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February 26, 2004

Mike Shea


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mike, for joining us for a few minutes. Mike Shea, senior director of rules for the PGA TOUR is here. He's going to make a couple of statements about what is going on and then you'll have an opportunity to ask a couple of questions.

MIKE SHEA: We've had an inch and three quarters of rain this morning, in addition to the inch and a quarter that we had earlier in the week, and the golf course is basically unplayable. The greens are fine. We had a lot of water in the bunkers that would require a lot of work for the bunkers to be prepared properly, but the main concern is the casual water in the fairways, and we just couldn't play the game properly because of that condition.

The plan going forward is to play 36 holes tomorrow. The round of 16 matches will be played tomorrow morning off of two tees starting at 7:00, the last tee time being 8:03. Historically, we've played this golf course 18 holes in about three hours and 45 minutes, so we should be finished with the last group about 11:45, but the start of the afternoon will be back to a one-tee start with eight matches probably going in the neighborhood of 11:45. So actually, the groups that go out last in the morning, their tee times will be closer to 1:00 than it would be the 11:45 start.

The maintenance crew is doing a fantastic job of trying to get everything playable, but the river banks and the creek banks are backing up from about the time the rain stopped falling, about three hours, and we have places on the golf course where you can't get from the fairway to the green and you can't get from the green to a couple of teeing grounds. And that, in addition to the fairways being just totally casual water and rivers flowing through, it's just an unpleasant condition.

Q. What's the worst area?

MIKE SHEA: I would say No. 14 fairway. We couldn't hardly get to the 14 tee. I walked through that fairway this morning earlier when I first got here, and I had trouble even bringing up casual water. It's now a river flowing down it. A creek is going down its banks, and the whole fairway had basically a river flowing down it. The early holes, No. 1, 2, 3, all presented problems. Just basically throughout the whole golf course the fairways are just saturated.

Q. What's the forecast?

MIKE SHEA: The forecast is very good. We're going to have a beautiful day this afternoon, and tomorrow I believe there's a little chance of some showers but there's nothing severe.

Q. Some might argue that it would be an injustice to send guys out giving them momentum in match play to stop it knowing you can't finish a match at the start -- (inaudible).

MIKE SHEA: We considered playing part of the round, but we really don't think that we're going to have a playable -- we thought that 2:00 was the time when we could complete all matches, and if you couldn't go at the 12:50 start, which we thought there was no way to do it at 12:50, before long you're talking about the last group would tee off at 3:30 or 4:00, and it's dark at 5:15 or possibly 5:30, so you'd only play six or seven holes. At some point in time you just have to say it doesn't make sense.

Q. Do you think it's fair that some of the groups go off 1 and some of the groups will go off 10 tomorrow?

MIKE SHEA: I think it's fine going off 1 and 10 tee. You have to play 18 holes. It's only you and your opponent, and it's just a different rotation that you've got to play the golf course. It shouldn't matter. The first part of your question was -- it was going to be this afternoon and I don't anticipate a change in that by tomorrow morning, so it probably will be.

Q. That hole, that will just be tee to fairway, correct, from the fairway to the green?

MIKE SHEA: It will be close to the middle of the area of the course of the hole being played, so provided you hit the ball in the fairway or the color of the green you'll be able to pick it up and clean it.

Q. (Inaudible).

MIKE SHEA: What we have done in the draw, the draw that you may have seen for this afternoon, it's a wash. We wanted the people that were going to play each other tomorrow, the winners that were going to play each other, we have the capability of possibly starting a little bit early if they play their match at the same time. So the winner of the David Toms/Shaun Micheel match, he might have been in a different rotation today, this afternoon, than they would have used tomorrow morning.

Q. You say the greens are basically okay?

MIKE SHEA: The greens are perfect, no problem. The course happens to be very soft, but we were able to mow. We were mowing, double cut, green speeds would have been right about the same as they were yesterday, so the greens were the least of the problems.

Q. There's no place in the fairways to take relief from casual water?


Q. Do you feel we'll finish by Sunday?

MIKE SHEA: Yes. Given the forecast for the rest of the week.

Q. We'll be on schedule come Saturday?

MIKE SHEA: I think we'll be on schedule tomorrow night.

Q. What was the rain here in the past? What was the difference, just more rain?

MIKE SHEA: I've never seen it quite like that. I've been here for a lot of those events, and you just can't get to places. You can't get to places in the fairways. I think the rain earlier in the week, in addition to this rain -- once you got the rain earlier in the week it saturated the ground, now there's nowhere for the water to go, it's just there.

Q. I'm just wondering, since this is a match play event versus stroke play, if there had been one or two places that you couldn't have been but the rest of the holes would have been fine, would there have been a way for you guys to go ahead and continue?

MIKE SHEA: Well, you can do a lot of things in match play that you cannot do in stroke play, but a stipulated round is 18 holes, so we anticipated play of all 18 holes unless we said we would change the stipulated round for the day and we would have said we're going to play --

Q. If there were 16 holes, could you play those good 16 holes and then turn around and start back on the rotation again skipping two holes?

MIKE SHEA: That's what I'm referring to as a stipulated round. When you start a match a stipulated round is generally 18 holes of golf. If you had a situation where you only had one or two holes, you could say, okay, today's play, our stipulated round is only 16 holes, and we're going to skip holes 3 and 4, whatever that might be. But because we had an unplayable golf course we didn't consider that.

Q. Any courses in the area that are playable (laughter)?

The Tour treats casual water normally. What's the distinction between what's tolerable and what's not?

MIKE SHEA: When you're dealing with casual water in a bunker, there's a term called you go to your maximum available relief, and that's on the putting green, also, but if you deal with casual water through the green, that is, fairways and rough and all those areas, you have to get relief. So whenever you find yourself in a situation where a player has driven the ball in the fairway and to take him out of casual water you have to put him into four inches of rough. He's done what he has to do and now the rules require him to put his ball in a bunch of hay. That's not right. I hope that answers your question.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Mike, for joining us.

End of FastScripts.

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