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BMW CHAMPIONSHIP MEDIA DAY
June 4, 2012
VINCE PELLEGRINO:¬† Good morning.¬† My name is Vince Pellegrino and I'm delighted to be here.¬† Thanks, everyone, for joining us.¬† We've got a great day planned out for you with a bunch of great speakers.¬† And then after that I know everybody is here really for the golf, so we'll wait until the press conference is over to have the golf.
Looking forward to a great day out there, but before we get started, I'd like to show a little video that talks about the BMW Championship and the scholarship it provides for.
We are really excited to be here at Crooked Stick, and to my left, you're right, we've got the three championship trophies:¬† The FedExCup to your far right, the BMW Championship keeper trophy in the middle, and the J. K. Wadley trophy closest to me.¬† Afterwards I would encourage you to take a look at these trophies and see some of the great names in golf that are engraved on them.¬† Really impressive.
As mentioned in the video, the Evans Scholars Foundation is the sole charity of the BMW Championship, and really proud of the scholarship foundation.¬† We have over 825 kids in school right now with 9600 alumni of the program.¬† We're really excited about this year's tournament and the proceeds that will be donated to the Evans Scholars Foundation by the BMW Championship.
Before we get started I'd like to introduce a few special guests who are in attendance who will not be speaking today.¬† First, with the Indianapolis Colts, Casey Irsay is with us; former IndyCar driver A. J. Foyt IV is with us, as well; former Indianapolis Colts and Crooked Stick member, Ken Dilger, is here with us, as well; from the Super Bowl host committee, Mark Miles is here with us, as well; and from mayor Brainard's office, Marc Lotter is with us, as well; the Western Golf Association tournament chairman, Mr.Frank Morley, is in attendance; and our WGA director from Crooked Stick and the co‑chairman of the BMW Championship, trustee of the Evans Scholars Foundation, Mr.Buffy Mayerstein is here, as well; and from the Indiana Pacers, head coach Frank Vogel is here with us, as well; and former Pacers player Jeff Foster is with us, as well.¬† Thanks, guys, for coming.
We appreciate all the great support.
And without further ado I'd like to introduce the co‑chair of the 2012 BMW Championship, the guy who's given his heart and soul for the past several months working on the BMW to make it a big success this coming September, and I'd like to bring to the microphone Mr.Tom Buck.
TOM BUCK:¬† Welcome, everybody, to Crooked Stick Golf Club.¬† We are so proud and so excited and so honored to be able to present this event, the BMW Championship, the penultimate event in the FedExCup Championship.
At Crooked Stick we have a long and very rich tradition of bringing championship golf to central Indiana.¬† This event is going to just do nothing but add to that lore, to that history of being the venue in central Indiana to bring championship golf.
We believe that we have an extraordinarily successful record of doing this, and there's several keys to our being able to do that.¬† First is the volunteer base here in central Indiana.¬† We have over 2,600 volunteers who have already signed up, who have already committed to making this tournament a success.¬† Second is the corporate support of the event, which has been absolutely overwhelming.¬† We have over 150 companies who have stepped up to support this event, and there's still more opportunities for companies who wish to be involved.¬† There's some choice spaces on the golf course.¬† There are also plenty of spaces in the clubhouse for companies who want to have involvement.
Third is our fan base.¬† To the fan base I would say this is an event that you really want to see.¬† We have the players coming out like Justin Rose who just hit a ball on No.1 that television does not grasp how extraordinary these athletes are when they hit a golf ball.¬† They're well conditioned, they're strong, and when they hit a golf ball, it sounds different, it feels different when the ball is in flight.¬† So if you haven't gotten a ticket, make sure you come out to see this event because this is going to be special.
