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THE PRESIDENTS CUP MEDIA CONFERENCE
June 4, 2007
JAMES CRAMER: I'd like to introduce our Master of Ceremonies for today's press conference, the voice of golf here in Montreal, Mr. Michel Lacroix.
MICHEL LACROIX: James, thank you; Captains. Welcome to this Media Day event. I will not be only hosting this ceremony but also the opening and closing ceremonies as well for the competition throughout the week.
I'd also like to introduce vice president of the Presidents Cup, Mike Bodney.
MIKE BODNEY: Thank you, and thank you everybody for showing up today. This is a day that for those of us that work with the Presidents Cup on a yearly basis, it's kind of a benchmark for us. This is the day that kind of sets the sights for us and the finish line starts to come a little bit into focus.
Since starting the planning and organizing for this event four years ago, a little bit more than four years ago now, the process of putting an event together like this, an international event of this scale, takes a lot of cooperation and assistance from a bunch of different people and numerous entities throughout the countries that we deal with in this. And I wanted to just take this little opportunity here to say thank you to a few of those folks.
First of all, Prime Minister (Stephen) Harper and his government have been a tremendous help to us in working through some of the larger logistical issues that we deal with in regards to operating these events. He and his team have been very, very engaged in the event. They are very supportive of it and have been great with us.
The Premiere of Quebec, Mr. Jean Charest and his team, have also been very, very helpful to us in working through a number of issues we have had to deal with in Quebec in organizing and getting all of the on the ground things done here. And also, his team has been very important working on behalf of Canada and Quebec and the game of golf in Canada to make sure that they maximize the benefits that will come out of the Presidents Cup here throughout that week.
Additionally, the mayor of Montreal, Mr. Gérald Tremblay; the Mayor of Ile Bizard, Richard Belanger, the Mayor of Dollard-Des Ormeaux, Edward Janiszewski, and the Mayor of Pierrefonds, Monique Worth have all been of tremendous help to us -- excuse me with the names, I'm trying.
Anyway, those entities, those communities, the communities that have been supportive of our endeavor here have really made it possible for us to be able to provide the 150,000-plus people, fans, dignitaries, corporate community, an opportunity to present to them a very memorable occasion here at the Presidents Cup and what will happen in September.
The other primary local entity that we've been deal with here that is very, very important to us at the club; the Golf Club of Royal Montreal has been unbelievable, and you know, without the club, without the members of the club, what we're going to do here just wouldn't take place. I'd like to recognize the executive committee, Mr. Michael Richards, Mr. Ted Fletcher, Mr. Ray LeChard (ph), Mr. Rick Patty, and Denzel Palmer (ph), who are the executive committee for the club and have represented the club and their interests.
We can't thank the club enough. This is a huge undertaking. It is -- it's an imposition, to say the least, for all of the club and the club members and what they are going to go through. The construction of the event is just going to start taking place here very shortly, and it's really heartwarming to know how much they have embraced the event and what their participation is going to be.
And last -- not last, but I also want to recognize the staff that we have here that the PGA TOUR has put in Montreal, members of which have been here for over two years in getting the operation of this event started and hopefully finished; the Executive Director Mr. Tom Clark. Tomorrow -- and they are all standing in the back back there. I'd like to recognize them, Tom Clark and Greg Carlson, who is the director of operations, Lindsay Wagner, who is the tournament services manager for us here, and Laura Donna Romanelli (ph) who is our local -- kind of our local component. They have done a great job here.
And from a media perspective what I'd ask you is I think it would be a good idea for you to take the time to meet these people personally, because they are the ones that are the face of the event. They have been here, they have represented the Presidents Cup in Canada for the last couple of years and have done a terrific job and they are also going to be the ones that are taking care of you all during the week of the tournament. They are good folks and much appreciated.
And finally, but certainly not last, these two gentlemen right here, Captain Nicklaus and Captain Player. We've been extremely fortunate that over the last six years, we've had the opportunity to have Jack and Gary involved with the Presidents Cup. These are true gentlemen, great champions of the game, and they have led their teams over the last three playings of the Presidents Cup to some of the more compelling and competitive events that have ever been played in International Team golf. It has been a real privilege and a pleasure for all of to us work with them.
