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June 3, 2003

Peter Mele

Larry Peck

Chris Smith

Andrew Spano

JAMES CRAMER: Good afternoon. My name is James Cramer. I'm the Senior Manager of Communications and Media Operation for the PGA Tour, and I would like to welcome you to the 2003 Buick Classic Media Day. I open everybody had an enjoyable round of golf and we appreciate you coming out to help us kick off this final two weeks leading into the event. To begin, I would like to introduce our distinguished speakers today. To my far right, Mr. Andrew Spano Westchester County Executive. To Mr. Spano's left, our defending champion, Chris Smith. And representing our title sponsor, Buick, Mr. Larry Peck, Buick Golf Marketing Manager. I would also like to introduce Peter Mele the Executive Director of the Buick Classic. Before we go into our speakers, I would like to bring to your attention that at the front table, we have some promotional materials that I would encourage you to get. We have a CD prepared by Buick and we also have a CD that is serving as the tournament press kit. You'll find Chris's bio, transcripts from last year Buick's Classic. We have photo files, logo files and video files, as well. So we think it's going to be very useful to you and encourage you to pick one up before you leave. At this point I would like to introduce the Executive Director of the Buick Classic, Mr. Peter Mele for comments.

PETER MELE: Thank you. Thank you all for coming today. It's been difficult to get two days without rain. We were able to get a day and a half at least. It was great. I think you will join me in saying with all the talk about golf courses needing to be 7300 yard and 7400 yards, I think the course designer took a blueprint of the course here and said, we can take 6300 yards and make it a more difficult test of golf on the PGA Tour. I think this is a pretty good model for success. We are delighted to have Westchester as our host course. Joel Alonzi does a wonderful job of maintaining the golf course and getting it in great condition. And this year when the sun starts to come out again on the week of June 16th, we'll have seven great days. The rough is going to get a little nasty, there is a lot of water down there, so we're looking forward to a great week of golf. I want to acknowledge a few people, Ron Cross is here with us today. He's my boss, so say nice things. I also want to recognize all the committee chairs and the volunteers that help us each year. We could never do an event like this without the 1,600 plus volunteers that we get from all over the place. We have people coming in from Buffalo, New Hampshire, plus a lot of local people from the county and over the border and Jersey and all over the place. They're helping us today with media day, we have volunteers from the Junior League of Westchester. They're one of the groups that are involved with us this year. The volunteers make the PGA Tour run. Events like ours donate millions of dollars every year to charity and we could never do that without the volunteers support. I want to think Joel Alonzi, the superintendent, Director of Golf John Kennedy and his staff do a great job helping us every year with the pro-am, getting the 440 plus amateurs out there, getting them in position. They just do a great job for us every year. I also want to thank my staff, without which we could never succeed. The Bliss Hanson did a great job today helping getting us all squared away. Sandy Diamond, the sales manager. If you look at all the tents out there and sky boxes, he did a great job out there. All the intern support we get from Iona College and Colgate and St. Johns -- and I'm probably missing a couple. We have a great staff of interns that, again, we could not succeed without all those folks. I also want to thank James Cramer from the PGA Tour for helping us today. James is going to be here with us all this year during tournament week. I also want to thank Al Abrams and the Buick Golf Team for helping with media day today, getting all the press kits together and all that. Thank you for your support. We are now in our 37th year. This really is one of the premiere tournaments of the PGA Tour. We have a $5 million purse this year, which ranks us in the top 12 of purses on Tour. So a little more to shoot for this year, Chris. And we expect a strong field, as they're coming off Olympia Field in Chicago. At this time I would like to announce an honorary chairman this year, former Mayor Giuliani, who will be the honorary chairman for the 2003 Buick Classic. He's been a great friend of the Buick Classic and a friend of golf in the metropolitan area. He promotes the game and wants to see as many people be able to play the game as we can in this area. What is exciting for us this year is we've been able to add organizations to our charity base. We had the New York University Hospital Medical Center of Westchester has been a charity for the past 36 years. This year we'll introduce three new groups: The Maria Fereri Children's Hospital, Westchester Medical Center, we're delighted to have them on board as our new charity. They are a great facility. Take a right up there take a look at this new hospital. It's awesome. It's going to open up next year. We're really excited to be involved with this organization. Also the Junior Leagues of Westchester, they're thousand-plus members throughout the county. They're wonderful. They brought in a tremendous amount of energy, as volunteers and as a volunteer organization, so we're delighted to have them on board for our first year and look for a long-standing relationship with them going forward. Also the First Tee of Metropolitan New York over in the Bronx, Mosholu Park, they opened up the facility last June to make golf accessible to the kids and stuff that wouldn't otherwise have access to golf. It's a great organization around the country, and we're very fortunate to finally have a chapter in New York. We're excited to have them as one of our charities also. We talk about charity a lot, we talk about purse, but we couldn't have any of that without a title sponsor. We're very fortunate to have one of the best title sponsors in golf. They've been with this event since 1990, and they understand what partnership is all about. We work together. It is truly is a team. We couldn't be more fortunate to have Buick as our title sponsor and to work with the gentleman on our right. He's a great person, a very good friend of mine, Buick Golf Manager, Larry Peck.