This will be the first time since 1991 that we've had the main men's Tour in Indiana.¬† It'll be the first time Tiger Woods will have played in Indiana as a professional, first time Phil Mickelson will be here, plus all the young guys that are coming along that make this game so exciting, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, plus you have Bo Van Pelt and Jeff Overton from Indiana.¬† So this is going to be an extraordinary event.¬† We are so pleased.¬† We're most honored that BMW, the PGA and the WGA have chosen Crooked Stick as this venue, and we're doing everything that we possibly can to make you proud that you brought this event to central Indiana.¬† I think when you come out you're going to have a most extraordinary event.¬† Thank you all for being here, hope you have a great day and enjoy Crooked Stick.
VINCE PELLEGRINO:¬† Thanks, Tom.¬† We really appreciate all the support we get from Crooked Stick.¬† Certainly the committee puts in a lot of time to prepare this championship, so we appreciate your support with the tournament.
Now I'd like to bring up the person who is really integral to our ability to send caddies to college and to put on a first‑class premier event, and he is the senior experiential marketing specialist in golf from our title sponsor of BMW of North America, Mr.Tim Rittenhouse.
TIM RITTENHOUSE:¬† Thank you, Vince.¬† Before we get started I'd like to recognize Governor Daniels and Mayor Brainard for coming out and joining us this morning.¬† From the BMW side of things we're really excited to come to Indianapolis with a great setting behind us here for a championship week of golf.
We're excited to add another chapter to the rich Indianapolis sports history and provide some great golf moments for the crowds here in Indianapolis.¬† I'd also like to thank Buffy Mayerstein in the front row here and Frank Morley from the Western Golf Association for all of their efforts and their hard work, also Tony Pancake, Ken Franzen from Crooked Stick golf club, Mr.Buck thank you as well.¬† Justin, thank you for coming out here.¬† After he finished up at the Memorial yesterday evening, came over to be with us this morning as we introduce the BMW Championship again to the Indianapolis market.¬† We're very excited to be coming here and Crooked Stick will provide you with another great setting to show off your world class skill, so we look forward to having you in September.
As Vince said, all the proceeds from the BMW Championship benefit the Evans Scholars Foundation, and since 2007 over $11 million has been raised for the foundation.¬† Speaking on behalf of BMW, while we take pride in creating a truly premium golf experience, knowing that on the other side everything we do is to help send hard‑working great scholars to college, really makes it memorable over the course of the long months and years that we're planning to go into what is a week in September.¬† So thank you all for coming out here this afternoon, enjoy your time on the links, and we look forward to seeing you all in September.
VINCE PELLEGRINO:¬† Thanks, Tim.¬† We truly appreciate all BMW does for not only the great game of golf, but for the Evans Scholars Foundation.¬† They put in a tremendous amount of time and effort in making this championship a first‑class experience for, not only the players, but for the spectators that will be out here in September.
Next we'd like to hear from our community partners with the BMW Championship.¬† We are fortunate to have the great support of the city of Carmel, and it gives me great pleasure to introduce the mayor of Carmel, Mr.Jim Brainard.
HON. JIM BRAINARD:¬† It's my pleasure to welcome the championship to Carmel.¬† We're excited that you're here, and we're excited to be hosting this prestigious event.
Not just the excitement of the tournament itself but because of the economic impact that the BMW Championship is going to have on our local economy throughout the Indianapolis and central Indiana area.
The choice that was made to host the tournament here means a lot to the city of Carmel.¬† It's going to bring national media coverage to this area, and in turn help make people aware of what this city and what this region and what this state has to offer.
We've tried to be different as a city and not just be a typical sprawling suburb.¬† We've chosen to have a downtown.¬† We have an arts and design district in the old village area, we have a world class concert center.¬† We have the distinction, I think, of having more roundabouts than any other city in the United States.¬† The local media knew I was going to get that in.
We do it because of safety.¬† We weren't afraid to step outside the box and try to do things that hadn't been done other places if we thought they weren't better.¬† So I'd encourage everybody to get out and see the rest of the city, especially the arts and design district and city center area.¬† Enjoy what this area has to offer.
