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June 5, 2006

Larry Peck

Vijay Singh

BRIAN BOWDEN: Good morning. It's great to be here. We're very excited about this year's event, and we'll kick things off this morning and get started.
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for being here and welcome you. We have a very informative program planned this morning, and got a great day out there. The course is in awesome shape, it's going to be a beautiful day and we just want to make sure we get things kicked off this morning, share as much information as we can and go out and have some fun.
One thing I want to remind you of, we have a Buick Lucerne as our hole-in-one prize on the 17th hole. If you would, if you would fill out this attached card on the 17th hole, you'll register for an opportunity to win the car. Hopefully we'll be able to give it away today. But also by filling out, give us your information, you'll get a full-year subscription to Golf Digest, and you'll also enter in a sweepstakes where you may win an opportunity to join us in Las Vegas next spring for an awesome event where you can have a chance to attend a Tiger Woods clinic. Just want to give you that quick reminder.
With that said, I'd like to bring on our marketing manager, Larry Peck. He has led our effort for the last six years. He does a great job, and got to share a quick story. I joined Buick team -- I actually was the regional marketing manager with a couple years ago, and I have a mother, 70 years old; she's a huge sports nut. She watches everything. Larry and I awarded K.J. Choi the trophy in, I think the last year of the Tampa Bay Classic, and so when I rejoined as the marketing director a few months ago, I called my mom and said, "Hey, I'm going back to Buick; going to be the marketing director."
She goes, "Oh, great. Well then, will you be working for Larry Peck?" (Laughter) That just goes to show you how recognized he is and what a great job he does leading our golf effort.
So with that said, Larry is going to kill me for sharing that story, but true story, by the way. Larry Peck.
LARRY PECK: Thank you, Brian. Thank you very much. It's great to be back at Warwick Hills. Hard to believe that we're in the heart of the golf season here. U.S. Open is already next week, I can't believe it.
Before I begin, I'd like to give some recognition for our communications manager that's here with us today, Dave Darwitz (ph), who is going to be out on the course. Look for Dave in the white shirt if you need anything, anything at all out there. He's going to be cruising around -- you're not golfing today, right Dave?
You know, in addition to concentrating on launching some great new products this year, like the Buick LaCrosse and Buick Lucerne, we have a really busy golf season ahead of us. As I said we're in the heart of it. We started off the year with a bang with Tiger Woods winning the Buick Invitational and then kicking off our promotional program: "When Tiger Wins, You Can Win." Every time he plays, someone gets a chance to win the actual car that he drives that week. Three weeks from now, we shift into high gear with the Buick Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut. And along the way, we will continue to be the Official Car at over half of all PGA TOUR events on the PGA TOUR, little known fact. But wherever there's a PGA TOUR event, chances are the cars the players are driving to and from the event will be Buicks. And also we're the Official Car of the PGA Championship at Medinah in Augusta.
So just as important to all that, we're very excited to continue our partnership with the No. 1 golfer in the world, Tiger Woods. We've gotten to know Tiger quite well through the years. He really is a class act and we're very sorry about the passing of his father, Earl, and really wish him the best as he resurfaces here and starts to play again. We're anticipating that will be the U.S. Open, so we wish him the best.
Through the years he's played an important role here. Tiger has at Buick Open. He's racked up six Top-10 finishes in seven attempts. He's always at the top of that leaderboard when he plays, and actually won in 2002 if you'll recall. It's really hard to determine the lift that we get when Tiger plays, everything from ticket sales to the excitement level to ultimately money for charity. So it's a huge lift to the event when he does play.
And with that in mind, I'm extremely pleased to announce today that Tiger does intend to play at this year's Buick Open. We're excited about that. Although he has not technically committed to the PGA TOUR, he has told us that it's on his schedule. So that's huge for the Buick Open and I hope we don't take it for granted. There's many states in this country and many tournaments that go on where Tiger doesn't play, so we're just really lucky to have him.
