people who believed in this tournament from the beginning - in its value for exposure to Puerto Rico, economic development and for the sport. Today, 10 years later, I still believe in it and in all the benefits it represents for Puerto Rico.
There are many people and companies who have also believed in this event and have been unconditional in their support, such as Popular, Triple S, Bella International, AT&T, GFR Media, Harland Clarke, FirstBank, Liberty and the course where it takes place: Coco Beach Golf Club.
But best of all, this year we see the arrival of new companies that are supporting the tournament, such as Putnam Bridge, Paulson & Co., PRISA Group, Evertec and CPG Properties, who for the first time come together and see the value of the event. Others who have also joined include Conway MacKenzie, National and Fir Tree Partners.
The PR Open has 4 important objectives:
- First- Promote the sport of golf in Puerto Rico, because this tournament exposes and motivates children and young people. Golf, like many sports, helps develop discipline and character in our youth;
- Second- Entertain- it is an event open to all, not just golf lovers - it is a family event with entertainment for all tastes and all ages; food - for the first time we will have a food truck park; music- with daily concerts; playgrounds for children- our goal is to create the largest event in Puerto Rico;
- Third - To give visibility to Puerto Rico before the world - more than 190 countries (in 32 languages) will be exposed to more than 24 hours of coverage (6 hours a day for 4 days), not only of the tournament, but of Puerto Rico as a destination, through the Golf Channel that reaches more than 350 million subscribers. This encourages people to know us, visit us and consider investing in our Island;
- Finally, and also very important, contributing to the community. The PGA TOUR, through its 48 annual tournaments, donated more than $150 million to charity in 2016. At the Puerto Rico Open 2017 we expect to contribute more than $350,000 to several non-profit institutions - including the Ricky Martin Foundation, Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal, the Pediatric Hospital Foundation and the New School Institute, among others.
I want to thank the Tourism Company and the Government of Puerto Rico that have made it possible for us to celebrate 10 years of the Puerto Rico Open, and give special recognition to the PGA TOUR for the trust and support they have placed in Puerto Rico and this tournament, and for continuing to believe in us.
Finally, I urge the media to become spokesmen for the Puerto Rico Open - there are many good stories that emerge from this event – its importance at the economic development level, that it is an event open to all and that contributes to many; highlight the Puerto Rican players who will be in the tournament and future players who dream of becoming professionals. Hopefully we can see (Puerto Rican players) Rafa Campos, Erick Morales, Max Alverio and Robbie Calvesbert among the participants this year.
It is in you to promote the good news in a tournament that contributes and gives so much back to Puerto Rico.
We are confident that this tenth tournament will be the best that has been done so far because of the excellent conditions in the course, the quality of the professional players that will be participating, the variety of entertainment we are preparing, the dedicated team and professionals on board, and, above all, because this is the year in which we will make the greatest contribution we can to the community.
Once again, thanks to the Governor for his enthusiasm and support for the Puerto Rico Open. I hope to see you all there.