It's particularly important that the tournament is here, though, for the local economy because there are people who will be at work, people will be at their jobs in the local hotels, restaurants that need those jobs, and the economic impact to this area will truly be a good one.
This wouldn't be possible without a lot of people's work, and we certainly appreciate everything the Western Golf tournament folks have done, the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the economic development partnerships, the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana, all these people coming together to work hard, we certainly appreciate it.
I've also had the pleasure now of being able to introduce somebody who's very important and somebody over the years I've been mayor I've been very fortunate to work with.¬† I could go on for hours about all the great things our governor has done and what a great privilege it is to work with him, but there's not enough time because the list is truly long.¬† But it gives me great pleasure now to introduce the governor of the state of Indiana, Mitch Daniels.
GOV.¬† MITCH DANIELS:¬† Thanks to you all.¬† Thanks to the organizers.¬† If you didn't already know how good they were, that little rain shower on the first tee, these crazy Brits hit all their best shots in lousy weather, so that was no accident.¬† That was all for Justin's sake.
Real treat this morning, starting with a chance to meet Justin Rose.¬† He turns out to be every bit of the gentleman and gracious person in person that he's always presented himself publically, and really good of you to come over here and help kick this off.¬† I did tell Justin, though, that I've already formed up my own committee of volunteers from the membership here, and we don't care what the TOUR does, but we're sneaking out at night and disabling the lawn mowers and watering the rough right before this tournament because we want you guys to suffer the way we do.
But I'm an enormous fan of Justin Rose and appreciator of his talents with the single exception of the Ryder Cup, which regrettably he's probably going to make the team and kill us again.¬† But when you're not playing on that team, we're rooting for you.¬† Thank you for coming here.
Secondly, just to be here at the club I pay dues to, I'm so proud of that, signature course and still home course of the legendary Pete and Alice Dye, and we started the Pete Dye Trail in Indiana with some of his great courses that we hope our friends from elsewhere will come take advantage of.¬† But all of us who are even peripherally involved here feel a great deal of gratitude to BMW and the TOUR for choosing our club as the venue.
This is a place, Justin, for very serious golfers.¬† It raises the average around here big time, and those of us who are associated are proud to be, and I know you'll enjoy the experience out here.
And finally, I'll just say that on behalf of Indiana and central Indiana, here's another emblematic moment in the disproportionate way in which we host great sporting events.¬† Already this year the best Super Bowl ever by everybody's estimation.¬† Routinely we just held the biggest event in sports, once again another big success, the Indianapolis 500.¬† We are the regular home of the NCAA Final Four, and now one of the great events in golf.¬† For the reasons Tom and others mentioned, this is a community that knows how to come together and always comes together to make great successes of any opportunity that we get.¬† You're going to see that again at the BMW.
So we just welcome everybody, and we promise you a great show.¬† Thanks.
VINCE PELLEGRINO:¬† Thanks to the mayor and the governor for their support.¬† It means a lot for them to be here today.
Now on to our featured speaker for today.¬† He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and currently resides in Orlando, Florida.¬† He turned professional in 1998.¬† He has four PGA TOUR victories including the 2011 BMW Championship.¬† He's currently ranked 12th in the FedExCup points and ranked No.6 in the first official World Golf Rankings.¬† He's a great guy and a friend of the Western Golf Association and the BWM Championship, and I'd like you to join me in welcoming Justin Rose.¬† Justin, thanks for being here.¬† I'm going to start you off with the first couple questions.¬† I'd love you to talk about the BMW Championship last year, your victory, what it meant to you, what it meant to your career competing in the Playoffs and a little bit about the BMW Championship this year at Crooked Stick and coming into a great playoff event here.
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, sure.¬† Thanks for the kind introduction, Mayor Brainard, Governor Daniels, Tom, Tim, thank you for such a warm welcome here at Crooked Stick.¬† Super proud to be standing before you today being the defending champion of these two great trophies to my left.¬† Still working on the far one.¬† But hopefully come 2012 the BMW Championship here at Crooked Stick I can go a long way towards achieving that goal, too.
It's great to be here and really see what goes on behind the scenes of a PGA TOUR event.¬† Obviously it's a long way before the preparations actually starts and to see the excitement build in a place like Indiana where I know there hasn't been that much golf in recent years.
I think there's a bit of a buzz on the PGA TOUR absolutely about returning here since 1991. ¬†Any time we get the opportunity to play in front of new fans, new crowds, I think that brings added excitement, a new golf course that we have to learn and prepare for, new challenges involved with that, and I think the whole Tour is very, very excited, and the buzz word is there's going to be big crowds, and as a player there's nothing more exciting than that.
Really looking forward to the week, and like I said, just proud to be the champion.
I think obviously that's on a personal level.¬† But being a PGA TOUR player it is drummed into us as well about giving back, and for me, to meet some of the Evans Scholars today, it's such a wonderful program, and it's obviously giving a chance at a great education to kids that really deserve it.¬† It's like putting the world at their feet, and I don't think there's any greater gift than giving someone a great education.¬† It's a wonderful program that the BMW Championship supports and something the PGA TOUR players are certainly proud of, and when we go to a new community I think we try to embrace that and try to leave our stamp on the places we visit.
Many things to be excited about.¬† Once again, proud to be the defending champ.¬† I'm going to give it a great run.¬† Never gone back‑to‑back, so for me hopefully that's something I can achieve come September.¬† Thanks very much.
VINCE PELLEGRINO:¬† I think we'd like to open it up for Q&A.
Q.¬† This is an unusual event in that you haven't been here.¬† Most of the TOUR hasn't been here in 21 years.¬† It's a whole new experience for everybody.¬† Do you take it differently coming into this rather than going to a place like Muirfield where you've been before?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† It definitely presents a new challenge and it presents somewhat of a level playing field for everybody, for the rookies, for the seasoned vets.¬† We all have to possibly arrive here a day earlier than we typically would.¬† If there's a venue you've played eight or 10 years in a row, you pretty much know the pin locations, you pretty much know your strategy and game plan.¬† So we're all going to have to figure out how to figure out Crooked Stick.¬† John Daly probably doesn't provide the footprint for every player to copy, so we're all going to have to find our own personal way of doing things, and that's going to be part of the challenge for sure.
Q.¬† I know you've seen a few of the Pete Dye layouts on TOUR.¬† Your thoughts about playing another one and what kind of challenge you find in playing his courses.
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, obviously Pete Dye has been a master for years, and in some ways he creates some illusions out there, just distance and strategy is a big part of playing Pete Dye courses, obviously TPC Sawgrass one of the best, one of my favorite courses on TOUR, and the fact that he is here, chosen to‑‑ this is, I guess, his masterpiece and something that's very close to his heart, so to come and play one of his special venues is only going to be a treat for sure.
Q.¬† When you're looking at a golf course, what are the characteristics that make it a real severe test of your skills?¬† Is it the narrowness of the fairways?¬† Is it the rough?¬† What is it that makes for a real test in your world, not for amateurs but in your world?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Well, typically if it's possible, weather permitting, to get the golf course firm and fast, I think that's the ultimate challenge for us because that way it puts the premium on accuracy, even if the rough is not that thick you still have to put the ball in play to be able to have the appropriate spin controlling coming into the greens if the greens are firm, and also if you then miss a green, it's very much harder to get the ball up‑and‑down when the greens are firm and fast.¬† Just that very subtle change.¬† The more you can get the greens like this, that's how you're going to make the golf course its toughest.¬† But obviously, yeah, some runoff.¬† I like to play a course that gives you the option to chip the ball from runoffs, some areas that you can play creative shots from around the greens.¬† I think that'll be fantastic.
I'm really looking forward to the setup out there.¬† Hitting the one tee shot I did off 1 immediately tells you that there's options.¬† I hit a driver straight down the middle.¬† I was going to ask for a mulligan if it didn't go well to see how friendly the members of Crooked Stick really are.¬† Obviously it went down the middle, but I'd imagine that was going to leave me 50, 60 yards, which to a front pin placement and firm greens might not be the appropriate shot, but there's a bunker down the left at about 280, 290, that might become an aiming bunker with some kind of hybrid or 3‑wood.¬† So immediately off the first hole there were options, and I like that.¬† Obviously I haven't seen much of the golf course yet, but immediately it seemed like the first shot, you have to start thinking.
But it was also a great‑‑ I'm also a fan of giving yourself a nice, gentle opener, which is what that was.¬† Sometimes the easy holes aren't necessarily the easy holes, they're actually the harder holes because most of the field is actually going to make birdie, so if you walk off there with par, even if you feel good you've actually lost half a shot to the field, so sometimes there's more of a premium on the easier holes.
Q.¬† You won't play today, will you?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† No, I'm not going to play.¬† I'm going to wait to treat myself back in September.¬† Unfortunately‑‑ I feel like I'm on a tight recovery time schedule for the U.S. Open.¬† That's really my main focus right now.¬† I've played four weeks in a row with a trip to Europe, so I'm going to get home, spend some time with the family and freshen up mentally for the U.S. Open.
Q.¬† It's three weeks and then a week off before the TOUR Championship.¬† Do you take some time before you launch yourself into that stretch?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Well, the time of year basically from‑‑ there's a World Golf Championship in Akron, Ohio, then you've got the U.S. PGA, then it runs right into the FedExCup, and on the back end of the FedExCup you have the Ryder Cup.¬† So there's only two weeks off in that six, seven‑week spell of golf, and every week is intense, every week is pressure packed, every week has a lot riding on it.¬† So I think the key is to try and get as fresh as possible running into August rather than trying to find that recovery during that run of events.
So for me I'm trying to take it a little bit easier in the summer.¬† I'm choosing to take two weeks off after the U.S. Open, purely to try and freshen myself up for this big run of golf ahead.
Q.¬† We had sort of a laundry list of players that have never played in Indiana before, all these professionals.¬† What does this do to put professional golf and Indiana on the map together?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† I think it does a lot.¬† Obviously the BMW Championship now is a prestigious tournament, it's going to attract the best players, the top 70 guys in the FedExCup.¬† You're going to get to see the best of the best here in Indiana at Crooked Stick.¬† So that's going to be wonderful for the crowd.¬† And I think the rapport the players get, any time the tournament is well supported on a good golf course, players are going to enjoy that and they're going to want to experience it again and come back.
For me you have a great recipe here.¬† You have a good golf course, you have a great sports crowd and a great sports town, and you have the talent of the PGA TOUR.¬† It seems like a great mix.
Q.¬† Could you talk a little bit about the playoff format right now?¬† Obviously it's been tweaked several times since it first started, how you like it now, and you think maybe the players in general like the format that the TOUR has?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, I think the format is working really, really well.¬† There were some tweaks in years one and two and they're trying to get the volatility right so you reward season long performance but still give the volatility that it's exciting for the fans to watch.¬† Obviously the more we get into it, the more understandable it all becomes.¬† You just have to look at the names on the FedExCup Trophy to realize that it's working well.¬† You have Tiger and you have all the appropriate names on there.
For me coming into the FedExCup Playoffs, I was about 30th or 40th on the list.¬† I won one of these big events, and I've jumped up to third to give myself that chance at East Lake. ¬†Bill Haas had a few things go his way, went from 19th to win because some of the other guys didn't factor that well at East Lake.¬† I think it provides a lot of story lines and as a player, it's all about playing your best golf at the right time when the pressure is at its highest, and I think that's what gives you the most worthy champion.