At the end of the day, what it does as I mentioned, it really putts money back in the pockets of Southeast Michigan Charities, which is what it's all about. On that note we recently made an announcement that we had a record donation as a result of last year's tournament of $764,000 to Southeast Michigan Charities and we're happy to announce that. We're proud we've been able to donate almost $8 million since we began keeping track in 1982 to Southeast Michigan Charities here as a result of the Buick Open. And when you include our other tournament cities, over $33 million have been raised for worthy local charities in our tournament cities. That's the great thing about sponsoring golf.
About the tournament now. It's the week of July 31 ending on August 6. Things get started on Monday with the dealer Pro-Am. That's a great opportunity to see some of the up-and-coming players and some not-so-great amateurs out there playing.
Tuesday offers a great opportunity to see the players practice, and many of them will sign autographs on Tuesday. On Tuesday afternoon, we'll again run our Family Golf Experience, which has become a great tradition for the families out there and the kids. So we encourage you to go out and see that; that's out on the driving range.
Then on Wednesday, we have the Wednesday On-Star Pro-Am, and this is another great opportunity to see the PGA TOUR's top players, and again, a number of amateurs that are not so great, like myself. Cameras are allowed on Wednesday, and it's the last day of the week to bring your camera. So that's a good day to take some pictures of some of the top players. And I really want to thank On-Star who is our largest sponsor of Buick Open, a great partner, and they have a great product to offer. And if you're not familiar with it, you really should get familiar with it because it's an awesome feature in any vehicle.
This year's Buick Open purse is another record, $4.8 million. The winner will get a share of that $864,000, plus the keys to a brand new Lucerne. For tickets, you can call 1-800-878-OPEN or go to Ticketmaster.com. And we still have some great hospitality opportunities available for any companies that may want to entertain clients or advertise. If you're interested in that, please call our marketing manager PJ Danhoff at 248-203-8754.
With that, we have a very brief video to show you from our champion last year, Vijay Singh. He had another outstanding year in 2005, he won four tournaments and over $8 million in prize money. He's the only player to win Buick Open three times, and if he were to win this year, he would be the first player in history to win three consecutive times and four times in total. He could not be with us today, but we are excited he will be back to defend his title, as well.
VIJAY SINGH (via video): Sorry I could not make it today, my scheduling, I've got a lot of work to do. But I'm looking forward to coming back to Warwick Hills. It's been one of my favorite golf courses I've played almost every year and had a lot of success there.
So I'm looking forward to coming back and defending it and hopefully winning it for the fourth time. Buick has been great to the tour and we really enjoy the support of Buick, and hopefully we can have their sponsorship for a long, long time and hopefully I can drive off with another car. So, I'll see you when the tournament comes.
LARRY PECK: That really concludes the formal part of this program. I want to just open it right now to any questions and answers YOU might have.
Q. With Ford pulling out of golf sponsorship, does that impact what you do at all? Are you looking at additional opportunities to maybe expand your sponsorship opportunities? Does that impact you at all?
LARRY PECK: You know Buick has a long-standing commitment to golf. We were the very first company to sponsor a tournament here at Warwick Hills. We're the largest corporate sponsor on the Tour. We continue to look at the golf landscape and opportunities out there. Right now, we're pleased with having the only PGA TOUR event in Michigan. The Ford Championship doesn't affect us too much in that maybe we hope to get some of those customers up here to support the tournament and obviously give more money to charity at the end of the day. So if anything, I think it will help us when that goes away down the road. But right now, we're pretty happy with our current situation with our tournaments and our sponsorship partnership with Tiger.
Q. Could you talk a little about the future of the tournament? There's been people talking about the dates moving and stuff like that.
LARRY PECK: Yeah, obviously there's been a lot of talk in the press about the new PGA TOUR schedule, a shortened schedule. We're very fortunate here I think in southeast Michigan to have Buick Open as a part of that schedule, and it's going to be a little bit earlier in the year as we go forward.
Next year it's the week before Fourth of July which is a great date, and it's positioned nicely between the majors. So we're really fortunate, I think No. 1 to have a spot on the schedule, because there's a lot of tournaments that just flat-out fell off or went into this Fall Series that they are going to have.
So it's going to mean continued money for Southeast Michigan Charities hopefully, and we're just thrilled to be able to still have a spot on the schedule.

End of FastScripts...

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