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April 3, 2002

Ben Crenshaw

Tony Jacklin

JACK PETER: Good afternoon. I am Jack Peter, it's true. I am the chief operating officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame, and I would like to thank everybody for showing up today. Let's hope the weather clears a little bit and we can get back out to playing some golf. Now, before I introduce our esteemed guests here today, I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about the Hall of Fame and what our mission is. We are a fairly new Hall of Fame as it relates to hockey, baseball and football, so I thought it was important to talk a little bit before what we do and what we stand for here. First and foremost, it is a place where we are able to honor the great players and contributors who have made such a profound impact on the game, and really, that goes without saying. In addition to that we are here to preserve and tell the history of the sport. We are here to promote access and awareness for the game of golf, and also, we are there to provide an educational platform from which to tell the story. Kids are a big part of what we do . We try to involve families and we try to get them engaged in the game so that they can carry the message for it, as well. We try to take a leadership position with what we are doing in the sport and really create a focus and a focal point for the history of it and carrying it forward. So, to the business at hand. At the center of our mission are the players. Without them, we would simply be a building with a lot of nice stuff in it. So I'm really honored today to introduce two very accomplished players and two Legends of the game. First, the winner of 19 PGA TOUR events, including two Masters victories, three-time NCAA champion at the University of Texas, member of four Ryder Cup teams and captain of the comeback kids in '99 and a Senior Tour rookie, ladies and gentlemen, Ben Crenshaw. (Applause). Next we have a winner of 27 tournaments worldwide, including the '69 British Open and the 1970 U.S. Open at Hazeltine. Four-time European Ryder Cup team captain, ladies and gentlemen, Tony Jacklin. (Applause). Gentlemen, on behalf of all of the members of the Hall of Fame, and certainly the staff and more than 200 volunteers that help us make it work, welcome. We look forward to the induction in November. First, we want to hear a few remarks from Ben, obviously, our noted historian. It's going to be good to have him on our team now. Ben, do you want to make a couple of comments about what you think about the Hall of Fame?

BEN CRENSHAW: First of all, I want to thank the Hall of Fame and I think that certainly Tony and I both are very humbled. We know the game has been wonderful to us, and we've had the opportunity to play all over the world. It is a great game and continues to be a great game. There's great enthusiasm in young players across this world. We have seen a lot of talent come and go, but we are humbled to be picked from a lot of our contemporaries that we've played against. We feel luckier than most that we are so accorded. Tony and I have had the pleasure of winning two major championships, and we have certainly shared not only a fondness for players and playing against them, but also, in the Ryder Cup, as well. We have lifelong memories from those, but we are mighty honored about this and we realize the importance of it, and we are very, very thankful.

TONY JACKLIN: Well, obviously, I feel very similar to Ben. The game has changed incredibly over the last century, a lot over the last 30 years, but the fundamentals of the game have never changed. Since all of the great players that came over from Scotland and Britain to teach our American cousins in the late part of the 19th century, the fundamentals have not changed and the values that the game expresses haven't changed. It still, in my opinion, it's a great game. I think it is the greatest game. It is one where personal integrity really is the judge in this game, first and foremost. We both have been very fortunate in having successful careers, both having played internationally, and for me, certainly I didn't have the benefit of a great education as a young man, but the university of life and travel through golf has been an incredible thing for me. Without it, I would not be sitting here, obviously, today. We do understand and appreciate what you are achieving with the World Golf Hall of Fame, and I'm sure it's only going to go one way; it's going to go from strength to strength. I know, I feel and I know Ben feels the same way. I feel very honored to be a part of it.

TIARE PECK: We'll open it up for questions here in the room.