Q.¬† Over the weekend there was a report about some frustration by Bubba, Rickie and Phil with fans and the crowds snapping pictures at the wrong times.¬† We're knowing for being pretty hospital believe and having good manners in the Midwest.¬† What type of advice would you give us as fans to make it a better experience for you?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† My advice to fans is to come out and have a good time.¬† We don't want anyone to be stepping on eggshells, and we have to realize that we are out here putting on a show as well.¬† I didn't really notice too much, any problems really last week, but that one particular group, obviously a very high‑profile group, all swashbuckling players‑‑ funny, quick interlude, we call Jeff Overton who's an Indiana boy, he takes driver everywhere, we call him the swashbuckler, my caddie and I.¬† That's a funny story on Jeff.¬† I didn't notice a problem, but that one group would have had heavy galleries. ¬†I can't really comment because I didn't run into any problems myself.¬† I think the PGA TOUR is trying to move into the modern age and understand that people need to stay connected to their world.¬† They can't come and watch golf tournaments and be out of the loop with what's going on with them for eight hours a day.¬† So I think it's important to have their mobile devices with them.¬† But obviously there is a tradeoff with technology now that it's actually a camera, too.¬† Obviously you need to have good marshaling.¬† It sounds like you have a lot of volunteers.¬† That's fantastic, and just brief them really well upon how they need to control the crowd or just maybe more signage.¬† But at the end of the day, I think we do need to get on with it, as well, to the best of our ability, and there's never going to be a perfect environment out there when there's 50,000 people out there.
For me I would say it's a very rare case that we run into those sorts of problems.¬† We'll just trust in the good nature of the Indiana people, I think.
Q.¬† The Xbox has a new PGA game, and you did very well on Crooked Stick for me.¬† (Laughter.)¬† Would you be tempted to look at that program to scout this course, because I've played it several times and done really well.
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Well, these games are getting very accurate these days, and they've probably measured up my statistical power ratings with the golf course.¬† That does bode well.¬† I'm probably one of the few people in the world that finds real golf easier than computer golf.¬† But it's not a bad shout, I must say.¬† I get a few sneaky practice rounds in, to see if I can beat my tee shot on the 1st, and we'll go from there.
Q.¬† If you're talking to a group of kids that are just starting out in the game of golf, what do you tell them, a group of 8 to 10 year olds that are interested in golf but they're frustrated because it's a tough game, what do you tell them to stay with it?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, actually it's a very, very good question.¬† I met a young kid at Lake Nona who's about 10 or 11 years old, and the game can get amazingly serious so early.¬† He's world ranked in his age group, and he's really stressing out about how I'm 14th in the world and by the end of the year I want to be 8th.¬† I'm like, whoa, buddy, you've got 30, 40 years of worrying about that ahead of you.¬† It's very important as a kid to keep loving the game.
I went through some tough times when I first turned pro, missed 21 straight cuts, and I think what kept me going was I still loved the game, and I think that's the most important thing with kids, and that's probably more of a note to parents to be honest with you.¬† There's times when you need to encourage your kid because you can gently nudge them in the right direction, but I think it's very important that parents don't push their 8‑, 9‑, 10‑year‑olds.¬† Because it needs to stay fun for them, particularly at that age.¬† And the other thing I would say is to practice your short game, short game, short game, short game, be creative around the greens.¬† That's what I did when I was a kid.¬† I spent hours in the woods, in the trees, hitting balls through, chipping and putting.¬† It was great for me to learn my tools, but I think I was just a quick learner.
My parents would drop me at the golf club early in the morning in the summer and pick me up late at night.¬† It's such a safe place for kids to be at that age and it was a great place to grow up.
VINCE PELLEGRINO:¬† Justin, thank you very much for your support, and thank you all for attending.¬† We look forward to seeing everybody at the tournament this September, September 3‑9.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports