Seth Waugh The First Choice For PGA CEO Position?

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Ted Bishop writes for on the possibility of Deutsche Bank's former CEO taking the PGA of America position vacated by Pete Bevacqua. Bishop quotes a source saying an announcement could come before this year's Ryder Cup

Phone messages left by Morning Read with Waugh were not returned. A PGA spokesman would confirm only that the hiring process was “ongoing.”

Waugh, the former CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas, could be just the man to lead the PGA’s 28,000 members and apprentices. He would bring a wealth of business and golf experience to one of the most unique and challenging leadership positions in golf.

I also reached out to Waugh for comment after hearing similar rumors but have received no reply. A PGA spokesperson also declined comment.

While Bishop dreams of this as a permanent job for Waugh, I'm having a hard time understanding why an executive of his caliber would commit to the job on anything beyond an interim basis.  

Certainly, the 13-year CEO of Deutsche Bank and well-known golf nut would land well outside the box of expected candidates. But on a closer look, hiring the 60-year-old to fill Pete Bevacqua’s shoes could give the PGA of America major credibility in upcoming negotiations and provide Waugh a challenge befitting his skill level and contacts. 

Waugh is best known to golfers as the very non-CEO type whose golf tan and longer hair provided a nice change of pace during Deutsche Bank Championship announce booth visits.  He was instrumental in bringing the PGA Tour back to Boston, and remains very close with Commissioner Jay Monahan, who was once that tournament’s director. That event has its final playing this week as the Dell Technologies Championship. 

For the last three years, Waugh has been serving on the PGA of America’s Advisory Board of Directors as an Independent Director. His current term would expire in January. However, Waugh’s already well-versed in the PGA of America’s forthcoming televisions negotiations on a new PGA Championship television contract as well as other issues for the organization. He is close with former CEO Pete Bevacqua and would likely maintain the vision set in place.

A member of ten golf clubs—including Seminole in Palm Beach near PGA headquarters where he spends his winters—Waugh serves on various boards and still works in the finance sector. He’s also one of the managing partners of the Pebble Beach Company.