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PGA CHAMPIONSHIP MEDIA DAY
June 30, 2003
JULIUS MASON: Good afternoon everyone. I'm Julius Mason, director of public relations & media relations for The PGA of America. To those of you on the phone lines and at Oak Hill Country Club, welcome to the 85th PGA Championship Media Day. I'm going to introduce a number of other special guests with us today. We have PGA of America secretary, Brian Whitcomb, Western New York PGA Section president Jim Merva (ph); Western New York PGA section honorary president, Stan Marshaus; from Oak Hill Country Club, president Doug Weins (ph), 85th PGA Championship executive vice president Tony Malone and Jim Condra, general manager Eric Rule, PGA head professional Craig Harmon, and superintendent Paul Latshaw. From the great City of Rochester today, we have deputy mayor Jeff Carlson. County executive Jack Doyle, county clerk, Maggie Brooks, supervisor of Pittsford, Bill Carpenter. Also joining us are a host of PGA Championship staff members headed by our tournament director, Bob Jeffrey. It's my pleasure to introduce the CEO of the PGA of America, Mr. Jim Awtrey.
JIM AWTREY: It is a pleasure for me to be here representing 28,000 PGA of America men and women. I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the championship rules committee, it's nice to be back, right up until the time I realized it was 23 years ago. But it is a wonderful golf course and plays host to our championship. It's played host to the Ryder Cup in 1995, but it's clearly one of the great traditional golf courses in the United States, and I think it will be a great test for today's players. When you look at today's players, you have to have a good golf course. This course is going to be a 7,134 par-70 with eight new tees stretching the course out from previous years. The players are playing some outstanding golf and hitting the ball further than they ever have. When you look at the PGA Championship, you know that you are going to have the strongest field in golf. Last year Rich Beem beat 98 of the Top-100 players in the world in the strongest field of all-time when you look at the World Rankings. It featured 29 players who had won a combined 63 major championships, and it had a record 53 international players from 20 countries. In fact, when you look at strength of field and you look at the World Ranking, the top four championships of all-time in strength of field have been the PGA Championship. It's an all-professional field in addition to the finest players from around the world. It also consists of 25 club professionals, who recently within the last two weeks qualified at the club professional championship just outside of Albuquerque. One of the local players, John Guyton from Wheatley Hills Country Club in East Illison, New York finished tied for 17th and will be a participant in this Championship. Bringing a championship to a city means that you are bringing truly the world in. You are going to have 27 hours of coverage on CBS and TNT into 160 countries and territories with a television audience reaching 371 million. Certainly, we know that there's going to be large crowds of 35,000 or more daily here at Oak Hill. We also know that the community can't all attend the championship, so we've created a PGA Championship exhibit which portrays the championship from its early days of match-play with Sarazen and all of the great players of that era, Walter Hagen, all the way through to Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. We would like to invite you to the museum to see that display as we unfold that later. As far as the PGA, it's wonderful to be at Oak Hill again, great golf course, and it will be a great championship this year.
JULIUS MASON: From CBS Sports, Rob Correa.
ROB CORREA: We have seen Azinger and Norman battle, Davis's triumph and Tiger's second and fifth Grand Slam, and of course, Rich's unbelievable week last year. It just seems to get better and better every year and it's been really defined by its back nine on Sunday. Over 40 million people watched the PGA Championship on CBS last year, which was our highest since 1980, excluding Tiger in Valhalla in the year 2000. Our talent will be basically our normal array of talents, which is Jim Nantz and Lanny Wadkins will be on 18, Lanny Wadkins, former PGA Championship, Peter Oosterhuis, Peter McCord, Vern Lundquist, Bill Mackatee and Dick Enberg, and of course Peter Kostis who was here and played the golf course today. We'll hear from him later. It is a team we take a lot of pride in, and we think it's the best golf team in the country. Our program hours will begin with the PGA Championship preview show Saturday August 9, 2:00 to 3:00. Thursday and Friday of Championship Week we will go on with late night highlights at 12:35 A.M., and we televise the third and final rounds on Saturday and Sunday the 16th and 17th, 2:00 PM to completion on those days.
JULIUS MASON: Peter Kostis is here and experienced all 18 holes of this fine facility today. If you would not mind coming up and sharing your perspective with our fine audience today, we'd really appreciate that.
PETER KOSTIS: Thank you, Julius. Welcome, everybody. And I trust we'll have the same weather when we come back in a weeks. It was actually spectacular out there, not only the weather, but as I look at golf courses that host major championships, obviously they have to be difficult for these players, as the slogan goes, are really good. And this golf course, I think, will be a formidable test for them. I think it's an extraordinary golf course because it allows everyone in the field to play their style of golf and compete for the championship. You know, not everybody in the field is going to have an equal chance of winning, but we all have an equal chance of trying because this golf course doesn't take any club out of your bag, forces you to hit all kind of shots. It will test you mentally, especially as the greens firm up and speed up, as we expect them to by the time the Championship roles around, and that's all you can ask from a golf course. Whatever they shoot, whatever the winner shoots, it's going to be one shot lower than the rest of the field, and he's to be commended, whether it's 2-under par, 10-under par or 15-under par is really irrelevant. It is the competition that is set up by the golf course that I think is the relevant point, and this golf course to me, and I'm sure Rich will speak to this later, forces you to play golf. And it allows to you take whatever club you want to off the tee and fits your ball in the fairway and if you don't fit it in the fairway, the rough will penalize you. If you don't put it in the right part of the green, the greens will penalize you, and that's all you can ask for. So I don't know about anybody else, but I thoroughly enjoyed this golf course. I made the comment to Mr. Awtrey, that I felt that for everybody in this room to really get an appreciation for how good these guys are in subsequent years, we should make everybody play from the tips with Sunday's pin placements, the projected pin placements for Sunday, and just keep score. Then you'll get an appreciation for really how good these guys are.
JULIUS MASON: Thanks very much, Peter. Did you keep score for yourself out there today, Peter?
PETER KOSTIS: Yes, sir.
JULIUS MASON: Good answer. Okay, very good. Now I'd like to introduce the president of Turner Sports, Mr. David Levy.
DAVID LEVY: First of all, I want to thank the hosts again for inviting us out here. It's a terrific golf course. Peter did make me play from the tips today, so any stories you hear about my golf game are false. I'm sure you'll hear them this afternoon. First I want to introduce one person that's with me today from Turner Sports, Trish Froeman (ph). She's the vice president of sports sales. I would also like to announce this is our 13th consecutive year that Turner will broadcast live coverage of the PGA Championship. It's the fifth consecutive year for TNT with our partner CBS. Our programming hours are 17 hours of live coverage, we go from 1:00 to 7:00 PM on Thursday, we do the same on Friday, and then on Saturday and Sunday we carry from 11:00 to 1:30 PM. Turner Sports extended its television agreement with the PGA of America. Recently we added an additional six years through 20011 to continue the four days of coverage of the PGA Championships. We also carry the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Along with the television agreement, Turner Sports also signed a ten-year interactive alliance in 2002 to manage and operate PGA.COM, the official site of the 28,000 PGA professionals around the country. That agreement also runs through 2011. TNT, which we are very, very proud of, will air more hours of major championship golf this year than any other network broadcast or cable. Along with the 17 hours of the PGA Championship, we also will carry 28 hours from the British Open, as well as 15 hours of the Presidents Cup and six and a half hours of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Some of our announcing team as you may or may not know, Ernie Johnson will serve as our host and provide play-by-play from the 18th hole will be joined by Bobby Clampett and Lanny Wadkins. Billy Cratzer will be our TNT on-course reporter and Jim Nantz will serve as our SAS reporter. In addition, PGA club Professional and 2002 PGA Teacher of the Year Randy Smith will provide our golf tips. We look forward to a terrific and exciting event, and I want to thank you again for having us here par.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much David. And now the general chairman of the PGA Championship, Mr. Chris Williams.
CHRIS WILLIAMS: On behalf of the members of Oak Hill Country, Club welcome. Oak Hill Country Club continues the PGA Championship traditional testing of the world's greatest players on some of the word's greatest golf courses. Founded in 1901, Oak Hill's 36 holes were designed by reknowned architect Donald Ross, who in 1925 laid out the East Course that now awaits its ninth significant championship this August. In 1979, Oak Hill was renovated by George and Tom Fazio who teamed to preserve as much as possible of Ross's design, yet minimized spectator logjams by lengthening some holes, minimizing others and eliminating several blind bunkers. Through its rich history, Oak Hill has hosted the 1956, 1968 and 1989 U.S. Open, 1949 and 1998 U.S. Amateurs and 1984 U.S. Senior Open, 1995 Ryder Cup Matches and the 1980 PGA Championship. We can't wait to welcome the worldwide golf community to Oak Hill Country Club. Finally for those interested in tickets to the PGA Championship we have less than 3 percent of our inventory left. So I suggest you call 1-800-PGA-ticket or visit www.2003pga.com immediately if you are interested in playing a part of history. If you visit, you will see a picture of one of our members and his newborn child because he used that address as his Web site. I've done that twice. As a member of Oak Hill Country Club for many years, and as the general chairman, I look forward to seeing you and your friends in August as we celebrate this season's final major.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much. I'd like to go ahead and turn it over to president of PGA of America, Mr. MG Orender.
