home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 25, 2005

Laura Diaz

Martin Glynn

Stephen Green

Andrew Hampel

Sean McManus

Dennis Townsend

Ty Votaw

BOOMER ESIASON: My name is Boomer Esiason. I am part of the NFL Today staff here at CBS Television, and many of you are probably wondering what in the world am I doing here introducing to you an LPGA event. Well, there are two reasons. One, our golf guy is on vacation, so I'm the stand-in for him. And two is I have a unique relationship with HSBC. On September 11, 2001, many of you know that we were attacked by terrorists and my offices were on the 101st floor of the World Trade Center. We were within Cantor Fitzgerald, and it turns out that HSBC and Cantor Fitzgerald on the security side are clients of one another. A number of HSBC employees knew exactly what we were all about, raising money for cystic fibrosis, and from that time, HSBC at 40th and 5th over by Bryant Park has underwritten our foundation. And this past April we will go over $40 million in raising money for cystic fibrosis. I'm very happy to do this on behalf of HSBC and their employees. And it gives me an opportunity to say thank you very much to Stephen Green and also the rest of the HSBC employees that are here. So thank you very much, and that's why I am here. Let me introduce our head table. First to my left, Sean McManus, he is the president of CBS Sports and my boss. He was going to be here, so that was important; Martin Glynn, president and CEO HSBC Bank North America; And Ty Votaw, he's the Commissioner of the LPGA; and of course Stephen Green, the Group Chief Executive of HSBC Holdings; and then Andrew Hampel next to him, Senior Corporate Vice President of IMG; and then Laura Diaz, the LPGA representative and star on the LPGA TOUR; and of course, Dennis Townsend, the president of Hamilton Farm Golf Club. And at this time I'd like to introduce you to Stephen Green as he has some remarks to make about this very exciting match-play. Stephen?

STEPHEN GREEN: Thank you and good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us today. As Boomer has already introduced me, I won't further introduce myself except to say that I have come in from London this morning because it was particularly important for me to be here. Coming on a rather snowy, cold day, it's a good thing to talk about golf and reminds ourselves that spring and summer are not all that far away. I hope that you're familiar with the HSBC name. We are the second largest financial services organization in the world. We have a strong presence throughout North America and we have one of the largest bank branch networks in New York State. I wanted to be here personally this morning to announce the launch of an exciting new women's golf championship created and sponsored by HSBC and to be hosted in the U.S. the event as you can see from the logos behind me will be called the HSBC Women's World Match Play. It will have the highest winner's check in the history of the LPGA with the winner receiving $500,000 from a total prize purse of $2 million. This event will be the first official women's match-play tournament to be played in America for half a century. 64 of the world's top women golfers will compete for the championship title and we hope that this will make the HSBC Women's World Match Play as important an event as any of the four ladies' majors. HSBC sponsorship will run for five years and the inaugural championship will be held at the prestigious Hamilton Farm Golf Club in New Jersey over Independence Day weekend. Andrew Hampel from IMG will give you more detail on the event shortly and Dennis Townsend of Hamilton Farm will tell you about the highlights of the course. But first I would like to tell you why it is that HSBC is so excited about this sponsorship. The HSBC Women's World Match Play represents another significant investment in golf by us. Two years ago, we secured the title sponsorship of the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth in the U.K. In doing so, we created the biggest winner's prize in golf and rejuvenated the event with a new qualification ranking. You'll have seen some of the footage from the last two years' events on the video earlier. I was lucky enough to attend the first two finals of the HSBC World Match Play at Wentworth in 2003 and 2004, and got firsthand experience of the excitement of match-play golf. I personally, as my best friends all know very well, I'm rather a novice golfer, but my banking brain tells me this is a great thing to sponsor, and I can tell that you even for a novice like me this is a very absorbing sport. It's a sport which very much mirrors HSBC's character and how we like to do business. Golf is international. There are over 16 million golfers worldwide and that number is increasing rapid by year by year. While the U.S. has more golfers than any other nation, it is clear that worldwide the interest in the sport is growing very fast. The sport is well established in developed markets and it suits the tastes and lifestyles of many HSBC customers. It's a booming and aspirational sport in regions like Asia, where our group was founded and which remains important to our business; China, which opened its first golf club just 21 years ago, now has around 200 courses and that number is expanding rapidly. Golf is inclusive. We like the fact that golf is a game that you can play whether you're five or 50 or 90; it doesn't matter whether you're male or female; it doesn't matter where you come from; the game has something for everyone. Above all, golf is a game of great integrity. For millions of players, after all, when you think about it, the only referee is their own conscience. The game's guiding premise is total honesty with yourself and with everybody else. So we like the association with golf because HSBC aspires to that same sense of internationalism and inclusiveness and the integrity; that's what we seek to be day by day, and it's so characteristic of this sport. It fits us so well, and we are proud to be associated with the game. Wentworth's sponsorship has given the HSBC brand some very positive visibility. Given the growth and popularity of the women's game, we wanted to extend our association with golf through sponsoring a women's tournament. We felt that a match-play event would be the most appropriate way forward. We chose to launch the new championship in the world's most advanced women's golf market, the U.S., where over a quarter of golfers I'm told are women. Golf amongst women is experiencing powerful growth. Nearly 1.5 million women players have taken up the game in this country since the turn of the millennium. We anticipate that the growing popularity of golf amongst women will be replicated around the world moreover, especially as talented young female golfers like Michelle Wie for example, create a female version of the Tiger effect. HSBC is delighted to become part of this, and we hope that by offering the highest winner's check in LPGA history, the HSBC Women's World Match Play will prove an important milestone in the development of women's golf. We are delighted with the enthusiasm with which some of golf's leading ladies have greeted the news of this championship. You'll find the reactions of Annika Sorenstam and Laura Davies in the press release that you received earlier, and of course, we look forward to hearing from Laura Diaz is just a short while. We count ourselves very lucky to receive such support for the championship, from the most people in any sporting event, which is, of course, the players themselves. We look forward to working with IMG and the LPGA to put the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship on the golfing map. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, and we look toward to seeing you at Hamilton Farm on Independence Day weekends.