Q. There are not many on either side of the Atlantic who are as deep in golf history and traditions as you gentlemen are. In that context, is it -- (inaudible -- operator interruption) --

BEN CRENSHAW: ... wonderful things that they have done down through the decades. But, no, there's a suddenness, I think, when you do know. I know that in my case, it's going to take me a while to reflect on it. But in my case, I can look back through the people that I played against, the people I've known. But I certainly want to say that I'm most proud, also, to be going in with Tony, because I feel like I'm a contemporary of his. My first U.S. Open, as a player, was Tony's win at Hazeltine in 1970. My father and I actually stayed next door to him that week. That was a windswept week, and I must say, too, not only did he win in brilliant fashion, but he carried the hopes of not only the British Empire had not won the Open Championship before, at Lytham, and then the expectations and he was in such great form before that and after it, but the way he carried off that championship at Hazeltine was spectacular. He won by 7 shots in very, very tough conditions. I feel sort of a kinship in that. That was my first Open, the U.S. Open. You know, the stories were fantastic that week because, you know, they said if he won, he would have been the first countryman to have won since 1920 at Inverness in the U.S. Open. But as I say, he was in such great form. And since then, you know, I've watched him play in so many places. He's contended for major championships, and then watching him really elevate the Ryder Cup and transform it in his wonderful way, and he did such a wonderful job with his team, very successfully, too. But Tony has always had a wonderful way of doing things. I think a lot of people embrace that. He had wonderful teams. I'm happy to be going in with him.

Q. Did you feel like this day was coming for a long time?

TONY JACKLIN: Like many other things in life, until it happens, you don't consider it, I suppose. It having happened, I couldn't be more delighted, and as so many other things, whether it's a Ryder Cup captaincy that Ben and I have shared that experience, until your behind is in the seat, you really don't consider it wholeheartedly. I haven't had a chance for this to properly sink in yet, but I can only tell you that, you know, I shall accept it with enormous pride. I think, as well, it would be the fondest memory will be the fact that my induction goes with Ben here, who is obviously a great historian. I haven't maybe had the written accolades from historical golf and its history, but I've been a great one for golf history over the years and studied a lot about it. It saddens me that not as many should -- not just players, but some, believe it or not, golf writers -- only concentrate their energies on today. Because each generation is only -- we are just passing the baton on to the next generation. I think what some of those old guys did many, many years ago with equipment and conditions far less than we enjoy today is nothing less than remarkable. And they went without the money and without the accolades, a lot of them. I have a vast appreciation for what they have done, making where we sit today look good. You know, I always wanted -- I put my head on the pillow many nights thinking, "Am I making a difference? Are my efforts making a difference in the world of golf?" And I think this certainly helps me to realize that maybe I did, to some degree, anyway.

Q. The building you have now for your Hall is arguably the best of any sport. Back in the days of Hazeltine, the Golf Hall of Fame was kind of an afterthought, and probably in your house you had more memorabilia -- did you all talk back in that era why you did not have a good Hall of Fame facility?

BEN CRENSHAW: There's been a lot of discussion, not only amongst the players, but a lot of people that actually before this, that the Hall of Fame had never found solid ground. It's been speculated many, many places. I was there when it was dedicated at Pinehurst. Made a wonderful effort -- did not stick, but you know, when you consider so much, not only memorabilia, but players and of countries from around the world, what the game means, and I think certainly, the idea of World Golf Hall of Fame is meant to include that. But the stature of the players before, what they meant to the game, certainly there ought to be something with a very lasting impression on the people who come and visit and what it means to -- what it means to golf. As Tony said, there's so much has happened in our game. You know, our game is certain it still is the strokes, the least number of strokes in a tournament wins/, but the equipment plays such a huge part in our game and how it is played, and Tony touched on it. If you consider just what's happened since the turn of the century, and believe me, believe me, they were having the same discussions about technology in 1900 about the rubber-core ball coming in to replace the gutta percha, and believe me, they were very lively discussion back then. If you read some of the leading players back then, they were saying it was going to ruin the game then. I think it's important to listen and read those discussions. That's just one of the reasons why I'm enjoying reading about the leading players of the day or architects, whatever they had to say, especially magazines, because it was current there. But if you go back and look at those statements made, you say, "Golly, that's very appropriate for today." We need to think about it. We need to be very attentive to what we are doing. A number of us, I really don't know where we are going with this technology issue. I think we are in sort of a -- tenuous sort of period. Certainly, we want to keep people enjoying game. But, you know, there's a skill level involved, too. And I don't know, there's -- there's a new shaft to try every week. There is a new golf ball. It's just mind-boggling what technology has done and we've seen it do things that are unbelievable. It's very confusing -- back then, you've got an S shaft or an X shaft or an R shaft and that was it, and you went out and played. You played with a wooden-headed club and you knew what it would do. It's pretty difficult to put it all together now. It's interesting to go back and here -- Harry Vardon said, "Oh, the ball, it's a game of skill, this rubber-core ball, it doesn't require any skill; it just bounds down the fairway." It's interesting.