MG ORENDER: I would like to congratulate Oak Hill and thank them for hosting us today, but also congratulate the tremendous golf shop staff and the service we've received and the superintendent on the superb conditions of the golf course. This is not only a facility that will challenge the greatest players in the world, but this is a golf course that it will be a pleasure to play every day; it's a great facility. From the proceeding video, you can see that our first 84 editions of the PGA Championship have been a virtual highlight reel of golf's greatest moments. We are fortunate each year that this championship also produces great highlight reels in moments for our champions. Last year was no different. Our defending champion put on a great charge on the final day, making an incredible fairway wood shot on the 11th hole and following up with an eagle putt. And then with the No. 1 player in the world chasing him, he responded with an over 30-foot putt that still, I couldn't see the hole from there, but made it to make birdie on 16 to give himself the cushion that he needed to go on and win his first championship, his first major championship. Our defending champion, I'm very proud to say, is the fourth son of a PGA member to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy. In August, we will return to the PGA Championship, along with our champion, to play the season's final major. Our champion will be tested by the best players in the world. There are new chapters to be written in the final championship of the year and we are delighted to present someone who is very much up to that challenge ladies and gentlemen it's my pleasure to present our defending champion, Mr. Rich Beem.
RICH BEEM: Thank you. When I was trying to think of things that I was going to say today about how my life has kind of gone over the last, almost 12 months now since the PGA, I've thought back of all of the really fun, interesting and also dumb things that you guys have said. First of all, a question that always comes back to me every year, or every other week is: "How has this major championship changed you?" And I usually give the same response; not only am I better looking, but I'm taller, I've got the stock market beat and I'm much, much wealthier, in a lot of wears. But I kind of have fun with that. The media attention has been absolutely outstanding, as well as the fans' attention, and the opportunities at winning such a great championship has brought me. For those of who you don't know, I hope to be here, I don't want to scare anybody, especially Julius and Mr. Orender. Hopefully I will be here to defend my championship, but I have a new addition on the way, and hopefully he'll either come really early or really late. But this championship, it's been fantastic. Everybody asks me, you know, has it sunk in yet, has it sunk in yet and on some levels, it hasn't. On some level, it's still kind of -- you know, I haven't been able to really sit down and grasp exactly what I did and how I did it. Yes, there's always the video highlight reels and things like that, but it's tough when you sit there and think back, like, wow, that actually happened, I actually did this. For me, I guess it is kind of hard to grasp because I figure if I can do it, anybody can do it, who am I? I used to work at the pro shop five years ago, it's not a big ddeal. But, apparently it is. So, it certainly means a lot to me, and I will certainly cherish this championship forever in my life. I hope to add my name more times not own on this trophy, but on other trophies that come. But this one, this is truly an exceptional one and to be the reining PGA Champion. Hopefully I've done a pretty good job of representing you guys and I appreciate it.
JULIUS MASON: Rich, thank you very much. As you heard, it's been a long time since a major event has been played at Oak Hill Country Club. So if you wouldn't mind, and I'm sure everybody has their pen and paper ready to go, take us on to the golf course. Walk us through the 18 holes, beginning with the 460-yard par 4 first hole.
RICH BEEM: No. 1, 460, I hit a driver down the middle and kicked into the right rough, and I still hit sand wedge, only had about 120 yards to the front edge. No. 2, not knowing how short it was, I hit another drive and had a lob-wedge in from about 80, 85 yards or so. This is not normal today, guys, just to let you know because I think on No. 2 I'll probably be sitting something less than driver. It's a great little golf hole. You've got to pay attention. When you look at the green and you see a pin there, you're just kind of wondering whether there is any more green besides where that pin is as; it looks tiny from the fairway. No. 3, pretty long par 3. From the back tee I tried to hit a 5-iron, came up a little short and left it in the bunker. Once again, a small little green, and it's going to be probably one of the most challenging par 3s we have out there besides No. 11, which I'll come to later on, just due to the size of the green. The green, it's tiny and you have to keep it below the hole. But if you don't get it up to at least the front edge, it will role 50 yards down the fairway, so you really have to pay attention to that one. No. 4, par 5, I hit a driver, 7-wood to the front edge. It's a different 7-wood this time, not the same one as last year. Then of course chunked it about 15 feet and missed that. But it's a good, solid par-5. I think that most players can get to it as long as they hit a respectable drive, just kind of depends on the wind. No. 5, dogleg right par 4 with the water on the right-hand side. Hit it -- I don't want this to sound bad, but I hit it the same place Tom Kite hit it on Saturday. That's not being very nice, I know, but I'm sorry. Of course, I dropped back, but it's a great hole. You can either challenge it with a driver, like I probably will, or you can lay back with a 3-wood or even 3-iron, depending on how aggressive want to be. Like we talked about earlier, this golf course gives you so many options and opportunities to do anything you want to off the tee. Me, personally, I'm aggressive I like to hit it out there and see how close I can get it because I think that the driver is one of the strongest clubs in my bag. So I'm going to be aggressive. I probably will challenge this hole, but it just depends on the wind, and if I'm not hitting the driver that well, I might choose to lay back. No. 6, a little par 