|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
THE BARCLAYS MEDIA DAY
July 21, 2009
PETER MELE: That we think the PGA TOUR will be able to showcase Liberty National. We'll be televising in over 50 countries around the world, and it's a great story to tell here and it's a great golf course to showcase the first event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs this August.
We had a great event last year, moving to Ridgewood Country Club, and could not have gotten anymore exciting with the playoff opportunity between Vijay and Sergio at the end. The three-hole playoff was terrific.
And I think this year with this golf course and the setting and the type of spectator experiences that will be here, the natural viewing mounds and I think it's just going to be a spectacular event.
We are very fortunate to have Barclays as our title sponsor. They are arguably the best title sponsor on the PGA TOUR. They are committed to the event in all ways, not just ways that effect them or their clients. They are committed to the overall operation of the event, the promotion of the event, the charities in the event. So that's what makes this process so successful is they get that it's not just about giving a check to be a title sponsor. It's about what goes beyond that point of that and what they can do to help the PGA TOUR and our staff locally make the event the best it can be in the community.
So at this time to say a few words on behalf of Barclays, I'd trying to introduce the managing director and research director for Barclays, Mr. Larry Kantor.
LARRY KANTOR: Thank you. At least we didn't need any sunscreen out there. I just got back from Scotland last night from a golf trip, and I woke this morning, I could have sworn I was still in Scotland, even the fescue and really a fantastic golf course.
So what I would like to do is on behalf of everyone of Barclays more than 150,000 employees around the world, I'm thrilled to welcome you all to The Barclays at Liberty National. Very pleased to continue our partnership with the PGA TOUR as the title sponsor of The Barclays, which as you know, is the first PGA TOUR Playoff event for the 2009 FedExCup.
We do remain very committed to supporting golf. We are also in addition to The Barclays here, very proud to sponsor two other prestigious events, The Barclays Scottish Open, which I just attended a couple of weeks ago, and The Barclays Singapore Open, as well as great players like Phil Mickelson and Darren Clarke.
I think our commitment to supporting golf comes from an appreciation, really, for talent and success. It's very consistent, really, with our own corporate values of integrity and dedication to excellence, and these are qualities that we try to bring to our clients worldwide every day.
As a leading global financial services company, we are committed to not only the success of our clients, but to our communities. Over the years, this particular tournament has raised millions of dollars for local charities. We are delighted to carry on this tradition here.
This year, The Barclays will make a difference to thousands of lives in the local area. We'll be providing financial support to the first tee of Plainfield, New Jersey and Metropolitan New York, the New Jersey Alliance and the YMCA, the YWCA of Bergen County, the American Red Cross and about 150 other local charities that are supported through tickets for charity program.
And then finally, I want to thank the more than 1,000 volunteers whose efforts make this event possible, and I'd like to thank you today for coming and we are really looking forward to seeing you all at the tournament, which, as you know, begins Thursday August 27. Thank you very much.
PETER MELE: At this time I would like to introduce PGA TOUR executive vice president to say a few words on behalf of the Tour, David Pillsbury.
DAVID PILLSBURY: Thank you, Peter, Larry, and especially like to say on behalf of the PGA TOUR, thank you to all of you for coming out here all day, showing up at 8:00, and for those of you that completed 18 holes, congratulations. It was quite a feat. We had great links-style golf and great links-style weather. It was a terrific day, and we appreciate you enduring. We would like to especially thank our friends, Larry, and the team from Barclays.
Barclays is just a terrific company. We are so proud to be partnered with Barclays for this terrific event. We would like to thank Liberty National. They are just great hosts, have been from the beginning. If you were out on the golf course, you saw a lot of changes made to the golf course, little things like the new tee on 16. It's tough hosting a big-time TOUR event, and these guys have done a great job getting this golf course ready and we are really excited about being in Jersey City, and we think we are going to have a terrific event.
We think the energy is really starting to build with Stewart's win at Turnberry and Tom's incredible performance; we are starting to build our crescendo leading up to our Playoffs, and the Playoffs start right here in Jersey City. We are excited about it. We think that we have got the FedExCup Playoff Series figured out this year: Unlike last year, we are going to start to weed out the players and end with a champion at THE TOUR Championship.
But the event here at Barclays is really where it all starts, and to kick off the post-season correctly, we would like to share a quick video with you that will I think communicate some of the energy around the Playoffs this year, and in particular, The Barclays.
This year we reduced the field from 144 to 125 and then 70 and then 30 for THE TOUR Championship. It's a win-or-go-home atmosphere. It's exciting. They are playing for a big purse, but they are playing to jockey for position and to ultimately win one of the toughest things to win in golf, because you've got to play well all year long, and you've got to perform through the four Playoffs in order to achieve the prize of the FedExCup.
There's an added sense of excitement I think because this golf course is going to present quite a challenge. Of course, the rain was a challenge, but I understand from people that played this golf course that if the wind blows, it's really a challenge and it's known to blow often through here.
So we have the great vistas that the bay provides, and we also have the great winds that will come off the bay that will provide a challenge to the players.
So we are proud to be here. We get to play some of the finest golf courses in the world and I can tell that you from a setting perspective, being in Jersey City, with these views, I was talking to Mayor Healey, I don't think there's any place in the world quite like this. So we think our players are going to love it. We think it's going to show up beautifully on television. We are in over 200 countries, 35 languages, and there will be probably 450 million households reached through this telecast over the several days of the event. It's going to be quite a show for the world to see.
I would like to just spend a moment on another element of why this is so important, and Larry touched on this, and it's what happens in the community around this event. So it's big for the world. It's a great stage for golf. It's great business for Barclays and their clients, but it's beyond that for Barclays and it's beyond that for the tournament. There are two other things that happen that are very unique when an event like this comes to a city like Jersey City.
No. 1, economic impact. This impacts the local economy in a significant way. Events of this magnitude are on the order of impact of $50 to $80 million of economic impact through the tournament and all that leads up to the tournament. And probably most importantly, it's what happens within the community as charity dollars are left behind, through programs like Tickets for Charity and through Barclays generous contributions, we support The First Tee, but as has been mentioned and will be mentioned more throughout our discussions this afternoon, literally hundreds of other charities are touched by this event and we are very, very proud of that. Over a million dollars will be left in this community for local charities.
This partnership between Barclays is part of what makes this possible. A tremendous amount of work goes into making an event like this happen and obviously we have had great cooperation and support from the State and we have Nina Wells, Secretary of State here with us today, and we appreciate very much what the State has done to support this event.
We'll be in the State of New Jersey in 2011 and 2012, 2010, as well. We anticipate continued support and we appreciate that very much, but most importantly from the city, Jersey City has been outstanding. We are proud to be here. We know it's a jewel within Jersey City, and it's a great city and we are delighted to bring the best players in the world to this town to play golf.
To tell you about Jersey City's perspective, I would like to introduce you to Mayor Jerramiah Healey, who is providing great leadership as Jersey City goes through a very difficult time here in the last couple of days and our hearts certainly go out, Mayor, to all of you in the city, and in particular, the detective's family who has been impacted. With that, if you would come and say a few words. Thank you very much.
MAYOR HEALEY: Good morning, everyone. We thank you all for coming down here. I guess Dave has said everything that I was going to say, but The Barclays coming to this spectacular golf course in our city in Jersey City, Liberty National, I want to thank the Fireman's Liberty National for hosting this event, The Barclays, the PGA TOUR.
And as Dave told you, it has meaning, because the golfers are going to be competing for something. And it certainly has a great rewards for our city, not only the economic impact of the hotels, the restaurants, the small businesses here, but as David told you, millions of dollars will be left behind for Jersey City's churches, charitable institutions and public service nonprofits, so this is all good. You're going to see in Jersey City between August 25 and August 30 of this year, the greatest golfers on earth are coming to what I consider to be the greatest golfing venue on earth, which is this golf course right here.
First of all, it was designed by experts, Mr. Tom Kite, so that is one of the most challenging golf courses that I've heard from experts that they have ever played on, and it's also a golf course which has a truly unique vista. There's no place else on earth where you can play golf and see the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Statute of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Governor's Island, New York City Skyline Bridge, Hudson River, George Washington Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge. It's simply unique and it's simply incredible.
So we are looking forward to a great tournament that's going to feature this course, our Liberty State Park, the most visited park in the State of New Jersey, and our city, Jersey City and we are looking forward with tremendous hope and optimism to August 25 through August 30.
So thanks, guys, we think you have picked a great place, and we expect a huge success. Thank you, everybody.
PETER MELE: Again, this is a difficult time for the city, it's a time for healing and for people to come together. This is when the character of a place really comes through. With Officer DiNardo's unfortunate passing last night, we announced that the city is going to have a scholarship fund in his name, and last night we announced that we would commit $25,000 to kick off that scholarship fund for this year.
We have been received so warmly by everybody here, and I never had a chance to meet Detective DiNardo, but I have met many of the police that are here in Jersey City, and we feel like they have welcomed us like family and we felt that it was our obligation, we should do something back.
There's many constituents that make an event like this possible and successful. Obviously the city, the host venue, but also the state. And last year we moved across the river to New Jersey, and it was a very, very enjoyable move. We had a great experience first go-around at Ridgewood, and we are thrilled to be residing in New Jersey for the foreseeable future.
At this time I would like to introduce Secretary of State of New Jersey, Ms. Nina Wells.
NINA WELLS: It is so wonderful to hear everybody saying such wonderful things about New Jersey. Thank you so much. This is so great. It's wonderful to represent the governor and the state of New Jersey, particularly since I have travelled in tourism under my office. So you can imagine how excited we are. Tourism in New Jersey is the third largest industry, $39 billion. We had 75 million visitors last year and I'm sure that number is going to really skyrocket as a result of this amazing, amazing tournament. We were just delighted that Barclays came last year, and now they are back for the next three years, I believe, so we are really, I'm telling you, so, so excited. I'm putting that video up on our Web site, visitnj.org.
As the Mayor said, the economic impact is going to be absolutely extraordinary, extraordinary, and so important for the economy of New Jersey. Just so excited about people enjoying, not just Jersey City, but the entire State of New Jersey. We are going to get them here, Mayor Healey, in your W Hotel, in your Westin, in all your restaurants, Liberty Science Center; don't forget the shopping. It's just going to be absolutely incredible.
So we are really, really so delighted and so pleased and so honored and we are just so, so appreciative of the charitable support that we know will flow from this great, great event. I was here the morning that the nonprofits were here and they were getting so excited about the potential. The need is greater than ever. I don't have to tell all of you. The timing of this could not be better. As many non-profits are really having a difficult time and they are really struggling, what a great opportunity for New Jersey to have that added benefit on top of everything else.
This is really going to be sensational. This is such a great golf state, 160 golf courses. We have a lot of golf lovers here in New Jersey. I think we probably distribute 100,000 New Jersey golf guides every year. So let me tell you, you have a lot of residents in this state that absolutely love golf. And I'm absolutely excited about the way in which we are going to broadcast this, 231 countries, 450 million homes around the world, we really get a chance to show off New Jersey and really talk about how important the philanthropy is.
So when you put it all together, we could not be more, more excited and I'm just delighted to be here, and I know the Governor is going to be here for those days and it's going to be a huge success. Thank you so much.
PETER MELE: You've heard mention a couple of times today of Tickets For Charity. Just to give you an overview of what that is. Tickets For Charity is a program that we have launched this year, in essence, it's basically organizations that we partner with. We basically solicit companies to promote the sale of our tickets, and they will sell 75 percent of all proceeds that their efforts derive and the other 25 goes to the Metropolitan First Tee of New York. There's not another sporting event that does that, and we are excited about this program. We have over 150 organizations statewide that are involved with this, and also into New York, and we just hope that they are able to sell all of the tickets for us so that we can donate a lot of money back for them. We are thrilled with that program.
With us today representing the American Red Cross, who is our first Tickets For Charity partners, Marilyn Keys, and she will be able to talk to you after about her experience and what this program means for the Red Cross and Shaun O'Hara from the Giants is also here, another Tickets For Charity partner, and he's around afterwards if anybody wants to speak with him.
Another program we are very proud of this year is our military initiative, Birdies For the Brave initiative that the TOUR is very much supportive here, and here we have what's called the Patriots Outpost. This year The Barclays will allow active and retired servicemen and women with their identifications to come on to the golf tournament for free, show their identification and get in for free. In this case, Lockheed Martin is going to sponsor the Patriots Outpost, a hospitality venue where the men and women can go to relax, have a bite to eat, have a soft drink. And we will also have an EA SPORTSTM game linked in overseas so they can play head-to-head the Tiger Woods video game. And Shaun won't have practice all that week and he'll hopefully have a chance to stop by and say hello to the servicemen and women and maybe play a video game with somebody based overseas. This was done at THE PLAYERS Championship in Jacksonville's TPC back in May and was very successful. They had three to four thousand service men and women there. It's our way of thanking them for what they have done for the country and what they have done for us to help us enjoy our lives here.
Other things we are doing is we are on Facebook, which I don't have, but we have a Facebook page and other new media type opportunities we are launching to get in front of as many people as we can.
We are excited. This is going to be a great peck say tar course. There are some great venues to see here. It's a flat golf course, easy to see, easy to walk, so we think this is just going to absorb crowds really well, and it's going to show great on television and be great theater. CBS, we are fortunate to have them as our broadcast partner with the GOLF CHANNEL, as well.
Do we have Vijay?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I'm here.
PETER MELE: Last year we had a great finish, and we are very fortunate to have Vijay win in the playoff. This is the fourth time Vijay won this event, and he closed the year in a flurry last year winning here and then the Deutsche Bank the next week at the Playoffs and ultimately in the FedExCup. And at this time, Vijay? How are you?
VIJAY SINGH: Good.
PETER MELE: Welcome to our media day. It's raining, a bit like the British Open weather, I guess.
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I don't want to be reminded of that. (Laughing).
PETER MELE: Just want to kick it off, if you have any comments about coming back to defend your title here at The Barclays and defending your FedExCup title.
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I'm looking forward to it. It's a good time of the year because I'm just beginning to feel my knees again in the right way and my golf swing, and there's some really great results through my golf swing; you don't see it in my performances as yet. But the feel I have and the swing is coming back, and I just am looking forward to it.
I have not played the golf course, so that's going to be, you know, something to get used to when I get there. But if it's anything like last year, I'm looking forward to it.
PETER MELE: What is it about the end of the year, you always have strong finish and last year was a huge end of the year for you.
VIJAY SINGH: It was a disappointing year until I started at Bridgestone. I was really confident going into The Barclays, and knowing what my success was in New York at Westchester. I felt in love with the golf course and it just suited my game. I was very patient all week. I knew how tough the golf course was, and I just kind of, you know, started slow and just built up my confidence throughout the week.
So hopefully this year is going to be the same. Bridgestone coming up two weeks and then the PGA and The Barclays. So hopefully when I start at Barclays, I'm there like I was last year.
Q. I just wanted to know, you've won major championships and had a great career. Where does winning the FedExCup sort of rate among the highlights that you've had?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, obviously it was the second one. Tiger won the first one. Me winning the second one, it's probably right up there amongst most of my successes.
I don't know how long the FedExCup is going to go on for, if it's a thing that's going to be around forever, then it's probably one of the biggest successes of my career. But it's a tough thing to win. Fortunately I won the first two events last year and that kind of wrapped it up. I think that is a very big part of the great resumé that I have and it will stay with me forever now, because the prize money that I've ever won or that anybody's ever won, last year or two years ago, it was all annuity. Last year was the first time where they gave 9 million in cash, and again, it's a great thing to have on your resumé.
Q. I know you haven't played the course, but what have you heard from maybe guys who have been out here at all, and will you go about scouting this course the same way that you did Ridgewood?
VIJAY SINGH: All I've heard was it's a great golf course, unbelievable venue, the views are incredible, and the golf course itself is very tough. It's going to be kind of windy there and it's supposed to be really, really tough. I think they had the Commissioner's Cup there and a lot of guys that played there said that it's an incredible golf course.
We'll have three days to get used to it before the tournament starts, so I'm probably going to go up there, if I'm around the New York area, I'm going to go have a look at it. Now since my son is going to go to school in New York, I'll have more time to go up there and have a look at it.
Q. As someone who has had significant late career success, could you talk about what Tom Watson's performance, how that struck you this past week, and also talk about your future in the game in terms of, I know you talked about how long you want to play and at the level you're playing now, could you talk about that a little bit?
VIJAY SINGH: Tom Watson, what a great story that is. That gave second life to everybody that is even in their 50s. It's almost unheard of. People can actually go out and have one or two days of good scoring in a major, but leading the golf tournament, even after 72 holes, being tied and going into a playoff is totally unheard of. That kind of gives us a second wind.
To me, I was thinking, you know, maybe 50, 51, 52, I still have enough energy and strength to compete, but now after what Tom's done, it kind of gives you a second life more or less. I'm working out really hard and I feel really strong right now, even after the surgery, I worked out really strong. I can still compete with the young kids now. I don't know how long that's going to last. You know, you can be strong enough, but your golf game still has to be there.
The body takes a lot of toll. They say the older you get, the harder you have to work at it and that's been my motto. I will see. After I turn 50, see how much more, if I can compete, I will keep going. If I cannot, then obviously I'll have to make a decision then. But right now, I've played with all of the young and long hitters. I played with Bubba Watson in the Open the first two days, and you all know how far he hits it. I wasn't that far behind him. So that kind of gave me a lot of confidence.
I don't know, just see what happens.
Q. You had the FedExCup wrapped up after the first two events. How do you feel about this year, the format changes and the guarantees that we won't have a winner until THE TOUR Championship?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, in one way it's pretty good, because it was a very strange week when I went to THE TOUR Championship, because I knew I had won it. All I needed to do was play 72 holes. It was really strange. For me, it was two tournaments in one. Everybody was trying to tell me what to do, what not to do, how to walk, even walking down the steps, they were saying, "you've got to be careful." I was on edge all week. It was strange because I just wanted to go out there and play.
This year it was a different story. I think it's good for the tournament. I think it's good for the FedExCup that everybody entering the last day, the last tournament has a chance of winning. I think it's going to give more drama and excitement to the tournament. I'm lucky they didn't do it last year.
Q. With the FedExCup in its third year, are the players starting to talk and think about it the way they do the traditional majors?
VIJAY SINGH: I wish they did. In the beginning, there's enough talk with the media that kind of creates excitement through the players, but it's so far away when we start the year, people really don't -- the players don't really talk about it. They know it's there. They see it on the board every week. But it's going to start now. It's coming toward the end and they start juggling who is up there, who is going to qualify and who is not going to qualify.
So the more players that are not in it at the moment is going to start talking about it. But the players that are already in it and established, I don't think they really talk about it until the FedExCup really starts.
Q. This is where I have to make a lot of public and photo opportunities. I wonder if you could give me a little hint or help, how do you keep your teeth so white, Vijay.
VIJAY SINGH: That's a good one. I guess you've got to brush it every day. (Laughter).
Q. I'll have to start doing that.
VIJAY SINGH: Don't drink coffee. (Laughter).
Q. You probably can't find two more opposites in terms of golf courses than Ridgewood, which is your classical setup and Liberty National which is not. Do you prefer one sort of setting or the other or does it not really matter to you?
VIJAY SINGH: I think the classic setup is what most of the players really like. It's right in front of you. It's traditional and you've got to play good golf. I guess everybody likes it. It's good for TV, as well.
I don't know what Liberty National is. It's a modern golf course. It's very links-type, and the atmosphere is going to be different. I can't really tell what the difference is going to be. Over there, there are some really great new golf courses, so it will be very unfair for me to say that I do prefer Ridgewood, but until I get to Liberty National, I can't comment that much on it.
Q. If you can, talk a little bit about the playoff format in golf, and how much do you think that's added a little bit of excitement to the sport, especially after the four majors are over and gives you something to shoot for at the end of the season.
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I mean, the bottom line is, it's a $10 million prize purse, and everybody is looking forward to it. Everybody is excited about it. And there is a cut after the first day, so you know, not too many -- if you played half-decent, you shouldn't even worry about the cut.
But once it starts up, that's when the excitement comes in, who is going to make it and who is not going to make it.
Most of the time, they talk about, really, the $10 million. That's the excitement that everybody talks about, you know, the press talks about it, the fans talk about it, all of the players talk about it. That's the excitement that attracts everybody.
And it's a different kind of format. Now you have a finish, a finale of $10 million and everybody is gearing up to that. So it's a great concept, and you know, I hope that the concept will last for a long, long time to come.
PETER MELE: Thank you, appreciate your time today. We all know nobody works harder at the game than you do and we want to wish you the best of luck as you defend at the Bridgestone in a few weeks, and looking forward to welcoming you back here to defend your title at The Barclays.
VIJAY SINGH: Thank you.
End of FastScripts