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DEUTSCHE BANK CHAMPIONSHIP MEDIA DAY
July 28, 2008
STEVE BRENER: Ladies and gentlemen, good morning, and welcome to the sixth annual Deutsche Bank Championship media day here at the beautiful TPC Boston. I just can't believe it's been six years since this tournament was born. Over those six great years, we've continued to grow in so many ways, from a regular TOUR stop to now a part of the PGA TOUR Playoffs. This tournament year in and year out features the best players in the world of golf.
The New England fans have supported this great championship, the local charities and the Tiger Woods Foundation have benefitted greatly. All this couldn't happen without the direction and the leadership of our tournament director Eric Baldwin. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to introduce you to Eric Baldwin.
ERIC BALDWIN: Thank you, Steve. There's obviously one notable missing person here at the podium today, Seth Waugh, from Deutsche Bank. He's running a tad bit late. We're hoping he's going to be calling in and listening in on the press conference we had today, but he had some mechanical problems getting here, and he should be arriving right around 11:00 o'clock. If anyone is wondering where he is sitting, he is on his way.
But thank you, Steve, and good morning. Welcome. It's great to see you all here today to really kick off the 2008 Deutsche Bank Championship. We're exactly four weeks away from this year's championship and everyone is working very hard to put the finishing touches on this golf course to make sure it's in the best shape possible come Labor Day.
Last year, and I can't believe it's been a year, seems like it was yesterday, that I welcomed my daughter Olivia to this world and I spoke to you from this podium in the dazed world of first-time fatherhood. It's a pleasure to be a little bit more rested and relaxed than I was last year.
But I do want to state some simple facts and introduce our head table. First I want to introduce Brad Williams, general manager of TPC Boston. He and his staff are responsible for keeping this golf course in incredible shape throughout the year, and I think you'll see today that the golf course is in impeccable condition and one that the pros will certainly enjoy and have a challenging golf course come tournament week.
Next obviously is Seth Waugh. He is the CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas. As I mentioned, he's on his way. Seth has been a leader of this championship since its inception and really the key force for the championship to become a PGA TOUR playoff event, as well as making this championship a staple every Labor Day here in New England.
Finally, I'd like to introduce the two PGA TOUR pros that will lead our field come the end of August, Anthony Kim and Brandt Snedeker. Both of these young men are enjoying tremendous seasons on the PGA TOUR. Brandt has posted five Top-10 finishes this year, two of them in majors, where he's finished for tied for ninth at the U.S. Open, tied for third at this year's Masters.
Anthony has also posted six Top-10 finishes this year with two career victories, the first in May at Wachovia, the second earlier this month at the AT&T National. These two 20-somethings really represent the best of what the PGA TOUR has to offer and the growth of the TOUR, and we're extremely grateful to both of you guys for coming here today and joining us. Thank you.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank some of the people that make this championship a success year in and year out. First, of course, the staff and members here at TPC Boston. TPC Boston has an amazing staff that works very hard to make sure this championship goes off without a hitch. In addition, the TPC Boston has a wonderful and very supportive membership, and we want to thank them for allowing us to take over the golf course every Labor Day.
Secondly, I'd like to thank our Founders Club partners. Nine of them this year, Boston Globe, Dunkin Donuts, EMC, Golf Digest, Gulf Oil, MasterCard, State Street, Stop & Shop and the Wall Street Journal. Without these partners and their generous support, we wouldn't be able to conduct this championship.
We're also very proud today to announce that our newest founding club partner MasterCard will add a unique dimension to the spectator experience this year with their MasterCard club. This structure is located at founders village and will feature an integration from the Boston Red Sox including a replica of the Green Monster, the World Series Trophy from 2007 as well as an interactive putting demonstration from Odyssey.
All spectators will have the opportunity to enjoy this club through an on-site retail program through the merchandise tent, so we're excited for them to be part of this year's championship on a founders level. And for more information you can certainly look in your press kits.
As we talk about partners, however, the list could never be complete without recognizing our title sponsor Deutsche Bank. Since the day this championship was conceived Deutsche Bank and its CEO Seth Waugh have been at the forefront of helping guide this championship in the right direction. They are an integral part of the event's planning and execution, and more importantly, Deutsche Bank is 100 percent committed to ensuring that everyone comes away with a lasting and positive experience.
One year ago we were also talking about the major course changes at TPC Boston. As you know, the golf course architect Gil Hanse made some significant changes that dramatically reshaped this golf course and gave it that New England feel. We were very pleased at the conclusion of last year's championship. Those changes were very well received from the players, and in a moment you'll hear from Brad Williams about some additional work they've done in the off-season that will only keep this golf course enhancing it over the years and for years to come.
There's also been some changes off the golf course, as well, changes that when all is said and done will continue to green our championship. We are very excited about these initiatives, and you'll hear more about them in the coming weeks, but today I think Seth will talk to you a little bit about how important that is to Deutsche Bank.