3, good, solid hole here. I hit a 7-iron pin-high right. And should be straightforward par 3, it is a very undulating green, so you do have to watch where you place this on the green. And if you do miss the green you've got to miss it -- you can't short-side yourself. As you're going to find with almost every hole out here, that hole is probably one of the ones you really can't because of the undulations on the green. This is probably going to upset some of you, but on No. 7, I hit driver, 8-iron, 460 par 4. Once again not knowing that it's only about three yards wide from the rough to the creek on the right, but actually the superintendent was out there and we were talking about it. He asked me, "Are you going to hit driver out there?" I said, "Well, if the rough not so severe on the left signed and it's actually a little bit firm underneath, yeah, I probably will." Once again it's a very tiny green, and if you hit -- you can lay up with a 2-iron or 3-wood but you are still going to leave yourself with close to 200 yards coming into that green. I think it's going to be tough. Like I said, I will kind of play it as it comes, but right now, I am expecting to hit driver as well. You seeing a pattern here? I'm kind of stupid off the tee box sometimes. 8, good solid hole. Not much to it. Pretty simple back up the hill. You have to keep your second shot definitely below the flag, though because that will be a very good test. No. 9 is probably one of the best holes we have out here, 454 dogleg-right up the hill. You've got to pay attention to your tee shot because everything does kick to the left in the rough, and certainly your second shot you have to pay attention because it's at least a club, if not two-club difference going back up that hill. A great, great golf hole. No. 10, I challenged it once again, hit driver, lob-wedge, fairly good hole. You probably can hit -- I shouldn't say fairly good, that's insulting of the golf course. It's a fantastic golf course, but a good hole where if you decide to challenge it, you can be rewarded and have a really short iron in or you can lay back once again to a fairly flat green, not too many problems there. No. 11 is right there with No. 3, tough hole as far as par 3s go. I killed a 3-iron right into the middle of the green, and it was -- it's going to be a tough hole. It's going to be a pivotal hole because you'll see guys making doubles and even 2s out there, so it's going to be a good hole. 12 is a great little par 4. You can hit, once again, 2-iron or driver. Actually, I hit 7-wood there. I was trying to play smart. Hit sand wedge in, but very undulating green from right-to-left. You're going to have to watch yourself there. You're go to have keep it below the hole once again to get it close. 13, par 5, John Daly is probably the only dummy that's going to try to hit it over that creek in the middle of the fairway. (Laughs) I asked one of the members -- "oh, it's about a 320-carry." Okay, here comes a 3-wood. It's a solid three-shot par 5, with a green that's very, very severe, as I found out. You've got to place your second shot where you can have a somewhat short wedge shot in there so you can control the golf ball. But it's a huge green and it's going to be very, very fast come Sunday, and I think that's going to be also another hole where some guys -- somebody will make birdie and somebody will make bogey, at a pivotal time in the tournament. I think it's going to mean a lot. 14 is a great little hole. It gives you so many holes. It's one of best ones out here, only at 323. You'll get guys that will drive it on the green or come close and guys laying it back. But the second shot is so hard, you can't believe it. If you lay back, you've got a shot that's straight up the hill. I don't know what the elevation change is on it, but it's an amazing hole. It's not a gimmee birdie by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I think you'll see a lot of bogeys all week out of that hole because guys get too aggressive or the second shot being so tough. No. 15, little par 3, water in the front, actually reminds me of No. 8 last year at Hazeltine, similarities with the water front right and bunker is to the left, very good hole. 16, pretty much a straightaway par 4. I would assume, I haven't seen it, but I think they took out a lot of trees since the last time I was here because it was a -- seems kind of wide open. Didn't really -- not much to that hole, really. But still, you've got to drive it in the fairway to be able to get it close. Then 17, a great, great golf hole. It's tough. You're going to blast -- the last two holes are going to challenge the eventual champion because you're going to get up there and have two really long holes. If you don't put in the fairway you're going to have some issues. I hit a driver 4-iron into 17 today and hit a really good 4-iron, actually just over the green, but once again, it's going to be -- you're going to have to drive it in the fairway on that hole if you're going to have any chance to make a birdie. On 18, I hit 7-iron from the right rough about 12, 15 feet and made that, one of the few highlights of the day. Overall, just a great finishing hole. You watch Curtis Strange years back finish on that hole, even in the Ryder Cup, how many matches were won and lost on that hole, it's going to be a great finishing hole. You talk about want to go throw up walking up that hole if you've got a one-stroke lead, that's definitely one of them. It's just a very fair test of golf which is what you should expect out of a major championship. Some of the members asked me today what they thought the winning score would be. I was so bold as to say I thought the eventual champion might get it to double digits if the weather stayed like today and the winds were benign. But if the winds pick up, I would think 5-, or 6-under would be more than adequate just depending on the rough. But like we've always talked about, this golf course allows anybody to win, with any kind of game. Fred Funk and Loren Roberts can compete on this just as well as Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. You have two extremes on how they play the golf course. So, I think the champion will definitely make -- probably have the least amount of putts for the week and possibly hit most fairways. So, it's going to be fun. I'm excited about getting out there and I hope little junior cooperates so I can be here.