BOOMER ESIASON: Thank you, Stephen, very much. (Applause.) I don't know if you watch American football, but I have the Tiger effect on the NFL Today. I don't know if you know that. But anyway, I'd like to turn your attention to the monitors around the world to show you a video of HSBC's World Match Play and what exactly it is. (Video played.) Now a few words from Ty Votaw. He is the Commissioner of the LPGA about the importance of this championship to women's golf, and of course the LPGA.

COMMISSIONER VOTAW: Thank you very much and thank you for being here today. On behalf of the LPGA, I want to thank you all for being here so we can share this very exciting announcement today with all of you. It's always one of the privileges of this job to be at announcements such as this where we are introducing to the world new relationships in support of women's golf. And certainly, on behalf of the LPGA, I want to thank Martin and Stephen from HSBC for coming here today, and also for making the decision to support women's golf generally, and the LPGA specifically, with their support of this event. Being around other enlightened gentlemen such as Stephen and Martin is always a privilege and a pleasure for me. As I listened to Stephen speak this morning about the HSBC being the world's local bank, I had to think of the international flavor of the LPGA as it was evident from that video. With 95 players from 25 different countries and the LPGA schedule this year where we are playing in six countries outside of the United States, we are a natural fit for a global company such as HSBC. Their support of this event and its commitment of a $2 million purse and a $500,000 first place prize is significant for the LPGA, because just six years ago, there were no events on the LPGA TOUR that had prize money of $2 million or more, and we're happy with this event; that we now have four events on the LPGA TOUR with $2 million or more prize money. But clearly this first place check of $500,000 to the winner of the HSBC Women's World Match Play representing the largest first place check in the history of an LPGA conducted event in our history is something that we are very proud of and very appreciative of for that support. I'd also like to recognize and thank IMG. Looking around the room today, I'm not sure if the offices of IMG are open; I see so many good friends of IMG that are here today. But clearly this event would not have happened without the initiative and the creativity of IMG and its partnership and longstanding relationship with the LPGA as one that we appreciate very, very much. Also, this event, being broadcast by CBS Sports and having Sean McManus here with CBS Sports, the relationship that the LPGA has had with CBS as a long-time broadcaster of the McDonald's LPGA Championship has created some of the finest moments in LPGA history as a result of that relationship. As well, this past year the CBS televised the final round of the ADT Championship, where I'm happy to say, Sean, that our ratings for that event I think improved 95 percent over the previous year on another network. So thank you for that support, Sean. We are very much looking forward to having this event be televised by CBS. I've had the privilege of being able to play a round of golf at Hamilton Farm with Dennis Townsend, and I will tell you that you all should plan on being there to enjoy the wonderful facilities that Hamilton Farm has to offer. I'd also like to say I'm also a novice golfer, Stephen. I'm living proof you don't have to be a good golfer to be in the golf business. So having played at Hamilton Farm and having Dennis allow me to play there was a huge step for him, and I appreciate very much having the opportunity to do that. Our players will love Hamilton Farm and this event. Lastly, I'd like to recognize and thank Laura Diaz for being here. Laura and I have kind of grown up together. I think her rookie year on the LPGA TOUR was my first year as Commissioner. I believe in her second year on the LPGA TOUR, we were at a press conference in South Carolina that was actually snowed out, and so I asked her today what it was about press conferences and snow that we have in common. But Laura is really one of the rising, if not established, stars on the LPGA TOUR, and I have followed her every year that she's been on because her rookie year coincided with my rookie year as Commissioner, and having her here today to talk about what she thinks the players will feel about this event is very much appreciated on behalf of the membership. And with that, I'd like to turn it over to Laura to say a few words.

LAURA DIAZ: Thank you, Ty. Thank you, HSBC for hosting, sponsoring this fantastic new event. I think that -- I know I'm excited just watching the clips of golf again because it's been a few months since I've been able to compete. Match-play is such a unique format, and watching the signs go up with 1-up and 1-down create a lot of feelings within me just getting those competitive juices flowing. I think that this will be a fantastic addition to our 2005 schedule. I'd also like to thank Hamilton Farm for hosting such a prestigious event. I have been fortunate enough to play Hamilton Farm, and I really believe that it's one of the finest facilities that I have ever visited. Not only did they have the 18-hole championship course that we will be competing on, but they also have an extremely challenging par-3 facility that is great to practice your short game on, and I think that makes the facility even that much more welcoming to the players. When we have a facility that we can really sharpen our skills at, it provides a lot more excitement for our fans and this venue is really welcoming to our fans, and I think the players be just going to be thrilled when they walk in the front gate and they play the golf course and they go in the clubhouse. It's a great place and I hope you all come out and watch this brand new event. Match-play is a thrilling format which really embraces the spirit of the game of golf. We don't really get to play it at all. I've been fortunate enough to play two Solheim Cups and the camaraderie between the players, the one-on-one aspect, the process of round by round elimination creates a thrilling environment for us as players and the fans. I am very happy to have match-play back on the schedule. I look forward to participating in the event. I thank HSBC for sponsoring it, because hopefully I'll take home that half-million-dollar prize check. (Laughing). But I'd also just like to take the time to thank Ty Votaw for the last 14 years that he's devoted to the LPGA TOUR. This year we will be competing for more money in total prize than ever in LPGA TOUR history. He is largely responsible for this event and several other new events that we have on our schedule this year. As he said, we grew up together and I am very sad to see that Ty will be leaving us. But on behalf of the players, we wish him much success in whatever he chooses to do, and I know that whatever he does do, he will lead them to the great success that he has led the LPGA TOUR to. So, again, thank you, Stephen, for sponsoring, and Dennis, for hosting, and I look forward to standing in front of you all with the winner's check in a few months.

BOOMER ESIASON: Thank you, Laura very much. (Applause). Ty and Stephen, I've got a Skins Game you guys can play in any time you want, boys. At this time, let's introduce Andrew Hampel. He's the Senior Corporate Vice President of IMG. He's going to tell you about the qualification criteria, and, of course, the prize money that Laura spoke of, and he also has a PowerPoint presentation that goes along with that. If you can turn your attention to the screen that ought to be interesting.

ANDREW HAMPEL: Before you turn your attention to the screens, I thought I might just tell you a little bit more as HSBC as a sponsor. We are very proud to be sitting here as part of what we acknowledge is a very strong team, but without HSBC none of us would be here. They came into the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth a few years ago, as Stephen said. I can tell you, they are a somewhat demanding sponsor, but unfortunately or very fortunately, they are usually very right in the things they demand. They came into the World Match Play and insisted we change our qualification criteria. They raised the prize money significantly to the highest first prize many men's golf. They increased the number of players from 12 to 16. And the event has been completely reinvigorated. We've been working with them for a long time already in putting this event together, and while they did change some things at the Wentworth event, they also embraced a lot of the traditions of that event and some very good traditions of the event. One of the things that that event is rightly renowned for is the way that the players are looked after. They have a better experience at Wentworth than they do at any other event in the world in my opinion. I think that we can guarantee Laura and her colleagues a similar experience at Hamilton Farm. We are extremely excited at the prospect of this event of continuing with HSBC and our friends at the LPGA, at Hamilton Farm and CBS Sports have put together what will be the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship the finest in the world. Turning to the PowerPoint, I think it is fairly self-explanatory, so I will take you through the qualification criteria. 64 players will qualify for the event. They will play 18-hole rounds for a strict elimination process. They will, therefore, if you're a mathematician, play six rounds. The first round of 32 matches on Thursday, the second round on Friday, and then there will be two rounds for our ladies on Saturday and Sunday. The men that compete in the men's World Match Play will say that's only fair because they have 36 holes every day. The qualification criteria again are strictly transparent. There will be 60 players off the ADT Official Money List as of the week before the Women'S U.S. Open. The winner of the Women's U.S. Open will qualify for the event if she has not already done so. If she has already done so, then we'll take 61 players, off the Money List. In addition, the leading player on the Japanese LPGA Money List will qualify, and there will be two unrestricted sponsor invitations. The players will be seeded and the draw procedure is pretty well explained on the next line. If there are any other questions on the draw, on the qualification process -- but hopefully that gives you a pretty good picture of what you can expect from the HSBC and what you can expect from the HSBC Women's Match Play Championship.

BOOMER ESIASON: At this time I'd like to introduce Martin Glynn. He's the president and CEO of HSBC Bank USA North America, and he will talk about the golf sponsorship and this particular event.

MARTIN GLYNN: Thank you very much, Boomer. It's my pleasure to be here and I'm based here in New York. Many of you know HSBC here in New York City and New York State, and we're delighted to be involved with this golf event. I must admit several years ago when we announced and started the process in the U.K. of the men's Match Play that we were very envious because we wanted something similar in the U.S. and something that could be national, could be international, but also very local. As the world's local bank, we want more people to know that we're here. We have the largest number of branch in New York State which not enough people know about. We have presence in 46 states, we have 50,000 employees in the U.S. and big banks in Canada and Mexico. So we have a story to tell within this market, and we're delighted to have a major sponsorship activity that can allow us to give back to the community, to treat our customers well -- and many of them are golf mad -- and also talk a little bit about and promote the activities of HSBC within the U.S. So this is I think a wonderful bulls-eye from the point of view of the worlds's global bank, and from my perspective, we are going to try to make this as great of an event as we possibly can. So thank you very much.

BOOMER ESIASON: Thank you, Martin. And now we'll hear from Dennis Townsend. He's the president of Hamilton Farm Golf Club. And he also has a PowerPoint presentation to show us the beautiful pictures of this great facility.

DENNIS TOWNSEND: As Boomer says, I am the president, I am also one of the founders of Hamilton Farm Golf Club. I am here on behalf of our entire staff, our membership to tell you how honored, how proud and how truly thrilled we are to have been selected by HSBC, IMG and the LPGA to host the first or the inaugural HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship. About four years ago, I was standing on the 18th green of the Highlands Course, this is the course that the championship will be played upon, and that is actually the green that you will see right next to the mansion right there, with Dana Fry, who is one of the architects of the course. He said to me, "You know, one day you'll be standing on this green presenting the winner's trophy to a world championship golf event." So, little did I know, that he not only is a fabulous architect but a prophet, as well. Hamilton Farm is a truly unique and special place. Although the course itself was built, I guess completed in 2001, you see a couple of pictures of the holes here, most of the buildings on the course are actually mid-teen, 1915 to 1920 vintage. You see a couple of the barns, these are actually mid-teens; that's actually on one of the holes. And the mansion was originally built in the 20s, and although it was burned and redone, it was redone in the same style that it began and it's truly a marvelous place. The two courses, as Laura mentioned, the par-3 that we believe is the finest in the world, and we think that you'll see that the championship course is in that same caliber. But what perhaps we are proudest of is the hospitality, the people there and the levels of service that you will get. So many people tell me having played there that once they drive in that gate, the moment they drive in that gate, something truly magical happens. July 4th weekend of this year, we are going to share that magic with the rest of the nation and the rest of the world by providing the stage on which 64 top women in the world showing you their magic. Thank you (applause).

BOOMER ESIASON: You have improved the plumbing facilities in those buildings, haven't you, Dennis?

DENNIS TOWNSEND: Did I say there was plumbing? (Laughter.)

BOOMER ESIASON: Finally I'd like to turn it over to Sean McManus. He is the president of CBS Sports and my boss, and we've both finally thawed out from our Championship Game experience in Pittsburgh this Sunday. Sean?

SEAN McMANUS: Thank you, Boomer. You look a bit warmer than when I saw you at 10:30 at night at Heinz Field in seven degrees below zero wind chill.

BOOMER ESIASON: You can play, Laura, when it gets cold and there's snow on the ground; you know that.

LAURA DIAZ: I grew up in New York, so I played, too, in the snow, orange golf balls.

SEAN McMANUS: Thank you, Boomer. This was obviously a very exciting day for the sport of women's golf. It's unusual in a sport that is as mature as women's golf is to have an event of that stature added to its schedule, which I think is extremely exciting. I would had like to congratulate Stephen and Martin for sponsoring an event that I think very quickly will be recognized as one of the premiere events in women's golf. The fact that IMG is involved in encouraging from our standpoint as the carrying network in that we are confident that the organizational and operational end of the tournament will be extremely, extremely well run. Dennis, I have not been to Hamilton Farm but as soon as it gets warm, I am available for a number of rounds, whenever you'd like to invite me. We are extremely pleased to be associated with this he events. We are proud of the sports coverage we put on each and every weekend on CBS Sports and particularly proud of our golf coverage. We are the opening network that carries two of the four major championships in men's golf, the Masters and the PGA Championship. Ty talked about our association with women's golf which is growing all the time. We have the best PGA TOUR schedule of any network. So it's fair to say that we are the preeminent golf network in America, and to be able to add this event to that calendar of events for us I think is exciting and I think it bodes well for the future of the event on television. So it's a good day for women's golf, it's a good day for HSBC and it's a good day for CBS Sports. So I'm pleased to be sitting here, and I think in ten years we'll all look back on this afternoon and say, that was a pretty important day in the sport of women's golf. Just finally I'd like to echo what Laura said, just to congratulate Ty on taking a sport to a new levels and exciting levels during your tenure as Commissioner of the LPGA. Whoever they fill, whatever man or woman fills your shoes, they have very large shoes to fill. You've done a terrific job. So congratulations to you and Martin and Stephen. The one thing you'll learn about CBS Sports is that in addition to providing really I think first-rate and the best coverage of golf on television, we are very in-tune to what the sponsor needs on television. You'll find that the way we work with sponsors, we'll make sure the investment you've made in this great event will pay off on television, and we look toward to working with you and the IMG folks.

BOOMER ESIASON: Thank you, Sean. Does anybody have any questions?

Q. One of the unrestricted sponsor exemptions, will that be offered to Michelle Wie?

TY VOTAW: I think the determination of who the sponsor exemptions will go to has not yet been made. I know she's accepted a few already. There may be some that have not yet been announced. She has a limitation that she can play in up to six sponsor invite situations, plus the two Open Championships, the U.S. Women's Open and the Women's British Open. So as to whether or not she is one of the sponsor exemption, it may be a moot point because she may already have committed herself to the six.

Q. For the players, I would assume that trying to qualify for this event will become a top priority, and could you envision players maybe playing more often or altering their schedules?

LAURA DIAZ: I think as a player, I play as often as I can, so I think that that will remain the same. But I can tell you that it is definitely an event that everyone is going to try and qualify for. When it was mentioned last year that it was a possibility, everyone was very excited for it. Like I said, we don't have an opportunity to play match-play, and we definitely don't have an opportunity to compete for a $2 million purse very often. So I think the purse, along with the chance to play match-play, is very intriguing for players and whether make them focus on trying to qualify for the event.

Q. The first year of this tournament is at Hamilton Farm. Do you have plans of moving it around every year and is it a loose rotation of sorts?

ANDREW HAMPEL: We have agreed to stage two years of the event at Hamilton Farm. Thereafter, we will have a consultation with and at the directive of HSBC, and in consultation with the HSBC we'll look at other possibilities. But certainly more the moment we are very much focused on the inaugural event and making this the type of event that HSBC and everyone else would expect.

Q. The decision to hold this on Independence Day weekend, will that be in the future, and is that the hope that maybe this tournament will be associated with that weekend kind of like the Skins Game and Thanksgiving weekend?

TY VOTAW: Well, the schedule for 2005 on this week or for this event on that week worked out very well. Whether or not it stays on the Fourth of July obviously will depends upon the input of HSBC, but also the availability of television with CBS as well as what is around that event. The U.S. Women's Open, for example, has certain markets in certain years also been played the week of July 4th weekend. So depending upon what the future schedule holds with respect to that event will determine that as well but it will be -- it's not a long-term, fixed-date situation for the Fourth of July, but I think it will be a great fit for this year in 2005.

Q. Laura, how have you fared in match-play over the years?

LAURA DIAZ: Let's see, the first match-play event I played as a professional was the Cisco Match-Play Championship in Japan, and I made it to the round of 16. But then, I came back strong in the first Solheim Cup that I participated in. I think I lost my first match and then I won the next three. The previous year in match-play, not so good, unfortunately. But I don't think it's necessarily the record that's important; it's the intensity of the matches. I've been told on a number of occasions that in the last Solheim Cup, the match between myself, Kelly Robbins, Annika Sorentam and Suzann Pettersen was one of the most incredible matches in Solheim Cup history. Unfortunately, we did not win, but it went 18 holes and it was just a very intense match and it allowed the fans to get very involved. I think my parents were in the crowd and they had some Swedish fans come up to them and say, "No, we're not rooting for your daughter, but this has been the best match that we've ever witnessed." So, I think the fans just really like to see who will win and the one-on-one competition that exists, so I try not to dwell on my personal match-play record.

Q. You mentioned that you were at Hamilton Farm. I heard you had a hole-in-one. Can you tell us about that? Did you really have a hole-in-one there?

LAURA DIAZ: This last summer we played a Pro-Am/Skins Game. I played with three other pa professional PGA professionals and in the morning played on the par-3 facility. I actually was playing with Dennis's wife, and on the second hole of the day, I holed out an 8-iron. The tradition at Hamilton Farm is when anyone on the course makes a hole-in-one they bring out a bottle of champagne to the hole you're on. They don't wait until you're done. So I was a little concerned since I really do not drink, as to how the team would then finish up. But as I said, I think Hamilton Farm is one of the finest facilities I've ever visited. The par 3 is the course that I've played more, but the course that we will be competing on is incredible. I played it one time and then I was very interested in joining Hamilton Farm. So if that gives you any idea of what a great venue I think it will be, I can't stress enough the uniqueness, like Dennis said, and from the moment you walk in the gate, it's just awesome.

BOOMER ESIASON: Thank you, everybody. Thank you.

End of FastScripts��.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297