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
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 15, 2012

Raoul Frevel

Oscar Goodman

Kevin Na

Adam Sperling

THE MODERATOR:  Good morning.  Thank you for being here with us on our Media Day.
On our dais here, of course, Oscar Goodman, former long‑time mayor in the City of Las Vegas, also the City of Las Vegas's ambassador.¬† And I might add, a Shriner.
Tournament director is Adam Sperling, and our next gentleman to his immediate left, is Raoul Frevel.  And our defending champion, Kevin Na.
We'll get things started and allow me to ask a few things of Kevin here.  First and foremost, probably most important to you, how is the shoulder?
KEVIN NA:  Shoulder's okay.  It's been a long year.  Our season is pretty long, and at this time of the year, I tend to fall apart a little bit.  A good week of rest and I'll be ready to go for the Playoffs.
THE MODERATOR:  Now taking back to the last year, what do you remember about the final round of last year's tournament, and earning your first PGA TOUR win here in Las Vegas.
KEVIN NA:  There was a lot going on in my head.  Even during the round, I pictured myself winning and losing, but mostly winning.
But I remember coming down the stretch, I had a three‑shot lead and then I lost the lead and I was tied and I remember telling my caddie with four holes to go, it's time to get aggressive and it's now or never.¬† Ended up working out very well for me.
The MODERATOR:  Certainly did.  What are the areas now that in your game that you're working on?
KEVIN NA:¬† I got a new coach last year and I started working with him full‑time this year and we started making some swing changes and swing changes have been coming along nicely.¬† A few more things, I'm always working on trying to improve but lately I've been trying to work on my fitness more and trying to get more fit for a long year we've got to play.
THE MODERATOR:  What about the strategy now for this coming tournament as the defending champion, living here in Las Vegas, knowing this golf course, any clues on maybe some strategy you might have?
KEVIN NA:  Strategy is to become friends with all of the spectators so they throw the ball in the fairway (laughter) because these guys are so good.
I'm going to come out probably the week before the tournament and spend some time out here.  I'll practice, getting a feel for the course, how it's playing.  You have to go low out here and play aggressive and hopefully I can defend my title.
THE MODERATOR:  With that in mind, you know this golf course, does that give you an advantage?
KEVIN NA:  It definitely does.  It's all about being comfortable out there, and as you know, golf is all between the ears.  And if you feel comfortable over a hole because you've seen it many, many times, it helps you hit the shot you want, and be able to perform at your best level, because of that comfort zone.  I do feel comfortable out here most of the time.
THE MODERATOR:  We're absolutely delighted that you're a Las Vegas resident but there are quite a few touring pros, do you practice much?
KEVIN NA:  I'm good friends with Scott Piercy, he had a great week obviously a little while ago and won.
We text each other, give each other a little bit of a hard time.¬† Yeah, I mean, there's a lot of‑‑ Charley Hoffman is¬† great player, one of the guys that should be in the hunt.¬† Obviously Nick Watney, lives on other side.¬† He's not as cool as the guys that live around Summerlin but he's a pretty good player.¬†
There's a lot of guys out here, the local guys out here that live here is going to have a chance to win, if you want to see a local guy be in contention.  And I think you'll be seeing a lot of guys from the area in contention this year.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Last year the PGA TOUR and the Shriners Hospital for Children announced five‑year title sponsorship extension, carrying the commitment of the Shriners Hospital, children's hospital opens in 2017.¬† My question to you in closing here is:¬† How important is this to the community to have that type of commitment in professional golf here in the valley?
KEVIN NA:¬† Well, I think it's great.¬† I think it's great.¬† I'm really happy to see that the tournament has moved into a full‑FedExCup‑point tournament.¬† It's not called the FallSeries anymore; it's the beginning of the year and it will create a buzz for the guys that want to get off to a good start and better field in the tournament.
I guess Justin Timberlake is no longer part of this tournament, and it's unfortunate; I think he's done a great job, but I think for the tournament, it's still, because of the moving of the date and the whole FedExCup points, I think it's a big step for the tournament.
You know, this is Las Vegas.  We have to have a TOUR event here and we have to have a big, great TOUR event, and I think this is on its way to being one of the best tournaments on the TOUR.
THE MODERATOR:  Next, a few words from the chairman of the golf committee, Mr. Raoul Frevel.
RAOUL FREVEL:¬† First of all, we want to thank you for being here today.¬† We voted to extend to the PGA a five‑year commitment, 30 years involved in Las Vegas but also 90 years of caring for children.¬† In the society we live today to think that an organization like that spends over $700 million a year taking care of orthopaedic burns, cleft palate, craniofacial problems for children, we are very proud of that and that's why we use this tournament to help do that.
We are very, very excited to announce that we have given a sponsor exemption to this tournament to Casey Martin, a former U.S.‑qualifier for the U.S. Open, and he embodies everything that the Shriners Hospital is all about.¬† Taking children that have had a problem, and we do incredible work in our hospitals, and we teach not only to correct the problem that the child has, but we teach that child how to go back into society.
And I can't think of a better representative than Casey Martin to represent Shriners Hospital for Children at this tournament and we certainly hope he does well.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Next up is the hard‑working tournament director, Adam Sperling.¬† Your work is cut out for you but I know you're up to the task.¬† Tell us, what's going on?
ADAM SPERLING:  We are looking forward to this year.  It's a great year to continue the success that we have had in building this event over the previous four years, and we look at it that it will really catapult us forward in the next few years with the FedExCup.  Great to have a local champion, especially one that performs so solidly the following year.  So congrats on your season so far.
And thanks to the Mayor for being here, and means a lot, your support and certainly the hospital for making the next five years possible.
I think the tone today would be a little different if we didn't have that certainty of the future moving forward.  So very thankful for their commitment and their support.  I think the decision to go forward certainly was not without recognizing a lot of local support that we've had over the last couple years; we had representatives from Shreveport today that we'll hear from when the Mayor speaks who have been influential in not only supporting the efforts of the hospital through programs like Birdies for Shriners, but helping make this events real community event and reach out and create opportunities for a number of people within the community to get involved.
Certainly supportive partners such as the LVCVA and Vegas Resorts International have given us a great platform to build various facets of our event on as we move forward.¬† And the community support, our volunteers, which have grown almost double I think over the last five years; certainly the growth of our crimson links organization, which is a group of civic‑minded men and women who support the tournament through assisting our sales process throughout the year.¬† This year, they are approaching $200,000 in funds raised for the hospital.¬† So that means a lot to us.
And the efforts at TPC as well, Lee Smith, new general manager here and Dale Hahn and their staffs, the efforts to improve the golf course from a competition standpoint for the TOUR players, and be open to exploring new expansion and growth over the next five years, are items that don't go unnoticed on our end.
Our tournament schedule we have done a great job of trying to pack about a year's worth of activity into a week but we did find a couple opportunities to expand this year.
We are very happy to host the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony this year; so this year our tournament week will be starting on Saturday prior to the tournament.  They have got a wonderful class, Matt McCoy, Valley View Golf Club; Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore will be inducted on the hill Saturday night.  Means a lot to have that event here and appreciate their participation and support.
Additionally the following day our youth clinic has changed, thanks to the support of NV Energy, we will be bussing in 200 children from the also Vegas Boys & Girls Clubs in Henderson and with the support of various community organizations, we have a great day of activities for these kids.  I think any time you can get a group of kids out on the golf course and exposed to the game of golf as well as the life skills we'll be teaching really helps do our part to try to shape this community as we move forward.
Going through the rest of the week, a lot of the schedule stays similar.  And we'll get everybody that schedule; it's quicker to read than listen to me.
Our women's day event that raised over $50,000 for Shriners Hospital for Children is coming back this year.  Very excited that Diana Bennett, CEO of Paragon Gaming, will be our keynote speaker and Roy Yamaguchi, executive chef and founder of Roy's Restaurants will be holding a cooking demonstration.  That event is sold out.  We are excited about that.
Thursday night we'll be inviting everybody to continue the celebration throughout the week.  The first victory was Fuzzy Zoeller in 1983; so in true fashion we are rolling back the clock and having an 80s party in the hill Thursday night which we'll have some more announcements on later on.  I know everybody is looking forward to that with the band, and I know that my wife's really looking forward to seeing what I end up wearing.
So, it will be great.  A couple other enhancements at the hill this year is now known as Club Ketel One.  Ketel One will be participating in that venue and activating throughout, a great partner of ours, our Champions Club is being relocated with a view of 16, 17 and 18.  There's a lot to see on those finishing holes on Sunday, that will be a great venue and we are just really looking forward to having everybody out here and building on our past success and continuing to strive with our sights on the future.
THE MODERATOR:  You mentioned shaping the community; the gentleman to your immediate right has certainly been the architect of that and it's always an honor to introduce the former mayor, Shriner, Oscar Goodman.
OSCAR GOODMAN:¬† It's a privilege to be here today.¬† I am the former Mayor‑‑ I sleep with the Mayor, though, probably, which is better than being the Mayor, at least I'm happier now that I'm in that position.¬† (Laughter).
I'm a Shriner, too.  And it's amazing to experience what that group does.  If you go to the hospital in Los Angeles, you'll see the kind of work that they do on these children, some who arrive irreparable and who leave there whole.  It's remarkable.
Earlier today‑‑ when I was the Mayor, I would visit with the doctors and some of the patients from the Las Vegas area and I would see what the shrine was doing and what the hospital was doing and how it affected the lives of these children.¬† I was a changed person.¬† I would go back to my office and I would pity the first person who would call me to complain about something, because when I got that phone call, I started screaming at them telling them they don't know how lucky they are, I don't care what their damn problem is, and I hung up the phone.
And that's the kind of feeling that you have when you see the good work that the Shriner does and to have it associated with this great tournament is something that's really very special for also Vegas because of the publicity not only for the Shriners, but for the support of golf.
A new element was added to the tournament last year and it's called 'Who's Your Hero Campaign', and it's remarkable how many people in also Vegas are heros, people who show courage beyond anybody's expectation, sometimes they don't even know that they are going to be put in a spot where they have to come up with that courage from within.
And Wayne Newton, myself and Chuck Buchanan from the radio station were privileged to be able to collect five folks from the community here who will be honored during the week of the tournament.  Each day, one of them will be able to be wined and dined at the golf tournament, be treated with the kind of respect that they deserve as we celebrate their contribution to the community.  And I think that's great, because they will be recognized as Las Vegans and word will get out to the world that Las Vegans are very, very special in how they react to situations and how they think empathetically, not necessarily of themselves, but as far as having to help other people.
There are five winners.  They don't know who they are.  This is the announcement today.  They will be notified after today and they are not here because of that.  Ordinarily I would ask them to stand up and receive their applause because they are remarkable, but I'll give you a little bit of a rundown.
The winners for 2012 are:  Dr.Jeremy Kilburn.  He's a gentleman who suffered a broken leg while hiking, and they sent out a helicopter crew in order to save his life, in effect, and one of the pilots from the helicopter had his head cut by the rotor blade and instead of worrying about his own injury, Dr.Kilburn actually went and he saved the life of the person who came there to save his life.  And he serves as a critical care pulmonologist at the Air Force base, and he was somebody that was very easy to select because of the rare courage he showed.
Connell (ph)¬† who saved the lives of nearly 50 coalition members in 2011 during an operation in Afghanistan, and we don't have to‑‑ you can't say too much; you can't say enough about those who have served and put themselves in harm's way and many times made the ultimate sacrifice.¬† Fortunately he survived and he's going to be one of our honorees.
Don Vick (ph), along with his wife, Gail, they live down in Moapa Valley and they are members of the Logandale Fire and Rescue Team.  They have apparently been involved in hundreds of rescues with the fires down there, sort of a volunteer fire department, and without them there's no telling how much damage and how much injury would have taken place.
You have Officer Andrew Bowman who was a recipient of a Purple Heart and Medal of Valor, and he risked his own personal safety to save the lives (inaudible).
And the last recipient is Officer Pat Burke, also a recipient of the Purple Heart and Medal of Valor and made critical decisions in the line of duty and placed himself at risk in order to protect fellow officers and 50 citizens from life threatening danger when a such opened fire.
Those are the kind of people who live in our community and the kind of folks that are being honored and will be treated and being a participant in this great tournament with the Shriners at the helm with great golfers.  And thank you, Mr.Na for participating.
I'm going to book this bet at a local Wynn, and anybody who wants to place a wager with me, see me afterwards, okay.  (Laughter).
With that, to the locals, the Shriners, the tournament, and Las Vegas.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, Oscar.  That's an outstanding cause.

