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THE BARCLAYS MEDIA DAY
August 1, 2016
Farmingdale, New York
ALEX URBAN: I want to thank everybody for attending the Barclays Media Day 2016 here at Bethpage State Park. This is the 50th playing of this event and actually the 10th year of our FedExCup, so it's a big year for the tournament. Obviously a fantastic venue. Thanks to everybody for coming out.
You're going to be hearing today from Peter Mele, our executive director. You're also going to hear, we're going to have a call-in from Jason Day, fresh off of his runner-up finish yesterday at the PGA Championship, and our defending champion, and then you're also going to hear from Edmund Keating from Winthrop University Hospital. You're going to hear from Chris Papandreou from the Long Island Railroad and Ed Mangano from the Nassau County group. He's the county executive.
Let's get right into it. I'll introduce Peter Mele to open up with some comments here.
PETER MELE: Thanks, Alex. Welcome back to Bethpage State Park. We're very excited to be here playing the Black Course again. We were here last in 2012. We had a great tournament, and we had a great champion in Nick Watney. We're excited to be back here. It's really one of the most revered and challenging courses that TOUR players will play outside of a major, and we're very thankful to the weather gods for cooperating and having them finish yesterday over at Baltusrol. It helped us out a lot.
First off, I want to thank Barclays. Barclays has been the sponsor here since 2005. I believe they are the best title sponsor on the PGA TOUR, and we've had a long-standing and wonderful partnership with them, and one of the reasons that made them such a great partner over these past 12 years was the fact that they cared about the entire event, not just that part of the event that affected them or their clients.
To me that's what makes a great title sponsor. So we want to thank them for all their support over the years. It's really helped to make this event one of the preeminent events on the PGA TOUR.
I also want to thank the staff here at Bethpage. Betsy Wittenberger, who's the parks director; Andy Wilson, the course superintendent; and Joe Rehor, the head professional, and all their staffs. They are just a delight to work with, every one of them. They're fun. They do a great job. They're very professional in what they do. They prepare the golf course in a very strategic way, and the entire facility is wonderful.
Also the folks here at Carlisle, the catering crew, does a great job for us, as well, and we're very excited to be working with them once again.
As we do our rotation, it's interesting because we go back to a course every four or five years, so we feel we don't wear out our welcome, but it also is very fresh every year and keeps the event very, very fresh and keeps it from being stale. I think it would be strange after all these years since we're rotating since 2008 that we'd actually return to a golf course year in and year out even with all the challenges that we have when we do go to a new venue.
Later on, I'm going to talk a little bit about this year's event. A lot of things we've been planning over the last number of years that we didn't have back here in 2012 which will be new for Bethpage, and I'll get into that in a little while.
I also want to thank my staff. My staff, I'm very fortunate to have such a great staff. I'm not going to get into names because I know I'll forget somebody because I always do that. They know who they are. But with my involvement with the 2017 Presidents Cup, I've been less engaged with -- been able to be less engaged with this event than I normally would be, and they have stepped up and really covered my backside and done a great job, so they have done a wonderful job, and I'm very fortunate to have them and continue to work with them day in and day out.
At this time, let's talk about the Black Course. What a great golf course. We've heard all about Tillinghast and what his masteries have been back in the golden age of architects back in the early part of the 1900s. This is a masterpiece what he did out here. Obviously Rees Jones little bit of tweaking to it before the 2002 Open, but what he was able to do and how his courses, 100 years old now, many of them, have stood the test of time and been able to continue the challenges with the technology and the quality of the players and stuff, I mean, imagine a course being built 100 years ago and still being one of the most difficult courses that the TOUR players, the best players in the world, will ever play.
It's a long golf course. It's a really difficult walk. You know you've done something when you've walked this golf course, and it's had such a great storied history going back to 2002 when it hosted the Open when Tiger won, to the 2009 Open when Lucas Glover won, and then back with us in 2012 when Nick Watney won.