Q. I wondered where you were, each of you, when you got the news that you were going to be inducted no the Hall of Fame or that you had been voted in, what your first thought was, and what you might donate to the Hall of Fame as a memento to represent and you your career.

TONY JACKLIN: Well, I was at home. I don't think when I get a phone call from the young lady here at the podium the day before, which more or less prepared me for what I thought might be coming next morning at 9:00 a.m., and, in fact, you know, it was what I thought, and it was almost too much to take in, as I said. You don't see the full ramifications of a thing like this. It's going to take a while, you know, to get it in my head. As I say, I'm very proud to be part of what is already a great thing and that will become an even greater thing for golf. What I'm going to give, I'm scratching my head. I have no idea at this stage, but hopefully I'll find something appropriate. I think there are two -- I was questioning about that early on, personal and golf-wise. Whatever they are, they will be as appropriate as I can make them, I assure you.

BEN CRENSHAW: I was home, too, and you don't -- it's sudden. I mean, I couldn't believe it. This year, I'm a rookie on the Senior Tour and I'm trying -- people accuse me of having a blank mind, I do, but I'm trying to go out this year with a blank mind, not knowing the courses or anything, and all of a sudden I got this, this call. It was quite sudden. I haven't had time enough to reflect on it, but I do know, and I've watched some of the shows before. It's a wonderful ceremony, very meaningful. I can't believe it. In retrospect, I mean, Tony and I have tried our best to chase this ball across the countryside all over the place, and we've been very proud of our play on many occasions. But it's going to take some time.

Q. May I ask Tony, should the same 12 players for the Ryder Cup team have been selected for this year, as was selected for last year?

TONY JACKLIN: I can't see any other way to do it. The circumstances for the delay were most unfortunate. We all know about that. We're not going to go into that. I think everybody that's ever won his way into a Ryder Cup should have the honor of playing. And this is the only way to make something that was -- the word, "disrupted" doesn't even cover it. I think in fairness to everybody, the tournament itself, I think it's the only thing that could happen, for everybody. You know, you've got to look at it -- it's not even about -- it's not about just winning and lose losing. It's very much more important that the event happens; and on that basis, with all of the stuff that went on, I think the best decision was made; that the teams that were picked will play.

Q. And the idea of having two extra players added to the team, and thus in a way heightening the exceptional circumstances under which it's played, does that agree with you or not?

TONY JACKLIN: Not really. I think, let's get on with it and, please, God, we don't have any more disruptions in the next 50 years. I just think we need to embrace this and make the best of it for what it is for all of the right reasons. I don't think anybody that plays or attends the Matches this year in September, and I shall be there on the front line, will do it without remembering why it's going on on even years from now on and all of the rest of it. We are just thankful that there's going to be an event, and please, God, it goes on from strength to strength.

Q. Ben, may I ask you a question. What do you think of the changes at Augusta which we will all see next week?

BEN CRENSHAW: I haven't seen it, but I've read about them, of course, and I've talked to some players that have been there. As you know so well, you've been there so many times, you see little , small adjustments, let's say. But this year, we're in for something entirely different. There's a lot of speculation as to what is going to happen, who it's going to impact. I do think that there's going to be a smaller number of players that are capable of winning. I agree maybe that something of that magnitude should have been done, but I have said this before: I hope it doesn't change the nature of playing that golf course. That's the thing that I fear the most, even for the top players, the players who can win it. If they start playing the course defensively, playing away from the objective, then I hope that doesn't take something away from the tournament. We'll see. We'll see what the weather does, and that has a lot to do with it. But these are some big, big changes.

Q. It sounds as though you think it will take -- it will change the nature of the course.

BEN CRENSHAW: Well, it's going to take -- it's going to take, obviously, a lot of length. You know, I think there's so many changes, you want to cast out past memories, really of playing the course. So everybody starts over again and it goes on. But the tempting part of playing that golf course is hopefully something that will always be there, because it was entirely something different.

Q. Question for Ben and Tony; really the same question for both. Do you guys feel strongly that there might have been somebody else on the ballot who should have come into the Hall of Fame with you?