LARRY PECK: Thank you. We really appreciate those kind of words, Peter. It's always a pleasure to come to the Westchester Country Club. It's a beautiful and historical country club and a great course. It's a beautiful day, I hope you enjoyed the course. I sure did. I saw a lot of the course. We're very proud this year, Buick is, to be partnering with the new charity that Peter mentioned, the great job they have done really in promoting the tournament this year and having record corporate sales and ticket sales it's really going to do nothing but give more money to the charities that are involved. This is Buick's 14th year as the title sponsor of the Buick Classic and we would like to thank the hard work of Peter and his staff and the hundreds of volunteers that have worked on this event to make one of the best run events in the PGA Tour. Of course, we would like to congratulate Chris Smith here on my right on his exciting victory last year. For those who were here to see Chris win, I don't think you could have seen a more appreciative or deserving champion. And I just want to wish Chris the best in defending his title this year, and thank him for being with us today. Thanks Chris. At Buick we're pleased to be in our fifth decade of as the original corporate sponsor of the PGA Tour. We're also the largest corporate sponsor of golf. We're the title sponsor of three PGA Tour events. We have marketing partnerships with three PGA Tour Players, including Matt Gogel, Dave Berganio Jr. and of course Tiger Woods. Buick has been the official car of the PGA Tour since 1984, and we're the official car of over half of all PGA Tour events. With the exception last year, the very first Buick scramble we're also now the official car of the PGA of America. The Buick Scramble is the world's largest amateur golf tournament and we're pleased to have Tiger Woods back the honorary chairman. Buick and golf has been a deal fit for many years, but not just because of the marketing benefits, but because Buick feels very strongly in giving back to the community. In fact, through PGA Tour sponsorships, we've donated $26 dollars to local charities in our current market, including more than $13 million to Buick Classic charities alone. With record tournament purses and network television coverage and an increase in spectator interest, we look forward to being an integral part of the continued growth and popularity of the PGA Tour for many years to come. It's really my privilege today to announce that Tiger Woods has agreed to play at the 2003 Buick Classic. Tiger is already a defending champion of the Buick Open in Grand Blanc, Michigan, and the Buick Invitational in LaJolla, California. Winning here this year at the Buick Classic would give Tiger the Buick Golf Triple Crown, the Buick Slam. He would be the current title holder of all three Buick titled sponsored tournaments which would be a great accomplishment for a very special player. All in all it would be an exciting week and we look forward to seeing all of you here at the Buick Classic. Thank you.

JAMES CRAMER: As Peter mentioned, it really is a team effort to put forth a tournament of this magnitude, and an integral part of that team is Westchester County. At this point I would like to introduce Mr. Andrew Spano, Westchester County Executive, to comment on that relationship.

