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

PNC FATHER/SON CHALLENGE ANNOUNCEMENT


March 24, 2012


Alastair Johnston

Jon Miller

Arnold Palmer

Jim Rohr

Mike Stevens


MARK STEVENS:  On my side right here to my left is Mr.Jim Rohr, the CEO of PNC Bank; Mr.Palmer who needs no introduction; and then Mike Stevens representing the PGA TOUR.
At this time, I'll hand it over to Mr.Mike Stevens, and he can make some opening remarks.
MIKE STEVENS:  Thank you, Mark, appreciate it.  Welcome everybody.  It's a pleasure for me to be here today for a great announcement.  On behalf of our players on the Champions Tour and on the PGA TOUR, we are very pleased to have the Father/Son Challenge return to the schedule.  I would like to thank Jim Rohr for the support of your sponsorship of this event to bring it back to the schedule.
Our players actually were very disappointed when this event went into, I think what Alastair called 'suspended animation' a couple of years ago due to the economic downturn.  It certainly was one of their favorites that they look forward to.
But I tell you that it's a credit to Alastair Johnston and the team at IMG and Jon Miller, standing right over here and all of the folks at NBC Sports to maintain the vision and to allow this event to return.
The players ask about the status of this event all the time, and I can tell you that they are very excited that it's coming back, and are looking forward to getting the opportunity to play.  It's a very unique eligibility with every player in the field having won at least major championship.
So obviously the level of competition is going to be fantastic and it's certainly going to represent some of the greatest players who have ever played the game.
But the unique thing about this event is the fact that they get to play with their kids, and having that as a part of the equation makes this event just that much more special and unique to the fans.
I've always watched this event with great fondness, because it was my father who introduced me to the game of golf, and has brought back some fantastic memories of when my dad and I used to play golf.  Unfortunately I lost my dad just a couple of weeks ago, and I can tell you that I know when I watch this year's telecast and see the great interaction between the players and the kids, it will spark some great memories of golf with my dad, and I'm sure it will do the same for many of the people that are going to be watching the telecast.
Again, I would like to thank Mr.Rohr and PNC for their sponsorship of this event.  We are very much looking forward to it.  And at this time, I would like to introduce the man that certainly needs no introduction, the ambassador of the Father/Son Challenge for 2012, Mr.Arnold Palmer.
ARNOLD PALMER:  Thank you very much.  And welcome, everybody, and of course it's great to have Jim Rohr here.
This is an unusual event as all of you know, and of course we are all excited about it.  I suppose it's the only event that I know of where the players call and want to get into the event and feel slighted if they are not in, and that has been going on since the event started.
It's exciting to think that they want to play as badly as they do.  So they bring their sons, their daughters, whatever it might be to the occasion, and it's pretty exciting.  It's exciting for me to think that we are going to be back doing it.  And of course, the beneficiary of this event is the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Medical Center which is making tremendous strides; and of course with the tournament here this week and what could happen here, and all of the benefits of that going to the hospital to improve the conditions there.
The other day I mentioned one thing that I wanted Jim to hear, and that is the new 30 beds that will be going into the neonatal intensive care unit, which will make that part of the hospital probably the largest intensive care unit in the United States, and maybe the world.  And that will all be coming very soon.
With Jim and PNC now our sponsor for this event, and the proceeds going to that, it will speed up all of the things that we are trying to do there.
Jim, I can't thank you enough for being a part of this, and I think it's time for you to talk a little bit.
JIM ROHR:¬† Thank you, Arnie and Mike, thank you.¬† It's been a wonderful‑‑ it is a wonderful opportunity for PNC.¬† Our relationship with Arnold goes back decades actually, and when Arnie came to us, he said, "Your bank has grown quite a lot in recent years."¬†¬†
Now we are the fifth‑largest bank in the country and PNC just acquired 400 branches and converted them in the southeast and a million customers; now here in Florida with 400 branches total in Florida.¬† He said, "You should actually do something with the TOUR."¬† Of course, when Arnold comes and talks to you, he always has an idea for you.
And the relationship with Arnold and to be partnered with him, with a man who represents the kind of values that all of us believe in, whether it's integrity or honesty, and the family values that come with Arnold Palmer, he said, "You know, you ought to sponsor this tournament that really represents families."  And the Father/Son clearly does represent families.
And it's not just the Father/Son:  Fuzzy Zoeller plays with his daughter; I think you play with your grandson; as a matter of fact, I think Paul Azinger played with Payne Stewart's son.  So it's not just fathers and sons.
It's really a special event.  And I think that when we think of all of the things that we think of as a bank when we think about relationships and honesty and integrity and families and relationships, that's exactly the kind of thing that you would want to partner with to enhance your own brand.
So that's what really made the Father/Son so attractive to us.¬† And being able to partner with you, Arnie, and with NBC, which represents those same values, is something that we really embraced and look forward to and signed up a multi‑year contract.
So we are delighted to be with you.  Thank you.

Q.  What's the size of the field?
MIKE STEVENS:  It's 18.

Q.  How long will the waiting list be?
ALASTAIR JOHNSTON:   As long as the number of Major Championships' champions, or PLAYERS Championship winners who are active, that's about as long as the waiting list.
MIKE STEVENS:  I can tell you that when the event left the schedule a couple of years ago, obviously the economy was hitting us all pretty hard, but this is a real favorite of the players.
It gives them that opportunity‑‑ now they don't get to spend a whole lot of time with their kids; they are on the road quite a bit, and it's just that little special kind of event where they can hang out with their sons or daughters, or grandsons in the case of Arnie, and really relax and enjoy themselves.¬† It's quite a unique interaction when you watch it.
I think there might be some more pressure on some of the players on some of those four‑foot putts than there might be when they are playing a Major Championship sometime.¬† It's truly a favorite of the players and they are very much looking forward to it and very excited that it's coming back.
It will be at the Ritz‑Carlton Club at Grand Lakes, and so obviously we'll be back here in Orlando in December.

Q.  Mr.Rohr, obviously there's a lot of discussion about the economy, and you have indicated that because there are branches now in Florida and that was one of the reasons you came down here.  Can you talk about intentions maybe even beyond that in golf, if you think the economy is such that you might even get involved in other events?
JIM ROHR:  I think one thing at a time.  That certainly is possible.  We do a fair amount of advertising in golf which has turned out to be very good for our brand on television.
This event is our first time sponsoring a single event.  It's very attractive; I have to thank Alastair for keeping this alive.  And of course the idea that it's tied into the Arnold Palmer's Hospital for Children down here makes it particularly attractive as well.
I think in each case, you have to look at the opportunity and analyze it from a shareholder point of view before you enter into it.  We found the Father/Son to be very attractive.

Q.  First of all, wondering what you see as your role as ambassador.  I don't know if you're playing or not, but are you going to have some kind of playing role or just advisory role?  What are you going to do?
ARNOLD PALMER:  Well, I'm not sure what an ambassador does, but I'll find out (laughing).
No, it's just something that is going to make this event the best.  And I think the players and their expressing their interest in it is very important.  The major thing that I'm involved with is making sure that it's a very successful event; that PNC is happy with what they have got in this event; and of course the local community, and the fact that it's going to have something to do with the hospital and the business in the local community.

Q.  From a business standpoint, is there actually a qualification order to who gets invited; for instance, is Jack first on the list with 18 majors and going down or is there something else?
ALASTAIR JOHNSTON:  That's right, the invitational criteria, there are a certain number of open invitations, but the invitational criteria comes off a list which is the combined victories of all players who have won Major Championships and THE PLAYERS Championship.  So No. 1 on the list is Jack Nicklaus to your point, and we go right down that field of available players that are still active.
Now, we have got certain criteria that ensures that you have to have been active in the last six years.  But the bottom line is, you go down this list in a very legitimate order, and then in addition to the defending champion, we get a certain number of sponsor picks, as well.
The tiebreaker is the number of PGA TOUR events you've won after you've gone down the Major Championship criteria.¬† But as you say, all the way down there, as soon as somebody has won a Major Championship‑‑ you know, I said to Tiger after he won the Masters for the first time in 1997, I said, "Well, the great news is that you can now qualify for the Father/Son."¬† (Laughter).
Beyond that, that's what to me is winning a Major Championship is all about these days.
ARNOLD PALMER:  The Father/Son (smiling).

Q.¬† You said multi‑year; do we have a number of years for the contract, or is it a year‑to‑year thing?
JIM ROHR:  We signed up for a number of years with a number of options, optional year.  Hopefully if this works as well as we think it is, we'll be doing this for quite some time.

Q.  Does this mean you're teeing it up again in the public eye?
ARNOLD PALMER:  Well, my plans are right now, I'm thinking about it (winking).  I have two grandsons that are eligible.

Q.  Along the same lines here, can you just share maybe your favorite memory or a couple memories of playing in past Father/Son events?
ARNOLD PALMER:  Oh, well, of course Sam, as you know, and I played for every one that was played here, and we had a good time.  We didn't win and we're both upset about that.  So maybe if it will work out, we can give it a shot again.
I've threatened him a little.  And how did I threaten him?  I told him my other grandson was buying for time in the event.  (Laughter).

Q.  What's the time slot for television?
JON MILLER:  It will be December 15 and 16, 4:00 to 6:00 on Saturday, and 3:00 to 6:00 on Sunday.  That's where the date is for 2012, and we are still working on future dates once we see the PGA TOUR schedule.
MARK STEVENS:  Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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