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December 13, 2000

Tim Finchem

BOB COMBS: We'd like to thank you ladies and gentlemen for joining us today for the conference of PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. Tim briefly is going to review the 2000 season today provide some out look of the 2001 season, but the main purpose obviously is to have an interactive session on Q&A.

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Before we begin with your questions, I'll talk a little about the 2000 season and then I'll take your questions. Obviously, we had a memorable year in PGA TOUR history in the PGA TOUR with Tiger's phenomenal performance, but we had a lot of other good performances from Phil and David and Justin and Sergio and Carlos. Just an excellent, competitive year. The fan base continued to grow. Our television ratings are up. We did do some very exciting research at Golf 20/20 this year and are learning more about our fan base. Just to give you one example, we've seen an increase in 400 percent in the size of the Hispanic interest in our fan base over the last three years, which I attribute to the performances of Sergio and Carlos, and the Latino press and media following those two guys has created a fairly significant boost in Hispanic interest, to go along with the very strong increase in interest of African Americans. All of our key indicators were up in 2000. Our ratings, our on-site attendance, our charity donations, all of these indicators were up, whether Tiger was playing or not, interestingly enough. Obviously, when Tiger played, our ratings were spiked considerably, but our television ratings were up at tournaments where he did not play, and that is particularly good in an environment where in virtually every other sport, ratings were down. I think for 165 million (inaudible) exceeded (inaudible). Strength of field this year continues to escalate for the fourth straight year as based on the number of players in the Top-10, Top-30, Top-50 -- couple tournaments they have played in. We had a great Presidents Cup. In fact, a $100,000 per player donation was given to charity to date. The World Golf Championships continue to fulfill their mission. I just got back from Argentina yesterday -- make that on Monday, and I was delighted with the reaction we got in Argentina, having the EMC2 World Cup played in Buenos Aires, the biggest golf event in the history of South America, and it was just very, very well received. We had a very strong season on the Senior Tour. Purses were $54 million; $12 million to charity. We are pleased with the performances of our new players, Lanny Wadkins, Tom Kite and Tom Watson. The BUY.COM TOUR had a great year with purses up 70 percent; 53 players earned over $100,000. Nine events were won in 2000 on the BUY.COM TOUR by international players. The BUY.COM TOUR is the extent to which the international players are gravitating. Now, looking forward to 2001 on the PGA TOUR, we continue to build. We're looking for more international members. Bernhard Langer, Jose Maria, Miguel Jimenez. We have 25 rookies on PGA TOUR next year. Twelve of those 25 are from outside of the United States. An increase, again, we anticipate purses, official prize money approximating $180 million next year. We've got some great new venues starting off with Metropolitan Club in Melbourne, Australia for the Andersen Consulting Match Play; Laurel Valley in Pittsburgh for the Marconi Classic, and, of course, we have Champions in Houston for the TOUR Championship. A key development will be our introduction of the Shot Links scoring system, our new scoring system, which will map golf electronically and we will be able to be tied to television and to all of you, a lot of exciting data about what is happening on the golf course, to enhance our ability to use the Internet, as well. This year, of course, we will have television negotiations over the next three, four, five and 60 seasons. And, of course, we are very excited that we are continuing the initiative of Golf 20/20, the vision for (inaudible) -- that program is off to a great start. The First Tee program is off to a great start. We're excited get started with Phase 2. On the Senior Tour, prize money about approach $60 million. We have Bruce Lietzke and Mark McCumber joining that tour next year. Pleased with our new relationship with CNBC, get that settled down into the regular season, with regular air times every Saturday and Sunday. We're announcing today the details of the Charles Schwab Cup on the SENIOR TOUR. The Charles Schwab Cup will be sponsored by the Charles Schwab. The winner of that Cup will be awarded a $1 million tax-deferred annuity. The Top-5 finishers on the Senior Tour will receive $1 million in annuity payments from the Schwab cup. Players will earn points in a season-long competition for each Top-10 finish. Points earned will be based on official prize money -- giving a great enhancement to the SENIOR TOUR and a nice fit in our CNBC package.

BUY.COM TOUR will have four events over $500,000. Minimum purse will be up to 455,000. We're adding new events in Arkansas and our first event in Canada. That tour continues to develop very much as a stand-alone tour. That's a brief, quick overview of 2000 -2001. We thank you for joining us, and I'll turn it over to any questions.

Q. I wonder, there's been a lot made in the last month about Tiger and the Golf World interview. I wonder if you could tell us in your discussions with him what his major concerns are at this point?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, I think that after our meeting a couple weeks ago we addressed that. Frankly, the details of his concerns have been discussed. We're both very pleased with the outcome of the conversation and we're both looking forward to working together. We don't have any issues that we don't think can't be resolved with the existing framework. We think that his strategic direction on sides of things is not inconsistent with ours. It is always in our interest to try to maintain the overall TOUR -- (inaudible) -- supports individual players who do use it as a marketing platform. I think after we had an opportunity to share with each other the details of their thinking and the details of where we are and where we're going, we seem to be in a position to accommodate anything they want to do and vice versa. I think the upshot of it, however, is very positive thing that in a lot of areas we are we're going to work very closely together. That's very much in the interests of the Tour, and Tiger, being the superstar that he is these days, for everybody. So, we were very pleased with the outcome, and we're delighted with the direction we're moving.

Q. Just to follow up, I didn't hear what you said about the TV negotiations, when do those resume, and for what years are we talking about?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, currently we contracted through 2002. We always do our television negotiations at least 16 months in advance -- currently projected for the may June time frame and those negotiations would cover the period 2002-2006.

Q. This coming June?


Q. Do you anticipate any significant venue or scheduling changes as part of this new TV negotiations? Are there any significant events that might move to a different time of the year because of the contracts?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, we have paid, as you know, some changes in the schedule for 2001 and 2002 by moving the American Express World Golf Championships into the early October time frame, which gives us access to virtually all golf courses in the United States and golf courses in northern Europe and the British Isles. But beyond that, I think that when we look at 2003-2006, I don't see huge changes in our schedule there will be modifications in the schedule, we're always looking at better places to play the PLAYERS Championship in March or May; that's always a question. Again, to speculate that we're moving from March, it is working so well in March, but we are always intrigued a lot with the idea that it perhaps would work as well in May as well. We're looking at three or four things in the schedule. I do not expect any major changes from what we have today.

Q. On the Senior Tour, has there been any decision about whether the TOUR Championship will be coming back to the TPC?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: There has not been a final decision yet, but we anticipate a decision by January 15.

Q. What exactly intrigues you, what are the pluses of any possible move of the PLAYERS Championship from March to May?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, I think that there's something new about the issues that relate to March and May. I think that we have from an operational standpoint the tournament works very well in March. It would be a benefit if we had more daylight; we could play later with Daylight Savings Time; because we could maximize our television exposure in a very positive way which will greatly give us an opportunity greatly expand the television audience. That's a major factor. We think there are some interesting things in the way the schedule flows that would be beneficial to The PLAYERS Championship, things of that nature. On the other hand, a lot of people feel like -- at least they used to feel like, THE PLAYERS Championship kicked off the golf season. I don't think that's anymore the case, with the strength of the schedule on the West Coast, again next year. From an agronomy standpoint, the golf course is actually -- gets into a little bit of a transition thing in May, so that tournament returns to us. So there are pluses and minuses each way. So we take the opportunity every four years when we set our schedule for television to evaluate those pluses and minuses and we are trying to come to a decision which is what we will be doing between now and May.

Q. If you had to give a percentage on whether or not that tournament would be moved, what would be your percentage, a 50 percent chance, a 20 percent chance, a 75 percent chance?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: I don't know exactly how to characterize that. I would say that somewhere -- it might be a 45 percent chance. I mean, I think that it is pretty close. But odds -- a fairly substantial chance we could move. Certainly, a live possibility we could move it. So if you want to characterize it as 60/40.

Q. You mentioned discussions with Woods and I am wondering if there are areas you can discuss where the TOUR might make some adjustments to meet some players demands or requests, whatever they are?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: I think that the issues that we discussed handled within the existing framework. I think 90 percent of the meeting was understanding of where Tiger and his people want to go from a business perspective, and then what our plans are from a business standpoint in certain areas, and the upshot of that -- to walk down this path together. So, I don't think that we have to make any major adjustments or significant changes. I don't think there's anything that we have to adjust -- neither group needs to adjust the direction and strategies we're going in. Again, let me restate that we are actively together in some of these areas which are -- not only make sense, but it also means that there is a mechanism in which Tiger and his people will be involved in the direction of our business and vice versa.

Q. I was curious, with the increase in all of the prize money, and it is certainly going to be going up it appears, are you concerned just philosophically that there is going to be lessening of motivation by the top players to play a fuller schedule, and perhaps cut back slowly but surely to the point where the TOUR might have some real problems just fielding, really, top names week-in, week-out?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: No. I think it is just the opposite. I think that over the years, you look at how many tournaments the players play, and you say, okay, the player plays 24 weeks -- the player is playing 24 weeks, what is he doing the other 28 weeks? Not taking all that time off. He's doing other things. He's doing corporate outings. He's doing endorsement arrangements and things like that. But prize money and retirement plan money does, as it shifts the equation, puts more of a premium opportunity to the player to play the official money schedule. That allows us to better compete. We are competing with our own members for their time and focus and commitment. That has played itself out in the last few years, and especially these past two years, like I said earlier -- to enhance the number of players playing. The bottom line is the players are playing more now with greater purses than they did before the purses went up. The reason for that is we are in a better position -- there's two reasons for it, really. It is our position to keep (inaudible) -- for the players versus their other opportunities; and secondly, depending on the specific goals, now talking about the top players, typically those goals relate to things which have to did with playing a fair amount, either make the Ryder Cup or want to make the Presidents Cup or "I want to be in contention for Player of the Year, make the Top-30, the Top-64 for a World Golf Championships." All of those things require you playing so that you can compete with the other guys. And money is not the other issue here. So for all of those reasons, I feel comfortable.

Q. Do you anticipate the attendance at the World Golf Championships to be better or the same or fall off in two or three years?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: I think we said a year ago when we made the scheduling adjustments that it would be enhanced. I think we look back at the first two years now, we've had a participation rate of 93 percent (inaudible) of eligible players. I suspect that the next two years -- after Australia, which will be difficult, of about 96 to 98 percent. So I think the participation of the World Golf Championships events is going to be very, very strong in the future. We're just getting started with those events. As I said a year ago, we made some miscalculations and some mistakes in the schedule, which has made it difficult. On the other hand, nevertheless, there are very, very strong events throughout and they are just going to get stronger.

Q. Does this unity between the USGA and the R&A with respect to driving clubs and limitations put any pressure on you in 2001 with respect to international competitions where players may show up with different drivers based on different rules, and is there a contingency plan if an issue arises?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, the plan is that we will do what we did this year for next year, which is if we are playing an official money event overseas, just as we have always done with the British Open, which for a number of years now has been Official money, we will utilize the rules adopted by the Royal and Ancient when we are outside of USGA -- (inaudible) -- when we are in the United States, just the opposite. Now, I think players understand that. Players have expressed some concerns about it. But that is what we are going to do. On the other hand, we have encouraged the R&A and the USGA certainly in the equipment area, to come to a joint discrimination on certain matters and have one set of rules, not only because it assists us in our competition, but because we feel very strongly that in order to preserve the attitude of the general player -- (inaudible) -- so that it is not undermined by a different set of rules. And for both of those reasons, we continue to encourage those organizations, figure out a way to work together. But in the meantime, when we're playing overseas, we will follow the R&A.

Q. You anticipated my follow-up, which have the rule-making bodies responded to your encouragement, which I think is almost a month old by this time?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: They have responded by saying that they share our concern about having different standards out there as it relates to the drivers. They are sympathetic to our position and they are having discussions. I don't think we would ever anticipate that we would make a suggestion that even if it is agreed to, that these two bodies would move somewhere down the road before additional equipment issues arise beyond the drivers that come to grips with some system that gets us to one set of rules as it relates to that.

Q. Is it possible that you could ever utilize the International Federation to come up with its own equipment standards for use on all Tours, and the only exception would be the Tour Open?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: It's possible. Under the PGA TOUR rules, we follow the rules of the USGA here in the United States. We reserve the right to differ with those rules as we may see fit. That's our position. It's in our tournament regulations. In the past, we have done so on occasion. So, technically, it's true. Now, do we want to do that? No, we would be -- the rule-making bodies generate rules in such a manner that they develop and maintain the confidence of the rank-and-file players, and they do so in a way that makes sense for international competition. So we're not on a -- we could do that, but we're not on a direction right now to do that.

Q. Secondly, I wanted to ask if you could say how many purses from official events will be at least 4 million in 2001; and secondly, do you have any plans for 2001 to increase the prize money at the World Golf Championships events?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Both those questions, I'm not going to comment on today.

Q. Should I take that as a yes?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: No. And the reason for that is, in fact, I was just at a meeting this morning where we were reviewing some of this. We just now -- we're not done finalizing arrangements. So we will be making an announcement in a short period of time to answer that question and will include all of the details, and we'll include at that time whatever we do within the World Golf Championships.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the -- you touched on it briefly -- the tremendous amount of success that you enjoyed in Argentina, and does that give confidence to the move to Japan for the World Cup for next year?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, I think the World Cup -- you know, this is the first year it is as a World Golf Championships. It is new territory in terms of trying to elevate the quality of that competition. I think as I have talked to people around about it, I think that they like the format change. They like the foursome/four-ball mix. And certainly, the response in Argentina was very, very positive. I have already, however, concluded from my visit to Tokyo in June where we announced the World Cup for Japan next year that it is going to be huge, a very, very big event in Japan. Of that, I am certain. I already know about next year. But I think things are very, very positive right now.

Q. The Honda Classic was told that the PGA TOUR was looking at the possibility of moving the World Golf Championships to Florida in 2003 and Honda could lose -- what would it mean if they lose their dates and are there any further developments about that?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: We certainly never took an official position. There are no plans at this time to move a World Golf Championships event to Florida.

Q. Is there anything in your meeting with Tiger, anything that could be construed that you could tell us about in which Tiger would receive slightly different standards than any other player, either having to do with the number of tournaments he needs to play, or any other area?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Oh, I think Tiger is committed to play a full schedule. I'd like to see him play a little more; I always would. I'm delighted that he moves his schedule around a little bit each year, tries to. He plays more golf than some of the other players in the last 20 years who have reached the No. 1 position. So you can't fault him for the number of tournament he plays. He plays a very solid schedule. We don't have any issues with regard to that.

Q. Any other areas where he was asking or could be granted special situation?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: I think, as I said, I understand where you want to go with all of this, but -- except the reality of the conversation about the reality of business, about the realities of our business, and in some areas, questions about our regulations and guidelines; and that clearly was the case with respect to the use of image and existing guidelines are quite adequate concerns. I think in the general business areas, let me say it I now -- I think for the third time, we did not have any major disagreements. We understand his direction. He understands ours. And it is based on a thorough sharing of information that we could gather down the road, and that's what we intend to do and there's frankly no point in discussing it further.

Q. I'd like your opinion on a question I'm frequently asked these days. If Tiger wins at Augusta, is that the Grand Slam or do they have to all four be in the same year? What's your opinion on that?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, I guess there's three Grand Slams. One Grand Slam is when you at some point in your career have won all four majors. A number of players have achieved that; Tiger is now one of those. Another Grand Slam is winning all four majors and you win them in consecutive chronology. No player has done that. Tiger is in a position to be the first player to do that. And the third Grand Slam is you win all four majors and you do it in the same year. It is not for me to decide if they are in the same calendar year -- it is not for me to decide what is more compelling. I guess that is up to the fans to decide. I can't decide for anybody else. Me, personally as a fan, I think it is pretty compelling to win four major championships in a row. Is that the Grand Slam? I don't have a regulation anywhere that says what The Grand Slam is. So that is up for you all to write columns and argue about.

Q. Leaving out Tiger Woods, what can be done to boost attendance by top players at Tour events that are quickly becoming known as second-class citizens -- I'm talking about the Greater Milwaukee Open, the Quad Cities, etc. They are wonderful tournaments that get great community support, but year-in and year-out, seem to lack the marquis players. What can the Tour do to either compel or encourage their marquis player to support those tournaments?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, I think as I said earlier, I think our fundamental there is to create a structure where players are playing tournaments, period. You start with that, and that -- (inaudible) -- unlike the trend lines that we see. Secondly, we try to encourage players to move their schedules around. We get a player's attention when we have a tournament that has -- (inaudible) -- particularly from a strength of field standpoint, the Top-10, Top-30 from the World Golf Rankings or whatever, a uniquely weak field for its particular date. So all of those three things we do. So now having said that, historically and today, there are dates on our schedule that are not positions of making a crack on those dates as strong a group of players as other dates. You mentioned the John Deere, playing the week before or the week after the Open is a disadvantage from a standpoint of attracting some of the people on TOUR from making that trip. However, I point to the John Deere as a great example. Here is a great tournament that gave $1 million to charities, Quad Cities is making new fantastic golf (inaudible) -- the reason it can market itself, even though you might compare its field negatively to, say, the Memorial. The reason it can market itself so well is that again each and every year, you have a growing list of strong, well-known players, by giving it the mount of television that we have and the quality of the competitors. And that trend has been consistent in the last 30 years. It continues today and we can't get hung up by which player plays what week. We have to look at the overall strength of the marketing effort of these tournaments. And given their location, the date, we look at each and every one of them, and I think we are stronger today across the board than they were five years ago or three ago, and I think in three years from now, we will be stronger yet across the board.

Q. The Tour now has a minimum number of events that every player must play to retain membership. Do you foresee ever compelling players to follow a provision along the lines of: You must play one new event or two new events that you did not play the year before?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, we have that provision. That provision is 15 events, and that provision, frankly -- virtually every player plays significantly more than 15. So you have a figure that would drive -- you have to have a number, given that the average starts for players in the Top 50 are 25 or 26 events. Let me answer your question this way: I don't think it is necessary in this environment at this point in time with the overall value that's being generated to local tournament organizations and sponsors additional constraints on the players. If at some point in the future the value is diminishing, then, certainly we could look at that. At this juncture, the structure that we have, and enhanced (inaudible) -- the direction that we are going to be on for at least the next couple of years.

Q. In the past, one of the purposes of increasing purses was to bring TOUR players earnings more in line with other professional athletes, and I'm wondering if you could assess where you are in that goal, especially in light of some of the recent baseball salaries that have been announced in the last week or so?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, when I was a kid, my hero was Peewee Reese, and I can't believe a shortstop could get paid that kind of money -- (inaudible) -- we do have people say, always ask me, where are purses going, are ou continue to raise purses. Purses are one part of the equation. You have to also look at the strength of the retirement plan on both Tours and for all compensation. But we still have an awful long way to go to reach a point where world-class athletes in our sport are compensated at a level commensurate with the other sports. And then again, you start to look at overall compensation, the fact that we do structure our Tour as a marketing platform for players. We don't have official uniforms or anything like that. We have players who reach the apex who competitively can take advantage of the platform and generate those kinds of numbers. Down the list we are not there yet and we have a long way to go. So our objectives are continuing to grow and continue to move in that direction and try to move the disparity that exists.

Q. I have a couple questions, and in a way it relates to the Tiger situation, and in a way it relates to a lot of different players. I am told that some players think that they should get residuals when they do made-for-TV events and they are played over and over; and I'm also told that some players think they should get their Internet rights; and for the best players, I'm told that would be a lot of money. What is the situation on that?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: I'm not so sure what you mean by "Internet rights." The only thing they don't have rights to is the use of the footage of television tournaments which is owned by the Tour -- (inaudible) -- to access it for any personal use they might have which some of them do. As far as some of the residuals go, I don't know what the market really is for that value and how you segue out for one player or the other for a residual value. What we do is we take all of those dollars, all of those footages, we try to maximize whatever dollars we can get out of it -- the numbers are not huge -- and take those dollars and they go back to the players in the form of increased purses or retirement money. So the players are benefiting, and I think -- I don't know which player are -- you are talking about, but I think players understand that system.

Q. Well, do all players then have a right to have their own Internet setup if they want that?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Sure. If a player wants a Web site we can have a Web site. A lot of them have.

Q. Do you control anything that they can't have on in the Internet respect?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: The only thing we control is their image in a competition. Nothing else. They can do whatever they want. They can do lessons. They can talk about how to play the game. They can do games. They can do lots of different things.

Q. Do you control their image in a PGA TOUR competition?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Any televised competition.

Q. You talked about a lot of positives in the past year, but what would you like to see the PGA TOUR, and not just the competitive side, but the whole operation, do better in the coming year than it did this year?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: That's a very general question that relates to -- I could go on for an hour.

Q. You could go on for three minutes?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: We systematically look at -- on an annual basis or sometimes more frequently depending on the area, every aspect of our business: Our courses, our tournament schedule, our branding at tournaments, the way in which we support our marketing effort at tournaments, the tournaments we manage on all three Tours, all of the supporting businesses to support those business, the quality of our staff, the extent to which we communicate effectively with players, the extent to which we communicate effectively with you. I mean, there's 50 areas on the Tour that we say: Are we make progress? What's our long-term strategic plan? Are the people involved in this area doing the job? What was our performance rate rating for this past year? What areas in each of those areas do we want to concentrate? So, I mean, this is a buttoned-up, well-managed operation because of the quality of the people that we have here are good managers. And we work very hard. I mean, let's just take THE PLAYERS Championship. THE PLAYERS Championship, you come to THE PLAYERS Championship, you're a player: "Boy, this is the best-run tournament on the PGA TOUR, we love the way it is run." At the end of every year, we have maybe 50 or 60 things that need to be improved. If you ever get to the point in this business or any business where you can't improve anything, it's time to go do something else.

Q. How many tournaments do you control on the regular and senior tours, and do you see that as a growth industry for the Tour, and do you see it as a conflict for local organizations?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: We actually -- by control, you mean we manage. We manage probably 10 events on the PGA TOUR, the Senior Tour and the BUY.COM TOUR, basically THE PLAYERS Championship, the TOUR Championship, the SENIOR TOUR Championship, the BUY.COM TOUR Championship. And then we manage the Buick Invitational in New York, we manage a couple of special events like the Senior Tour Tournament of Champions, we manage the Grand Slam of the Senior Tour. And then we manage the World Golf Championships events. But no, we don't see -- the growth industry meaning do we want to manage a bunch more events, no. I think that we have a lot to save grace from a tournament management standpoint now. We would like to spend more resources on working with local tournament organizations in terms of how they manage events, because one of our strategic objectives is to reduce the disparity just week-to-week in terms of the way tournaments are managed, whether it is operational issues, player issues, branding issues, communication. We'd like to see more consistent (inaudible) -- management throughout both tours and the BUY.COM Tour. We have been moving in that direction for a few years, but that is an exercise of using more people and resources to work with local tournament organizations in terms of moving them all to the same level and quality of overall management and presentation. That's a major priority. But we don't see the need to have to control management from here to get that done. Rather it is a question of a tournament organization is on board in terms of strategic planning and execution.

Q. Earlier today I heard a radio interview with the former owner of the Seattle Mariners who basically said the numbers in baseball no longer add up; meaning, all the money you pay the players, you can't get it back. Are we anywhere near having a problem financially with golf because the numbers are getting bigger each year?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, I don't think so. I think it is something you always want to consider, because we don't want to ever be in a position of -- (inaudible) -- purse levels is a very public thing. Money list is a very public thing. We want to be in the position of being able to increase it. Remember that we are a sport that will generate over $60 million this year for charity in 2001. Those are the net dollars. Baseball people are talking about a situation where it is impossible to break even from an ownership standpoint. They don't have that dollars going to charity. So they are in a different economic model that is a very difficult economic model. Now, the NFL is tough, not so much the player economic model from the standpoint of growing their sport. Baseball has an economic model, that, frankly -- (inaudible) is not going to help grow their sport. As far as we go, we have a very different structure. We have a very little for-profit interest for the sport. We have a very healthy retirement fund, charitable giving (inaudible) -- financially, and I don't see us in the position of having to retrench from a purse standpoint, but you do have to keep your eye; you don't want to get them up so fast that you had an economic downturn.

Q. Obviously, with adding the World Golf Championships, the regular season stretches now into November, and I was just curious, as you negotiate a new TV contract is it safe to say that you have sort of maxed out the number of weeks in the regular season, or is there a possibility of spreading it a week or two further or a week or two shorter, or are you pretty comfortable now with the length of the season?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, I think that we're reasonably comfortable. I think, you know, if we go any later -- we have trouble scheduling. We get that TOUR Championship over to Atlanta and places like that, we get a little iffy with the weather. So if we go farther, we are going to be restricting ourselves back into, you know, southern California, south Florida, for the year-ender. Gives us less options. We go shorter, it doesn't mean we're not going to be playing golf -- if we reduces the schedule two or three weeks. There will be events those two or three weeks. They will be unofficial events for a small number of players. So I think that -- at least at this juncture, we are pretty comfortable with the length of the season as it is.

Q. Also, I wanted to ask, I'm not sure if your concern was about this, but there's been talk that guys are making so much money during the regular season that these so-called silly-season events are having trouble attracting marquis names. I wonder your reaction to that, if any, if that's a problem?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: I think that we certainly have a lot of interest in those kind of events. So I think the market is strong enough to support them -- sometimes the players focus more on the official money season. And generally, I don't think it is a huge change in terms of the players available for playing some of those events in the fall. I think they are being a little more selective. If you look at the first events on the West Coast, the West Coast fields have greatly strengthened, with guys going out and playing three, four, five weeks on the West Coast, or even two or three weeks on the West Coast. They want some time off perhaps more than they did a few years ago. From our position, they are okay. They are delivering reasonable value, and they are an additional opportunity for the players who want to take advantage of them. So that's probably true, but not at a level that is going to start making anything go away.

Q. The BUY.COM TOUR, just with the competition for retaining and gaining TOUR cards getting more and more heated year to year, I just wonder if there was any way that in the future more BUY.COM guys, as far as, you know, not just the Top-15, have you ever thought to increasing the number of guys who would automatically gain their Tour cards for the following year, any thought given to that?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: What we do is every single year we research the comparatives accredited performance of the players that came off that TOUR versus the players that came out of the qualifying school, the rookies that came out of the qualifying school, and we compare rookies and veterans in both. We compare both of those groups with the bottom of the 125 and how they fared. We try to do it apples-to-apples with players that had reasonably the same amount of access, scoring average, etc., As measured. And then we look at it and we say, now is there a case made to move either way in terms of access. And at this point, we are comfortable with that mix, but it is something that is reviewed every year, and I would not want to effectuate -- (inaudible) -- we would necessarily stick with the 15; that tour is getting stronger and I sense that we are looking at it more carefully now than maybe we did two years ago. But right now, I don't contemplate any change in the next couple of years.

Q. Is one of the scenarios if you ever decide to give an extra, say, five or 10 cards for the BUY.COM that you would reduce the 125; in other words, only the Top-115 from the previous year's money list going to keep their cards, or is that always going to be set?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: The thing we look at there is how many tournaments a player is getting into from the BUY.COM and from the qualifying school. And, you know, four or five years ago, a player from the qualifying school was only getting in 18, 19 events, the bottom of the qualifying school, that number is now up to 23, 24, and, of course, we have added some events which has helped that. And the reason we look at that is if a guy works all his life to get a TOUR card, he needs to have a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate his competitive level. So, if you said that I were going to give five more cards to the BUY.COM TOUR and we were going to keep the Qualifying School at the same level, I think you would probably be faced with having 125 so that you could provide reasonable access. If you gave five more cards and then reduced the qualifying school, and -- (inaudible) -- and then again, that is why we measure competitive performance of not only the players coming off the BUY.COM TOUR versus the players that come off the qualifying school, but also, the players who performed at the bottom of the 125 comparatively. So we measure all three groups versus -- for averages to try to determine, you know what is generating the most competitive player, and then that is No. 1. And then No. 2 is making sure that they have a reasonable amount of access.

Q. You mentioned the January 15 time frame for the SENIOR TOUR Championship site. I wondered if Dallas was still in the running for that?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: You know, I honestly don't know the answer to that question. I know that we are looking at three or four different markets. I don't know whether Dallas is on that list or not. I don't believe so.

Q. Secondly, I keep seeing January as a time when the Supreme Court is supposed to hear the Casey Martin issue. Is that known for a fact or is that everybody's best guess?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: The oral arguments are scheduled for January 17 at the Supreme Court, and that is set. There will be oral argument that day. When the opinion will be forthcoming, we don't know. We assume late string or summer.

Q. The RCGA has requested a move of the Canadian Open from a summer date to a fall date to allow it to better organize and move the tournament around the country. Is that a consideration, and if it is a consideration, when could it happen?

COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, it is a consideration. The earliest it would happen is 2003. It is very difficult -- it is a very difficult scenario, because we have, as you know, a very full schedule in the summertime. We are beginning the process now of setting that schedule for 2003 and beyond. We understand the interests of Bell Canada. Obviously, we are delighted with the quality of the event the Canadian Open provides. Actually, we're delighted with Bell Canada's sponsorship. John Sheridan is a first-rate executive who runs (inaudible) -- for those two reasons, we are bending over backwards trying to find out if there is a way to get that done. I don't have an answer right now. All I know it is a very difficult proposition, but we will make that determination probably by the May/June time frame of next year. Thank you all very much.

End of FastScripts...

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