We're very fortunate to be back here this year, and we have extended our relationship with Bethpage for two more plays, 2021 and 2027. So we're excited to be having Bethpage continue on our rotation. Of course there's a major coming up here in a few years, and then a Ryder Cup in 2024.
There's going to be a lot of great golf here at Bethpage, and I think it's great for the fans of Long Island and all the fan of the metropolitan area to be able to come out and enjoy this. Now I'm going to turn it over to Alex, who's going to talk with Jason Day, our defending champion from last year.
ALEX URBAN: I'm actually going to have you go into our on-site experiences section only because we're still waiting for Jason to call in.
PETER MELE: All right. Events like this happen with partnerships. They cannot happen with just us or the venue or the city or whatever. It has to be partnerships. We're very fortunate out here in Long Island to have a great partnership with Long Island Railroad. It is a great group to work with. They're used to moving crowds, which helps us. When we were here in 2012, I'd say probably 60 or so percent of our fans came over on the railroad and did not drive, which is unusual if you compare that to what our experiences are over in New Jersey when we play over there.
So this year we decided to incentivize our fans a little bit, so with every purchase of a clubhouse daily ticket, we're including a round-trip ticket on the Long Island Railroad from any station, so we're trying to encourage people to use the railroad and encourage people to buy clubhouse tickets.
This year our general parking we've moved from Jones Beach up to the Coliseum. We're hoping that's a little more convenient for the fans of the area that choose to drive or that cannot take the train, so we're hoping the Coliseum will prove to be a great venue and a short shuttle ride from there to here.
We're also going to have food trucks. That's been something that's been growing in popularity over the years. We'll have, I think, eight food trucks on-site, both along the 1st fairway and up along the 14th green area, so I think the fans will have a real assortment of things, from lobster rolls to empanadas and all things like that, so we're really excited about that offering.
The other thing we're going to be doing is we've partnered with the Taste of New York initiative out of Albany, and we're really excited to have that. We're going to have a food court, Taste of New York food court, featuring all locally grown and produced food and beverage items in this food court area down along the 1st fairway, so we're excited to be working with them. They've been a great group to work with, and hoping that will continue into next year when we go to Glen Oaks.
MasterCard is also providing many things on-site. They have an overall program where if you use a MasterCard to buy any ticket, you get a 10 percent discount. If you use your MasterCard at a concession stand, you get 10 percent off your purchase. Same in the merchandise tent area.
ALEX URBAN: I think we've got Jason on the line here, so as soon as I get the signal I'll go ahead and introduce him.
I'm just going to give you a quick introduction and let you make some opening comments and we'll take questions. We're obviously excited to have Jason fresh off of his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship yesterday, our defending champion and current leader of the FedExCup standings and current No. 1 player in the world.
Jason, you won the Barclays last year, Sunday 62, six-shot win over Henrik Stenson, who obviously has had quite a summer this year. Your streak continued into this season when you won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, you won the WGC-Dell Match Play and became just the fifth wire-to-wire winner at THE PLAYERS Championship, which made you the fifth person to record 10 or more victories before turning 29, joining Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and David Duval. So obviously some great company. Your play over the last couple years has been fantastic.
Just talk through your win at the Barclays last year and go into a little bit about what you're thinking about coming up to Bethpage here and defending.
JASON DAY: Well, it was something that -- the FedExCup Playoffs starting with the Barclays is always one that you want to get off to a good start. With these playoff events now, just how big these events are getting, merit is obviously key to win these events, and to be able to get off to a great start last year, getting the win at the Barclays was a good start to the FedExCup Playoffs.
I had such a blast playing Plainfield Country Club last year and winning the Barclays, and really playing and keeping up the level of play which started from the RBC Canadian Open all the way through to the end of the year. I was very thrilled to be their champion. I'm looking forward to defending, getting back there, and hopefully raising the trophy again.
But you know, I'm looking forward to having a few weeks off and then getting back to Bethpage Black which I know is a very difficult task to try to accomplish there.
