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January 17, 2006

George Lopez


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome George Lopez. Thank you for coming by and spending a few minutes with us.

GEORGE LOPEZ: Really, always a pleasure, always a pleasure to be associated with the PGA TOUR and I expect this is my goal for the PGA TOUR: As I expected much like the mayor of New Orleans, to become a Chocolate Tour. We have the vanilla. Now we need a little chocolate. (Laughter).

JOHN BUSH: Making your third appearance here at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, just talk about the past two years and your experiences and how you're looking forward to this year.

GEORGE LOPEZ: It's always an honor to be invited. If you think about show business and the history of golf, I grew up watching Bob Hope and watching the tournament, and it's just really an hand or. You remember what it's like to watch it on TV, the weather is fantastic, the people are nice.

You see the support of not only the community. But what the PGA TOUR does in regards to contributing to a lot of the charities, as they do around the Tour. But it's always an honor. And you see guys like Mark Wahlberg this year, I get to get my Justin Timberlake poster signed, Samuel Jackson is here and we can draw those type of power guys. And to be only separated by a thin piece of twine is fantastic. It really is the greatest game ever.

JOHN BUSH: And the PGA TOUR, this tournament gives significant charitable contributions every year, and you're also involved in a lot of charities. Would you like mention anything about those?

GEORGE LOPEZ: I had a kidney transplant in April, so I'm the national spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation. So I help them and will help them now. When you see me in the commercial and then the Drive For a Billion Show for the PGA TOUR, just anybody that wants to help in these times when we've become a very selfish world. It's fantastic.

Q. You're obviously an entertainer, you've done live concerts all over in front of lots of people, here you're in front of lots of people, but in a way that you're not normally in front of people. Do you get nervous or anxious about what's going on out there?

GEORGE LOPEZ: I particularly don't. I know that I'm not here trying to make a living, and I don't want to get in the way of the guys that do. We have a lot of respect for the guys.

But hey, you know, I actually graze at several of the homes while I'm playing. (Laughter). There's a lot of food going on. I drink and eat and use the restrooms in a lot of houses. What better way to really get closer to the fans than to steal their soap from the restrooms as they allow you to enter their homes? (Laughter).

This is a thing for me. I have a lot of really nice friends on the Tour, but Jesper Parnevik and I play in the AT&T every year. We have a kind of a Brokeback Mountain relationship where we're both married and I only see him once a year, and the minutes over, I can't wait to see him again. So I can't quit him, and that's why I'm here. (Laughter).

Q. I think your pro partner tomorrow is Justin Leonard.

GEORGE LOPEZ: My pro player tomorrow is Jason Gore, and we've already gone to In & Out and talked about our strategy for tomorrow.

Jason Gore tomorrow will become an honorary Latino, and his name will be Jason Gordito. He not only will have two strikes on his record, but as one of the courtesies of being an honorary Latino, you never pay for a wax at any car wash in the United States.

Q. You talk about not wanting to get in the way of the pros, the pros seem to be in as much awe sometimes of who they are playing with, whether it's you or Timberlake as you are of them.

GEORGE LOPEZ: Well, remember that they travel for a living, too, and they are in a lot of hotel rooms and they watch a lot of the movies and TV. I am a huge fan of Mark O'Meara, and those guys were telling me about Wedding Crashers and how much they enjoyed Wedding Crashers. And I got the Vince Vaughn pants from Wedding Crashers, which is like the Scarface for white dudes.

They are a huge fans of comedy for one, and I think they appreciate seeing some of the guys they watch in movies and on TV.

Q. How many of these do you play a year?

GEORGE LOPEZ: Our rotation, the Tour cut down several events for 2007. Our tour ends February 6. So it's a shorter tour. (Laughter). But very intense. It's an intense tour. But it's short. It's this week, there's one day in Phoenix and then there's the AT&T and that's it. No more of us.

JOHN BUSH: How about a little background on your golf career, when did you get started?

GEORGE LOPEZ: I started playing in 1981. I love to play. I play all the time. I'm obsessed with golf. I think golf is like crack; you're only as good as your last hit, and we've been chasing it down for 24 years. That's really all I ever think about. We've incorporated a lot of Scottie Cameron things and Titleist things on the show, which if ABC knew would not go over well, but maybe they know now, and they have to find it.

I love playing, I'm a member at a couple Country Clubs, Lakeside Country Club where Bob Hope was a member, and Saticoy Country Club, which is in Camarillo.

And I think that it's great that the TOUR has finally reached the level where they are secure enough to have a tournament near an outlet mall. I'm going to Liz Claiborne. If the tee times get backed up, I'm going over to the Big Dogs warehouse while I'm waiting for the tee to open.

Q. Do the putts break towards Indio, and do you know where Indio is?

GEORGE LOPEZ: The cuts break toward the diamond lane on the freeway here. (Laughter.) I had a putt break toward a call box, so I know that it depends on what lane.

And I missed a 2 footer because a guy was changing his tire in my line.

Q. I think weren't you with Cheech Marin last year?

GEORGE LOPEZ: I was with Cheech last year and Samuel Jackson. Cheech could not be here unfortunately he had several hours of community service that needed to be done before the year would start.

So I'm here with Samuel L. Jackson, who is an incredible player, really consistent golfer and loves the game of golf and Anthony Anders0n, and myself. So they have decided to keep the color in one cart. (Laughter).

JOHN BUSH: How is your game entering this week?

GEORGE LOPEZ: You know, I'm playing pretty good. I'm healthy. I had a kidney transplant in April, so I'm healthy for the first time and I'm able to complete a backswing. Although I did hit better when I got out of surgery when I still had my stitches; reminded me not to pull my head up. If things go bad tomorrow, I'm ready to re cut myself and play the rest of the week. Cut me, I'm ready to go into the hospital and get unsutured.

Q. If the tour had ten of these, would you play?

GEORGE LOPEZ: Absolutely. I'm a huge fan of the players, and we follow it, it's immediate scoring and we watch. If the tour had ten of these, I've love to play in all ten of them.

JOHN BUSH: George, play well this week. Thanks a lot.

GEORGE LOPEZ: Remember, animal double doubles on me.

End of FastScripts.

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