And on behalf of the PGA TOUR, just want to say we can't thank them enough for all of the time they have given of themselves and everything they have done to make the Presidents Cup what it is today. (Applause).
Before you all get your little time with Jack and Gary, I have a few event things I need to get off with you here. As you all know, these events and the size of these events don't happen without a tremendous volunteer force to support them. We have got an opportunity -- and some of your readers may be interested in this. It's not a huge opportunity as far as numbers go, but there still is some opportunity for volunteers to come and be a part of the event and work with the event.
If you can put it in the paper, if there's any interest of people, put it out there. We've probably got a hundred or so spots that could be filled up by people that would have an interest that could be at an event that couldn't otherwise get here, and you can do that by contacting our office, the Presidents Cup office. You can contact Royal Montreal golf club, or you can even go to the Web site, the Presidents Cup Web site.
One other time which is going to happen here which is new is with the cooperation of the Canadian PGA Tour, the Presidents Cup trophy is going to go on tour in Canada. The initial day that that's going to happen is June 11th. It's going to start in Victoria and it's going to travel across the country following the Canadian PGA TOUR.
There's some information in your packets about that and there's a more specific schedule. It's going to be displayed at the tournaments, the department stores are going to be in there, Firethorn is going to be involved in it. It's going to be a pretty neat opportunity for the people around Canada to get a little piece of the Presidents Cup in case they are unable to get here.
And lastly from a sales perspective, just wanted to let y'all know that we are moving in a very, very positive direction. I'm assuming that within the next 30 to 60 days that we're going to probably be completely sold out. So anybody who wants to get involved with the event, it's limited, we're not selling tickets until we run out of ink. It's a very limited, very limited daily attendance and that's to afford the people of Montreal and the people coming here from outside of Canada the opportunity to really see the competition and enjoy it rather than have to watch it on a big screen TV someplace.
But we're very close and it's been successful here from the uptake of the community and around the country and we're really looking forward to having a great event here in September.
Thank you all today for coming. Now I would like to have -- the captains are going to make a few opening comments and then we'll open it up to Q&A. Thank you very much. (Applause).
MICHEL LACROIX: Comments by team Captain Gary Player.
GARY PLAYER: First of all, thank you for coming this morning. This is a very exciting thing to have the Presidents Cup here in Canada. It's a country that both Jack and I visited -- or the first time I came here was in the late 50s which was a long time ago. And to see how golf has grown, the golfers you've produced, Mike Weir, Stephen Ames; and I go back to Stan Leonard and Al Balding and the amateur ranks, Gary Carlin and Keith Alexander. And I did an extensive tour of this great beautiful country, and it's most appropriate that this should be taking place here now.
It's going to give the Canadian golf I think a tremendous boom. Junior golf is something that I'm sure is important to you. Now that you're producing these champions, it will go from strength to strength and this event will be viewed over a matter of time by at least a billion people. I know last time I was in China, I went it the gym in the morning and they replayed the Presidents Cup three times on this television set in China; so maybe even 2 billion, I don't know what the number is. But a lot of people are going to know about Royal Montreal by the end of the week, and I hope they are going to know that the right team wins. (Laughter).
But the matches have been so exciting so far and I think the figure is plus or minus 1,022 holes and we lost on the 1,022nd hole. So golf was the benefactor. Golf benefitted from it. Unfortunately my best player, Ernie Els, wasn't able to play last year, otherwise we might have still been tied. Overall it's been a great success. This is going to enhance golf tremendously I think. You know, if I could pick one ambassador I'd like to have this any sport in the world I'd like to take a man like Tiger Woods because he has longevity; an ice hockey man, I'm a tremendous admirer of Wayne Gretzky, who I see every year; and other sportsmen, but their careers are so limited whereas golf, you can go on, here I'm 72, still playing and he's played a long time.
So golf is really a game that can do a tremendous amount for your country. One of the most amazing statements I ever heard, and with the Presidents Cup being played in South Africa, which was a very, very significant time for it to take place in South Africa, having got rid of our apartheid system and tourism is a vital part of our economy and for our government to understand the value of golf as a tourism mechanism and for Jack to stand up and say with all of the great success that he's had, "This was the greatest most of my entire golfing career." And he said that on several occasions. That was I think a very, very significant thing.
But your golfers, it's very exciting to see when I first came here how golf was not a very, very prevalent game and how strong it's getting now.
And to all of the sponsors in the room and to everybody who takes part in making this possible, the media, everybody, we say thank you very much. Jack has been my best friend in golf for a long, long time. We never have an argument about anything. We realize this is a match. The first thing we insisted, no Ryder Cup, "war at the shore" or "kill him" or "hate him" or what was going on to me was a disgrace for years. Since September 11 it's got perfect. The Ryder Cup has now got back into place and the manner in which it's played takes place.
But we've insisted on this in the beginning with our team and our captaincies to play in the spirit of the game; and this we've adhered to and it's been a great success and it's going to go on from strength to strength. A lot of players, I've heard them say who have played on both Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups, that they actually prefer the Presidents Cup; so it's a very healthy situation. Thank you. (Applause).
MICHEL LACROIX: Team captain Mr. Jack Nicklaus.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I think Gary has covered just about everything. If you missed anything, I don't know what it is, Laddie. (Laughter).
Anyway from a personal standpoint it's been a long time since I've been here at Royal Montreal. As we said to Michael, he was saying earlier, the lake at 18 has gotten larger, right? My wife kept sending me back to Canada and she said, "I'm going to end you back until you do it right: She sent me back, a lot of times; I finished second seven times, but never quite won, and Royal Montreal was one of those cases.
Anyway it is nice to be back at Royal Montreal. We are look forward to the Presidents Cup very much. I, like Gary, am looking forward to the matches a great deal. I think that they are going to be good matches. They have been great matches in the past. South Africa was fantastic. I think Washington was fantastic; a little better in Washington than the South Africa, but pretty close. We happened to be won the one end of the one hole but it was about as close as two matches could ever be.
And what was really neat about it is that you have 12 guys on each side who play against each other on a daily basis and weekly basis and those players came together not only as a team, as an American Team and International Team, but they came together for what the real purpose of the matches were, and that was international goodwill. And they came together and they were all -- they were friends, they enjoyed the competition, it was friendly competition, played in the spirit of the game, played properly and played -- golf was played to the best of their ability and nobody wanted to be a loser, and I don't think we really had any losers. Actually golf was the winner.
So to be back here in Montreal this time, I know that Gary has an excellent squad of players. The International Team, he's got more players to choose from than the U.S. has. It used to be the other way around but it's not anymore. I think that's -- if you look back at the game, at around the turn of last century, golf was dominated basically by British Isles. About 1939 when Francis Ouimet won the U.S. Open, he sort of set the stage for the Joneses and the Hagens and Nelsons; Snead, Hogan, Palmer, right up through the list of American players that dominated the game.
And here lately, outside of Tiger, there's really been a very, very strong influence of international players coming back the other direction. I looked at our leaderboard last week at Muirfield Village and I think we had six Aussies in the Top-10 at one point in the tournament. We had -- the winner happened to be K.J. Choi, another Australasia player.
International players have gotten very strong. It is truly an international game. We're all -- I think we all should be blessed that it is an international game. It shouldn't be dominated by any one country or any one group of players. You certainly have, as Gary mentioned, in Stephen Ames and Mike Weir and you have had good representation from Canada for quite a while now in golf, and I think that they have handled themselves very well. I don't know what's going to happen as it relates to the team; I'm sure you're going to ask those questions later of Gary.
However, right now, I know that we've got a few months to go. Whatever happens, I know the golf course has a few months to go to get it in the shape you want to have it in for the Presidents Cup and for the competition, and I know that from both Gary's and might standpoint, we're both looking for another great international match and one that I'm sure will benefit Royal Montreal, Montreal and Canada, and of course the world of golf. Thank you very much. (Applause).
MICHEL LACROIX: We'd like to open the floor up to questions.
Q. If asked would you be back in 2009?
JACK NICKLAUS: Let's wait for 2007.
GARY PLAYER: No, they are ready for new captains now. They will definitely have other captains.
Q. Could either one of you imagine the magnitude of this event when it was first played, what it would become when it was first played in 1994?
JACK NICKLAUS: You want me to answer it? Well, I think that when the Presidents Cup first started, we didn't really know much about it. It's like any other new event, the event has grown in stature year after year. I think that if you look at -- your obvious comparison is to the Ryder Cup. The Presidents Cup covers a far greater scope of worldwide golf than just United States versus Europe. I mean, it's a bigger match. It's grown in tremendous popularity. Both events are good events.
But the Presidents Cup is just -- it's just grown leaps and bounds, and to find out which one is a better event now, I suppose it's which one you're playing that year.
Q. You met with the players last week, are they all coming to Montreal in September?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I would hope that if they made the team they would come, yes. I can't imagine why they wouldn't. I know even Phil Mickelson who hurt himself at the tournament Thursday morning stayed around for Thursday evening's meeting and was they enthusiastic towards coming; I'm sure he'll make the team. I can't imagine him not making the team. He's only got 12,000 points -- 12 million, 12,000, whatever -- 12 million points.
GARY PLAYER: And 12 million in the bank. (Laughter).
JACK NICKLAUS: Not from last week. But no, I think that all of the players invited will participate.
Q. What about for you, Gary?
GARY PLAYER: If my team players don't come here, they are in big trouble, because I'll just slap them around. (Laughter) They will definitely be here. You know when they say, 'fasten your seat belts with one click' (speaking in accent), that's what I tell my guys.
But I've got to tell you a story Jack asked me to tell at lunch. We have got a crazy guy in South Africa called Simon Hobday, and last night reminded me of it. I got in a cab and I'm coming here at 2:30, and he went down the wrong side of the road and he got a big ticket for $300. When the policeman pulled over, he started stuttering so bad he couldn't talk from fear. Well, this guy, Simon Hobday, was lying in the hospital, and he was having a prostate operation. And he couldn't get a private ward, and there was a young guy next to him was having an operation. And the nurse came in and said, "Mr. Hobday, this young guy, when he sees you and he comes around, he's going to be so excited because he loves golf, but just have patience because he stutters."
Eventually the young guy comes around and he looks at him "Si-si-mon Hob-day," and he starts stuttering, and he says, "What are you in the hospital for?"
He says, "I'm here, Son, because I pee like you talk."
Don't put that on the cameras, please. Cut that!
JACK NICKLAUS: That wasn't the one I wanted you to tell, Gary. (Laughter).
Q. Gary, I know you want the Top-12 players to represent your team, but there will be a lot of pressure I would imagine for at least some people would want sentimentally to see Mike Weir and Stephen Ames on your squad. What are the chances?
GARY PLAYER: Is this a sentimental tournament or is it to try and win? That's the big question and it's a long way to go, you know.
Obviously Mike Weir having been such a predominant player and such a wonderful gentlemen, I look at the list -- my office sends this list wherever I am every week, and the first person I happen to look for is Mike Weir because I realize we're playing in Canada.
But it's a long way to go. We've still got another ten tournaments. We've got another three majors. We've only played one of the majors. And whoever wins the major, I made it very clear to my team, whoever wins a major is automatically in the team. I understand, and I cannot say for sure, but I understand he's changed his coach and he's starting to swing better. Although he didn't make the cut at Jack's tournament this last week unfortunately, but I understand he's starting to swing better.
But can I not put people on the team just for sentiment. We owe it to the public, we owe it to our teams to be as competitive as possible and try and win the event. But let's wait. Let's not try and make these judgments so early; it's like saying who is going to win a match when they have played 36 holes. A long way to go.
I'm sure with the capability that they have, I really think -- I've got a lot of confidence that one of them will make the team.
Q. The Americans being involved every year in international matches, is there any chance in the future that the International Team can play The European Team in some kind of matches?
GARY PLAYER: There is a very -- it's a very different time compared to when we played golf. It's become such an enormous game now and there's so much money attached to it.
It's a different era, completely. And they have the Ryder Cup, and they have the Presidents Cup, and just listening to the surveys that have been done -- and how correct they are I cannot say, but they are very happy to have two events. Now, it would be terrific if we could have our team play also some time the winner of the Ryder Cup between those two countries; it could be very nice to see that.
But the pro golfers, I think they are very satisfied in just having the two at the moment. I think there's certainly no real enthusiasm by the players that they want to have another event. I think they are very happy the way it is at the moment. That's the feeling I get. You'd have to interview all of them individually to really find the true answer.
Q. When the Canadian Open was played here in 1997, less than ten players played under par and the rough was like the U.S. Open, would you like to see the course being setup the same way for the tournament?
JACK NICKLAUS: I think you should probably provide the best test you can provide; I'm sure Royal Montreal will do. So neither Gary nor I were here in '97, so we don't know.
Q. You have the Top-10 players that will play for you, but you do have a captain's choice; how will you go about choosing those other players?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well I'd probably like to get Stephen Ames and Mike Weir on my team but -- (laughter and clapping).
No, I have not been necessarily an 11 and 12 guy. I think one year that I was captain, I did pick 11 and 12. I think the other years, I did not. It doesn't necessarily have to be that.
I think a lot will depend on my team from an experience standpoint. I've got four or five fellas here that are actually on the team right now that have very little experience, so more than likely I would probably pick experience to add to the team. If some of the veterans come in and move on to the team, then I will come in and pick a couple of guys without much experience to give experience because they have the veterans. As Gary says we have a long way to go.
Q. Even a 17 handicapper?
JACK NICKLAUS: It depends. If I have 11 Tiger Woods', a 17 would be fine. (Laughter).
GARY PLAYER: Whoever you happen to pick, whoever you pick, whether it's Jack or myself, I can assure you, there will be some guys on the list who say, "Well, they picked this guy and I'm four spots ahead of him and why are they picking him."
You know, you've got to be able to take the heat. When I put Trevor Immelman on the team and not an Australian way down the list, the Australian press crucified me. They already had five or six players on the team and yet the newspapers, they crucified me and said, "Who is this Trevor Immelman?" Well, he happens to be one of the ten best players in the world today, thank goodness.
But you're going to take some heat because the old saying, you cannot satisfy them all.
Q. I was wondering if you could tell us how are you going to prepare the players in the weeks leading up to the tournament?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, we won't be preparing them the weeks up to the tournament. We won't be pairing them the weeks up to the tournament. We won't pair them until they get here because there's no way in the world that you're going to have events to do that. And the way I do my pairings, and I don't know whether Gary does or not, but I do my pairings pretty much by what the fellas like to do.
I look at this as being an event that I want the player to have fun. They don't get the opportunity to play with some of their best friends as partners during the year because they are playing against them. And so, you know, I'm looking at it as that may not necessarily be the best way to do it but it has to be the best way that I think the guys have more fun and enjoy what they are doing and have a good week.
Like we had when I went to South Africa, on the airplane Charles Howell and Tiger came to me and said, "You know, we'd like to play together." I said fine; so I put them together all four of the matches that they played.
Tiger came to me at Washington and said, "Jim Furyk and I have never played together, we would love to play together." They played together all four matches because that's what they asked to do.
Now if they were unsuccessful the first few matches, I would have had second thoughts. But I want the guys to have fun. I don't think there's any big science in it. They are all good players. Compatibility of two fellas getting together is probably the most important thing.
GARY PLAYER: The Ryder Cup is very different than the Presidents Cup whoever we pick. And I do the same thing as what Jack does. You've got to -- one day Jack picks up first, whereas the Ryder Cup they just put the names in a hat, is that correct? Whereas here with Jack and I, one day he picks and then I put a team against him. The next day, I pick first and he puts a team against me.
So I think the strategy of the Presidents Cup is way better because the public would love to see maybe an Ernie Els play a Tiger Woods. But just to put them in a hat, you might find Tiger Woods playing the No. 12 guy on our team, which I know our 12th guy can play, but the public, they want to see those two big giants meet each other; whereas we can actually pretty much go close to arranging that. So a far more exciting more fat in my opinion.
JACK NICKLAUS: Do you understand what Gary is saying there? Do y'all understand? In other words, we alternate days. But he picks a player and then I pick a player; and then I pick a player and he picks a player and he picks a player and I pick.
So if we decide, Gary and I might turnaround and say, like we did in South Africa, that both Tiger and Ernie wanted to play each either, we had to try to figure out how to do that. We didn't really have to figure out but we both felt like that was probably better for the game of golf and for what was going to happen for the event than it was really worrying about who won. And the two guys wanted to play each other.
Oddly enough I had one -- before Gary was involved here in Australia, and Greg Norman did not want to play Tiger. And I had heard that. But Tiger told me, when I went into the pairings, he said, "I want to play Norman."
GARY PLAYER: (Laughing).
JACK NICKLAUS: So my job as captain of the American Team was to get Norman for Tiger. So it got down to the last two -- there was two pairings left and Peter Thomson was picking first. So Norman was had; whether he wanted to be or not, because whatever Peter picked, I could match Tiger or back off to the next match.
And Norman said, "Why did you do that to me?"
I said, "Hey, you're not on my team. Greg Norman, you're a friend of mine, but that's beside the point." I said, "Tiger had requested, if I can, to get you, for him. Have a good day." (Laughter).
GARY PLAYER: And now I might have to do the same thing with Rory Sabbatini and Tiger!
JACK NICKLAUS: That could be arranged, Gary. (Laughter).
GARY PLAYER: Having run the Mafia for 70 years, I'm sure you can. (Laughter).
MICHEL LACROIX: At this time, I'd like to invite our conference call participants.
Q. You mentioned you have to handle stars like Tiger differently than players young for this sort of thing?
JACK NICKLAUS: I don't know think ever made that statement. But do I handle Tiger differently than I handle the other guys? Not really. I never had to handle Tiger differently. Tiger has handled himself beautifully on all occasions.
We went to Australia. Tiger had had dinner with us every night. He was on the team bus every night. He participated in every event we had. I didn't have to treat Tiger different than anybody else.
Q. As far as preparing them for the competition, younger players who have not been in this sort of thing before?
JACK NICKLAUS: I think if you get a fellow who has not had any international competition -- we have one fellow on the list right now who has not played a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, John Rollins. I think if John makes the team, I would probably enlist Tiger's help to help orient him to what's going on, Tiger or Phil somebody like that.
I think the sooner that you can get a young player in the flow of what's going on, the better off you're going to be and the more productive he's going to be and the more confident he's going to be and the more he's going to enjoy it.
But you get your veterans to do that. I think Tiger is a veteran like Phil would be or Jim Furyk would be a veteran in that situation. Does that really answer your question?
Q. I think it does, thank you.
JACK NICKLAUS: Okay.
Q. Jack, in your preamble, you mentioned that Gary has a lot more players to choose from and you referenced a lot of the international stars who had finished at the top of the leaderboard during your own tournament. Does this mean that you're trying to position the American Team as the underdog? (Laughter)
JACK NICKLAUS: I don't think that I'm positioning anything. I think they have already positioned themselves. I think that there are more international stars in the game today than we have U.S. stars. I think if you look at the Match Play Championship that was played earlier this year in Tucson, 64 players qualified for that championship, and only 22 of them were U.S. players, played in the United States. I think that the game is a stronger game outside of the United States than it is inside the United States today.
And I think that Gary does have more players and probably more quality players to choose from. We've got some very, very good players in the United States and we'll have a very representative team. Certainly could care less where I position myself as an underdog or as a favorite. It really doesn't make any difference to me. They are all going to come here in September and they are going to play and whoever walks away with the most points, wins.
GARY PLAYER: I'm sure you'll agree with me, if we have a team of 20 players on a team, Europe and America and the Rest of the World, it would be virtually very hard for the Rest of the World to lose because you would have so many players that are just so high up on the list as you just correctly said. I mean, 20; you've got all of these Australians, and South Africans and Argentinians, and they are just incredible golfers. It's so nice to hear Jack who loves the game praise us because we've always believed that we all live in a global society and it should be like that in golf. It's very, very important, and we've always believed that.
Quite a lot of players in our team have been very anti-foreigners; why are they coming and taking our money, forgetting how much money Americans take out of our respective countries. Arnold, Jack and I have all always believed in that.
I got a great kick out of Mike today with those French names, and it reminded me of a story of myself when I first played in China. And I heard the guys on the team, Ling Ling Kong (ph), and I said, "Can you imagine having a name like that." And I looked at this guy and they were laughing, and I said to the interpreter, "What are they laughing about?"
And they turned to me and spoke, "Can you imagine having a name like Player, Palmer or Nicklaus?" (Laughter).
JACK NICKLAUS: So true.
Q. Quebec is beautiful at the end of September, but you may have weather that's different than what you had in South Africa or Washington. Are you going to take that into consideration in how you prepare your team?
JACK NICKLAUS: If I may, Gary, I came here in 1975 and played at Royal Montreal and I also skied just north of here at Tremblant in 1975. The weather does change. I'll never forget, that was the second year I brought my family skiing -- actually, yeah, I think it was. And we were at Tremblant three days in a row at noon, it was 35 below zero at the base of the mountain. And that's Fahrenheit . And I remember, I said now when we played golf here earlier this year, it was really pretty nice.
But you can have -- weather can play an important part in this event, yes, absolutely it can.
GARY PLAYER: Except they are not schoolboys. They are the best in the world. So they play in all kinds of weather, cold weather, rainy, windy, I mean, these guys are the best. And you still have the same examination; paper that's put in front of you for both side. That's the thing that makes golf so incredible. If you take to Wimbledon or to the U.S. Open tennis, you have to beat six guys. But if golfers had to beat six guys to win a major championship, Jack Nicklaus would have won 150 majors. Think about that. He's had to beat 150 every week when he wins a major championship.
And the thing is, when you're playing in golf, what makes it even more difficult talking about weather, you play in the morning and you play in pouring rain and the afternoon he plays in perfect sunshine; whereas when you play tennis, you're playing in the same weather every day against the same man, there is no difference, discrepancy in weather.
So these guys are used to it. They played in all kind of weather.
Q. You both talk about the international growth of the game, but Mr. Player, right now, your team is virtually dominated by Australian and South African players, is there a concern that there's not more countries representing the international game, or is it just an anomaly right now with those two countries or will it change in the future?
GARY PLAYER: The strength of American golf was so far superior to the rest of the world for a long time. To digress for a minute, I always pulled for Europe to win the Ryder Cup because they were hammered every single year, and I want to see a good match. That's what we always like to see.
Now I'm pulling for America to beat Europe because they won I think the last few Ryder Cups or whatever it is. You're always pulling to see something good, and the pendulum changes. And now you see South Africans and Australians, because of our great junior programs and great weather and great golf courses, that they now are starting to do so well.
But let me tell you, it won't be long. Jack is building golf courses, I'm building golf courses in China, a lot of people are and you can see, there's K.J. Choi; Ochoa, a lady, probably the best lady in the world today; now the Chinese are going to come along. They are already getting a lot of very good players and Japan and all of these other countries. It will keep changing. That's just the nature of the game.
MICHEL LACROIX: Thank you all. We'll see you all back here at the royal for the Presidents Cup late September. Thank you.
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