Q. It's been a few hours since we spoke last, but I just wondered a couple things. First of all, you kind of mentioned this yesterday, what is it like to play in front of New York area fans?
JASON DAY: (Laughs.) It's unique in a way that if -- obviously as golfers, you tend to try and block everything out, and you want to stay focused on your game, and golf is such a mentally tough game already, and then you play in front of the Tri-State area, the New York-New Jersey fans, and it's very -- with how much yelling and commotion that's going on outside the ropes, it's hard to not ignore it, and that's one thing that every time I come back here, even though it's loud, it actually makes -- I feel like it makes my game a lot better every time I come out of it because I learn something about myself mentally to be able to become more mentally stronger in the future because if you let the fans get to you in certain ways -- now, granted, the majority of the fans are so happy and supportive, and then there's the guys that are just yelling out stuff for the sake of yelling out stuff, and we just understand that. That's just part and parcel of playing in the New York-New Jersey area.
It's actually quite a blast to play in front of them because if you -- I found out yesterday, if you embrace it and have fun with it, they actually love you for it. I had a lot of fun yesterday playing in front of them, and now I'm looking forward to getting back to Bethpage and playing again in front of the New York fans.
Q. Another thing is that, like the PGA, you're defending a title at a course you didn't win it on. How do you deal with that, and does it feel like you're defending when you're playing at a different course?
JASON DAY: Well, other than, you know, going in and doing the media on maybe a Tuesday and talking about defending, not really. I'm there, I won it last year, but it wasn't on the same course, which can be a good thing, as well, because I'm sitting there going, okay, I won this last year on a course that I felt like I dominated on and played well, especially over the last two days, and you know, to go into a course that is kind of the opposite of what the golf course that I played on is actually -- I feel like it takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders because obviously when you're going into a golf course that you've won before, you're expected to play well there because you've won there before. To be able to go to Bethpage Black, which is a very demanding golf course, I think will work in my favor hopefully.
So you know, it's a tough golf course. Everyone knows that. It's a U.S. Open venue. It's held major championships there before. It's going to test not only the physical side but more so the mental side of your game, as well.
Q. How are the kids feeling? They always seem to be getting sick on you.
JASON DAY: No, the kids are good. You know, it's just -- I guess how young kids are, they just get into everything. If anyone there has kids, they kind of understand what's going on with how everything gets spread around pretty easy with kids. It also doesn't help that I'm flying to different continents and going from UK to Canada, down to New Jersey, and on planes. When you're flying, it kind of knocks your immune system around, and that kind of -- it heightens the risk of you getting actually sick. The kids are great. They're feeling a lot better, and we're looking forward to getting home today because it's been a long three weeks, and I'll be able to spend some time with them, some quality time with them over the next few weeks to try and catch up on the time that I obviously missed spending time with them.
Q. The majors are over, and obviously you're not going to be involved in the Ryder Cup, so how much do you get up for the FedExCup Playoffs, and where does it fit into your priorities for the rest of the year?
JASON DAY: Well, you know what, I wish -- I really wish that we had more major championships. That would be really great because I enjoy playing major championships so much. You know, the FedExCup is kind of easy to get up. The Playoffs is turning into something huge for us, and you know, I think it's taken a little bit of time, but I think everyone is starting to realize how important the FedExCup is to a career and how much it could change a career. I think down the line, people are going to look at the FedExCup and maybe, maybe, if you win that, that will hopefully get you to the Hall of Fame with some certain major wins and certain amount of PGA TOUR wins, as well. But to have that on your resumÃ© definitely helps because that means you played consistent the whole year, got in the top 30, and you've beaten the best 30 guys for that year.
You know, it's very easy to be able to get myself up because I've got three weeks off, I'm really going to work hard in the gym, try and work hard on my game, get back, and try and work on the things that have kind of crept into my game over the last three weeks to really kind of work those kinks out and try and get ready for the final push of the year, which is the FedExCup.
Q. Jason, what stands out for you about Bethpage Black in particular and what are the special challenges playing the course?
JASON DAY: Well, when was the last time we had the Barclays here? I can't remember. I know Nick Watney won there. What year was that?
ALEX URBAN: 2012.
JASON DAY: Yeah, so it's been a while, so my memory is a little fuzzy on the golf course, but I remember how long it can play. I mean, obviously with how brutal the rough can be, how long it can play, the green complexes are somewhat difficult, which makes things a lot more complicated. There's a few -- I shouldn't say there's a few, there's a lot of up-and-down tee shots or kind of blind shots into greens and stuff like that.
You know, it's held up under the biggest stage, which is holding major championships, so there's really no testing it. It's just really a difficult golf course that I'm actually really looking forward to because I feel like the harder the better for me. There's a lot of golfers, a lot of guys out there that are playing some tremendous golf right now, and I think the harder the golf course is, the better, and really test us coming down the stretch.
I'm really looking forward to the challenge because obviously over the past championships that they've had there, it obviously hasn't yielded a lot of birdies and it's been really difficult to play on.
Q. I'm curious if you're going to be coming in a few days early, perhaps play tourist, see some shows or meet with endorsement opportunities or national media?
JASON DAY: You're kind of dropping in and out on the back end, but I'm not going to be able to come in early. I'm just going to -- the last three weeks being on the road, it's actually nearly been a month that I've been on the road, getting early to the UK, and I'm going to try -- what I really want to do is I really want to get back to Ohio, get in the gym, try and work on the things that I need to work on with my body, and then obviously try and work on my game to really get the kinks out, like I said earlier. It's been three weeks and a lot of stuff has kind of worked its way into my game, which is kind of -- not worrisome, but I'm concerned a little bit about it, so I just want to make sure that I'm on top of it before I actually get to the tournament, and that requires a lot of practice and trying to work out the kinks.
My wife absolutely loves New York City. I enjoy my time there. Just unfortunately, no, I think we get like a day where we can kind of sneak in there, which is kind of after the tournament there, because I think usually the tournament -- I think Boston starts on the Friday maybe, but I'm not sure what's happening this year with all the schedule change. But usually there's a day where we can sneak away to New York and kind of run around and shop and see stuff because it is a unique city that I absolutely enjoy, and if you haven't ever been there, you've got to go there at least once in your lifetime.
ALEX URBAN: Jason, thank you very much for your time. Obviously you had a long day yesterday. Fantastic play down the stretch. We appreciate you taking your time out of your Monday after the PGA to talk with us here about the Barclays. Go get some rest and enjoy working on the game. We'll see you here in a few weeks.
JASON DAY: Yeah, will do. Thanks, guys. I appreciate you having me on.
ALEX URBAN: We're going to welcome Peter back to the stage here just to continue talking -- I think you were talking about MasterCard.
PETER MELE: MasterCard. Yeah, we're really looking at Jason as he's such a classy guy, and couldn't have been a nicer defending champion last year, hanging around to sign autographs for the fans last year, and you saw people still waiting long after he finished and went on and finished signing his autographs, so that was a classy move.
Again, MasterCard is one of our largest sponsors. They do a lot of great things for our patrons. We're going to introduce something this year that we've never done before, which is in-seat service on the 18th bleacher, and people will be able to order through the Quicker app and order food and beverages right from their seats and have it delivered to their seats, much like they do the club seats at Yankee Stadium. So we're excited to introduce that this year.
And then the MasterCard Club, of course, down along the 18th fairway, golfers' left by the landing zone, will be open to anybody with a MasterCard. You just show your MasterCard and you go in and you can enjoy the experience in there.
We've had a number of fan enhancements that we've introduced over the years. Of course we've got the Grey Goose 19th Hole Lounge, which will be between the 1st green and the 17th tee box. We have Anheuser Busch remote bars that are going to be up along the 1st fairway and the 14th green. The William Hill Wine Lounge, which is right behind the 14th green, is going to be a great spot, and we have introduced air-conditioned restroom trailers on the golf course for our fans to enjoy rather than doing portolets.
