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July 6, 2015

Jerry Hostetter

Matt Sawicki

Mike Stack


THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Christina Lance. It's my pleasure to welcome you to the media center at the 2015 U.S. Women's Open Championship. This afternoon we are joined by Championship Director Matt Sawicki, Pennsylvania Governor Mike Stack and Championship General Chairman Jerry Hostetter. Thank you so much for taking time this afternoon to speak with us. At this point we'll start things out with Matt Sawicki.

MATT SAWICKI: Thank you so much, Christina. What a great day, first opening day, great crowds, good weather, just a great festive atmosphere. This is our 83rd championship here in the state of Pennsylvania. It started in 1899 with our Women's Amateur Championship at Philadelphia Country Club, extended all the way to 2014, our Mid-Am TOUR Championship at Saucon Valley just last fall, and we couldn't be more delighted to be here in Lancaster for the 70th United States Women's Open Championship. Real quickly I'd just like to recognize the state of Pennsylvania and the support that they've given us, not just the people who live in this state but everyone, from the state level on down, from the Commonwealth down to the local township level. Everyone has been so supportive throughout the planning process. We started this process more than five years ago. They've been engaged at the state level, at the township level, at our public safety committee meetings for two and a half years getting ready for just this day, and we couldn't be more excited and thankful for all that support. So again, Governor, thank you for all you've done for us here, our 83rd time, and I'm sure it's been said 82 times before, but this will be the best championship we've conducted here, so thank you. Jerry, I'll turn it over to you.

JERRY HOSTETTER: Thank you, Matt. It is an honor to be here to officially kick off the 2015 U.S. Women's Open here at Lancaster Country Club. I'd like to thank Governor Stack for coming. Thank you for being here, being a part of this. I would also like to thank our volunteers. Our volunteers have put in many hours. We have over 2,500 volunteers. They've given up their job to be here and make this event successful. We couldn't be happier when we talk about the coverage we get, looking at 100 countries covering this event, 18 to 20 hours of coverage. That's really exciting. I'd like to thank the USGA, Matt, for entrusting confidence in this community, this club, to host this major championship, and I do agree with Matt, it will be an historic event and the most successful Women's Open ever. I would also like to thank the community. The community has been very supportive of this, and I would also like to thank our LCC members. Our Lancaster Country Club membership have been very supportive to have this event, as well. Lastly, but certainly not least, I would like to thank the Governor's office, the Pennsylvania State Police and Penn DOT. They were early adapters. They were in here early, seven, eight years ago. We talked to the state, and they have not disappointed. They've been with us from the very beginning and supported it in every way and exceeded my expectations. Thank you, Governor. I'd like to introduce Governor Stack.

HON. MIKE STACK: Thank you so much. Pleasure to be with you all today, and I wrote down some remarks, but I'm already swept away in the excitement so I'm not even going to go with my remarks. I will tell you that I got a chance to go over with Jerry and Mike Brubaker, my friend, Former Senator Mike Brubaker, and we got a chance to see Michelle Wie tee off, and the excitement swept us away so much, we broke through the barriers and went and did some selfies with her. But she was very gracious and kind, and she is a terrific golfer, and we have so many wonderful world-renowned women's athletes here. We are just so excited for Lancaster. Don't say Lan-Cas'-Ter County because it's "Lan'-Cas-Ter." Pennsylvania is so excited to have the U.S. Women's Open here. Did you say 82 times we've had major events here? We want it to be 83, 84 and 85. This will affect the Lancaster economy to the tune of between $25 and $30 million. The job creation, the economic impact is so important to this area, not to mention around the world. We want people to know what a wonderful, beautiful place this is, not just our golf courses but our towns, our cities, our farm areas, the people that you will meet here are the best in the world, and we are so happy to have the international representation here from the media and the players and the tournament, and on behalf of Tom Wolf, we couldn't be more excited. We think this is going to be the best tournament ever, and I intend to watch around and watch some golf and maybe learn how to play a little bit better. But we can't thank Jerry and Matt enough, not to mention the championship director, Barry Deach, and once again, of course, all the volunteers involved and my friend, Senator Mike Brubaker, and thank you all for being here. We look forward to a wonderful event and some great golf, and thank you so much for being here, and gentlemen, thank you for putting together the best golf tournament in the world. Thank you so much.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you so much, Governor. We're glad to be here. At this point we'll open the floor for questions.

Q. Jerry, after years of planning, what were your emotions and the emotions of your staff walking in here today knowing this was the grand opening?
JERRY HOSTETTER: I showed up around 6:00, sometime when the sun was coming up, quarter to 6:00, and it was exciting to see all the volunteers starting to file in. It was just amazing to me to see everybody coming across the golf course and walking in through. I think it was pretty much what we expected. Everybody seemed excited. My heart was pounding as we looked at the people starting to come in, how things are going to work, but I couldn't be more excited about this club, the community, and everybody having it. I look at it as today is the first practice round. It'll get better and better as the week goes on, and I think we want to have a great patron experience. We want them to come back day after day and say it was better each day they come, so it was very exciting. Thank you.

Q. The USGA and Lancaster Country Club, how did it all come about? What were some of the first steps that either party took to identify this place?
JERRY HOSTETTER: It was really early in 2007, 2008. Steve Butterball is friends with Mike Davis, and he asked me, and at that point in time I was current president of the club, would we entertain a USGA event. And from then it was a group of us got the committees together and started looking at it and working with Mike Davis and Mike Butz back at that time, and it was really -- you've got to go through a selection process, you've got to go through the selection committee, you've got to prove that your community, your club can handle the crowds, the infrastructure, our hotels, and then golf on top of that. I think we did that. We put together a good booklet and a good -- it's a good concept, and we ended up getting awarded the contract. That's the way it was. For me it's been seven, eight years working on the project.

MATT SAWICKI: Yeah, I think as Jerry alluded to, it starts with the golf course, and coming out and seeing this property, I think any person who comes out this week, whether they're spectator, and certainly we've heard it from the players at this point, this is a phenomenal, phenomenal golf course, and that's where we start our selection process with all our championships is how is it going to play inside the ropes. And then after that it was a matter of can the community support it. We've got a broadcast compound that's going to broadcast over 100 countries worldwide, and anybody who's seen the 15 or 20 satellite trucks down there knows you need space and you need a community that will come and patronize the event. Jerry and others showed us what this community is made of, and I think our ticket sales to date, our crowds to date and what we anticipate for the rest of the week really speaks to that.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you so very much for joining us. Thank you again for your time. Excuse me, we have one more.

Q. How many people are you expecting on Saturday and Sunday, 15,000, 10,000?
MATT SAWICKI: No, I think on the weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, we expect crowds in excess of 20,000 each day. We've been elated at the response this community has shown. It's a tribute -- again, it's the reason why we've come to Pennsylvania 83 times now. This state supports golf, and this south central region of Pennsylvania really has a thirst for it. So we're really excited about the weekend ahead.

THE MODERATOR: Well, I say again, still, thank you, gentlemen. Thank you, everyone, for joining us today. Enjoy your afternoon.
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