BEN CRENSHAW: I think there will always be some people deserving. You don't know -- we're just thankful -- inaudible -- but as contemporaries and when you play against people, you know, you start thinking, well, hell, he's won this many tournaments, he won here and he won there. You just go, oh, well.

TONY JACKLIN: I was close a few years ago and just missed out, from what I read. I'm just thankful that I'm sitting here right now, and please. God, I'll be there on November the 15th. I'm sure there's many other deserving, and maybe as time passes, they will get in, too.

Q. This is a question for Ben, I realize it's probably a better question for the voters, but there were a number of people who had careers and accomplishments who are fairly similar to yours, such as Curtis or Tom or Lanny and I would be curious, how much you think the Ryder Cup captaincy and the way it played out was an impact on how people looked at your career?

BEN CRENSHAW: It made a difference, but we've had similar careers, all of the folks that you mentioned. So I'll make it a point to avoid them for the next six months. (Laughter.) But no, obviously -- Lanny and Curtis Strange, both, they have had very similar careers. And Tom Kite, as well. So I don't know how you look at it. But Tony and I are fortunate right here. They will probably throw rocks at me for a while. That's fine, though.

Q. Tony, Ben talked a little about your 1970 victory up here at Hazeltine, and I wonder if you could reflect on that victory a little bit, the impact had it on the rest of your career and what you remember most about that tournament.

TONY JACKLIN: Well, Hazeltine was unquestionably the best week of golf I ever had in my life. I look back and people have asked me many times what gave you the most pleasure in your career, was it -- and whether it was -- in terms of playing in individual tournaments and victory, the Hazeltine was as near a perfect week for me as I ever experienced. I remember we had a get-together at Pebble Beach, past champions, U.S. Open champions and the microphone got passed around and I said -- with a four-shot lead going into the last round, I was so nervous with any form of -- inaudible -- with having to go through what I was going to have to go through for next four or five hours and having come off of the 18th green and winning by 7, I would not have changed places with anybody who had ever lived at any time now. The transformation in feeling in how and what you go through, winning a major, and certainly having a week like I had was a magical week for me. I've never been reknowned as a great putter, but I putted nicely that week, and everything went as it needs to. It obviously -- they can't ever take a thing like that away. You know as you're doing it and living it that it's a special time, but you don't pay any heed to that. You just get on with the doing of it. Naturally, it has impact on other things you do beyond that. You just try and worry about one thing at a time. That was a spectacular -- that was the height of my playing career. Beyond that, Ryder Cup captaincy, it was another -- and playing on the Ryder Cup team, but as captain, there's so much emotion involved in that, being involved with other individuals, and, you know, never as a player having considered what a captain has to do. But then going through all that, four years, four times, and Ben knows all about it, it's something that you don't consider until you have to do it. That's just different again, and it came at the right time. It came after the personal playing end of it. I'm very grateful to have had all of those experiences. Very grateful that I've been selected again this week for what will be a grand occasion in my life on the 15th of November, anyway.

Q. You talked a little earlier about how the changes have narrowed the field at Augusta, and it's always been kind of a narrow field and people have talked about the favorites. Are you saying now that it is impossible for somebody, say, like a Charles Howell, or a Craig Perks or some of the unlikely guys that have won this year, of contending there, and maybe even pulling out a surprise victory?

BEN CRENSHAW: No, not at all. I'm saying that it's seemingly now -- you know, to carry a ball 300 yards, only so many people could do. Obviously, they have a great arsenal -- piece of arsenal in their game. I don't think that a player that would be classified as a medium to a short hitter would definitely not have -- their chances are dimming quickly. That's what I'm saying. I do think that -- I mean, I don't know this, and I have not even scene the course, but it seems like 25 people -- I don't know how it could go outside that. We'll see. But it certainly seems like that. Obviously, length is something you have to have there in places. You've always had to try to hit the right spots, though, there. Although, they have narrowed that considerably now with trees and this second cut, but you do have to still play to those greens which are lethal. But it makes sense that if you're hitting a 4-iron to the green and somebody else is hitting an 8-iron, with these guys skill, I think it's going to be magnified a little bit more there. That's what I'm saying. I'm saying that you have to start over, really, and I think that -- Charles Howell, he's got an excellent chance there. That's what I'm saying.

Q. Regardless of the fact that he doesn't have the experience of playing in the tournament, does that matter little now with the changes, or is the atmosphere something that is a huge factor for a player like him?

BEN CRENSHAW: You still have to absorb those greens, and they take a while to know. But I think if you've seen -- if used to be that a first-time player did not do well there, but you're seeing more times now of where they do better. So, I don't know. It's going to be a fascinating year. This nobody knows what's going to happen, but it certainly seems that somebody who can hit the ball into or bit and can negotiate those greens is going to have an excellent chance. I don't know how. I was laughing with Lanny Wadkins. He's going to do the telecast for CBS and I was laughing with him last week. I said, "Lanny you're going do a lot of this: 'Oh, here's such and such; he's way back there. I'm not sure he can get there.'" (Laughter.) I don't know. We'll have to see how these guys negotiate this course. This is the biggest series of changes that Augusta has gone through. It will be fascinating.

Q. Because 60,000 schoolchildren went through the Hall of Fame last year and were inspired by a number of the stories told already there, including the people in there, do you know that your qualifying inspires other people; that you are going to be adding to that with tens of thousands more who will see your stories in the Hall of Fame from then on. I would like to ask if you could recall who or what was the greatest inspiration for you for the game of golf to help propel you and drive you.

TONY JACKLIN: Two things. My dad, who was just a common working man, I suppose, but a keen golfer, always brought me out -- when I was younger, he always said, "You've got two arms, two legs and a head on your shoulders just like them," whenever it was we were talking or watching Arnold or whatever whoever the great players were that we were watching. And that made me realize that that was true. So I did a lot of looking and a lot of listening -- I'm not too good on the listening end now because I'm as deaf as a post, but through my life I did a lot of that. When I was in the mid 60s, I lived in a village in North Lincolnshire and I befriended a chap -- well, I had known him a long time. I used to caddy for him and he used to recite bits of a poem to me, and one day I collared him at the golf club and I said, "I would like it all; you've resigned bits to me." And he got it done, printed, and I'll probably put that in my package when it goes here -- and another one for him and it goes: "If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don't. If you would like to win but think you can't, it's almost a certain you won't. If you think you'll lose, you've lost. For out in the world, you'll find, success begins in the fellow's will. It's all in a state of mind. Think big and your deeds will grow. Think small and you'll fall behind. Think that you can and you will. It's all in a state of mind. Life's battles won't always go to the strong or fast at hand, but sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can." And I learned that way, way back and passed it on to the kids -- some of them took interest in it and some of them didn't. I knew the ones that didn't -- but to inspire golfers anyway. But I learned that long ago and I've always sort of carried that. Those two things, simple stuff, but meant a lot to me.

Q. Who was that --

TONY JACKLIN: The author of the poem?

Q. No, the gentlemen.

TONY JACKLIN: A man long dead now, long gone from this world, a man called John Elnor (ph). He used to caddy for me. He was a 1-handicap golfer from the village of Bellsham (ph) in North Lincolnshire. He was the man.

BEN CRENSHAW: That's a lovely story. There's quite a lot of credence to those words. I think in all golfers who are lucky enough to have fathers that they looked up to, I had a father who instilled the love of the game, and he was a golfer. He led me when I was very young 7-year-old to my teacher, Harvey Penick, and it was amazing how much they thought alike. Not only they wanted me to play and enjoy it, but they taught me at a young age to realize how important that the other things in golf were. Competing was certainly one. But, you know it was friendship and fellowship and how much that means to the game and how much it endures within the generations. I think that's always -- the camaraderie. It's what gives people the idea to go to clubs every day and visit and play with one another, be with one another and play. The fellowship, as much as the enjoyment of playing. And winning is sometimes secondary, because there are a lot of people around this world who play to a very old age, and they are learning something every day. It's nice. My father and Harvey instilled that.

Q. We were talking a little bit earlier about your contributions to the Ryder Cup, and I was wondering how much influence you feel that you had in bringing the Europeans onto the Ryder Cup team when that transition came about. Do you feel like you were leading that charge?

TONY JACKLIN: Well, I hope that -- there was many things in life that are about timing and I was very fortunate when I took on the captaincy in 1983 that there were some wonderful players just come willing -- starting to come through. Seve was already there, but then we had Faldo and Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam and Bernhard Langer and Olazabal, obviously. They all came through at the right time. I think I was fortunate, having gone before, I had their respect. And what we managed to do together, I think may be influenced to some degree, international golfers, non-Americans anyway, to believing in themselves a little bit more if they were -- it's hard, I don't know, you've got players coming from Australia, from South Africa, from all over the planet. It's not as organized as you might perceive it to be. So many of these individuals, they fly by the seat of their trousers. They go all over the planet playing golf and doing their best. And any encouragement that they can get, however they draw on it, is good, and I think maybe some of the international players drew off of what we achieved during the -- in that 80s period in Ryder Cup. I've got no reason to believe that they wouldn't. It could only reflect in a sort of positive way for non-American players, if that's the right -- I think now the family of golf, internationally, is far different from what it was when I came over here first in the late 60s. As you know, there were some players who were a little bit mean-spirited maybe, and thought America belonged to them and we were imposters, and we never took much notice of them, but they were, nevertheless there. The great players were never that way, obviously. But now there's so much going on and so many people ask me, Jack's gesture, for example, of giving me the two-foot putt in 1969, do I think it could happen today; and absolutely it could happen today. Jack and I were friends. I think it was one of the greatest sporting gestures ever, and I've thought a lot about it. But still, there are a lot of friendships made by Americans now with international players, far more so than it was 30-odd years ago, 40 years ago, when I first started to come to America. So absolutely, I think it would. And I think we are growing, all of us, all the time. You know, we are all sensitive to what we need to do to keep the game where it is. As I said earlier on, we passed the baton on. Everybody is sensitive to what they need to do. So, I think the golfing family worldwide has grown, and certainly for professional golfers changed beyond recognition. But it's changing for the better. In my view, you know, you've got to take the rough -- but it's all better. We all wanted more money when we were young playing, and they have got it now. They are playing for more money. I think they appreciate it. I think they know that we didn't play with the best of conditions, and I think they appreciate -- I hope they do. I think the right ones do. I think the leaders do. And they are the ones that have got to beat the drum. But they can never get too carried away with it. I think that's the nature of the game what we have been talking about. The nature of golf is that you can't get too carried away with it, because it will turn around and pop you right on the nose. You know, you make four birdies in a row and your chest goes out, and whoosh, the double-bogey comes straightaway. Cry before a fall, all that. This is the greatest level of all, and I think sometimes we do get a little bit carried away. You people, you scribes, are there to put us in our place from time to time and we all need a bit of that.

Q. Ben, your admiration of Bobby Jones has been well chronicled. Could you reflect for a moment on what it was like to win the two majors, the Masters, and what it means to now be honored in the same building with Bobby Jones as a Hall of Famer?

BEN CRENSHAW: It is quite humbling. But, you know, if I had my two Masters wins and to know that that was his -- you know, that was his reaction with Alister Mackenzie, but he was somebody that I don't tire of reading about, ever. He was sort of a very different person. He left us with so many beautiful words about the game, about the kind of person he was. He was a statesman. He was brilliant. He had a wonderful mind, very intellectual. But, you know, retiring at 28, it seemed like everything he did was rare. He had a taste, a rare taste about, really, anything he did. He was very humble despite colossal achievements in golf, not only about his character. I mean, one of his favorite expressions was -- he had two sayings that he really enjoyed. One was Oriental: "A simple flower has more inherent beauty than the bouquet." So he liked things measured. And if you think about Augusta, you think about the clubhouse and the actual cabinet net that he liked, it was very small, very subdued, very understated. He let the course speak for itself. He didn't do much to the golf course. That's why he got along with Mackenzie so much. But he lived his life that way, and he liked -- he did not, you know, call attention to himself. You knew who he was, but very difficult to -- he was loved on both sides of the Atlantic. The speech that he gave when he got the key to the city (ph) at St. Andrews was one of the most moving things I ever read. It was a totally impromptu speech, but it was given just like a lawyer, just beautiful words, mostly about friendship. He but he left us with some printed words about golf that are just magnificent. So to have won this tournament twice, it gives me a lot of president pleasure. Very much so.

TIARE PECK: We would like to thank you all for taking part in this announcement. Thank you.

End of FastScriptsÂ….

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