Q.  (Do you know if more players be playing in the tournament with the new schedule?)
KEVIN NA:¬† I don't know if I'm allowed to drop names‑‑ but I heard‑‑ yes, I did hear some guys talk about the guys that live in the West Coast, the Fall Series, or even the guys who live‑‑ you know, they say, doesn't matter, they feel like they can get ahead of the game, rack up some points before the next year, and the next year, you can pace yourself, schedule yourself.
So I think everyone has a little bit of a different mind‑set.¬† Myself, I will be playing more of these tournaments that are in previous years, early starts to get ahead of game.¬† I personally think it will create a better field, more excitement, more interest from the fans.¬† So I'm very excited.

Q.  Inaudible.
KEVIN NA:  Well, if you know the golf course, you know exactly what it's going to do every time.  You get to a hole, and you just feel comfortable and you can hit your shot.  You get on a green, and some of the places that you know that it's not going to turn or it turns more than you think, you make a putt from 10 feet where most of the guys are going to miss, it's not just one shot; it's a momentum switch.
Like on 17 last year, I had a putt from close to the middle of the green, pin was back left and I know that putt is right‑to‑left at the start and at the end it actually goes away from the water and goes right at the end.¬† I knew exactly what that putt was going to do.¬† I knew it was 40 feet, and but I knew exactly what it was going to do, and I hit right where I wanted to hit it.
It was right on‑line, and sure enough at the end, it moved pretty hard right and went in the hole, and that was my winning putt.¬† So just knowing the greens can save you one shot a round and can be all the difference.
I have a question.  Why isn't Justin Timberlake here?  Come an, Adam.
ADAM SPERLING:  I'll get on that and get back to you.  (Laughter).
THE MODERATOR:¬† The answer was, he'll get back to us.¬† (Laughter.)¬† With that then, the PR team will make available one‑on‑ones for any of you that wish to do that.¬† We thank you

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