ANDREW SPANO: Westchester takes it's golf very seriously. Those that live here know that. This is the birth place of American golf, the first course in the United States right here in Westchester County. We have almost 60 courses here in Westchester, and the county itself owns five and we're building a sixth. We can't keep up with the demand. And having the Buick Classic here is really a benefit for us as a county. It benefits us economically. We get thousands of people coming in to see this tournament. The county this year for the first time is bringing prospective people who are looking to come to the county and bring their businesses here. We're already distributing tickets sales, and I'm telling you we're getting a tremendous response in terms of that kind of activity. To have something like this do that is really a big benefit for us. It's good for our image. When you watch us on TV, you hear Westchester Country Club in Westchester, and that goes out to the entire country. So for Westchester this is an important marketing tool for us. And the charities that benefit from this really are the back bone of Westchester County. The fact that we have the Children's Hospital this year is going to be very significant. We have done a major fund-raising drive and this is going to be part of the money they need to open that hospital. We have, as a county government, a long-term commitment to this tournament. One of the things we're very pleased about is that by adding these additional recipients this year, by putting together an advisory group of respected corporate people in Westchester County, before Tiger Woods name was announced, this tournament had gotten recognized. So that, I think, is a real indication of how this partnership of the PGA, the Westchester Country Club, and all the recipients has really benefited this tournament this year. The other benefit that we might get out of this, I'm a terrible golfer, but I feel if I come here, by osmosis, I will get better.

JAMES CRAMER: One of the true joys of my job working with the PGA Tour is a chance to work with some really good guys, and our defending champion, Chris Smith, is a really good guy. For example, to appear here today, Chris is coming off five consecutive weeks of play. Yesterday he successfully qualified for the U.S. Open in Columbus, Ohio, and then he's got family plans -- (Applaud.) I know it means a lot to the tournament to have Chris here, and I would like to now introduce our defending champion, Chris Smith, to make some comments and we'll open up for questions.

CHRIS SMITH: I would like to start with a quick story. I travel a lot in the job that I do. Last year I was on the road for 35 weeks. When I started traveling, I decided that when I was home I wanted to do as much as I could with my kids. I have a 10-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy. I felt like I made the most of that time. One of the things I decided to do when my daughter started school is I would be a car pool dad. I started picking up kids in the neighborhood for school every single day that I was home. The moms didn't think that was a great idea at first, there was a dad driving to school with loud music and telling jokes that moms didn't think I should be telling, but I had a lot of fun with it. I still do it. My daughter is in the fourth grade this year, and last year every single morning I get up to go car pool, I would see Larry. And it's scary, because I get in my Buick Rendezvous that I won here in Westchester last year and I car-pooled the kids in the neighborhood to school. I think it took me a long time for what happened here last year to set in. I think after about three months of being on top of the clouds and getting back into taking the kids to school in the Buick that I won, I can fully appreciate it. And I, truly, honestly, every single morning that I'm home, I get in the car and I think about this place. I think about New York. I think about Buick. I think about winning the tournament last year. All those thoughts go through my mind every single day. So this is a place that is very special to me and a place that I think about a lot. My daughter -- the Rendezvous has wireless ear phones, and she thought it was the greatest thing ever. She's very happy about it. And I'm just really excited to come back. I'm excited. I pulled in the driveway today and saw the driving range. The last thing I want to do right now is play golf, but it made me want to go out and hit golf balls. I do have great memories here and I look forward to coming back. Peter does a great job. Buick does a great job. The people of Westchester do a great job and it truly is one of the tournaments that all the players refer to as one of the best on tour. So to have a chance to win my first tournament last year truly is an honor and I hope I can be a good defending champion (inaudible). I look forward to coming back and I know I'll enjoy the week and I enjoy the people and I thank you all for having me here and the things that the tournament brought me this last year. (Applaud.)

JAMES CRAMER: At this point we're going to open up for questions and answers for the panel.

Q. Chris, what did you shoot yesterday?

CHRIS SMITH: I shot nine under, and I think I saw in the paper this morning that (inaudible) shot 20 under, 21 under or something.

Q. What's your impression of this course and the general impression on tour?

CHRIS SMITH: Well, you can look at the numbers over the years. This is one of the hardest golf courses on tour. It always has been and it always will be. I've never been a believer of distance is what makes it difficult. I think what makes it difficult here is you have -- Peter, I think the word he used was nasty roughs makes for great golf. That's how you guys see it. It's very difficult for us, but I think that the rough and the speed of the greens and the slopes of the greens and having to work the ball right to left and left to right is what makes golf courses difficult and that's what you have to do here. You can play a 470 yard par 4, if you hit a straight tee shot, hit a straight seven iron, and you hit the green and it's not that difficult. You can get short holes out here that are a lot more difficult than a 470 yard par 4. I think the numbers here show you that.

