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OHL CLASSIC AT MAYAKOBA


November 16, 2014


Tim Finchem

Juan Miguel Villar Mir


EL CAMALEON, MEXICO

JUAN‑MIGUEL VILLAR MIR:テつ We are very proud cooperating with you also in the area of contribution to charities of local national and international level.テつ We are already reaching the two million dollars U.S. dollars this year.テつ I would like to say that we are very proud to share the PGA TOUR view, the PGA TOUR vision of together, anything is possibly.テつ Thank you very much for coming here.テつ Thank you again.
TIM FINCHEM:テつ Well, thank you, Juan‑Miguel.テつ And to you and everyone at OHL, we appreciate your partnership.テつ And I think everyone knows that's in professional golf knows success is linked to the quality of your sponsor partners.テつ And OHL has been a wonderful sponsor here since day one.
Let me just first start by commenting about this week and the Mayakoba Classic.
This tournament means a lot to the PGA TOUR.テつ It is the last event in the fall before we go to Hawaii.
The fall events have become very important in the last couple years to the FedExCup.テつ Four of the six winners in last year's fall competition made it all the way to Atlanta for the finals.
It starts to shape what the FedExCup is all about.
I think that going back to the first year, we had a great resort here, I think Mayakoba is really won of the crown jewels of destination golf in Mexico.テつ With a fine golf course designed by Greg Norman.テつ And a great sponsor in OHL.
Certainly our expectations have been met and exceeded in terms of the quality of this competition.
Secondly, I would just note that with the OHL's partnership and the first branded PGA TOUR event here in Mexico, here at Mayakoba, it began a series of developments in Latin America generally.
We now have played a fair amount of golf in Mexico on the WEB.COM TOUR, on the Champions Tour.テつ We have begun PGA TOUR Latino America, which is off to a great start, in an effort to grow the game of golf in Latin America and also identify the best players and more of the best players, so they can compete on the world stage.
Clearly, from all indications, that is working and we're very excited about the future.
Third, I would just mention that with golf rejoining the Olympics Games starting in 2016 in Rio, it gives us a yet another opportunity to really showcase the game of golf here in Latin America.テつ And it is our goal to have Latin America and Latin American countries join the more developed golf countries in European, the UnitedStates, along with Asia.
We see Latin America being a major opportunity for the growth of the game and the growth of the professional game as we go forward.
All of that really started here with our partnership with this fine gentleman and his executive team.テつ We're very appreciative of that.テつ We know there are challenges ahead going forward, but we're excited about what's happening and we're excited about the future and I'm obviously delighted to be here today.
Lastly, I'll just say that as far as this year's tournament goes, we have a good field, I think we have nine of the Top‑30 on the FedExCup list.テつ We have a number of players who, nine players who have won Major Championships.テつ And based on what we're seeing on the leaderboard right now, we're looking forward to a very exciting finish, with some of our veterans and also some of our young players battling it out.テつ Which is exactly what we like to see.
So, I also, just lastly, would just like to thank all our volunteers this week.テつ You cannot put on a PGA TOUR level event without a lot of volunteer assistance and we appreciate the people in this community coming forward and helping us out.テつ Thank you very much, I would be happy to answer questions.

Q.テつ The first six years there was this conflict with the Match Play Championship in terms of date.テつ Now we have it in November.テつ Do you see the number of Top‑50 players increasing in the coming years for this particular tournament?
TIM FINCHEM:テつ Do I see an increase?

Q.テつ Yeah, do you see an increase in the Top‑50, the Match Game Championship in contact with you people, created that conflict because the Top‑50 used to have to play in Phoenix, in Arizona, do you remember?
However, now, with the change, with the change of date into November, there is no conflict.テつ Do you believe that the number of Top‑50 players will be increasing?テつ Can we look forward to an Ernie Els and some of these kind of people playing in the future?
TIM FINCHEM:テつ Well, it's hard to predict exactly what happens with any field, but I would say that the prospects going forward are very positive for a couple of reasons.
One, as I mentioned earlier, what we're seeing in this new calendar we have is, if you get off to a good start in the FedExCup, it really makes sense.
So, we're seeing play, fields generally in the fall have grown in stature and I think that will continue.
The other thing is, that, over time, because of PGA TOUR Latino America, as a feeder TOUR, like the WEB.COM TOUR is, that, just generally, there will be more interest and focus in Latin America by players playing the PGA TOUR, players who want to play the PGA TOUR, whether they're from Latin America or not.
I think that bodes well for more up and coming players paying attention to the quality of golf in Latin America and that will play into a stronger field here.
I think one of the great things about this week is that, from a field standpoint, in addition to it making an increased importance in the FedExCup, is that most players have come to be aware of the quality of the experience here.テつ The quality of the golf course, the quality of the resort.テつ So all those things work toward a positive situation going forward with the field.
But in terms of the details of what that means, we'll just have to see.

Q.テつ The first question was, why are sponsors so important in each tournament and what do we need to do to increase the number of sponsors?
TIM FINCHEM:テつ Why are sponsors so important?

Q.テつ For each tournament.
TIM FINCHEM:テつ Sponsors?テつ And what's the second part?

Q.テつ The second part is, for OHL, what is the benefit of this tournament and what would be the challenge.
TIM FINCHEM:テつ Well, is that directed to me?テつ The second part isn't.テつ Okay.テつ So I'll take the first one.
Well, the sponsors are important, because you really can't, you can't have a tournament without a sponsor.
Fortunately, on the PGA TOUR, most of our sponsors are companies who, as Miguel just mentioned in his regard, are focused on giving back.テつ They believe in giving back.
So the idea that you're going to have a golf tournament, it's good for advertising, it's good for promotion or whatever the reasons you want to do, it's good for business to business activity.
Here, it's related to OHL's interest in economic development, but in addition, there's this other thing that is giving back.
So, to have a sponsor like OHL, that believes in all those things, but also giving back means that the tournament can move forward in a direction that is consistent with what we like to see on the PGA TOUR and what our players like to see, which is giving back.
So, it's a combination of things.テつ So you have to have a good sponsor to have a tournament.テつ What's really good though is when you have a sponsor like OHL, that is more than just a sponsor, they're a partner, and they work hard to build the tournament.テつ And after a number of years, the relationship gets very well known and it creates more value for the tournament.テつ And that's what's happened here.
JUAN‑MIGUEL VILLAR MIR:テつ It's very satisfactory to collaborate with the PGA TOUR.テつ It's a good advantage for OHL.テつ We try to do things the best we can.テつ We try to develop, here at Mayakoba, we try to develop the resort to have the best, to have the resort that has the best quality on our planet.
We like to work for the environment and we would like to have the best golf in our resort, for the PGA TOUR.
The best golf in the planet means that it's the one that's played on the PGA TOUR.
This is an excellent relationship, the one we have with the PGA TOUR.テつ We are celebrating our best tournament every year and we would like to improve it every year.
This is an advantage for more than 500 million homes that get to know Mayakoba, get to know our golf, and get to know our resort.テつ The relationship that Mayakoba and the PGA TOUR have is useful and it's like a marriage of the both for PGA TOUR and for OHL.

Q.テつ Couple questions.テつ First question, the first one would be, with the success of the tournament here at Mayakoba, what are the chances that the Mexico will receive another stage of the PGA calendar, another tournament, PGA tournament here in Mexico.テつ And the second question is, would be, what are the chances that if there is some chance that the Champions Tour can play one tournament here in Mexico.
TIM FINCHEM:テつ The first part of your question is would there be another PGA TOUR event in Mexico?テつ And the second question is would the Champions Tour play here?
I think the Champions Tour has played nine events here over the years.テつ Nine or 10 events.
The answer to both questions is, I don't know, for certain.テつ We are very interested in Mexico for the future of golf and our schedule is such that we're always in the process of looking at potential venues in Canada and Mexico, close to us, but also now with our international activity, in China and Canada and Latin America and all that, we have in the last few years a much more international view.
So, it's hard for me to speculate, but we're always interested in watching what's happening with golf, where it's growing, where the golf courses are.テつ I think, over time, professional golf globally will sooner or later slowly or more quickly, I don't know, come more together, which might result over time in a different competitive landscape.テつ But that's probably some years away.
But we don't have any immediate plans to add an event in Mexico in the next year or so on the PGA TOUR.
On the Champions Tour, there's always conversations going on, because the Champions Tour players have had a great experience in Mexico, they have enjoyed the tournaments they have played down here, and we'll continue to look for opportunities.
Right now, I would say on the PGA TOUR, we're very pleased with having the best golf event in Latin America right here with OHL.テつ We have a full schedule.テつ So I don't see it happening right away.テつ But we'll just see how things go.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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