JULIUS MASON: Well done, Rich. Thank you very much.
Q. Will be fairways be narrower than least year at Hazeltine, and if you have to because of the wind, rough and everything, will you have no hesitancy in throttling back more than last year with hitting driver off the tee on so many holes?
RICH BEEM: Yeah, the fairways are definitely mayor narrower here at Oak Hill than they were last year. That's going to be -- it's going to be a judgment call whether I throttle back or not. I think I will in certain situations and depending on the wind if I've got a wind that's crossing I don't really like to -- I don't think I can fit the driver in there then I will probably throttle back a little bit. But with the fairways being as narrow as they are, and actually the length also dictating how aggressive you want to be, it's kind of how you feel. Like I said, you can either be super aggressive off the tee box and take some chances and be rewarded for them with shorter irons into some of these small greens or you can lay back and play conservatively and just take your chances with the longer club in your hands. Just depends on what you feel at the time and what you're trying to accomplish. If you're trying to make up strokes, then obviously you are going to be more aggressive, but if you're trying to hang onto the lead and watch other guys wilt away, then you are just going to put it in the fairway and hang on for dear life.
Q. In the particulars of the baby when is the due date, and how close to the tournament would you think about not playing?
RICH BEEM: The due date is the Saturday of the PGA Championship. I will be doing the same thing as Phil Mickelson did years ago. We are going to try induce early, and if we can't, I'll keep playing until that pager goes off and I'm just going to politely say good-bye and head on out. I can play -- fortunately, I can play in as many PGAs as I would like to for the rest of my life, though I hope I won't be out here at the age of 85 trying to give them grief. But I'm not too sure how many more kids I'm going to have, so I'm definitely going to be home to watch the birth of my first child. It's going to be fantastic. So I won't have any -- there will be no decision-making. I've already made up my mind. And I'll leave as soon as everything is ready to go.
RICH BEEM: Today is the first day I've ever seen the golf course, first time I've ever been here. But it was a great day to be here. Weather was perfect. A lot less rain than the last few weeks on TOUR.
Q. Never mind how your life has changed, how has your golf game changed? How do you rate how you've been this season so far, or how has it changed? How has it reacted to what occurred last year?
RICH BEEM: Actually my golf game I think has gotten better. I know that sometimes the stats don't reveal that. But as far as confidence level in my game, I feel more comfortable with my game. I feel more comfortable being on the golf course, and you know, I enjoy being out there. Obviously, my putting has not come around. I've been working on that and working on my short game endlessly. I think I'm really close. I think I'm really close to playing well again, and when that day comes around, I'm going to embrace it because it's tough right now not holing the putts that you think you should make and struggling just a little bit. But I'm really close. I think when my game finally does turn around, it will be we will worth it again. I do this every year, though. I struggle and then finally have some good tournaments and then go back to struggling again. So, give it a name.
Q. Just watching your reaction while you were watching the tape, what's going through your mind? I saw you smile and then a bigger smile?
RICH BEEM: Oh, I was just kind of laughing myself, me being a dumb ass on 18 green dancing last year. (Laughter.) You know, you always kind of get excited see things like that, great things you've accomplished. I enjoy that. It's just kind of neat to see something different that I had not seen before, and it's truly special, like I said, until you've been associated with something this major, it's unbelievable. I mean, I've got this Wanamaker Trophy it sitting at my house, and sometimes I just stick it out there and look at all the names and past champions and just laugh. It's pretty hysterical. I do have a tidbit of information. My wife brought this up the other day. Apparently August 24, 1970 when I was born, Dave Stockton won the playoff for the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club. So I was destined to win this one.
Q. Do you have any recollection from the '95 Ryder Cup when it was here and where you were or what you were doing at that time?
RICH BEEM: '95, I was in Seattle, Washington. Yeah, I probably stayed at home every day and watched it. Yeah, I do remember a few things about it. Unfortunately, we didn't come on the winning end, but the thing I do remember is David Gilford holing the putt on 18 to win his match; Curtis Strange battling Nick Faldo the final day; and then unfortunately Jay Haas had a chance on 18 to help out and he didn't perform so well. You know, I don't remember a whole lot about it, but I do remember a few things about it. Unfortunately they are all not so good for the American side.
Q. Where were you in your career?
RICH BEEM: I was actually unemployed at the time the Ryder Cup was going on, but I was looking and I was gainfully employed a month later up at Magnolia Hi-Fi.
JULIUS MASON: Our current PGA Champion is currently 10th place on Ryder Cup points, for your information.
Q. I guess we have painted you as a streaky player, would you agree with that characterization and did you feel that performance coming before last year's PGA?
RICH BEEM: Yeah, I even I've always been labeled as a streaky player which is fine by me. Also been labelled as a one-hit wonder which is not okay with me. I was actually thinking about this earlier, I was not too sure it would be appropriate to bring it up, but I'm going to bring up anyways. A lot of people call my win a fluke. Some people say, well, was that a fluke. And I'm going to give you the honest answer, because I've been thinking about it for a while; and I'm going to say yes, my career has been a fluke. It would be like a guy that works at a printing press for a couple of years and about five years later he writes a Pulitzer prize-winning novel, that's kind of how my career has been. I've gone from making 15,000 as a very bad assistant golf pro, to winning the ultimate as far as major championships go in golf. I am very streaky, but when I am good, I am very good. Unfortunately on the flipside of that, when I'm not playing so well, I'm just as bad as everybody else. Well, maybe not as much as Rob Kariya, but I'm pretty bad. I just had to throw that in. He was my partner today. We had a good time. Honestly, my career has been that way. Is it frustrating? Immensely. It's tough. It's a tough pill to swallow because I know what I'm capable of on a daily basis, and unfortunately, it doesn't always show. That's disappointing to me. But, you know, like I said, when it does go well and I do start playing better, then it kind of opens the flood gates. As far as the second part of your question, once again, like I said, I didn't have a whole lot of expectations when I came to the PGA. I knew I was playing well, but a major championship is so much different than just a regular PGA TOUR event. There's just so many more -- there's such a different atmosphere. It's a very energetic, charged atmosphere. It's fun to be a part of and is very exciting. I knew I was putting well, which is always a bonus. I didn't spend a lot of time practicing putting at all before I went out to play, just enough to get warmed up. I knew I was hitting fairly well and the putter just saved me time and time again. It was a very special week, and I'm glad I've got all of the memorabilia that I've got from fans and friends and everybody else. I didn't expect it, but it was damn sure nice to have.
Q. You've probably been approached by tons of amateurs now that you have put on a pedestal because you are a major winner, what are you telling amateurs these days to play better golf?
RICH BEEM: Depends on how good or bad they are. Some of them I tell, take two weeks off and quit. (Laughter.) Every amateur is different. I just try and give them one tip. Like every Wednesday a play in a Pro-Am on the PGA TOUR, and, you know, if I see a guy struggling, I'll just give him one small tip and that usually helps out. Unfortunately, I'm not the greatest teacher in the world. I can point out small, basic things, but just depends on the amateur.
Q. Do you have a general tip?
RICH BEEM: No. Because everybody is different. Some guys have a bad grip, some guys have bad posture, some guys reverse pivot. Just depends on what they are doing. I can recognize small things they are doing wrong, and I just kind of point them out individually as they come up.
Q. Mr. Awtrey, obviously no major event goes on without some talk about a security issue. With that in mind, a few weeks ago, something some thought was inappropriate at the U.S. Open on Friday, there was no physical action, it was basically a verbal comment made to Vijay, probably he just kind of flinched, but at that point the USGA official came, escorted the fan off the property. I thought maybe that was a little bit overkill. We are going to have 25,000 fans here a day; what sort of play on the situation can they expect?
JIM AWTREY: I think golf requires integrity and requires integrity on the part of the players. We expect a lot from the players and their behavior. We expect the same from the fans. I think we are seeing more people coming to golf. There's a larger viewing audience. There's more of an affinity for golf than we have ever had in the game. So I think what you are seeing is we are getting some fans that are crossing over from other sports. If you are used to going to hockey, baseball, football games, you are just yelling at everybody, you yell at the players, the referees. And at golf, we have a behavior that we expect and we will expect that from the fans here. Certainly you are not going to inhibit the fans from yelling, rooting for their player, but if they cross the line and actually attack the player, be disruptive, what we don't think is proper behavior or showing proper integrity, they will be asked to leave, as well. I think you have to only begin to start; that is, where do you end? It's not a matter of saying one instance, you are going to give a free pass. We are going to expect good behavior, and of those that don't follow that, we'll escort them out, as well.
Q. What was your reaction to when Rich said, "Well, I could be expecting my baby here," and not having -- potentially not having your defending champion here?
MG ORENDER: I spoke with Rich today. And Jim and I are both fathers, and we certainly understand that. We would love to have Rich here, but we wish Rich and Sarah both a healthy, happy baby. If that timing works out that way, God bless them.
JIM AWTREY: Obviously it's important to have the great players in the world. But you know you also have to put a perspective on our game and our live, and there are certain things in your life that happen and we all have to react to those. In this instance, I share Rich's excitement. Personally, I remember trying to play the Tour and had just qualified for an event back in the old days and got a call at 5:00 in the morning saying, don't worry, and started crying and said I was on my way to the hospital. I signed an incorrect card and left. I share Rich's feelings. I think it's special and I think it's okay.
Q. Considering the change in golf balls in the last 10, 15 years, and the drivers, do you think you have played differently in 1980 when Jack won or in '89 when Curtis won, or do you think they would play differently today on this golf course?
RICH BEEM: I probably would have played the same, as long as I had the confidence in my game that I do now. You know, there's been a lot of criticism about the changes in equipment from the golf ball to the driver and things like that. You know, some of it I do agree with. I think just like Tiger, maybe we should start testing some of the drivers, just to make sure everybody is on the same playing field. But if manufacturers want to test the boundaries of equipment with the USGA, I fully support it. If you look at the history of every sport, not just golf but every single sport, basketball, just watching basketball, the highlights back in the 60s, they were just making sum jump-shots like they are free. Now you have a big gorilla guy coming down from the rafter just slam-dunking them. It's just a different style of game. But I think it's more exciting, too. I think the fans do want to see players making birdies. I think they want to see a slash-and-go-for-broke style out there sometimes. I think that golf has just evolved from a finesse game to a power game and it's just a product of evolution. As far as I can remember, Jack Nicklaus pretty much stood up with there a driver and tried to hit it as hard as he possibly could every time and there's nothing wrong with that. Guys now just do it a little more effectively. I think it's a healthy change to see golf turn into more of a power game but there is also different ways of controlling low scores and not just by putting 7000-, 8000-yard golf course outs there. MG and I talked about it today, you can just take a golf course like this, 7,100 yards long, firm up the fairway, grow the rough six inches, make the greens rock hard, I promise you nobody can overpower a golf course like this. This golf course stands the test of time just like most major championship golf courses. I think it's the style of the golf course, Donald Ross obviously was a brilliant architect back in the day, creating the greens like he did. Length is not always the answer for strength. Sometimes accuracy plays a big part in that, as well.
Q. Can you speak to what we are going to see from the corporate world, sponsors at a major event like this from a business perspective?
CHRIS WILLIAMS: We have 36 corporate hospitality chalets and 65 corporations that have either a table or tent for corporate hospitality.
Q. Another baby question. What about before the tournament, do you have a cutoff?
RICH BEEM: No, I don't. Whenever he comes, he comes. I think if the delivery were to happen maybe that Sunday or Monday, possibly even into Tuesday I might consider it, but after Tuesday, no. Wednesday would not be an option. It's a tough call. You know, you want to -- I would love to come back and defend, but, you know, my wife is probably going to kick me out of the house sooner or later, because she'll be like, "go play golf again" and I'll be, "no, I want to sit here." It's nice not going anything and not playing golf. We'll just kind of play it by ear. We are hoping for two weeks early or two weeks late, either will be fine.
Q. Going back to the driver thing and Tiger suggesting that Tiger have to pass through a screening before you tee off, do you agree with the Nike spokesman and a couple other people, Tiger strongly suggesting that there are illegal drivers being used on the Tour?
RICH BEEM: If there's an illegal driver being used on the Tour, the players don't know about it. I know the integrity of the players that we have on TOUR, and I would -- yes, I don't think that if anybody was playing with an illegal driver, it's not done intentionally. Now, unfortunately, we don't build the drivers. I don't go into any wood-working shop and get out the hammer and duck tape and build a driver. We put all of our trust in the manufacturers to regulate that. And we hope that that's the case. I mean, I went to a new golf ball a couple of weeks ago and it goes further. It almost got banned by the USGA but they somehow smoothed it out and now it's legal. Do I think that the players ought to get it checked? Yes. If that's going to be the new way to check everything, then yes. Give us a machine, let us go put our driver on the machine and test it. If it tests out fine, then we have no problem. If it tests out illegal, let's go get a new one. I don't know what the statement made by Nike was or Tiger, but let's go ahead, let's go do it. Tiger has the opportunity to use every piece of technology that everybody else is using, meaning graphite shafts and oversize club head. He chooses not to. He chooses something different. Can he hit it further with an over-sized head and graphite shaft? Absolutely, there's no question in my mind. But he chooses to control the golf ball or whatever off the tee. Right now he's not hitting it so well off the tee, but, you know, he's got the same technologies that we do. He's got the same access to it. If the folks at Nike think there's cheaters out there, then that's a pretty bold statement.
Q. Mickelson said that Tiger was using an inferior equipment, and you obviously just said he has the same technology, so you don't agree with that?
RICH BEEM: Oh, honestly, I don't know what equipment he's using. I have no idea. Obviously he's using equipment that's suitable to his game and I'd be hard-pressed to put anything else in his hands. Obviously it's working pretty good. And everybody who thinks he's in a slow-called slump, I'd like to have that slump, just once, baby. You want to talk slumps, brother, you come talk to me, I'll show you some slumps. (Laughter.)
JIM AWTREY: I wanted to make a comment on the equipment. I believe very strongly in the integrity of the game, and I agree with Rich and the integrity of the players. I think you have to keep in mind some things that you are seeing today, though. You are seeing technology on all levels. You are seeing different shafts, different heads, all of which are being screened by the USGA. But what you're also seeing is better athletes in better condition and you're seeing fitting, club fitting, whether you're an amateur or whether you're a professional, now you are seeing the absolute perfect fitting. We're able to put you on a machine, match the spin rate of the ball to the driver to maximize your spin rate so that you can have a low spin with a driver. And there's others you can match up with depending on your style of play. When you take that in combination with ball, with shaft and with club head, with better athletes working daily like Paul Latshaw, you are seeing golf courses that are in excellent condition. Don't forget, that we are not playing golf courses where you get a bad lie anymore. It's not like you go to links golf course in Scotland and you play it as you find it and it may be in a hole. You don't go out on Paul's course and find a blemish on there unless we have created it as a player. When you add all of that up and you take a highly competitive tour of great young players, the best players in the world, you're going to have a lot of people from week-to-week that look like something is changing. They may change the ball and you know what their attitude may be better and they may hit it harder. They make swing with confidence and you may see the ball go 15 yards further. Just because we are seeing that there's still a lot of marketing going on in the game and every one of these companies want to believe that theirs will go further with every player. But when you add it up, you can't find a consistency from week-to-week, except the guys are good and they are hitting it longer and better than they ever have. I just want to clarify that because I think the game is still something we should be proud of.
Q. You mentioned slumps and peaks and valleys, how much of the game for you is mental and how much is physical when you are playing well?
RICH BEEM: I think they go kind of hand in hand. When I'm playing well, I physically feel pretty good. Obviously, you know, there's not a whole lot wrong physically with my swing at the moment in time. Mentally, just -- you just see things differently. You don't see anything, you don't see the trees over here or the bunkers over here. All you see is a fairway and a little white flag over there and I'm going right at it. There's nothing in your way. There's nothing that you cannot do with the golf ball when you're playing well. When you're not playing well, the hole looks like it's about this big, as opposed to looking like an oil barrel can. It's just different. Everything just changes. You know, I think now my game is probably more mental than physical. I think physically I'm swinging the golf club as good as I possibly can. It's just a matter of getting a little confidence in getting around the greens and holing maybe a 10- or 15-footer, let's go birdie this, just a small change in a bounce here or a kick there, and I think that's it for not only me, but for most players on TOUR. It's just the nature of the game.
Q. Do you prefer playing traditional, classic courses like this or courses you normally see on TOUR?
RICH BEEM: I'd rather see a golf course where probably -- probably more traditional; if you make a bunch of pars in a row, you are not getting passed. There's some golf courses where if you don't shoot 66 on a certain day, then you're going to get lapped. But I like more traditional golf courses. Riviera for a normal Tour event is my favorite golf course. There's no hidden anything. There's probably one or two hazards, but they don't even have water in them, so you've just got to play well. And I enjoy that golf course. I enjoy things like that. I don't like big, huge water hazards or floating greens or things like that. I don't know, that just shows that you can control your nerves a little bit better, not so much the golf ball. But I enjoy golf courses like this and golf courses that make you think your way around it, like I said, where you can make five or six, seven pars in a row and don't feel like you're losing any ground. That's the kind of golf courses I enjoy the most.
Q. Could you talk more about your putting and what the problem has been and what you've been working on and whether you've changed a lot of putters? Have you tried the belly or long putter, changed your stroke and discuss what you do well putting and what you don't do well.
RICH BEEM: Well, right now, the problem with my putting is that the ball is not going in the hole. I try and boil it down to being that simple. I've tried all sorts of different putters. I've been working hard with Scotty Cameron and Larry Watts, and I've tried out everything. I've been working on my putting hard. I've actually saw a friend of mine last week back in Las Crusas, New Mexico and he worked on the putting for 45 minutes to an hour. And I made a few good putts today, so I'm actually excited again about getting out there and trying to hole a few putts. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. You know part of the problem, also is that I tend to get impatient very quickly with a certain putter. If the ball doesn't in after about nine holes, I wish could I just take it throw it out and get a new one in my bag, but they don't let us do that for some odd reason. I've probably messed around with -- inaudible -- if it doesn't go in, it must be broken because, certainly, me, I've never hit a bad putt in my life. But it's coming around. I've hit a lot of good putts over the last few weeks and have a pretty couple unfortunate breaks, but I think over the next month, things are about to change.
Q. If we are just watching you, is there anything noticeably different with you on the green? Is your stance going to be different or is it going to be so subtle we are not going to be able to tell the difference?
RICH BEEM: I'll going to have a different stance probably over the next couple of weeks, something to free up my stroke a little before, but probably there's more with my stance and setup a little bit. Other than that, that's probably going to be the only noticeable difference. Besides the new putter, again.
Q. Whatever happened to the hand-painted shoes you had from the Grand Slam of Golf with the hula dancer and custom made woods? Might you ever bring those back out at a Tour event or anywhere else?
RICH BEEM: They are sitting in my garage waiting for me over to get to Kauai and play in the Grand Slam of Golf. That's where they are at and they are waiting. Very impatiently, I must say, but they are waiting there. Just in a nice little shoe bag, sitting.
JULIUS MASON: That does conclude our news conference today. Thank you very much for joining us today. We'll see you in August.
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