Q. (Talk about Tiger playing in the Buick Classic.)

LARRY PECK: All I can say, it is the weekend of the U.S. Open and he generally doesn't usually like to play before a major. This is after the U.S. Open, and I received word yesterday from his agent that he was in fact going to play and looking forward to coming back.

Q. (Inaudible.)

CHRIS SMITH: I think every course that you have two under being a good score, it's going to lead to a shoot-out on Sunday. You're going to have several guys with a chance to win. If you're making a bunch of birdies, and you're playing a golf course that isn't as demanding, then almost every time somebody is going to go out and make a bunch of birdies and run away. I certainly think that how this golf course is, you have a large number of guys on Sunday that have a chance to win.

Q. (Inaudible.)

CHRIS SMITH: It's only two hours from my house, but I've never been there. I'm not exactly sure how to get there. I've hear it's very difficult. I've heard it's long. (Inaudible) said that the course was in really good shape, the rough is really long and the greens were firm already. I think regardless if you know the golf course or not, you have to know what you're getting before you get there.

Q. Did you play last year?

CHRIS SMITH: No, I did not.

Q. Had you qualified?

CHRIS SMITH: For sure.

Q. (Inaudible.)

CHRIS SMITH: This year, no, I played five in a row. I already probably played as many tournaments I should have played by the end of July. I played a lot of golf this year trying to play a little bit better golf. (Inaudible.) I've got a lot going on.

Q. Five weeks and then come back (Inaudible.)

CHRIS SMITH: I'm tired. I've played a lot. I haven't been home a lot. I played with Tiger the first two days last week, which always takes a lot out of you. There's a lot going on. The conditions last weekend were very difficult. Having to get up at 6:00 yesterday morning and play 36 holes takes a lot out of you. (Inaudible.)

Q. (Talk about the pressure with Tiger playing.)

CHRIS SMITH: Well, you know, I think if you're going to be successful out here, you have to take every week the same. You have to try to get out and play as good as you can every week. Obviously when he's in the field, then the strength of field is up. You want to play good the weeks that he's out, but I don't really practice harder knowing that I'm going to be playing in tournaments that he is. I compete with myself and do the best I can with myself.

Q. When you found out Tiger was going to play, Peter, did you have to go to plan B? Do you have a different plan with Tiger coming?

PETER MELE: The difference is handling the spectators. As far as security, it was ramped up a lot with 9/11 and there's not a lot of adjustment for him personally. Obviously we're going to have more spectators, so more buses to handle the parking, things like that. But honestly, I think we went knowing what to expect. Last time we didn't really know what to expect. So we're much better.

Q. Chris -- (Inaudible.)

CHRIS SMITH: No, not at all. I won this tournament last year. I'm very proud of that. The Tiger factor is something that we all deal with every week on tour and it's been a great thing for golf. It's been a great thing for all of us. It's just one more person that would be fun to beat.

Q. Peter -- (Inaudible.)

PETER MELE: As I recall, somewhere between a 30 and 40 percent increase. Total spectators, it's hard. We don't really have exact numbers. The best we can come up with, an estimate of numbers in normal years, somewhere between 100,000 to 120,000 per week. So it comes in on the high side of that. That year was difficult because we had weather. We had terrible weather. We were rained out, unfortunately, Thursday, unfortunately, Saturday, we played Monday. I'm sure we all remember. So we couldn't get a good gauge. We had a lot of walk-up sales.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PETER MELE: For the week.

Q. (Talk about Annika.)

CHRIS SMITH: I think it was pretty cool. I think it was pretty good. It brought a lot of interest to the tournament. I think a lot of people for a long time talked about where she would stack up to the players. On the nationwide tour (Inaudible.) I think a lot of people wanted to see how her game stacked up to the guys, and I think she did pretty good.

JAMES CRAMER: I would like again thank you everybody for coming. I just have a couple of reminders. The number to tickets is (877) 874-0769 and we have press releases regarding Mayor Giuliani and also Tiger Woods announcing that he intends to pay, as well as media kits at the front table. Thank you again from coming we'll see you in a couple of weeks.

End of FastScripts...

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