As for the golf, however, we're hoping that's one area that doesn't change. As you all know, we've seen some incredible golf over the first five years, from Adam Scott winning his first championship to the Tiger-Vijay saga, to the Tiger-Phil duel last year, the championship has always had its drama and excitement.
This year we will once again be a part of the PGA TOUR playoffs, and our field will be comprised of the top 120 players on the PGA TOUR, and I'm sure there will be no shortage of story lines, and I'm sure probably some of them will feature the two guys to my right.
As we look at our field, we're also excited to have our defending champion Phil Mickelson come back. Phil has had another great year on TOUR, posting two wins as well as three other Top-10 finishes, including a tie for fifth at this year's Masters.
This year's TOUR has also seen an injection of some familiar or maybe not-so-familiar faces gracing the winner's circle. Veteran PGA TOUR player Kenny Perry is having a career year at 47. After winning three events in seven weeks, he's now second in the FedExCup points standings.
There's also been an influx of budding new PGA TOUR stars making the headlines, and obviously they're led by the two players that we have here today.
As I've mentioned, I've already mentioned their impressive resumÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©s, but we look forward to welcoming them and others like them, like Sean O'Hair, Boo Weekley, and 2008 Masters champ Trevor Immelman. We're obviously looking forward to having our past champions with Vijay Singh and Adam Scott, both of who are enjoying excellent seasons, and in addition the likes of Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, who are all expected to be here Labor Day weekend, we're poised to have another great championship.
We're also looking forward to once again having the opportunity to raise significant money for charity. Last year we eclipsed the $10 million mark in monies raised through our championship for our primary beneficiary, the Tiger Woods Learning Center and several New England area charities.
Once again this year a key component of our charitable efforts will be our Birdies for Charity program, which allows nonprofits to utilize the championship as a fundraiser, as a vehicle for fundraising.
Two years ago we raised $35,000 for this program. Last year we raised $300,000. This year we're hoping to raise in excess of $600 for the Birdies program, and to help us in that cause I'd also like to recognize Shop & Shop and Giant Family Foundation and Nestle's, who through this program this year will be donating $250,000 through a point-of-sale program that will be held at all Stop & Shop and Giant Food Stores from August 29th through September 4th.
This is an amazing partnership that will make a significant impact on the communities we serve, and we are thrilled to see how our Birdies program is making a difference. Again, there's more information in your press kits if you want to learn more about that program.
In addition to our charity programs, we are also committed to embracing the game and supporting youth golf. Three years ago Seth Waugh as instrumental in starting a junior program that runs in concert with the Deutsche Bank Championship called the DBC Junior Challenge Cup. This match style team tournament, played over two days of championship week at Boston Golf Club in Hingham, Massachusetts. In its first two years, the tournament has been a great success in bringing together some of the top junior golfers in the region in a competitive yet social atmosphere.
This year we're expanding this tournament to attract male and female golfers from across the U.S., will be divided into two teams, Team New England and Team USA.
This team concept will certainly add to the excitement and camaraderie of the event as well as provide these great young golfers with an unbelievable experience.
At the same time, we're changing the name of the event to the John Dean Mineck DBC Junior Cup to pay tribute to John Mineck, one of the co-founders of the Boston Golf Club as well as the DBC Junior Challenge Cup. As many of you have had the opportunity to know John, he was an amazing man who was a long-time advocate of youth golf. Sadly he passed away last year and we're honored to be able to keep his memory alive through this terrific junior event.
Two weeks ago we were also very excited to partner with the American Junior Golf Association at this year's Founders Cup. We created a junior am that was very well received by both the juniors and our partners, and we showed the juniors what the fabric of golf has to offer.
The AJGA is dedicated to the overall growth of young men and women who aspire to certain college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. In 2003 the AJGA instituted the Ace Grant Scholarship program created to ensure competitive golf opportunities for all young golfers, regardless of their financial resources.
In 2008 we're proud to announce that Deutsche Bank has started an endowment program to help fund the Ace Grant Scholarship and further the company's dedication to youth golf.
As you can see, we've got a lot of exciting things in store in year, and we're poised to have another great championship. I want to thank you guys for joining us today, and I want to encourage you to work with our staff from now until the championship on anything you may need.
But before we move on with our program, I'd like to introduce and play a short video that gives a snapshot of the Deutsche Bank and where we've been and where we're going.
STEVE BRENER: As Eric said, the TPC Boston is ready to test these great players, and here for a few words is the TPC Boston's general manager and director of golf, Brad Williams.
BRAD WILLIAMS: Thanks, Steve. Good morning and welcome. Needless to say, once again, the TPC Boston is excited and privileged to host this year's Deutsche Bank Championship and the best players in the world. The club looks forward to working with Eric and his team, with IMG, as well as Seth and his team with Deutsche Bank to really produce a great event for the PGA TOUR players both in terms of golf course condition and challenge as well as a positive overall hospitality experience.
As Eric mentioned earlier, the club undertook a significant renovation in 2006 and '07 under the direction of Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon, and we believe the comments and feedback from the players was overwhelmingly positive from those changes.
As we saw from the winning score last year, the goal wasn't really to produce a more challenging golf course, it was to produce one that was more thought-provoking and added some interest to the championship. So we have continued some of that work through this last five or six months. You will notice that it's not nearly as significant as it was in '06 and '07. That was by far the largest undertaking to date in terms of renovation.
What we did do was take out some holes in some areas that we thought were still kind of more in the mode of the old golf course before the changes. We wanted to add interest to those and continue to create some of some congruency throughout the golf course in terms of architecture and interest to play.
One of the main areas we focused on was the No. 9 hole on the right side. On that hole we added a series of chocolate drop mounds to the right side as well as a fairway bunker that will play somewhere in the neighborhood of 320 to 330 off that tee box.
So once again, we feel this probably will not make that hole more difficult, but it will add to the players' interest and also assist them off the tee box in kind of picking a target to hit their approach shot to.
We've also on No. 1 and No. 10 did some very minor green surround shaping that once again will probably not have a huge impact to the championship but will continue to add interest.
And then also on No. 4, which was the short, drivable par-4 that we renovated last year, the large greenside bunker that fronts the green, we did add one small finger into that bunker on the far left-hand side, which once again we don't see being in play a lot, but it will give the players just one more consideration from the tee box when they get ready to hit driver or 3-wood.
And the last change to note was on the 11th, the par-3, about 230 uphill. There's a large bunker that faces that green on the front right, which in the past was maybe a little bit stark looking, due to the size and scale of it. We added an island in the middle of that bunker to kind of break up the bunker a little bit and once again add some visual interest.
We're very, very positive about these changes, feel great about them. We don't feel they're going to play a significant role in the tournament in this year's championship, but we once again feel they're really going to add some interest to the golf course and make the players think a little bit more, which those of you familiar with Gil's work, always one of his goals is to make the players think a little bit around the golf course, and we think we've continued to add some things to do that.
Once again, we are very excited to host this year's championship in a month and working forward to working with Eric and Seth and hopefully produce a great championship and a great champion. Thank you.
STEVE BRENER: The PGA TOUR is producing many great young stars, and we're fortunate enough to have two of these young stars, these "young guns," as we call them, with us today. They'll be heading to Akron here after today. Eric has already introduced the two young men, so I'm going to first ask Anthony and Brandt to talk about their years. How has the year gone, Anthony? We'll ask you first.
ANTHONY KIM: Well, it's definitely been more successful than last year. I put in a lot of hard work in the off-season after my rookie year and learned quite a lot. I feel like I'm moving in the right direction and definitely working towards my goal.
Obviously the Ryder Cup was a huge goal of mine starting the year, and having an opportunity to play on that team is going to be truly a dream come true, and I'm looking forward to that.
STEVE BRENER: Brandt?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I wish I had the same answer Anthony had. He's played great this year, I've loved following him. I had a good start to the year and haven't played that well as of late which is unfortunate because it's a Ryder Cup year, like he said. That's my main goal right now is trying to make that Ryder Cup team. I have a few weeks left and I'm going to do my best to do that.
But it's been a learning year for me. I played great last year and haven't really improved on too much this year, but we're going the right direction. I've put a lot of hard work in this year and don't have a whole lot to show for it of late. But it's been very fun and exciting. Still trying to learn my way out here a little bit, but it's been great. So hopefully can have a good strong finish to the year and end up on the team with Anthony and have a lot of fun in Kentucky.
STEVE BRENER: You guys have the experience of playing here last year, so talk about the course and how you enjoyed it and what you recall from what you experienced last year.
ANTHONY KIM: Well, as far as last year, my ball-striking and putting and my mental game were all pretty poor coming into the tournament, and so the course got tougher and the holes got longer. But it was a learning experience. The course played awfully tough if you didn't drive it in the fairway, and unfortunately my long game was struggling, so it put a lot of pressure on my short game, which meant the bad scores were coming.
I didn't play that well but definitely have a new mindset and a different golf game and looking forward to this year.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I was able to sneak by the cut and play good on the weekend and really enjoy the golf course. It's a very fair test of golf. You have to drive the ball in play. There's a couple of reachable par-5s, a drivable par-4 and it makes it a very fun course. It gives you a lot of chances to make birdies if your game is on, but like Anthony said, if your game is off a little bit, the greens are very penal and pretty thick rough out there. It's very fun and exciting golf for us because a lot can happen on the back nine. There's a lot of tough par-4s, a reachable par-5 to finish, and it makes it very exciting for us coming down the stretch no matter where you are in the field you're going to have a chance. If you get there within two or three of the lead on the back nine there's a lot that can happen, and that's what we're look forward to on TOUR and coming down the stretch is having that chance. Hopefully one of us will get into contention and give ourselves that chance coming here in about four weeks. I look forward to trying to do that.
STEVE BRENER: The race to the PGA TOUR Playoffs and that championship is a wide-open race. Your thoughts on the race and the competition for it?
ANTHONY KIM: Obviously now that Tiger is not playing that much, it gives us a little bit more of a chance this year, and I think everybody is trying to seize that opportunity, and definitely for guys like Brandt and myself, it's a great opportunity for us to make a name for ourselves and definitely put our name -- stamp our name in the golf world. Obviously that's one of our goals when we stepped out here on the PGA TOUR as rookies.
It is a wide-open race, and now that the FedExCup points are restructured, I don't see why the top 30 guys or top 50 guys won't have a chance coming into the FedExCup Playoffs.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Ditto. It's very exciting because it gives everybody a chance starting at square one here in two weeks, three weeks. Everybody pretty much goes back to the drawing board and whoever gets hot at the right time and can string three or four weeks together can end up walking away with that championship.
Without Tiger we actually have a chance now, so it's kind of nice. I hate to say it, but it's kind of nice not to have him here beating up on us every week, but he'll be back next year. But right now we have a chance at least to kind of take advantage of this time and really try to improve our games and be ready for them next year.
It's the second year of the FedExCup so hopefully people kind of understand what's going on now and it should be very exciting. The course is in great shape and we've got four great playoff events, so it's going to be very fun and exciting golf coming down the stretch.
STEVE BRENER: Compare the two years, last year, rookie year. Did you have the jitters competing with all these guys and then getting settled into where you are now one year later?
ANTHONY KIM: I wouldn't say I had the jitters, but I definitely didn't realize what an opportunity I had and that I was actually living my dream of playing professional golf. I had an opportunity to play the best golf courses against the best players in the world, and I really didn't take advantage of that.
This off-season really had -- I built a support team around me that made me believe that I needed to practice, that I needed to put in the hard work, and obviously it's been paying off. Just looking forward to working hard and definitely keeping my head screwed on straight.
STEVE BRENER: Brandt, as you say, the last four weeks have been kind of difficult. What do you do to get back to where you were?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Just like he said, put in a ton of hard work. It makes it very frustrating when you feel like you're working hard and not getting a whole lot out of your game. It makes you feel like you're banging your head against the wall. Unfortunately it's been that way for a month and a half for me.
I see signs of doing the right things again, and it all changes every day. It's golf. Unfortunately you could be feeling great and shoot 80 or feeling terrible and shoot 65. You have no clue. Hopefully I can get -- it just takes one good round of golf going to get your confidence back, and hopefully I'll be right back in the mix of things come next week.
STEVE BRENER: We'll throw it open to questions.
Q. Gentlemen, you alluded to Tiger, the absence of Tiger. Could you touch on that a little bit, the different mindset that you have going into a tournament when he's in the field and now that he's not in the field?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I don't think it's a different mindset. I think the only time I ever look at the scoreboard or worry about where anybody is is on the back nine on Sunday when you have a chance. Obviously it's nice knowing -- it might make some kind of comfort knowing that Tiger is not around and not going to be there on Sunday. It's just kind of a given. It really never enters your mind until the back nine on Sunday and you've got to overcome it, realize he's going to be there and get over it and play good golf.
I haven't really thought about it too much. I haven't been in contention that much so I haven't really worried about it. Anthony has probably been there a lot more than I have, so you might want to ask him.
ANTHONY KIM: Well, you know, although Tiger is the best player in the world and has been for the last ten years and is dominating, you really want to -- it's hard to do, but you want to treat him like anybody else and just another opponent in the field. Obviously you know he's there, you know that he's going to be there, like Brandt said, on the back nine, and if you're playing great he's going to be trying to run you down or he's going to be trying to maintain his lead.
You try to treat him like everybody else. You're not really playing against Tiger, you're playing against the golf course. That's the easiest way for me to think about it, and that's the way I learned how to play golf.
I try to keep that same mindset, and obviously he's still doing something and winning golf tournaments, but there's nothing we can do but keep trying.
Q. You've heard it said that this course has some thought behind it now. As Steve has referred to you, you're the young guns. You both have a lot of athletic ability. Would you rather play a course that is tantamount to using your athletic ability, or would you rather see a course that you have to have that reeled in a little bit and have to have some thought behind it?
ANTHONY KIM: It seems like I play actually better on the older, traditional style golf courses and really have to strategize before you get out there, you can't just bomb it and gouge and look for birdie opportunities, but you have to hit more 3-woods and 2-irons off the tees and place your ball on the right side of the fairway and definitely hit the right portion of the green.
I actually like a golf course where you have to think and it's not just about hitting a golf shot, it's about thinking your way around the golf course and where to miss it. I think that's the biggest thing I learned last year was how to strategize a golf course on the PGA TOUR, and that's definitely a lot different than amateur golf.
Fortunately for me, I've played well on these courses and I'm looking forward to coming back this year.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I think Anthony and I are kind of cut out of the same mold in that we both like to play a lot of feel shots and really try to kind of work your way around the golf course. I think the TOUR is kind of getting away from that a little bit. The newer golf courses are kind of bomb-and-gouge golf courses. It's kind of nice to see courses like this get back on the map where you really have to think your way around the golf course and not hit driver on every hole and just try to find it.
Like he said, there's a lot of strategy that goes into this golf course. You've got to think your way around it, drivable par-4s, reachable par-5s. And that being said, this course really demands it off the tee. You have to think about where you want to put your ball off the tee and attack from there. That's great. We don't get to play a whole lot of these kind of golf courses, so it's nice to see that, and we definitely look forward to it.
Q. You talked about having a different mindset this year. Could you talk about that a little bit? Is the mindset a result of improved play, or is it the cause of improved play?
ANTHONY KIM: I think that's the reason I'm playing better. When I got to a tournament all I'd think about was on the first tee of the golf tournament was winning the golf tournament instead of getting to that position and getting myself into contention on the back nine. I felt like it was the back nine on the first hole before the tournament really even started.
When I was playing golf I was stressing out when I was playing instead of worrying about what I can control as far as making pars and birdies and hitting fairways and greens instead of worrying about where everyone else in the field was at compared to where I was at. And so all you can do, I think I speak for everyone on the PGA TOUR, is try to get yourself in position on Sunday on the back nine.
I think that has definitely helped my play and definitely has vaulted me to a different level in my golf career.
Q. You shot a final round 66, low score in the field, I think tied with defending champ Mickelson last year. How much confidence does that give you going into this year, if any, or is it just all about making putts?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: It definitely gives you confidence. To have success on the golf course you have to have at least one good round on the golf course to let you know it's in there. Sometimes golf courses just don't set up to your eye, but obviously this is a golf course I like. I didn't play very good on the first two days, was able to come back and play a really good last round last year and really got me looking forward to coming back this year.
Any time you have that kind of success where I knew I could shoot a good number, I know it's in there now and now I've got to figure out how to do it again. That's the hard part. But it definitely makes me looking forward to coming back here in a few weeks.
Q. Did you have a chance to check out the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry last night?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I did. Anthony was in contention again on Sunday so he had to come in late. I came in last night and watched it. I take full credit for that win last night (laughter).
Q. So you're Red Sox fans?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, gotta be. I'm not going to tell you I'm a Yankees fan. Are you kidding me (laughter)?
Q. What kind of fan are you, Anthony?
ANTHONY KIM: You know, while I'm here I'm going to be a Red Sox fan.
Q. I know that Brandt went to the game yesterday. New England is so well-known for their sports. I know you fellows like sports outside of golf. Do you look forward to coming to this area, and for what reasons?
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I'm a huge sports fan. I like football, basketball, everything. And really probably the thing I follow the least is golf, and I play that for a living. That just shows how much I like other sports and follow other sports.
It was hard for me to watch that Boston-Lakers series, being from LA. But hats off to them, and hopefully we can give them another run next year. But obviously this town has a great reputation for sports and the history of winning championships. So it's obviously nice to come back here, and I'm looking forward to going to that Boston Red Sox game tonight.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Right now it's the sports mecca in the country with so many championships. I think you're getting spoiled. I think you've put in your time and you've had a bunch of lean years but now this is payback for the fans. The Celtics for the last 10 or 15 years were struggling, and for them to win the championship this year was great. Obviously the Red Sox and all their drama over the last 20, 30 years, and to see them obviously be where they are, win a couple World Series in the last four, five years is great, and the Patriots. So you've got three major sports franchises that are winning championships every year obviously.
So it's nice to come up here and be a part of that and have the fans who are that crazy -- the electricity in the air at the baseball game last night was really special. You don't see that very often. If we can get just a glimmer of that out on the golf course in the next few weeks that will be great, make it fun and exciting for us on the weekend.
Q. Did you notice that here at the TPC last year?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, unfortunately my 66 on the last day was shot when the leaders were going off, but seeing them 10, 12 deep out there on the first tee with Tiger and Phil was pretty special. To see the element of people coming in and the electricity in the air was pretty special. It gets them excited to play when the crowd is that excited being there.
Q. Last year with the FedExCup there was some controversy, guys didn't go to all four, Tiger Woods didn't go to all four. I know they've tweaked some things. There's been a lot of discussion amongst you guys on the TOUR. What's the general feeling in the clubhouse right now and the locker room about the setup of this year's FedExCup?
ANTHONY KIM: Personally I don't really know what's going on, either. I didn't know last year, and I figure if I play good golf, it'll take care of itself. You know, when you're in the TOUR Championship, you kind of look at it and see where you are and what the opportunity is to win the FedExCup. But until then it's a process of getting there, and that's what I'm looking forward to.
I'm not good with numbers to begin with, so I'm not going to go into all those points, I'm just going to try to play golf. I don't think too many people are thinking about the numbers per se, but just going out there and shooting as low a score as they can.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I think the TOUR is trying to keep a lot of guys from taking weeks off. How I understand the new system, they're trying to make guys play all four, which is a great thing. To be able to play four best fields of the year and to have the top guys show up, that's kind of why they did this, and kind of boost our end-of-the-year rating, try to get us back up to -- so after the PGA it's not just kind of going out there and filling stands. It's about getting back to it, and I think we had a great year last year.
Obviously Deutsche Bank was kind of the springboard, if you will, of the FedExCup. To be able to see Tiger and Phil go at it on Sunday was exactly why we created it, have the best players in the world going at it on the weekend. Hopefully the tweaks that they did will increase that and get us where we need to be. It's tough when you're going against football, so we're going to try to do anything we can.
Q. Anthony, you said at times last year you didn't really appreciate the fact that you were playing golf at its highest level and you had a hard time. Can you talk about your more professional approach this year and why it was hard last year to sort of accept that, I guess accept that professional approach you had to take?
ANTHONY KIM: I actually had an interesting encounter with Mark O'Meara. I was lucky enough to play with him in the Merrill Lynch Shootout. I took a couple months off golf last year toward the end of the year, and when I came back my game was a little rusty when I was playing with him at the tournament in December. We got to talking, and he shed some light on what an opportunity I had and that he heard that I was wasting it.
When a major champion or two-time major champion tells you that you've got all the talent in the world, you have to go for it and not look back and regret things that you did as a 22-year-old or 21-year-old, hearing it from guys like him and Jeff Sluman and Todd Hamilton and guys like Tiger, and to hear that from men who have done it, who have been there and obviously seen the ropes and won championships meant a lot to me. So I think that really triggered me as a golfer and as a person to improve in every aspect of my life, not just on the golf course.
Q. Any weddings in the future?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, October 18th. She's got about -- I guess about two months to back out on me, but right now we're looking good. First shower this weekend, so I'm looking forward to being here and getting it over with and kind of getting on with my life. Not the best time to be having a wedding, but it's after the season, so it's great. We're looking forward to it and hopefully she can hang in there for me for a couple months.
ANTHONY KIM: No, I'm not (laughter). I mean, a wedding is in the future, but it's way in the future.
Q. Talk about, you guys have been here before in Boston, your amateur careers. Talk about your successes here before turning pro here in the Boston area.
ANTHONY KIM: Well, I played in the Northeast Amateur and that was the one amateur event I played every year when I was able to play after my junior career.
You know, I have a good friend here that I went to college with and played golf with from Plainville, Mass, and I actually talked with a reporter about him today. We've gotten to be pretty good friends, so I've visited him quite a few times here and actually stayed at his house last year during the event.
Whenever I come here, I feel very welcome, and obviously being able to play this golf tournament is going to make it even better.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Ditto. I played in the Northeast I think once or twice and didn't play that great but had a great time up here. I played the USGA Championship up here at Charles River Club and was fortunate enough to win that. So I have some great memories up here. It's a great golfing area; the golf courses up here are fantastic. It's nice to be up here in the summertime with good weather and get out of the heat in the south and have great golf courses, great conditions, and looking forward to the tournament getting here.
Q. Talk about the Masters this year. You're right there, eagled No. 2, you're in the lead. Talk about your experience at The Masters this year, tied for third.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, it was obviously a very exciting week for me, very emotional at the end. It didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. Anytime you shoot 77 in the last round it's not a very good day.
But as you know, I was able to spend some time and talk with Tom Watson quite a bit after that and kind of get some grasp around what happened and what I needed to do to improve on it. But it was a great week to be there playing in the last group of the Masters, which is a tournament I want to win more than anything else in the world, the last two days, it gave me a lot of confidence.
It was also very humbling in the sense that it let me know how hard I need to work, and to sit there and watch Trevor play the way he did the last day, he played fantastic and he really won that championship and it was great to watch. Unfortunately I wasn't on the right side of it. But it lets you appreciate how much I love playing golf, how much I love being out there and how much fun I had even though it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. It really showed why I love what I do for a living. And to have the opportunity was fantastic. Hopefully next time I'll keep it together and shoot a good round and win the thing. But it's going to be -- hopefully I can build off that and learn from it.
ANTHONY KIM: I didn't actually get to play in the Masters but I'll be there next year.
Q. Talk about the changes in equipment that you guys have seen over the years and what's that meant to your game.
BRANDT SNEDEKER: We're the young guys, we've only seen metal. I guess it's changed a little bit. I guess we probably grew up playing Callaway Big Bertha, maybe Taylor Made stuff back in the old Burner days. But it's done a lot. Obviously technology right now is pretty phenomenal, the amount of work they've put in on golf balls, golf courses, just the minute details you can get down to if you want to with changing stuff around is pretty phenomenal.
That being said, it's the golf courses, as well. The greens are running faster than ever, they put the pins closer to the edge than ever, and it makes it tough. So I'm glad we have the equipment we do because it gives us a chance.
ANTHONY KIM: Absolutely. Just reiterating what he said, it gives us an opportunity to maybe hit a shot not square on the club face and the ball stays in the fairway. But at the same time, the courses are getting a little bit narrower, they're getting longer and the pins are getting more tucked. Everything is evening out, but definitely as far as the ball and the driver goes, it's definitely helped our game.
Obviously they're making more changes every year and definitely improving in that aspect, and they're doing a great job.
Q. And the changes in the courses, you see a lot of that?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Definitely. You see thicker rough. Courses are in great shape, especially from what I've seen outside. They're in phenomenal shape. We have greens superintendents that prep a golf course for us all year, so we get there and there's not a blade of grass out of whack and the greens are running 10 to 13 and there's tons of slope in the greens and the fairways are running fast, so we need that help; otherwise we'd be shooting 75, 80 out there because it's tough.
Like you said, it gives us a chance to go out there and hit some shots that if we are a little bit off, we can still play. Golf courses are just getting so long, so fast, so firm, and it's kind of nice to play a golf course to make you think off the tee a little bit and bring in a driver and use different clubs and kind of think your way around them.
ANTHONY KIM: The golf courses are getting so long, I feel like -- I don't think Brandt and I are short hitters by any means, but there's par-4s we're hitting 2- and 3-irons in, so that means there's guys hitting 3-woods and 4-woods and 5-woods in. The golf courses are getting longer, the rough is getting longer and now you see golfers get injured when they hit it in the rough.
I don't think that was the case, two, maybe even three and four years ago. They're definitely doing a great job as far as maintenance goes. I realized that when I went over to the British Open, that we have it made out here (laughter). It feels like we're playing in a dome compared to the British Open. So hats off to the maintenance crews for sure.
Q. Weather was bad there, huh?
ANTHONY KIM: It wasn't good (laughter).
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Anthony and I actually played nine on Tuesday, and it was blowing pretty hard on Tuesday. Then Thursday, I woke up Friday morning, I was like, oh, God. But he played well, not great on Sunday but he had a chance going into Sunday, so it was kind of fun to see that. The young guys out here on TOUR, we kind of root each other on. We like to see the young guys play well and it's kind of a camaraderie. Seeing Chez yesterday was pretty cool, to see a young guy out there kind of making his name again.
I guess the guest of honor is showing up.
STEVE BRENER: Our title sponsor wanted to be a part of the PGA TOUR, but most of all, he wanted to bring a world-class event to New England. The man behind this commitment, the man who plays a hard role in supporting professional golf as well as junior golf programs, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to call him the CEO of the Deutsche Bank Americas, Seth Waugh.
SETH WAUGH: First of all, I really do apologize. I was in Florida watching my son play in a tournament the last couple days. I tried to get out of there this morning and had some issues. But it's great to be here.
For you guys to take the time out of your busy schedules to be here means an awful lot. Rookie of the Year, unbelievable Masters on and off the course and probably the hottest guy on the planet right now, and Anthony -- well, certainly the hottest guy under the age of 47. But thank you so much for being here. Brandt, I'm glad you got a W out of the Sox last night. Anthony promised me he's going to work on Manny this afternoon, get him straightened out.
Again, thanks to everybody for hanging around. I apologize to be so late. I shouldn't take more than an hour, hour and 15 minutes (laughter).
First thing I always want to do is say thank you to you all. It's great to see everybody again. You guys have been a huge part of our success and have been incredibly supportive, and I consider all of you friends, and I really do appreciate everything you've done for us.
First thing, I don't know if anybody has talked about it yet, but I guess we've got to talk about the elephant in the kitchen, and obviously we're all disappointed that Tiger is not here. The entire game of golf is obviously disappointed about that every week that he's not around. He's the biggest guy on the planet in not only golf but probably in the world, and that's hard to replace.
Having said that, we do have the other 119 best players in the world. We've always managed to have great theater on the weekend and certainly on Monday, and the last few years it's been that. We've had a great story and great winners every year, and we obviously expect the same thing this year.
We've done everything we can to make it even a better place for people to come every year and we always talk about. I'm sure we'll have a great week, but it's obviously unfortunate that Tiger is going through what he's going through, though incredible obviously what he accomplished in the process.
I have had a number of conversations, in fact had dinner with Steinie last week, and there's no question that he wants to make his presence felt here somehow during the course of that week. I don't know if it'll be in person or in some other way. He's very proud of what we've built here. He's very proud of the over $10 million we've raised for the Learning Center as well as for other charities, and he feels a real ownership of this event, so we'll figure that out. We don't know exactly what that's going to be. But that's clear.
The other thing I wanted to do, and hopefully Baldie already did it so I won't go through the whole list, but just thank our sponsors who have been incredible, and without them we can't do this thing. They are behind the scenes, great partners, and again, friends, and that's what this whole week is about for us. We've become locals and friends with everybody we deal with, and that's kind of how we look at life, if you will.
And then the last thing I want to talk about, and I don't know if anybody has mentioned this, is every year we try to, again, raise the bar a little bit and listen. We talk about it being a work in progress every year, and one year we obviously talked to the players and that resulted in a lot of the course changes that we've made. We've tried to talk to the caddies and the players' wives and you guys in the press to see how we can make it better because we don't have a lot of pride of officeship; we always want to make it a special speak for everybody involved.
So last year as I was kind of doing my normal deal of walking around and kissing all the babies and talking to everybody that will look me in the eye, I talked to a volunteer, and I said how's it going, and he said, great, it's a wonderful thing. I've never had more fun in my life, except can I make one suggestion? I said, what's that? He goes, why don't we recycle? For once in my life I didn't have an answer to that. So I went to Baldie, and he said, yeah, we actually do have it but it's hard to do and sometimes we're not great at it, et cetera, et cetera. I said, that's certainly something we should do.
As I thought about it further, I said, why not go the next level. We have had sustainability at Deutsche Bank as a big part of our corporate responsibility well before Al Gore made it fashionable, and it's something we've been focused on, and that's part of our European heritage for a long time. And I challenged our group to think about how to make this what we think is the first carbon neutral tournament on the TOUR.
So we put together a working group at the bank who got together with an outside consultant and began to work with Baldie and the TPC folks to see about not over-promising and under-delivering but what could we really sort of accomplish here.
So we've now worked hard for the last year to do that, and we'd like to announce that today we have worked really hard to get there with TPC. It's been wonderful, both inside operations and outside. Tom Brodeur, who was very sensitive to this subject, has done a number of things, kind of award-winning issues on the golf course itself. But importantly, all of the vendors we've worked with, all of the energy as it comes in, we've worked to figure out how to do it the most efficient and the most renewable way and have gotten to the point where we think we can say, and we can give you a bit more details on this, that it will be carbon neutral. And the way it will be carbon neutral is we will be buying some -- I want to make sure I get the name of the place right, that we are buying carbon credits through -- it's carbon offset credits from the Enterprise Foundation with their green committee offset funds. And these are invested around the country in environmentally sustainable affordable housing and other means of low income folks.
You can't always -- the way it works is you can't get rid of obviously the whole footprint of this thing, so the way you try to do that is to offset that by contributing in other ways. So we are going to, through our foundation, make an investment in those funds.
Anyway, it's something that we're excited about. It's something that we feel proud of and think, again, raises the bar. We hope that it's -- I think it's pretty cool. I think it's pretty important, and hopefully it becomes a trend-setting thing in our TOUR events but other sporting events, as well, because we really do think it's important.
My mother has been a naturalist since she was ten or so, so maybe she'll finally be proud of me in some way for having thought of this one. Anyway, I didn't want to make that a big deal, but it is in our view sort of a big deal, and I wanted to make sure we announce that today.
Last thing, I'll let everybody get back to who they want to talk to, but thank you again for everything. It's great to be here. I apologize for being so late, but I guess better late than never. I was late for Tiger, now I'm late for you guys.
STEVE BRENER: Thanks, Seth. Any last questions for our gentlemen here at the days?
Q. Seth, in the last 12 months, the financial situation of this country has changed dramatically, especially in the banking industry. Has there been any talk or any indications that it might have been difficult to keep on sponsoring this event in light of what's been going on? Have you felt any pressure from above in that regard?
SETH WAUGH: I thought I might get one day this year where I didn't have to talk about it. Nobody mentioned subprimes, but I guess I was wrong. We have a much longer view than that.
Fortunately we've done better than most. Sometimes all you have is relativity, right? If the winner of The Open is 6-over and you won it, you may have preferred to be 6-under, but at least you won it. And we're sort of, again, better than most. We've kind of gotten through this thing in a pretty solid way. But hopefully the world will recover. I don't want to bore you with my opinion on that.
Having said that, again, our view is long-term, and we've made an investment in this thing. In fact, when we first started this, it was '02, so we really made the decision in '01, which if you go back in the history books was a pretty grim time. It wasn't a time where you would have thought about investing. It was right in the height of the dot com bubble. It wouldn't have been the time to think about investing in a golf tournament by a German bank in the U.S. But we did it because we thought it was the right time to sort of bring out our brand and do all the things that we've been able to do.
So we have not -- the long way of saying it, we've been kind of unwavering on this. We also have a contract that is four years with a two-year renewable, and we're in our second year of that.
We're very pleased with the FedEx part of things. We think this has been a home run for us in terms of branding, in terms of client entertainment, and in terms of creating a presence in this community but also in the general community.
If it were -- if we had to sign -- if I had gone to Frankfurt this December and pitched this as an idea, I don't know how far I would have gotten. But certainly given that we're in the middle of it and it's been a terrific experience for us, we have no hesitation about it.
STEVE BRENER: Before we break for lunch, just want to remind you that if you're planning on joining us for golf, it'll begin at 12:30.
End of FastScripts