And we've also introduced grandstand chair seating as opposed to the bench seats that we've been used to. It's going to save us a lot of money replacing people's shorts that had green paint on them that hadn't quite dried yet. So it's much more comfortable to sit in those stands than it used to be, so we're excited to have all that.
Also we have a partnership with Pink Tie, the Pink Tie Group out here in Long Island. They have a Pink Tie Patio, which will be behind the 13th green. It's a great spot over there. The ticket offers all-inclusive beer, wine and food offerings.
Of course, we all do this for charity. As the tournament celebrates it's 50th anniversary this year, which is amazing, it's beginning in 1967, we're very proud that we've donated nearly $45 million to local New York and New Jersey metropolitan area charities. Charities, volunteers are the lifeblood of the PGA TOUR, and has been for a long time as we approach the next billion dollars in donations, which will be coming up in a few years. We just announced the $2 billion a couple years ago. We're going to rapidly be getting to the $3 billion mark.
Our charity, the First Tee of Metropolitan New York, has been one of our standard charities, approaching its 20th anniversary, dating back to 1997 when it first launched in Central Park.
We also have Volunteer Charity Challenge, sponsored by Myrbetriq, and it's featured here at the Barclays and other tournaments along the PGA TOUR schedule in 2016. Basically what the program is is it allows volunteers to solicit votes for themselves, and then that winning volunteer gets to distribute a check to the First Tee and a $5,000 check to the charity of their choice. Volunteers like Gianna Rojas, who has been a one-handed golfer here for a number of years, and individuals like herself that give their time, which is the most important thing anybody can give in life is their time, and so we're very appreciative of your efforts, and thank you very much, Gianna.
We've also teamed up with SUNY this year. They have a New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and a program called SUNY Has Got Your Back, and we're going to have a day here where patrons can come in and fill up comfort bags with very needed items that women that have been abused that are in shelters don't have. So we're going to have a really -- this is the first time we've done that with them, and we're excited to be working with their students and staff along with our staff and our volunteers as well as the PGA TOUR Wives' Association is also going to be involved with it.
So it's something, again we're looking forward to, and we're very excited about that.
Among our charity partners, in addition to the First Tee, we have our official charity, Tackle Kids' Cancer, which is a group that we're excited to be working with, and also this year with the University Hospital, it's our health and wellness center partner, there will be an air-conditioned facility as you walk in the main entrance area where all of our fans can go interact and learn about key health and wellness initiatives.
At this time I'd like to introduce the vice president of marketing, advertising and public relations, Edmund Keating, who will tell you a little bit more about their involvement with the Barclays this year. Ed?
EDMUND KEATING: Thanks, Peter. I'll try to make this brief. I know I'm standing between you and lunch and an opportunity to play Black. Thank you to the PGA TOUR and Pete Mele. Also of course thanks to Jason Day for dialing in, and I also want to acknowledge our old friend from the county executives office, county executive Ed Mangano, who's a great friend of Winthrop, and we're neighbors right across the street in Mineola.
We're delighted to be here. I think there's some interesting synergies. Everybody knows that the PGA TOUR was started 100 years ago, so this is a milestone for them.
Bethpage Black actually opened 80 years ago. The first public play was in the spring of 1936. They missed the U.S. Public Links event by a year because the grass hadn't filled in yet, so it opened in the spring of 1936, and Winthrop actually opened 120 years ago in 1896. It was the first public not-for-profit hospital east of New York City. 13 beds at the time, now we're up to 600, and we have 8,000 employees right in this area.
So it's very, very important to us to be part of this event. It makes perfect sense. Bethpage is not just this golf course. As you know, it's over 1,400 acres of state parkland, and it's all about community health. The people who built this place during the depression realized that the community, the greater Long Island community, needed something like this, so there are acres and acres of hiking and biking and riding, equestrian facilities, and these great golf courses, and the Black is just the gem of all five of them. I spent most of my young years on the Blue because it was a lot easier. In fact, there's an oak tree I think on the 2nd hole that has about three golf clubs in it that my best friend threw up there and they never came down. The first one was in anger, and the second two were trying to get the first one back. And it's probably still there unless Hurricane Sandy knocked them down.
But the PGA TOUR is all about community, and so it was a perfect match for us. As Peter said, they give so much back, and I don't know of another sport which is so focused on charity, and I think that that's unique. Every single event devoted to charity and giving back to the community.
So Winthrop is in the same place. We're not only focused on helping people when they're sick but also educating people about how to stay well. So at this event, right off that practice putting green near the clubhouse, we'll have a beautiful facility for the entire week, and we're going to use the time to educate people about how to stay healthy.
Our theme is you know your score but do you know your numbers. So we're going to be talking about things like cholesterol, about prostate cancer and PSA screenings. We're going to be talking about breast health and the statistics there. We're going to also be offering talks about skin cancer, one of the most preventible cancers in the world, and I hope all of you guys and ladies are going to have sunscreen on today even though the clouds are out, because it's extremely important that people understand there are things that they can do to keep themselves healthier.
When my parents reached like 60, you know, that was time to stop, everybody retired, and you just kind of toned things down and rested, and now we're so much more into fitness. We know how important it is, and this place is an emblem of physical fitness, healthy lifestyle and nutrition, and we're going to be talking about all of those things.
We're going to have giveaways. We're also going to have some celebrity athletes show up. I think on Thursday of that week we're planning to have Clark Gillies talking about prostate cancer, Pat LaFontaine talking about concussions and sports injuries, so you're all welcome to come by. We have an air-conditioned tent, and we look forward to seeing you there.
Thank you very much.
ALEX URBAN: Thank you, Edmund. Appreciate the time. As we mentioned, we're excited to partner this year with the Long Island Railroad to help fans get out to the Barclays, and in that vein I'd like to introduce Chris Papandreou, director of customer information from the Long Island Railroad. Hopefully I didn't butcher your name too badly, Chris.
CHRIS PAPANDREOU: Good morning, everybody. Thank you, Pete. Thank you, Alex, the Barclays PGA TOUR here at one of the crown jewels of our state park system is just a spectacular event for Long Island, and the Long Island Railroad is ready to do its part to help make it a success with a special transportation strategy that will carry thousands of fans to and from our Farmingdale station quickly, safety and conveniently. In fact, we expect to carry upwards of 35,000 spectators.
It's important for fans to know that there's no parking at the Bethpage State Park, so we say, leave your car at the station, the Long Island Railroad is the best way to go green to the Black. The Long Island Railroad will have plenty of service to our Farmingdale station and free shuttle buses from Farmingdale, courtesy of the Barclays. We will get you over to the park in just a few minutes.
So optimal service every day for the tournament from Tuesday, August 23rd, through Sunday, August 28th, including six extra trains on both Saturday and Sunday, three eastbound and three westbound.
Now, we want to point out that Suffolk County residents traveling west of Farmingdale can park free on weekends at any Long Island Railroad station along the way. That includes Ronkonkoma, Central Islip, Brentwood, Deer Park and Wyandanch, then hop on a train straight to Farmingdale.
Nassau County residents traveling east of Farmingdale can park on weekends at Mineola Intermodal Center at the Mineola station. Long Island Railroad will have plenty of service to our Farmingdale station and free shuttle buses from Farmingdale courtesy of the Barclays, so it'll get you here to the park in a few minutes.
As Pete mentioned earlier, we have a really special partnering with the Barclays to do a special promotion where the Barclays sponsors the train ride for those who purchase a daily clubhouse ticket, providing the opportunity to ride to the Long Island Railroad for free. If you need assistance while traveling on the Long Island Railroad during the event, look for one of our employees in an orange vest. We will be deploying plenty of extra personnel to help guide customers who can also look for our information booth at the park for the next train times when you leave for the day.
The Long Island Railroad will also be providing information on train service eastbound, westbound trains, Long Island Railroad service status, directions and fare information through a customer center here at Bethpage Park that will have a kiosk.
I also want to tell you it's an exciting time for the Long Island Railroad. We just launched mobile ticketing last month, and for this event, mobile ticketing will be available, so you can actually purchase a ticket to the station using your phone and using it on board to show to the conductor. That's our new mobile ticketing technology, and it's doing very well for us.
So again, let me remind everyone just one more time that leave the driving to us, and remember there's no parking here at Bethpage Park.
We want to thank the Barclays for their opportunity to speak here today, and also for the great collaboration and partnership that we've had here. I think we're looking at another great success, and we're looking forward to it. Thank you very much.
ALEX URBAN: Thank you, Chris. Really enjoy working with these guys and everyone at the Long Island Railroad. We actually had an event this morning at Penn Station to promote the Long Island Railroad as a great way to ride from Manhattan out to the tournament. Looking forward to that.
Obviously Bethpage State Park, this place is a fantastic venue, and the Barclays wouldn't be possible without the help and cooperation of Nassau County. Right now I'd like to introduce Ed Mangano, who's the Nassau County executive.
ED MANGANO: Okay, I'm definitely standing in between you and lunch, so I will be quick. But Nassau County is thrilled to once again host the Barclays. This is a great sports tourism event for us here in our great county. It will certainly add to our economy, and most importantly, as Ed Keating said at Winthrop, this is a great charitable event, and that speaks volumes to the sport of golf, the generosity of Barclays, the generosity of all the sponsors like Winthrop University Hospital, and we couldn't be prouder to host it here in our great county.
The economic impact, 415 jobs, $34 million dollars in our economy, and I think, again, the most telling thing, in 2012, $1.3 million in charitable contributions, including to the United Way, the Harry Chapin Food Bank, and the Long Island chapter of the American Heart Association.
So it's just a great event all the way around. Get your tickets and see and be with the 125 top PGA TOUR golfers. You heard from Jason Day. Whoever you're a fan of, they will likely be here that week to celebrate golf. Have a great competitive tournament, bring notoriety to our great county, one of the safest large suburban counties in the United States of America, one of the lowest unemployment rates in the entire state of New York, and a quality of life that is second to none, so thank you all for joining us at another great exciting golf tournament here in Nassau County. God bless you, and God bless America.
ALEX URBAN: Thank you, Ed. I'm like to let Pete take the mic here. I'm going to let Pete finish anything that he's got left on his plate and then we're going to take questions.
PETER MELE: Thank you, Ed. One of the exciting things for us is we're actually going to be in Long Island this year and again next year, so we get to work with county executive Mangano and his team and all of Nassau County for two years, so that's really exciting for us because they're a great partner. I cannot overstate the importance of their partnership and their level of support they provide this tournament, so Ed, thanks for all your support and what you do for us.
It's exciting. One of the challenges that we talked about before is rotation. Well, one of the challenges that we have is letting people know that we're here. It's a big market. There's a lot going on. There's a lot of noise, and the best thing you all can do in your publications and your outlets that you work for and how you communicate to your followers is to let them know we're here because that's really important that people, as much as we try, people don't know we're even playing here. We're not a major championship, and maybe some day we will be, but I think the biggest help you can give us is let people know, mention that we're here and just get the word out for us.
We're going to have, and Derek Sprague is a friend of mine, who works over at Liberty National, we'll have a healthy debate as to where the best field is every year. He thought it was last week, I think it's our week. We have the best 125 golfers PGA TOUR has to offer. There are no qualifiers, there are no amateurs, there are no club pros -- no offense, Joe. There are no past champions. Basically if you play well, you get here to play, and if you don't, you don't.
I think we have -- it's an unbelievable field, and we're going to have a great tournament, and I think it really is the best that the TOUR has to offer in any one year.
At this point I guess I'll take any questions.
Q. (No microphone.)
PETER MELE: Yes, we have -- kind of throughout the week, we have a lot of non-golf things going on, beginning on Monday. We have our Executive Women's Day. We're closed to the public that day. We have Executive Women's Day here on Monday, which is basically a networking forum for women executives from the area to come in and network and hear some of their colleagues speak and how they deal with the challenges in business.
On Tuesday we host Operation Shower, sponsored by Barclays, and that's basically a big baby shower that we'll have here in the clubhouse, and we have 40 moms-to-be or moms who have just had a baby come in whose husbands are deployed, and it's a wonderful event, and they get a huge package of baby shower gifts, called shower in a box. It's something we've done -- the first one we did was actually here back in 2012, so we're excited to continue that tradition.
We also have military appreciation ceremonies going on that afternoon after the shower, and it's always a fun event.
And then we also extend courtesies to all active, retired, reservist servicemen, women and their families to get into the tournament for free, and then Barclays hosts a Patriot Outpost which is a hospitality pavilion for them to enjoy camaraderie amongst each other and just get out of the heat a little bit, and it's right down along the 18th fairway on the golfers' right side. We're very excited to continue our military support.
And we also on Thursday, something we launched last year, Stryker, Stryker Corporation sponsors a canine warrior dog that we donate a dog to a wounded warrior as a service dog, and to hear the gentleman last year who was given a service dog when he came back from his deployment, he said he was on 32 pills a day when he came back from deployment, and now that he's had the dog a couple years, he's down to two pills a day. So you cannot overstate the value of what the service dog does for these individuals who come back really with some issues that they're trying to deal with.
So we're really excited to continue that program. It's one of those very emotional things that you do, and I get to do it and it's great, and I love it. So yeah, we're excited to do all that for the military. We cannot do enough for the men and women that protect us and allow us to do what we're doing today.
Q. (No microphone.)
PETER MELE: Yeah, it'll be interesting. I think with the Olympics coming in the next few weeks, golf is going to require it a little bit. There will be tournaments going on, but a lot of the bigger names are probably not going to be playing any of those events. So if they're not in the Olympics, they're going to take some time off. I know Phil is going to be taking time off until he plays here, Jason is going to take some time off, Jordan doesn't seem like he's going to be playing much in the next few weeks.
So I think they'll be fresh. I think people won't have a chance to see them on TV, so I think it'll create a lot of excitement and enthusiasm and make them -- a lot of times the end of the season they get a little worn down. They come into our event, they've played a heavy schedule, they would have just played the Bridgestone and the PGA with a week off and they're a little tired, it's the heat of the summer, the dog days of August and all. So I think, yeah, they'll be a lot fresher, and they'll need to be fresh here when they get to this golf course.
Q. (No microphone.)
PETER MELE: It couldn't be better. We have great support from our folks up in Albany from the State Parks Commission of Rose Harvey into the Governor's office. We've had great relationship with them ever since we established our agreement with them many years ago.
It was a quirk how we got here. I met Dave Catalano when he was introducing Craig Currier for his award at the golf writers' dinner in 2010 before he left here to go to Glen Oaks, which we're playing next year. And I went up to Dave and introduced myself to him, and I said, you know, now that the Open isn't coming back for a while, do you think you might want to look at maybe hosting the Barclays. He said, interesting. And two weeks later, he called, he said, let's meet. And that is the reason why we're here. So I always have a little bit of affection for the golf writers dinner now because it allowed us to be here.
So yeah, it's great. I think, like I said before, we have a long-term relationship here. We're going to come back twice more, 2021 and 2027, so we're very excited. Great relationship with the state.
Have a great day today. Hopefully we get lucky like they did yesterday with no rain, keep it in the fairway, and have fun, enjoy. Thanks for coming in.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports