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TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP MEDIA DAY
April 20, 2010
NATHAN GRUBE: Good morning, everyone. My name is Nathan Grube. I'm the tournament director for the Travelers Championship. Thank you very much for coming out to our 2010 media day. Thank you to Bill Whaley and his team at TPC River Highlands for producing -- it takes a year-round effort to put together a golf course that the players love to play, that they're excited about playing, and Bill and his team do a phenomenal job. You're going to see that today.
The course is in tremendous condition, probably about three, three and a half weeks of schedule at this time of year, so thank you very much to Bill and his team, and definitely enjoy yourselves today.
I want to just say briefly we are here to do a couple things. Kenny and Chris are going to do an interview, talk a lot about remembering 2009, having a great champion like Kenny and what he's done, the charity dollars to be raised for 2009; we'll be reminiscing about a lot of memories. In doing that, I want to say thank you to those of you in this room who made that possible. We don't have memories unless you tell the stories, unless you talk about what's happening, unless you share with the rest of the world what is going on here with what we consider to be a very, very special event. Thank you very much for making that possible.
But also today what we're doing is we're also looking forward to the next four or five years. Travelers, this is their fourth year, believe it or not, as title sponsor. I feel like just yesterday we were announcing them coming on as title, and now they are extended through 2014, so we're excited about what the future holds. And we have tried every year to create a sense of anticipation about what we're doing next.
Andy and I when we're out on the road try to spend a lot of time with the players, talking to them, talking to the wives, talking to the caddies, speaking with the media like yourselves, what can we do better; what can we change; what do you want to see. And that's one of the things that I think we have a huge advantage with this event is that we're very, I like to call it, agile. When Andy and I are out on the road, the players, the media, everyone has access to me from a tournament standpoint; hey, I really don't like how you do this, this and this, and I say, great, let's change it; and then they say what about this, this and this, and I turn to Andy, and I say, what do you think, Andy, and he says, you know what, we as title are so invested in what this event can become, absolutely we want to do it.
Other tournaments don't have that. So we have something special going on here. We're excited about what the future holds for our event. There's a lot of new things we're going to introduce this year, but we're here really to celebrate what took place in 09, take a pause, look forward to 2010, but I want to say thank you very much for your support in everything that we're doing.
Like I said, I mentioned a few things, we're running a 5K, we're doing a junior pro-am, we're hosting dinners in the evenings for different organizations. Everything that we do, everything that we touch has a charitable component to it. If you are involved with this tournament, if you're an organization that's been involved, whether as a sponsor, whether we sat down with you to talk about sponsoring something unique and different, you will always hear from us what's the charity piece going to be; how can we drive charity with this. If we're doing any in-market activation, any promotion, there's a charity angle to it, and we have partners who have bought into that and understand that and you believe in that mission.
I think I saw Tom from Blum Shapiro. Very unique; people have asked us, why are you guys running a 5K. Well, two things; we're excited about what's going on with the tournament; we want to really kick off from June 12th through the 27th what's happening with the event, and we have a partner who says, you know what, here's how we want to support the charitable mission and here's what we want to do; let's road race. And we have now been copied by other tournaments throughout the country for doing a road race because it was so successful, because we have a partner who believes in that.
St. Francis, I think they are here; military appreciation this year for the first time. We're going to talk about that briefly. Again, we have a partner who buys into a vision of what we're trying to do. They want to support it because everything that we raise and everything that we make off of any event, any promotion that we run goes back to charity.
And again, I've said this every single year since I've been here, and I will continue to say it every year that I'm here, it is something that is so unique in professional sports. We as the PGA TOUR have a chance to host this event, and everything that we do, every effort we put into it has a result that's going to benefit charity. And not everybody can say that, and we are so unique to be able to say that, and we are going to celebrate that today when we look at 2009 and we're going to talk to Kenny, that we hit over a million dollars for the first time last year with Travelers as our title sponsor.
That is not insignificant. Huge economic impact on the state, a million dollars to charity. We are doing something very, very special here, and our goals are much higher than that over the next few years.
So I'm saying all that to say welcome to media day. We're here to celebrate 2009. We're also looking forward to 2010. I just want to thank you for being here.
I'm going to introduce a couple people here to talk about, again, why we're here. You come out, you support the event, you spend a lot of time here. At the end of the day, we are giving all that money away. We're going to have two of our charities come and speak about what they're doing with our support, how the mission of the -- the charitable mission of the tournament is being translated into the community, what that means, the dollars that we raise; what does that mean; where is it going in the community.
I'm going to introduce Jenny Davis first. Jenny really represents the core of what this tournament is about. Every year we have a volunteer chairman that commits to 30 hours a week during the off-season, 900 hours a week during the tournament -- I'm sorry, 45 hours during the off-season. Jenny has a family, and Jenny has a full-time job. What she believes in, why she is willing to commit this much time is the heartbeat of the PGA TOUR. If we did not have 4,500 volunteers to put on this event, we give no money to charity, and we're just a great sporting event. That would be great, but that's not who we are. We are the PGA TOUR; we give back to charity, and the only way that's possible is through volunteers like Jenny. Jenny is committed; she is the tournament chair this year. She heads up a fabulous team of volunteers, and she's going to come up here now and talk about a few things that are going on with her and where some of the money is going for some of the Greater Hartford Jaycees. Jenny?
JENNY DAVIS: Thank you, Nathan. First of all, I just want to say it's an honor to be here representing the Greater Hartford Jaycees. We are actually the volunteer group that has developed the tournament, helped to develop the tournament and volunteered. As you may know, the Jaycees have been involved in this tournament for over 50 years.
We actually are a young professionals' organization who believe in community service and leadership development through that community service. The proceeds, as Nathan said, the proceeds from this tournament really go back to charity, and from the Greater Hartford Jaycee point of view, those dollars help to run our chapter, which allow us to do those community events.
We run over 60 projects a year, 40 to 60 projects, and they include everything from building play skate to giving out Thanksgiving dinners to needy families in the Greater Hartford community, as well as a three-day youth leadership development and mentoring seminar known as HOBY.
In addition to supporting the chapter events, the Greater Hartford Jaycees also have a Greater Hartford Jaycee Foundation, and that organization actually gives out thousands of dollars every year in scholarships and grants to different community organizations and to obviously students in the Greater Hartford region and across Connecticut.
As tournament chairman, it has been a long road. Nathan was saying 60 hours, 35 hours, 40 hours; he was being really nice. It is a great honor to have been selected to be the chairman for this tournament. For the past 50 years, again, the Jaycees have worked tirelessly to put this event on. We need approximately 1,500 volunteers per day to make sure that our spectators and our patrons have a fantastic event, and for them it's seamless, as well. Behind the scenes there are, again, 1,500 people making sure that they see a spectacular event, the event that everyone in the media sees.
To that point, there are still volunteer opportunities available. Anyone who would like to go onto the Travelers Championship website, travelerschampionship.com, and can still volunteer. We have opportunities available from concessions to gallery control and anywhere in between, so you are all more than welcome to come out. I would be glad to have you. I definitely could use the help.
And on behalf of the Jaycees, I would sincerely like to thanks Travelers and all the tournament sponsors. Without them, none of this would be possible. Their support and just tireless work in the community is a great help to us in getting that name out.
I'd also like to thank everyone in the media who comes out every summer and shares the excitement, gets everyone in the community pumped up and ready for this event, and I just hope to see you all in June, and we're going to have another great year. Thank you.
NATHAN GRUBE: Thank you. We're so fortunate. Again, I said what Jenny represents; just remember this, what you don't have is somebody right now at Fenway or down in New York saying, hi, I'm the volunteer chairman for the Red Sox this year; I have 300 volunteers that I'm going to run all the home games and we're going to run concessions and we're going to run merchandise sales so we give all this money back to charity. It doesn't happen. It happens here with the PGA TOUR; it happens with people like Jenny who allow us to be able to give the money back to charity. So Jenny, thank you very much.
I'm going to introduce Mike Smiles, who is the chief development officer for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. I've gotten to know Mike fairly well over the last couple of years, and Mike is going to introduce someone who's going to speak on behalf of the camp. But I've said this before that you feel at times that as a tournament you're looking to see charities, how are we going to be able to support these charities. A lot of charities say, oh, thank you for your support. We feel like we say thank you to Camp because we are so touched and moved by what they are doing out at Camp that we feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of what's going on at Camp. So I say thank you to Mike for being one of our charities. So Mike Smiles.
MIKE SMILES: Thanks, Nathan, and thanks, Andy, and all of you. When Paul Newman founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp 22 years ago, he envisioned an exceptional summer camp specifically for children coping with serious illnesses and conditions like cancer, HIV-AIDS, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia and other serious illnesses, and he did that surrounding them with excellent medical facilities, excellent medical staff and a joyous group of counselors who brought them the fun and love of a summer camp experience in the envisioned idea of a camp setting after "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," the movie that he so enjoyed.
Since then the camp has become a template for a family of 11 Hole in the Wall Camps in association of Camps around the world in nine different countries serving children really everywhere.
Today, thanks to the leadership of companies like Travelers and organizations like Travelers Championship and the community of people that support the Travelers Championship, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp not only fulfills a promise that sick children can enjoy summer camp as normal children do, but that it returns to them a sense of what is possible in their lives, that ends up healing the entire family.
This healing extends, again, with thanks from the Travelers Championship and proceeds we receive and also a significant sponsorship from the Travelers Foundation. The healing extends through our hospital outreach program, which touches the lives of children too sick to come to the camp during the summer.
Last year, thanks to the proceeds from tournaments like this, we were able to touch the lives of 18,000 children in hospitals throughout New England. It's just incredible.
All of this is free of charge. As a highly transparent charity, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp delivers a promise to the community supporting the Travelers Championship that funds received will make a powerful and immediate impact on the children and families served by the camp.
Our campers and families have one thing in common: The understanding of what it means to be or to have a child with a serious medical condition. Their stories are connected by the challenges of illness and the joyful experience of Camp either at our center here in Ashford, Connecticut, or through outreach programs like I mentioned.
We're inspired by Doreen Jayshiffs (phon.) and her story to welcome her to share one vision of what proceeds from this tournament can do. Thank you, Doreen, one of our camper parents.
DOREEN JAYSHIFFS: Anybody that knows me would be very surprised to see me standing up here talking to such a large group of people. That type of speaking is out of my comfort zone. But the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp has made such an impact on our family, I felt compelled to share our story. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share with you what Camp has done for our family.
From out of nowhere, on November 15, 2005, our four-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. We came to the emergency room at Connecticut Children's Medical Center thinking Sarah had migraines, and hours later we were in the pediatric ICU waiting for her to have brain surgery. It was a parent's worst nightmare.
Things compounded when Sarah came out of surgery and she couldn't walk or talk, and then the nightmare continued when we were told the tumor was cancerous and she would need radiation and chemotherapy for a year and a half. We were thrust into a world in which we had no knowledge and were forced to face unimaginable fears.
Sarah had been a very happy and talkative four-year-old before surgery. Now she was relearning to walk and talk, and she experienced a lot of frustration. She started her treatments as a child struggling to talk while being poked and prodded. She had no way of telling us how she felt every time she needed blood work or would have to sit with an IV of chemotherapy. Sarah resorted to crying and lots of it. Every blood draw was extremely time-consuming and emotionally painful for all of us. She did everything she could to keep the nurses from touching her.
But one day after a very difficult visit, Sarah's nurse told us about someone who might have a little more time to spend with Sarah to ease the anxiety. We were introduced to Kevin, a hospital outreach specialist from the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. We weren't sure what to expect that day, but Kevin changed our lives.
The first day we met him, Kevin could tell that Sarah like the Disney princesses from all the toys I had in my hospital bag. He asked Sarah who her favorite was, and she managed to whisper, "Ariel." Kevin just started drawing a picture of Ariel and asked Sarah to help him paint. Sarah was still crying, but she managed to help paint Ariel through tears. Sarah didn't say much during this visit, but there was an unmistakable connection.
Surprisingly, these difficult visits became easier for Sarah as we worked her appointments around Kevin's days at the hospital. From this point forward, Sarah began to ask when she would see Kevin again. She became a little more at ease with each blood draw because she knew the sooner the blood work and the chemo were done, she would be able to paint with Kevin.
At home before each appointment we had a ritual where she would search for the perfect picture to paint, and Kevin would always make the perfect drawing and they would work together to make a masterpiece. Sarah was happy when she could paint with Kevin, and it was a very comfortable ritual for her.
Then about halfway through her treatment, we learned that Kevin was moving to Boston Children's Hospital to help extend the hospital outreach program through Camp. Although he assured us that his replacement would be fantastic, we were scared. We were all too aware of how Kevin's presence got Sarah through her very difficult days, and we really didn't think anybody could replace him.
But then Kat arrived at the hospital, and she and Sarah developed their own special bond together. Kat and Sarah would paint while Sarah and I would wait for her blood work counts to return. It could have been a very boring hour or two, but Kat made it something special. Sarah's smiles started to return, as did her spirit.
At this point in her treatment, there were also days that Sarah was much weaker because of the cumulative effects of her chemotherapy. So when she was admitted for overnight stays, Kat would come and they would create friendship paintings. At this point Sarah was often too weak to paint by herself, so her and Kat would paint together, and we still have friendship paintings up on our walls throughout our house. Kat's presence assured Sarah that everything would be okay.
Kevin and Kat also helped assure my husband and myself that things would be okay, too. They were able to help bring out a part of Sarah that we had not seen since she went into surgery. It took a while, but as they became Sarah's friends, Kevin and Kat were able to put her at ease with some of the most difficult parts of the treatment. They were able to put a smile on her face, and as parents sometimes that's the only thing you needed to see.
Kevin and Kat made an immediate impact on our whole family during a time that we didn't think we could have any hope. Sarah is out of treatment now, and when she hit the magic age of seven, she was offered the privilege of attending Camp for a week in the summer. She was able to experience all the amazing things Camp has to offer and become her own independent person. She has a very determined, I-will-not-give-up-on-anything attitude now because of Camp.
Sarah was able to endure some very painful procedures because the hospital outreach staff and the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp gave her hope and comfort. Now, attending camp offers Sarah the opportunity to be a carefree kid without worrying about how the side effects from treatment make her different from other kids.
We will never forget the hope that Kevin and Kat gave us during the early days of her treatment, and we will always believe in the hope that Camp offers every child facing a life-threatening illness. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in our hearts, and I thank you for letting me share my story.
NATHAN GRUBE: Now you know what I'm referring to when I say thank you to Mike for letting us be a part of that. Thank you, Doreen, for sharing that.
We are here to always remind everyone in this room about the connection, what we do when we have the top athletes in the world competing here at an event that we are extremely proud of, reminding people of the connection to why we're here, the dollars -- I have a two-year-old and a five-year-old, sorry -- the dollars that we're raising for causes like that.
Andy, I'm not going to cry at your introduction because you really don't move me emotionally like that. I am now going to introduce Andy Bessette, and what I want to say is this: I mentioned Andy and I go out on TOUR a lot to talk to players about what we can do better, what we can do differently, and I will say this: That we are the envy of -- when I say Chicago and the BMW and Barclays and Northern Trust, because I see other tournaments out there on TOUR, and when they look at me and they say, how did you get your title sponsor to come with you, I say, it's the way Travelers does business. They love this event. They want to be involved. They want to make it as good as they possibly can.
And the things that we're doing now over the last couple years just would not be possible without the engagement of our title sponsor, and that doesn't happen in every market. It just simply does not happen. And that's why I say, when we're the envy of other markets, that is why we're the envy; we have an engaged title sponsor that has such a local presence. They have over 1,000 employees that volunteer with the event. That just doesn't happen. And this tournament is where it is largely because Andy and his team are as engaged as they are, and they're all around the room.
We have calls every week, 52 weeks a year, talking about the tournament every Friday. This doesn't get on their radar in April; this starts in August for the 2011 tournament. The only reason we're here is because of a title that's that engaged. I'd like to introduce the executive vice-president and CAO of Travelers, Mr. Andy Bessette.
ANDY BESSETTE: We wouldn't be human if we didn't shed some tears every time we hear about what the great work is that's done through Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Kenny, welcome. Thanks for coming to be with us today.
You know, on behalf of Travelers, what's so important for you to know is we're a company of 33,000 employees, but we care about people. We care about our community. We care about our charities. We give over $19 million a year to charity, and it's all very, very important to us. But when you hear stories like what you hear from Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, you can't help but get a little emotional about it. So it's okay, just don't cry when you introduce me.
I've got to tell you one funny story just to lighten it up for a minute. This morning we were watching the video that Nathan uses for the tournament, and some of you if you were here, I apologize because I told this this morning, but it's a true story. Every time I watch Kenny hit on his video, his club goes, whoosh, and I said to Nathan, do you like amplify that to make that happen? So I went out on the course there when we were playing and I just tried to do that; I tried to make my club make whoosh. It can't. I just don't do that.
So I was up on the tee box a few months ago, and I said, ah, I'm going to do this. So with my mouth I went, whoosh, and I said, this is great, I can do this; that's how Kenny must do it. But it's so frustrating to see that swooshing thing and it never happens. So much for that. That's my own golf problems.
But thanks to all of you for being here today. We can't thank you enough for all that you've done to help and support the tournament over the four years we've been a part of it and since 1952 when the tournament first started. We were involved with this, we've been involved with it from day one in 1952.
Before I talk a little bit about 2010 and where we're headed, I just want to take a couple of minutes to talk about where we've been and who we are. I think a lot of you have heard me say this before, but the reason Travelers does this and the reason Travelers is a title sponsor on the PGA TOUR is for three reasons: It's good for our business; it's good for our community; and it's good for our charities. And if it's good for your business and it's good for your community and it's good for your charities, what else is there? I mean, that's the reason we do this.
-what's really exciting to us is this tournament has generated over $27 million over its existence, and last year, which was really fun, we donated a $1,080,000, which happened to be what Kenny won. And we did that purposely. We said, you know what, if the winner can win a million 80, we should give a million 80 to charity. And given what we all know 2009 was like, it was a pretty bad year, wasn't it, and to think that we could set a record here and give that much to charity was important to us. So that was really very special.
I suppose, Kenny, if we gave you a million two, we'd have to give a million two, and that would be good for you and good for the charities. But the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and the Greater Hartford Jaycees and 130 other charities were the beneficiaries of all this, as Nathan was saying, and what's even -- I think equally as important is that this is an important economic driver for the region, for the state of Connecticut and for the northeast region.
I'll never forget, Chris said to me, literally the first day that we talked after we signed up as title sponsor, Andy, you have to draw a big circle around all of New England and New York and the northeast, and that's your market. You have to keep expanding that. And I've never forgot that, and Nathan and I live by that, trying to make sure we expand our region, that we get bigger, and that's just so important to us.
But never lose the focus that it's an economic driver for the state of Connecticut. And I said to Governor Rell last year, and she got it quickly, just think, every time that the broadcasters or the media talk about the Travelers Championship, and it's in the state of Connecticut, in Cromwell, Connecticut, every time they mention it, whether it be the local media, the published media, CBS, Golf Channel, whoever, and it reaches 30, 40, 50 -- I heard Ty Votaw say this morning it reaches 225 countries around the world. I mean, what a better way to grow economic development in your region and in your state. So it's an important part of business community, as well.
We're also excited to bring the stability and the long-term nature of our title sponsorship to the event, and as Nathan was talking about before, as he and I are out -- and he made it sound like I go out all the time, and just in case Jay Fishman is listening, make it very clear I only go out like three or four times a year with him, and we make it a point to visit with players and sell our tournament and what we're trying to do here, and what we have here, the state-of-the-art practice facility, the new First Tee of Connecticut with a little par-3 next to it, the improvements we've made to the course and on and on, and the galleries we have here that are just tremendous.
The number of people that come out here, they're so engaged. Last year, Kenny, as you were coming up 18 and 17 for that matter, I think they were following you the whole day, and it was just great. They're so enthusiastic. They love being here. They love what we're doing here. It's just so important to us.
We're trying to make all aspects of this tournament really different and really much better, and the celebrity pro-am we've always said since day one four years ago that we wanted to be second only to Pebble Beach for our celebrity pro-am, and I think we did it. I think we're there. Last year we had the likes of Roger Staubach and Sandy Koufax. Sandy Koufax, God, when I was a kid, I was like seven years old when he started his streak in '61, and against Harmon Killebrew in the '65 World Series. It's like I'm reliving all this stuff, and I'm watching him play in our celebrity pro-am, and I'm saying, wow, how good does this get?
I don't want to belittle -- we have a lot of great celebrities; Coach Belichick is here and Luke Wilson was here and the list goes on and on.
This year it's really exciting for me to announce that we are announcing today a partnership with Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter Michael Bolton, and Michael if you don't know is just I think the most charitable person I know, gracious person I know. We did some things with him out at Pebble Beach this year, and his passion for this event, his passion for what Paul started with Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is second to none. This guy really wants to be a part of this.
He has made the commitment to play in the celebrity pro-am this year, and what's even better is that he's going to sing some songs at the celebrity pro-am party on Wednesday night, so of course, now I said to Nathan we need to go on a little sales trip here in Connecticut and make everybody buy celebrity pro-am playing spots so they can go listen to Michael sing on Wednesday night.
And that's just the beginning. We're working with Michael's foundation to do some special things in partnership for his foundation and for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp here in 2011, and that will all develop and you'll hear more about that as we go on.
How exciting, right. We're got the top golfers in the world, some of the top celebrities in the world, and it's just a great place for us. It's where we want to go. We want to be the best PGA stop on TOUR.
You know, we've talked a lot about where we've been and where we're trying to go here. But we really appreciate and thank you all for your commitment, because without all that you do, the media, the press, all your coverage, this event couldn't be what it is, this even couldn't be what it is. We couldn't sell as many sponsorships, which all go back as Nathan said to charity.
It's all about -- Joe Pesce always says, it's all about the kids. Word after word, they all say it, it's all about the kids. And it is. That's why when we come here and we talk to the players, Kenny included, we ask you to come here and play, it's not for anything else other than the kids. We're trying to get these kids so that Camp, the outreaches and any kind of the programs that the Jaycees do in the community that we're trying to make life better for kids in difficult places.
So thanks for joining us again. I appreciate being here.
Now it's really my pleasure to introduce our defending champion Kenny Perry. I have to get all these facts right so I'm going to make sure I read them. Kenny is a 14-time winner on the PGA TOUR, and he holds the record for the lowest 72-hole score of 258 here at the TPC River Highlands, which he carded last year on his way to victory.
Kenny has posted really multiple wins in 2009 for the fourth time in his career en route to a 9th place finish in the FedExCup standings. Kenny was also named to the U.S. Presidents Cup team for the fourth time, which is just a tremendous honor and well-deserved and well-earned, and was named the 2009 Payne Stewart Award winner, which was great, too. Congratulations, Kenny.
When he's not golfing, you might find Kenny working at Country Creek, which is a public golf course that he built in his hometown of Franklin, Kentucky. Ty Votaw told a story about that this morning. I've got to tell you, it brings tears to your eyes to think that you give back that much to your community and you feel that passionately about it. So we're glad to have you here.
Chris Berman is going to join Kenny today for the press conference, and Chris really needs no introduction. I've got to tell you just from my heart, Chris is one of the best people around. He's been a true devoted partner to our tournament, and Chris, we love everything that you do, and having you here means so much to us. We don't ever take it for granted; having you here is so, so important.
You know that Chris has been on-air with ESPN since the station was founded in 1979. Sometimes I think that makes you sound like really young, but I keep saying it because it's impressive. He's been named the National Sportscaster of the Year six times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He's been a great supporter of our event here as you know, and his energy and his guidance has been so important to us about growing the circle around New England.
Every time I get -- not that I get complacent, just for the record, but if I get complacent just for a second, if I think about that circle and I think, Nathan, we've got to keep pushing to southwestern Connecticut, we've got to keep pushing to New York City and even to Bangor, Maine, but we won't go there this year.
So welcome, Kenny, welcome, Chris.
CHRIS BERMAN: Good morning. Welcome to Connecticut. There's something about home cooking that's paid off not just in name on cup, but it's paid off -- you've played well here, you like coming here. Tell us how that all got started, staying with the same folks in Wethersfield, right?
KENNY PERRY: Yeah, it's hard to believe this is my 24th year on TOUR. That's hard to believe. It's gone by so fast. But back in 1986 when I got my card, I didn't have a lot of money, got kids, so I was looking for private housing. So when I came to the tournament, Ted May, I guess it was Ted or somebody, they hooked me up with the Kirsches. Their youngest daughter was three months old at the time I showed up, and now she's graduated college. Their three older ones, they've all had kids. They've got grandkids now. So it's been a great relationship. They're definitely part of my family now.
I'm actually going to have Steve caddie for me this year in the tournament. He may die on me in about -- I don't know what hole, if he can make it or not carrying that bag. But there's a lot of great memories here. You know, it's pretty ironic; last year -- I had set some pretty good goals in '08 to make the Ryder Cup team. But in my 24 years on TOUR I had two places I really wanted to win; one was here at the Travelers, and one was in Phoenix, the Waste Management. You know what, I did them both last year.
It was pretty neat how here I am at 49 years old doing things you're probably not supposed to be able to do, and I was able to knock out -- to make the Ryder Cup in '08 and then win these two tournaments in '09. I pretty much accomplished everything I wanted to on TOUR.
CHRIS BERMAN: Same meal, always the night before, Saturday night, or anything changed, same room, same bedroom.
KENNY PERRY: You know, they cook out, we've got steaks. We always play poker at night. They always get my money. And for some reason, I don't know how it got started, they always get me Fig Newtons, and I hate Fig Newtons. I guess that's just part of the ritual.
CHRIS BERMAN: So you set goals this year. Obviously a major is every goal. You were so close at The Masters a year ago. What's this year's goal at 49? I'm not going to August 11th yet.
KENNY PERRY: Well, great question. I turn 50 in August, so I've got four more years' exemptions on the regular TOUR, so you'll see me the next four years on the PGA TOUR, and you'll probably see me kind of bouncing -- I'll play a few Champions Tour events here and there to see what it's like out there.
But yeah, I've been struggling with goals this year. It's been a great question. I had my goals in '08, I had my goals in '09, and then I lost my mother in October, and that's been tough. So I've kind of brought -- I've gotten closer to my family. My son has been caddying for me since October of last year. And I'm trying to bring my family closer to me.
It's not all been about golf here these past -- my dad is 86 and he's struggling a little bit. So I've kind of turned my focus more towards my family, and I've kind of pushed my golf aside a little bit and it's shown.
I've played very poorly this year. I've struggled -- a gentleman gave me this putter I've been using. It's a Ping Craz-E. It's just an old putter he gave me four years ago, and I've just putted magical with this putter, and five minutes before my tee time at Kapalua this year, I hit a 30-footer, I just hit a 30-foot putt, and I looked down and the head had spun 360 degrees on the shaft.
In a Ping Craz-E they've got a ball bearing down in the hosel, and the shaft goes over the ball bearing and it holds the shaft in on the putter. And what had happened, the putter had rusted from the inside out, and it snapped around the ball bearing.
I've had it reshafted twice, and my first thought when that happened, I thought, this is going to be a tough year.
And I've just had a lot of crazy things happen. I'm not adjusted very well to the V-groove rules. I had played that set of irons for four years that I used that I won here with last year. All my equipment, wedges, putter, everything I had used for four years, I hadn't changed anything. And now it's a complete new bag with the V-groove rule, a new putter.
I've had elbow issues. I went and saw Dr. Andrews down in Birmingham, Alabama, about my elbow. And I'm just getting old. The old machine is breaking down here a little bit. Things have happened.
But I've tired a trainer a week ago, so we're going to -- we've got a new goal, a new focus. We're going to lose some weight and we're going to try to get stronger and we're going to try to get the fire back and be competitive again out here on the PGA TOUR.
CHRIS BERMAN: Let me just say this, though: 14 wins, 11 of them came in his 40s. So there's hope for most of us, although some of us are past that already. Why? Why have you been a smarter player? Why?
KENNY PERRY: Well, I think it was a combination of a lot of things. You know, I always struggled with the family issue. I have three kids, and in the '90s and in the '80s my kids were young, growing up, and they were calling me on the phone, Dad, I want you home, come on home, we miss you. That really tore at me. That was really tough back then. Well, my oldest is married now; my son is caddying for me; and my youngest daughter is going to graduate from SMU here in May, so Sandy and I have been empty nesters.
We actually kind of fell in love again. We've just kind of been honeymooning I've been saying because for our 28 years of marriage, I told her I've only known her for 14 because she was home raising the kids while I was out here trying to make a living.
And I think what's all that kind of -- my kids are doing great, and when I got into my 40s, I kind of refocused; I kind of rededicated myself to golf and to what I love and my passion, and it showed. I didn't really have the financial issues that I was worried about, the college, and we had all that lined out and we had everything going great. Shoot, I just started hitting that golf ball on the range. I started practicing really hard; I started getting really focused to see what I could do. And you know what, magic happened. I started winning, and it came in bunches.
I mean, I think Vijay is the only other guy who's won more than me in the 40s, and so I've been very fortunate to keep my game together as long as I have. I mean, the last ten years have been unbelievable.
This year has been a horrible year and I've really struggled. So you know what, I can be very thankful that I've been able to maintain that for as long as I have.
CHRIS BERMAN: Do you wake up on a day like -- we'll have some questions later, but let's go back to last June. You shoot a 61 on the first day. Now, come on, first of all. Do you wake up or hit a couple balls on the range and go, boy, I don't know what the score is going to be? And a 63 on the last day in which you let nobody get close. Every time someone might make a run, Paul Goydos or whatever, you're six feet and make the putt. Do you know? Do you know this should be a pretty good day?
KENNY PERRY: No, I never have. It seems like every time I've ever said, this is the day, or I'm going to make it happen today, I play very poorly. I put too much pressure on myself. It seems like when I'm able to just kind of what I call point and shoot, relax, enjoy the whole process, it kind of all comes together. I don't get ahead of myself.
That happened at Augusta. Y'all watched that happen. To be two ahead with two to go to win the Masters, and I got ahead of myself there. I said, all I've got to do is make two pars to win the Masters. I didn't think that here. That was actually a great learning process for me when I came here. I came to the 71st hole here thinking -- I didn't think, I've got to make two pars to win. I birdied 17 here, the 71st hole. I hit a beautiful 3-iron and 7-iron in there eight feet, ten feet below the hole, was able to knock it in and give myself a pretty good cushion to win the golf tournament.
I had the pedal to the metal. I was going to make birdies. I was going to try to make as many as I could and play as smart as I could. My thought at Augusta was conservatively aggressive. That was kind of my word for the week. I kind of continued that on through the rest of the year when I came here.
You know, this is not one of the longer courses on TOUR, and I just love it. I've seen the evolution of this whole tournament. I remember when was it the Sammy Davis and Canon, and I've seen all the sponsors come in. I remember the 18th, the amphitheater of all the thousands of people. This is one of the tournaments that had one of the greatest galleries of all time. That finishing hole is unbelievable, and it's coming back, thanks to Travelers.
Andy, I thank you. I thank you for what I love and for you coming in here and bringing this tournament back. It's coming back now, and I see the excitement here, and it makes me feel good.
So you know, it's just been a special place. And I remember the old course, and I loved it. And the new course now, now with the new driving range, the facilities here are top-notch; they're one of the best we have on TOUR. So the sky's the limit here. I look forward to coming back as long as they'll have me.
CHRIS BERMAN: I like your chances. Majors are still going to come, but look, we've been around almost 60 years. You say this is one of your goals not only the friendship and the field, but look at the names on the Cup. They're all on there, Palmer, Snead.
KENNY PERRY: I did; it just blows me away. Yeah, all the great names of all that have ever played the game are on this trophy.
CHRIS BERMAN: And you're on it, so what does that mean to you?
KENNY PERRY: It just means I got lucky one week.
No, it's very special. I mean, to be able to kind of hang onto their coattails, their shirttails and be associated with them a little bit, our past, our great players who -- I'll never forget Arnie; he was my Presidents Cup captain, and he came up and gave me a big hug, and he looked at me, and his words of advice -- he said, I want to give you some advice; protect the game. That's all he told me.
And at the time I never understood what he meant by "protect the game." And as I've gotten older and gotten older and gotten older, I understand what he means. I look at these young kids, how they act sometimes and what they do and what they say. You know, they were such a professional back then. They made the game. They made it what it is, and they expect us to carry on with the tradition and the history of the TOUR.
You look at all the great names on this cup, and to be part of it, it's part of my responsibility to teach the kids and to tell them how they need to be acting and what they need to be doing.
CHRIS BERMAN: Andy mentioned the Payne Stewart Award. That award, in case you haven't seen it, yes, it's for someone who loves golf but who protects the game, who gives back, who gets it. What does that mean to you to be there with that?
KENNY PERRY: I was honored I was even mentioned to be on that ballot, and then when Commissioner Finchem came to me on the 6th hole in a practice round at Muirfield and told me I had been selected the recipient of that award, I was blown away. I had to kind of step back and think for a minute there. That list is unbelievable, who's won that. You've got Byron Nelson; you've got Arnie and Jack; you've got all the greats that have ever played have received that award.
And it just told me the things I'm doing in my life are right, are correct, the way I'm thinking, my charity with my Christian college there, Lipscomb University, what I give there, the Boys and Girls Club I help and Potter's Children's Orphanage there in Bowling Green I help. I do these things because I love them. These kids have tough -- they don't have good influences in their lives, their parents didn't raise them well, and they've had some problems.
It's neat, we finally broke ground in Franklin. We built a gymnasium and we built a school that started off with about 30 kids, and now there's over 700 kids there where they can come, they can be taught, it's computers, and it's just amazing how this has grown. We've actually outgrown the facility. And we're just a small town of 8,000 people or 10,000. Franklin is just a little bitty town.
It's just amazing, when good people come together. I love the Hole in the Wall Gang stories. That is just tremendous. All those things are dear to my heart. They just told me the Payne Stewart Award, they look at that and they look at the person as a whole. Obviously you've got to play some good golf, but I don't think necessarily you have to -- you've got to do a little something, but I think they look at the person and the man as a whole. It really blew me away.
CHRIS BERMAN: That's quite an accomplishment in addition to everything. Golf is confidence. Big picture, little picture. I want to share a story. I'm sure you go into every event, this is going to be my weekend, it doesn't go well. Bethpage at the Open last year was so bizarre, you guys were warming up at 6:30 at night to play three holes two days in a row, which was bizarre, right?
KENNY PERRY: Yeah.
CHRIS BERMAN: Like the twilight rate. If you pay 20 bucks you can play three holes at Bethpage. I remember it had to be Sunday night, meaning they finished on a Monday, I went over and we talked for a second. I said, why don't you come up the road here next week and win this thing. You've come enough. It's about time. And you wheeled right around like in backswing, which I felt bad about, and you went, "Now you're talking." And you kind of had a -- am I right? You had good vibes on it.
KENNY PERRY: I've always had good vibes coming here. You know, the staff is great here, the tournament is run great. There's just so many great things that happen here that it makes it easy. They make it easy on us. They spoil us to death.
You know, I just have too many great memories here. I've had some disappointments. I'll never forget, y'all remember when I guess it was like Pete Dye, the 17th had the railroad ties in front of the greens, I was tied for the lead, I forget what year it was; it was in the late '80s, I believe. And I had driven it into the left rough over there by the bunker, and I hit this pretty 8-iron going straight at the flag, and I'm thinking, oh, boy, this is it. And it hits right on the boards and it kind of goes up and goes in the water and I end up making double bogey and I end up losing the tournament.
But from that moment on, I thought, I really want to win this tournament. For some reason I felt like I could win here. So that's always kind of been there. I'm kind of a creature of habit; when I win once, I usually win multiple times. I'll tell you what, I've never been able to defend my championship in all my other wins, so this might be the year.
CHRIS BERMAN: We got rid of those Pete Dye railroad ties. They're out of here. One little golf tip, and I ask you this because we played once. So for those of us Champions Tour members who can't quite -- you do something, you said you don't even know what it is. You told me that, I can't believe that. You get here -- and then there's another little move to kind of create the power so you're not out-hit by the 25-year-olds. What do you do?
KENNY PERRY: Well, you know, I have lost that. That's why this year I have lost 10 or 12 yards off my tee ball, and I've seen my swing, and it's not there. What's happened is as I've gotten older I've gotten shorter; my swing has gotten a little shorter, so that's why we're working on a lot of flexibility now to get that little hitch back that -- people cause it a pause, a hitch. I never felt it; I never knew it was there.
When I swing, to me it feels like it's just one continuous motion. You know, in college they called me "lift and smash" or whatever because I'd pick the club up and then I'd hit it. I had a lot of nicknames from that golf swing. It all started in college.
I hurt my neck really bad in college, and I couldn't hardly turn my head, so to get the club back I would lift it up. So it all started in college. You know, kids, we got a little crazy in the hotel room, got to wrestling around a little bit, and a guy put me in a headlock and he hurt me. Anyway, that's how it goes.
I guess I ought to thank him now because my ball-striking has been great over the last 25 years.
CHRIS BERMAN: Well, get it back, won't you.
KENNY PERRY: We're working at it.
CHRIS BERMAN: Questions?
Q. (Question regarding Tom Watson.)
KENNY PERRY: That's amazing. He's had hip replacement surgery. I've talked to Tom quite a bit. You know what, his enthusiasm is back. He's just got -- seems like he's got a passion. He's wanting to prove something for some reason. I don't know why or what's got into him, and his golf swing looks better than ever. He's still got a long, free-flowing golf swing. It looks like he's going to be able to play as long as he wants to.
You know, I think it just depends on the individual in that situation. I mean, you see a lot of great players. I mean, he's kept his weight down. He's in great shape. So he's got a purpose, and he's got a reason why he wants -- that's probably a question you're going to have to ask him.
But I'm kind of in that situation right now. I'm kind of having to work my way back if I want to get back to where I was in '08 and '09.
CHRIS BERMAN: You're just one year younger. You're seeing Fred Couples who's had back -- again, we'd have to ask him, but maybe the goal of I can play on the Champions Tour, and by the way, win every week, he's Rookie of the Year, which is interesting at 50, and then he almost wins the Masters.
KENNY PERRY: Well, you know, success breeds success. It breeds a lot of confidence, and all of a sudden Freddie starts winning, he starts holing a few putts, and the next thing you know, he's all smiles on the range at Augusta. It was funny watching him walk around there. He was on cloud nine. He was strolling in those sneakers with no socks or whatever he was wearing out there. I don't even know if those were golf shoes, what he was playing in.
He made it look easy. He's always made the game look easy, simple. He's just a fun guy to be around, and everybody loves him.
Q. (Question regarding playing on the Champions Tour.)
KENNY PERRY: Well, you know, I'm not exactly sure where -- I'm going to see where I stand in the FedExCup when I turn 50 on August 10th. We start the FedEx, and it's usually in September. If I'm playing like I'm playing right now, you'll see me at the Jeld-Wenn. But if I all of a sudden turn it around and start playing better and see if I can make a Ryder Cup team again this year, you'll see me continue to play on the -- exactly. That's kind of up in the air for right now.
CHRIS BERMAN: We've already decided this is the one you're going to defend at, so there you go. We've answered that question.
Q. (Question regarding Brian Davis' two-stroke penalty in Hilton Head.)
KENNY PERRY: You know what, I would have never have called it on myself because I wouldn't think -- I didn't think he broke a rule. I didn't actually realize that that was a loose impediment because I thought it was -- I would have thought it was attached. But it's pretty awesome. I called a penalty on myself at Augusta this year. Nobody saw it. My ball moved -- it moved about a quarter of an inch, so I had to call a rules official and I had to call a penalty on myself.
That's what's special about our sport and about our game. We all self-manage it, and that's the beauty of our sport. You'd never seen a basketball player or somebody called a foul on himself or whatever. You just wouldn't see that.
That's what I love about our sport, and I thought it was awesome. But I learned something. I didn't realize he broke a -- when I first saw it, I thought, he didn't break a rule there. I learned something. We're always learning. But it was pretty impressive, what he did. It showed a lot of character.
Q. What's your last swing thought before you swing the club at it?
KENNY PERRY: Get it airborne. You know, really, there is no swing thought in my head. I think when you're thinking about the golf shot, you're dead. You're really in trouble. If you've got to think about something to hit the ball -- to me when I play my best golf, I really don't have a lot of thoughts, it's just point and shoot. I'm just kind of looking at the target and I'm aiming at it, and I'm just swinging for all I've got.
Those are the fun tournaments. That's what happened here. Magic happened here for me last year during the Travelers.
Like right now I've got a couple of swing issues that we're working on. I've got a little problem in my golf swing, and I'm really struggling hitting the golf ball because I'm thinking the whole time about my golf swing. It just can't happen.
So I think the less -- you need to think about it when you're on the range. When you get to the golf course you need to figure out how to just play, how to score.
KENNY PERRY: Not very well. Yeah, and I do do it, but if there's a back right pin, you'll never see me intentionally hit a fade into it unless there's a tree in between me and the flag. I've played one way my whole career, and it's very easy. I've always been able to eliminate one side of the golf course, which most people if you've got a two-way miss, you're in trouble. So I've only got a one-way miss, and it's pretty easy to play golf with a one-way miss.
Q. (Question regarding players playing all tournaments on the PGA TOUR calendar.)
KENNY PERRY: You mean have a player play each event once in three years like they've talked about? I think it's a great idea, I really do. The so-called elite players, they play your majors and your World Golf events, and then a few of their sponsors' events and then you don't see them anywhere else.
If you want to grow the game, you need to -- I remember as a kid when I was playing in the '80s and '90s, I would play 30, 35 events a year. I didn't get in the majors and I didn't get -- we didn't have the world events then, but I played pretty much everywhere I could play and I tried to support all the tournaments. That was important to me. That's probably an individual thing, and I wish the TOUR would make it a little harder stand on that and make the guys support all the events one time.
I think it's a great idea, I really do. It would broaden the game. It would bring interest to your smaller quality events that can't quite -- don't have the purse or the funds to get them in there, and they'll have great galleries. It would bring a lot of awareness to golf, and I think it's very important.
CHRIS BERMAN: You mentioned Arnold Palmer, but growing up did you have a guy -- it could have been him.
KENNY PERRY: My guy was Byron Nelson. Byron Nelson was the coolest guy I've ever met. He would sit like me and you are talking, and what was amazing about that man, he would -- he told me all about his 11-win streak, when he won 11 in a row. He could tell me on his first tournament of the first win, he would tell me what he hit on the 54th hole into the club, what club he hit, and then he'd tell me what his cheese and crackers cost him and his Coke that he ate.
You know, I can't even remember what I hit here last year half the time. I struggle. Here he was 30 years later, and he would send me personal, handwritten notes, little -- saying you played great this week, or I was proud -- great win, whatever. Just a little handwritten note signed by Byron Nelson. I have so many of those. I've got them all collected up.
And then he would call me and ask me if I was coming to play in his tournament. How could you say no to Byron Nelson? I was like, I'll be there, Byron, no problem. I loved Byron Nelson, plus he was a good Christian man. My faith means everything to me, and I loved his morality, his character. That just meant a lot to me.
CHRIS BERMAN: I also should mention that on Wednesday night, the wives last year, the PGA wives, had a big hand in one of our charity events, and Sandy was right up front.
KENNY PERRY: Yeah, my lovely bride, she helps a lot with the Tour Wives Association, and any function that they can do, she's right in the middle of it. I think it's pretty neat. She kind of mentors a lot of the younger wives now, and they have a great program. They raise a lot of money for charities, as well. And it's pretty neat to watch them work.
CHRIS BERMAN: Do you think, Kenny, this course -- I'm not putting anything on -- 258 is 258. So supposing this was ever set up U.S. Open style. The TOUR will never allow them to do it. I know it's short, it's a par 70, I understand, but just this course, which you know and you love, and you won here, supposing they could set up even -- I don't mean the years that they had the seven-inch rough, supposing they did what they do to a U.S. Open, how would this play?
KENNY PERRY: Very difficult. You grow 15- to 18-yard fairways with six-inch rough, I mean, come on. The scores might be just a little bit lower than like a Pebble Beach or Oakmont or whatever because they're a little bit longer. I mean, you can still see the bombing down factor a little bit; guys will start bombing drivers down there as far as they can and then try to hack it out of that rough.
But you get the greens up to 12, 13 on the stimpmeter and then you grow heavier rough, you can do that to any golf course. Firm up the greens, get them to where they're so firm that the golf balls, you've really got to be in the fairway to where you can have a little ball control. It would hang right in there with any of them. That's what I like about it.
CHRIS BERMAN: Then we'll see you here for the 2019 U.S. Open. It hasn't been announced yet, but we'll work on that. We're just playing.
You've got a new trainer, you're confident every week. Where do you go from here? You don't play this week?
KENNY PERRY: I'm off this week, but I'll play Charlotte next week and then THE PLAYERS, and then a week off because my daughter is graduating from SMU, got to go to graduation there in Dallas, and then I'll play -- it leads right into the Byron Nelson and Colonial and Memorial, those three in a row.
I've had a little success -- if I can win Byron I'll have them all, because I've won Jack's, I've won Hogan's and I've won Arnie's. I just need Byron's. That golf course hates me.
CHRIS BERMAN: The Ryder Cup is still a goal of any player. What that was like in your home state two years ago? I know you've told the story, but do you still harken back to that?
KENNY PERRY: All the time. Probably the single greatest experience I've had in golf, period, out of anything I've ever done. It was like playing the 18th hole here, the 72nd hole here on Sunday, but every hole out there was like that hole. That's the intensity that that tournament brought.
You know, there I am in Louisville, Kentucky, in my home state in front of all my friends -- I got what I call a mulligan in life. I don't know if you've ever got a mulligan in life. But back in 1996 I lost the PGA Championship there to Mark Brooks, and everybody criticized me for sitting in the booth with Ken Venturi saying I should have been on the range practicing. It was 110 degrees, it was hot out there, and they all thought I got stiffed, and I said, you're crazy.
But anyway, I hacked it all up on the last hole, and that's what everybody kind of remembered me for in my home state of Kentucky is how I blew the PGA. Well, I got my goal; I got to be able to be on Paul Azinger's -- Paul Azinger was a magical captain. Got to go back to my home state and played great.
On the 6th hole on Sunday I was playing Henrik Stenson, all right, and Henrik, he's one of the best players in the world, and he's one of the best match play players. He even won the Match Play event. I knew I had my hands full. I had birdied four of the first five, and the 5th hole I made a 30-footer for par, and he stood up on the 7th tee, and he looked at had he, and he said, "You're going to make this hard on me today, aren't you?" I'll never forget that.
I busted out laughing. I said, "Henrik, it's nothing personal, but I'm coming after you today, buddy." I ended up closing him out on 16. I won 3 & 2.
And I'll never forget it, my dad, y'all saw him in his bib overalls. Here's a man that worked for a life and casualty forever and then it was American General, and he was an insurance man his whole life, pretty funny how this all happens, and here he is, and once he quit wearing a suit and tie, he's never put one on since. And he put his bib overalls on, and there he comes strolling up on the green, he's got his cigars in his front pocket here, and gave me the biggest hug and told me that's one of the greatest gifts I could have ever given him. For a father and son that was pretty special.
You know, just the whole week was unbelievable, how the team came together. We went to a pep rally downtown Louisville. That was incredible. It was just a fun week. Everything we did was right.
Paul Azinger had a great -- I don't know if y'all have heard this. He put us in pods, what he called pods. He took a Navy Seal manual and he personally profiled each one of us. He had a red light, a yellow light and a green light situation, where like Phil and Tiger Woods were two red lights. He would never pair those two together he said. What he did, he gave ownership to one member of each pod, and it was me and Boo Weekley, J.B. Holmes, and I don't know how Jim Furyk got in our pod. We were the redneck group. I don't know how he got in there, but we taught Jimmy some new language.
But anyway, before, Paul was calling me a lot and texting me, he says, who would you like as a captain's pick in your pod? And I said, I want J.B. Holmes. I said, one, he's a fellow Kentuckian and that would just really boost Kentucky, and two, he's an incredible match play player and he hits it so stinkin' far it just intimidates the heck out of everybody else. So it was pretty cool. I got J.B. Holmes in my pod.
And then Phil was the leader of his group, and it was pretty neat how he put -- Paul's goal was that you could take four golf balls in each pod, throw them up in the air and however they came out, the two closest together, those two players would be very successful on what they did. He said we're going to prepare hard and we're going to go out and have a lot of fun.
Paul did an unbelievable job. I was really impressed with how he handled us and how he got us to come together as a team. Golf is such an individual sport, it's neat to be kind of a part of a team for once. It makes everything so different.
CHRIS BERMAN: So you converted Furyk a little.
KENNY PERRY: I did. You see he's won twice this year, so he learned something.
CHRIS BERMAN: Last year at this time, who was sitting here? Who was defending champ last year? Stewart Cink.
KENNY PERRY: Stewart Cink, my buddy.
CHRIS BERMAN: Well, he sat here in April and won the British Open. So --
KENNY PERRY: I think the like way you're thinking.
CHRIS BERMAN: That's exactly what you said at Bethpage, I like the way you're thinking. We like the way you're thinking. There have been almost 60 names on this thing, and there are very few that resonate like yours, and you know the names on there. So we mean that from everybody here. You're a great camp and you've been a supporter when we were big, not so big, always had a big heart, and everyone roots for you. Welcome home. Kenny Perry, your defending champion.
NATHAN GRUBE: Kenny, thank you very much for your time. I think I can speak for everyone, I think the game of golf and the PGA TOUR is better because you're a part of it. So we'll put that putter back together for you to make sure you're out here. And Chris, our tournament is better because you're a part of it. Gentlemen, thank you very much.
End of FastScripts