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October 20, 2003

David Leadbetter

Charles Mechem

Annika Sorenstam

Payne Stewart

Kathy Whitworth


DAN HICKS: Good evening, everybody and welcome to what promises to be a very, very special evening indeed, the World Golf Hall of Fame's annual induction ceremony. As I look out in the audience I see many familiar faces, current members of the Hall of Fame, luminaries from all walks of the golfing life and world and fans of this great game as well. Tonight we have come here to the World Golf Hall of Fame, a beautiful night in St. Augustine to welcome four new members: Chako Higuchi, Leo Diegel, Annika Sorenstam and Nick Price. As our ceremony unfolds, you'll discover not only their immense talents but exemplary character. As we celebrate these worthy inductees let us reflect on how truly international golf has become these days, the flags of Sweden, Japan, Zimbabwe and the United States fly proud over America's first city tonight, St. Augustine. The eyes from the golfing globe are focussed right here, and what a magnificent stage it is. The World Golf Village in northeast Florida has evolved into a dynamic golf destination. We have a lot to get to tonight, so let's move on. Let's begin by meeting our first presenter, a woman who triumphed 88 times on the LPGA TOUR and was inducted to the Hall of Fame back in 1982, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Kathy Whitworth.

KATHY WHITWORTH: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I've been asked to present a woman that I have great respect and admiration for. But before I start I would like to again congratulate Annika and Nick and the Diegel family for their careers and their induction this evening. It is a special honor and I'm just pleased to be a part of it and to welcome them into the Hall of Fame. As I said, the lady I'm going to present to you this evening was the woman may admired and respect a great deal and when the news came that she was going to be inducted this evening it was really an exciting moment for me because those of us who know Chako and have played with her, all new knew this day had to come at some time. Then when she graciously asked me to present her, I was just thrilled because it's always so much fun to talk about somebody that you really like and admire so much. The tough part, of course, is knowing what to say and how much to say because there is many, many things about Chako that are so important. And I'm trying real hard to condense this down, I didn't have to I had to write a lot of it down because there's no telling where I would wander off to. Anyway, thinking about what I was going to say, I had to think about to when I first met Chako. It was in 1970 and she and Maro Sasaki came to the United States to play on our tour and the Japanese Tour had only been about three years old. Chako was a founding member of their tour. We really didn't know much about the Japanese players. And so when we found that they were going to come, we were all quite excited about it and they were our first international players. So we didn't know what to expect and I'm sure they didn't either. But it wasn't long. I think Chako played about ten events that year, but it didn't take long to know and those of us that got to see her play, we were looking at someone really, really special and become an international treasure in Japan and that's what she came. You're going to hear a lot about Chako's career as a competitor she won 72 titles worldwide, one of which was the 1977 LPGA Championship. She was the leading money winner for 1968 through 1976, won Japan's Women's Open eight times, won Japan's LPGA Championship nine times, and these are just a few of the highlights of her career. Also, when I was preparing my remarks I thought, well, maybe I should call some players and ask their impressions and what they thought about Chako and they had a chance to play with her and be around her. They pretty much are all the same. They of course recognized her ability to compete. She played very well in many tournaments, but they were more impressed with her integrity and her humility. There was some discussion about Chako's swing. Some thought it had a little bit too much sway in it but it worked for her. And when I talked to Mickey, I called Mickey Wright, who some of us feel that, as I do, that she was the greatest player ever. I asked her what she might think or what she thought about Chako. First of all, she wanted me to extend Chako congratulations to her because she was also very thrilled that she was going to be inducted this evening. But she said she really enjoyed watching Chako's swing, and she said, "I'm never tired of watching because it was just so beautiful and had so much great rhythm and such grace about it and not to mention effective." You know I don't remember Mickey ever saying that about my swing. (Laughter.) Oh, well. Anyway, what impressed Mickey the most was her presence and quiet dignity and honesty. These are truly the feelings that we all share and why we are all so happy for Chako tonight. I also received a comment from another great player from Japan, Ayego Yakamoto. She expressed her admiration and gratitude for the leadership of Chako and for her courage. When I saw the word "courage," I thought this is a wonderful description and ingredient that makes Chako who she is. It did take courage for Chako to do all she has done. I'm sure Chako wasn't aware of the role she was going to have to play when she first began the Japanese Tour. She became the leader of women's golf in Japan and everything that went along with it. She accepted responsibility of being the person who would bring the game of golf to the level of success it enjoys today. Her character, her integrity, her honesty, her sport and that wonderful smile transcended all barriers. If that wasn't enough, she raised a beautiful daughter. Not too long ago she was an LPGA of Japan standout. Now she's dedicated to growing golf in her native land and in her role as the Commissioner of the Japan LPGA TOUR. Let's take a look at Chako's career.

(Video played. )

KATHY WHITWORTH: Chako was elected through the lifetime achievement category. She is the first and only player to win a major championship on both tours, the Japan and the United States. And so it is with great pleasure I now present to you and the World Golf Hall of Fame, Chako Higuchi.

SHAKO HIGUCHI: It is my greatest honor to be accepted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. I am deeply grateful to the Hall of Fame nominating committee. I would like to thank my friendS like Hitsui -- inaudible -- Donna Capone, Judy Rankin, Sandra Hayney, Sandra Palmer, the LPGA bodies and especially Mr. Ty Votaw for the generous stance to make this happen. My English is not good enough to make a speech, so please forgive me to use my interpreter.

(Through interpreter): Since I became a professional golfer, I have been striving to achieve my goals and dreams, but I have never dreamt myself making a speech on this podium because to be invited to join the great members in the world Golf Hall of Fame was beyond my wildest dream. Now I would like to thank three very special people in my life, first my sister for suggesting I become a professional golfer, to God without a strong backing I would not have taken this path. Secondly, my mentor, Pete Nakamura, for teaching me the game of golf mentally and physically. Pete is the only Japanese player who has won the individual and the team title at the 1957 Canada Cup currently known as the World Cup. I am who I am because of his guidance. My friend and a great player herself, Maro Sasaki. We came to the States to compete in 1970. Without her I could not have lasted on the LPGA TOUR for ten years. In March 1970 when I joined the LPGA TOUR it was also my friends and players of the LPGA who welcomed me and encouraging me during these early days when I was lonely far away from home. Again without their support I cannot last for ten years on the LPGA TOUR and win the LPGA Championship. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of them. Because of the experiences and lessons I gained in the U.S., I went on to win the British and Australian Open Championships. I am so fortunate and proud to have won major tournaments in the U.S., Britain, Australia, gentleman. It has been seven years since I was elected to being the LPGA Commissioner of Japan. Since then we have worked often the various reforms of the organization. The new system has finally commenced this year. We have already seen remarkable results and it is exciting to see such good results so soon. Love and passion for golf in my life is as precious as my family and friends. Love and passion for golf motivates me to work harder. It was all for this wonderful game of golf. That is why I decided to take the position as the chairman of the LPGA of Japan. I did it all for the love of game, therefore, I'm so pleased that my work off the course is being recognized as a contribution to the game of golf in Japan through lifetime achievement category. Of course I could not have made it this far all by myself, fans and sponsors and my colleagues of the LPGA of Japan, thank you very much. You are all part of this wonderful honor. Last but not least I want to say thank you to my husband and daughter who are here with me tonight. Without your love understanding and encouragement, I would not be what I am today. Thank you and I love you. Once again, thank you to all of you.

CHARLES MECHAM: I said to Ty before I put my remarks together, what can I say on behalf of the LPGA, of all those players who compete with this woman, who travel with her, who are with her all the time, and here is what they said: "Annika has taught us all the lesson that it isn't enough to be as good as we once were but to always strive to be better than we ever thought we could be. For ten years, Annika has shown us that if you give the world your best, the best in the world will come to you. On behalf of the LPGA, we thank Annika for those lessons and for so much more than that." You know, I began thinking when I was flattered that Annika asked me to do this, about where did her journey that ends here tonight begin. Well, officially, it began when she recorded her first victory as a professional at the Broadmoor in 1995, her second year on the Tour. Now, this was no ordinary win. It just so happens that it was the United States Women's Open, an event that Annika had dreamed of winning since golf became her passion at age 12. She like countless other aspiring young golfers before and since practiced putting for or pretending to win the U.S. Open, and now she had realized her dream; a victory which she still regards eight years later as the high point of her career. But there was a troubling aspect to this happy time. And I happened to learn this from her because I was Commissioner of the LPGA at the time, and what I found was that her dreams had been so totally realized and fulfilled by this victory that she was physically and emotionally overwhelmed. And she said to herself and several of us who talked with her at the time: "What am I going to do now? What's left for me to do?" Well, how about 46 more victories, six majors, five Vare Trophies, five players of the year awards, a 59 and one dive into a lake wearing red shoes. I think you'll agree that she as effectively answered her own question to what do I do now. By the way when I asked her sister Carlotta, what should Annika do now? She shrugged and said, "Just do it all again." But in truth, Annika's journey to the Hall of Fame started long before that treasured win at the Broadmoor. It began when she and her sister Charlotta with their parents, both good players to the golf course in Sweden where the girls would go to the putting green and that's where their golf education began. Later Annika game a part of the group of juniors in the so-called training week, and her dad said to me that her handicap fell from 54 to 35 in one week. Well, you know how daddies exaggerate. He said she was a good little girl, she was nice, quiet, shy, good in all sports including badminton, and ultimate frisbee, whatever that may be, but always from the beginning, very competitive, even at cards. She continued to surprise her parents with her accomplishments not because they didn't expect them, but because they always came more quickly than they anticipated. As her dad also told me, "Maybe we were just a little slow but she was always a little ahead of us." But one thing, though, that did give her parents some concern over a period of time was when she told them she would rather be runner-up than winner because the winner had to give a speech. She has quite obviously gotten over that. In short, a close, warm, loving family, then and now -- and by the way, not surprisingly, her girlhood idols were Bjorn Borg and Liselotte Neumann not just for their greatness on the field of play but for their integrity and poise as champions, traits that she quite obviously learned well from them. Now I cited some statistics earlier regarding her here in the LPGA media guide has three pages of tiny print recounting her achievements. But here are a couple of new ones: Youngest player in the World Golf Hall of Fame; and, first player in the LPGA Hall of Fame from a foreign country; unless of course you count Amy Alcott from southern California. But these figures only state what she has done, not how or why and it occurred to me that the how and why could only come from those that have been there, from those greats of the game who can appreciate more than anyone the magnitude of this remarkable young woman's accomplishments. So I asked some of them. I, like Kathy Whitworth, asked Mickey Wright, with whom, as you know Annika is most often compared. Mickey said, "Annika has, 'It.'" She said, "Now you can't define "it" precisely but you know it when you see it." N emotional control, style focus and obviously, great talent. The great Louise Suggs, or little Ms. Slugs as Bob Hope called her, was characteristically direct: "I've never seen a player with such focus and concentration. She's a real whiz." Two players who frequently go head-to-head, Juli Inkster and Beth Daniel, they had much the same view". Annika is driven and dedicated in the very best sense. She is truly committed being the best. She takes nothing for granted. And Nancy Lopez told me that she truly admires Annika both as a person and as a golfer and feels that any goal she sets for herself she will reach. Now, I'll bet you thought I wasn't going to quote any men. Well, as an old German law professor I once had use to say, "You couldn't be wronger (feigning German accent)". Jack Nicklaus told me, "Annika has handled herself extremely well." And to put a little different twist on the reasons for her success: "I'm not sure it's all concentration and focus," he said. "She simply has that air of not cockiness, but of knowing that you can do it and just going out and doing it." Tiger said this: "There has never been anyone more deserving of introduction into the Hall of Fame and particularly, at such a young age. She has dominated the world of women's golf. It's not often you can say you have seen the best but in Annika, I think perhaps we have." And Arnie said it simply: "She's the best. She's the epitome of integrity and class. She's truly great." It's not widely known but Arnie wrote Annika a letter shortly before her appearance at Colonial, a letter she treasures. In part, he said it is certainly your privilege to do what you think is best for you and for the game. Just ignore all of comments you're hearing, do your thing, have fun and get it done. Long time champion of women's golf, Dan Jenkins, has this to say, in his most recent column in Golf Digest. I still am slight any in shock on Dan's comment, but he basically said: The greatest shot of the year was Annika's tee shot at Colonial. That combined with all the of the other great things that happened make Annika Player of the Year. Yeah," he said, "even including the guys." God bless you, Dan. An old line regarding women's upward mobility came into my mind: There is no glass ceiling, only a thick layer of man. But, you know it didn't turn out that way. Her playing partners, fans of both sexes and all ages and the media all cheer her on. I think I know why and I think you do, too. It's because Colonial wasn't about golf. It was all about respect, humility, dignity, pride, sportsmanship and class. It was about respect, and the quest for excellence, about reaching as high as you can reach. And anyone who knows Annika well was not surprised or those closest to her, her husband David, also her best friend and the rest of her family, know her as honest humble and not judgemental, but passionate and dedicated, just the sort of person to do precisely what she did. Reaching for the stars, searching for excellence. The great playwright Neil Simon put it this way: Live your life as though Gershwin had written music to underscore your every move. Nothing worthwhile can be achieved without a great desire to achieve it. Don't listen to those who say it's not done that way; maybe it's not but maybe you will. Don't listen to those who say you're taking too big a chance . Michaelangelo would have painted the floor of the Sistine Chapel and it would certainly have been rubbed out. And I mentioned respect. For me it's the bottom line, Annika. You have earned the single most important reward that anyone striving for excellence can attain: The unqualified respect of your peers and of all who know you or have watched you play. Respect, respect. In the end, nothing matters more. (Video played.) It is my deep privilege and honor to present to you for induction into the Hall of Fame, Annika Sorenstam.

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Thank you, Charlie, for those kind words. Family, friends and other distinguished guests, I'm delighted to be here this evening, congratulations to Chakosan, Diegel and his family, Nick Price for their accomplishments. Acceptance into the Hall of Fame means I've gained approval from those I deeply respect. I'm a little overwhelmed at achieving this so quickly in my career, however, I'm very honored to be a part of this elite group in the World Golf Hall of Fame. All of the years of developing as a golfer, I'd like to compare to as a journey, a great journey, which has taken me to all parts of the world, a journey that has challenged me and pushed me to new heights, a journey that has truly confirmed that I love what I do. How lucky can I be, living a great life and following my dreams. This induction to the World Golf Hall of Fame is an honor that I would like to share with some of the individuals who have help me along the way. Thirty-three years ago, my mother was pregnant with me, and she was playing a lot of golf, I believe, I felt the rhythm in the golf swing already then. Both my parents loved the game, and as a matter of fact my father and I had a bet that who would reach single handicap first could win $10. I want to thank you for your encouragement, challenge and the money. My practice partner growing up was my sister, Lotta. The two of us would hang out together and try and beat all of the boys at the club. Our shared goal was to be the best player in the family, and thanks for your support and friendship. And Henry Rice, my swing coach at a training camp over 15 years ago. I liked his laid back demeanor. He taught me all I know, and especially, how to keep my head down. Henry always understood my goals and he helped me to get better every year. As a member of the Swedish national team, I got to know Pia Nilsson. She has guided me along the way and she was, and still is, a sounding board of mine. I met my husband David in Phoenix ten years ago. I'm very proud of him for helping me live my dream. It's fun sharing it with you and the memories are therefor ever. Mr. Callaway and his spirit, has made a lot of this possible for me. It was his driver, the Big Bertha that replaced the 3-wood I played with all through junior golf in college. It was the first and only driver I've ever carried in my bag. I'd also like to thank my agent, Mark Steinberg. We've been together since my rookie year, and it seemed so long ago when I asked him after my first U.S. Open victory, "Mark, what do we do now"? And he responded, "We have to learn together." All of the pieces fell together and Mark has put me with sponsors whom I share similar believes. Most of the sponsors are here tonight and I'm very proud of our affiliation and I look forward to many more successful years together. Through my career as a professional golfer, I had the opportunity to work with two first-class hard-working caddies, one of them is Terry McNamara, whom I remember, I shot 79, my highest score as an LPGA. We didn't do so good together, did we? I answered: You're hired. So it's not only the count, the score that counts, although two years later we shot 59. I also want to congratulate Terry. You got an induction today into the Caddie Hall of Fame. You really deserve it. The last ten years as an LPGA player, I've had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people. This includes players, sponsors, tournament organizers, the memories I have are still very fresh. After tonight, I feel more attached to the LPGA, and I hope I can continue to carry the torch for upcoming young girls who have a dream like I did a few years ago. And yes, dreams do come true. This year, I won two major championships to complete the career Grand Slam. I also got invited to play with the men in an official PGA event. My experience was like a fairy tale and I didn't want it to end, but I do consider it the best learning experience I've ever had. Shortly after the Colonial event, Ron Syriac (ph), a golf writer and friend, was quoted as saying, "Annika is no longer a female golfer. She's a golfer." That's truly all I ever aspired to be. Thank you very much.

DAVID LEADBETTER: Well, good evening, ladies and gentlemen and honored guests. It gives me great pleasure and a real privilege to introduce my good friend, Nick Price, for his introduction into the prestigious World Golf Hall of Fame. I've just been warned back stage that this is an induction, not a roast tonight, so go easy on him. No greater honor to be bestowed on an athlete to be voted into their own sports Hall of Fame by their peers. In golf unlike other sports, it is truly a world game. But no more deserving a recipient than Nick Price. Again the game has certainly been good to Nick but Nick has been great for the game. His stature in golf is far more than just being recognized as a great player with a tremendous record who even has a caddie would worked for him in South Africa named Tiger. Nick's resume includes being ranked No. 1 in the world, owner of three major titles, winner of 18 U.S. tour events, 24 international wins, twice Player of the Year, a world junior title, plus the prestigious Mashonoland Amateur title, but it is more than just his superior play that earned him this great honor at a young age. Through the years there have been many players who made their permanent mark in the game. Nick now joins this illustrious group. However, he'll certainly be remembered for more than just his tournament victories. He's one of the game's greatest ambassadors and is respected and revered by his fellow tour players and fans alike. He is one of most popular players for Pro-Am golfers to get drawn with and he puts his uptight amateur partners at ease and even manages to look like he's enjoying it. With the ASAP Sport Jim Murray Award for cooperation, approachability and cooperation to the media, that sort of sums up Nick Price the man. Nick was born in Durban, South Africa and now known as Zimbabwe in South Africa. He is one of three boys and his competitive sporting instincts were honed at a young age with young brothers Kit and Tim. Nick's father died when he was a young boy and his mother, Wendy, somehow managed to handle the three boys. I certainly know why she had gray hair from a very young age. Wendy instilled many of Nick's great qualities, discipline, courtesy, manners, empathy for others and his ability to iron and very importantly, a passion for life. At a young age he developed a love for outdoor activities which he still maintains a passion for today, sports. And he soon found he had a great natural talent for the game and I can well remember Nick as a violent swinging 10-year-old when some things never change at Warren Hills (ph) about four miles away. As juniors we all played 36 holes a day and survive on 25 cents for food and drink which consisted of a coke and a dozen caddie buns. Then at the end of the day we would head home on our bikes and thankfully it was downhill. Nick, you've come a long way since then trading in that bike for a G3. After a fine amateur career and spending time in the Air Force, Nick decided to turn professional and play in Europe. Where after competing for three years with one tournament win, the Swiss Open, he decided he had enough of slow greens, cold weather and warm beer and headed for America. I had just come to live in the States and was teaching down in central Florida. Nick came and stayed with me and we started working on his game in the winter of '91. My condo was like a halfway house for expatriate, refuge South African golfers: Watson, Mark McNulty, David Frost and a few other motley pros all seeking fame and fortune in the land of opportunity. My future wife, Kelly, was exposed to a totally brand new species and thought this foreign invasion are totally mad. The April Fool's High Jinx are legendary. One thing with Nick, he plays hard, but he also plays hard. In 1982, he very nearly won the British Open at Troon and got his playing card at the end of that year. Nick Price was on his way. Nick's and my coaching relationship is amazingly gone on up to the present time and that's simply because he hasn't got it yet. Some people are a little bit slower, but we've always said by the time he gets to the SENIOR TOUR, he'll probably find it. Seriously, Nick's talent, desire, questioning mind and search for perfection made him the ideal student and he has probably taught me as much as I've taught him. The journey has been long fun and rewarding for both of us. Who could forget the roller coaster putt to win the Open at Turnberry in 1994? I've enjoyed every minute of the coaching and especially the friendship. It's no coincidence that Nick's talent and belief in himself kicked in when he married a local girl from Zimbabwe, whom ironically he met in the States. Sue, you brought stability in his life and the greatest sense of urgency to his golf. Well, Sue, three kids later and three majors in that order of importance to Nick, you certainly did the trick. He's a doting father, and his three children, Greg, Robin and Kimmy are lucky to have such a great dad. It says a lot about the man and although having a great 2003, he withdrew from this year's PGA Championship at Oak Hill to spend extra quality time with his family down in Mexico. There was no truth to the rumors Nick had withdrawn because of a severe case of corrosive (ph) elbow. Nick is an integral part of the rich history of golfing talent that has he managed out of Southern Africa through the years. Led by legends Bobby Locke and then Gary Player and in recent years, world stars Ernie Els and Retief Goosen. Nick's a folk hero to thousand of young golfers from that part of the world, particularly young black golfers from the land of Zimbabwe, a country he loves dearly and is saddened by its current turmoil. Nick's foundation and children keeps helping though youngsters achieve their dreams and goals. Nick's exceptional play has had amazing longevity, and he's still a competitive factor in tournaments today, currently being ranched No. 11 in the world. Ben Crenshaw compared Nick to the legendary Ben Hogan in terms of quality of ball-striking. Nick's qualities embodies what the tradition of this game is all about, and in an era of highly-paid sport athletes, young players coming into professional golf will do well to take a leave out of Nick's book, not only their golf game's but also how they conduct their lives. His influence on some of the great young players I've coached is immense. Nick's golfing ability sense of fairness, decency, love of the game, him never changing despite his successes work ethic, time for others importance of family and friend, fun-loving and endearing nature and his general zest for life -- hope I didn't leave any out -- is helped him to become one of the game's really great guys. Nick, many congratulations on receiving this honor. We'll solidify your position in the history of the game and ensure that you have deserved superstar status for all time. Nick I'd like to salute you and the other inductees here to night for your achievements and I'd like to say to your native Zimbabwe language (speaking in dialect): You play great, my friends. I present to you out of Africa, Nick Price. Nick Price: I had to right this down, there were so many things that I had to say, and I wanted to get the words right because as you know, there's a lot of things that go on, on the panel to get to where I am today. I'd like to congratulate Chako and Diegel's family, I'm sure that you guys are as proud as I am to be here tonight. Like so many others who have been inducted into this wonderful Hall of Fame, I am indeed very, very fortunate. I was blessed with a talent to do something that I love and enjoy and also make my profession. However as you all know, playing golf, well, is just the tip the iceberg. There's so many other facets that one has to learn and endure along the way and again I have been so fortunate to have had many, many wonderful people help me along the way. From the very first day I picked up a club while caddying for my brother, Tim, I have been in Augusta of this game. I am still spellbound by the way it continues to tease and entice me back again and again. Trying to perfect the imperfectible, a new swing thought here, a change of grip there, different ball position, new putter to try, we have all been down that road. If you love the game as much as I do, it's amazing how it finds a way to call you back the very next day. I remember so clear the first day of my tournament golf, where at the age of 11, I locked myself in the men's toilet at Warren Hills (ph) locker room, too scared to go out and play with two new boys I had never met before. I also remember when I made that four-footer in the dark to break par for the very first time, and I will certainly remember this day as clearly in the years to come. I have had so many, many incredible memories and experiences over the years, it's because of the game that has been so great to me. And still to this day, I have to pinch myself every now and then hoping I don't wake up. To my mother, Wendy, who has always been one of my closest friends, her love understanding and guidance was always there for me. She was and still is a pillar of support and I will forever be indebted to her for her incredible knowledge, wisdom and foresight. To her it has never been about winning or losing. It's about sportsmanship and being able to be the very best person you can be. My two brothers Kit and Tim, who David mentioned earlier, were more like my friends than my brothers. They did more for their kid brother than I will ever be able to do for them. The lessons they taught me from a young age are firmly imprinted with me, and I will always be grateful to them for looking after me and filling a huge void in my life. To Bob Blake, the late Oscar Lieberman and all of the great people from my junior golf years who gave up so much of their valuable time to help me and so many other young golfers I sincerely hope that I have represented you all in the manner you taught us so well. To George and Brenda Bloomberg who sadly are no longer with us, I will never forget what they did for me and the kindness they extended to me over the years. Uncle George, as he was known was a very-wise man whose insight and advice helped me so much over the years to two very special people who I miss very much. To my buddy, Squeak, with whom I shared so many incredible experiences, he was undoubtedly one of best human beings I ever had the pleasure of meeting. His loyalty and devotion to his job were unequalled. Though our time together was relatively short, two men could not have had more fun than we did. Without his presence in my life, I doubt very much that I would be standing here now. To my good friend David Leadbetter, who has endured every up-and-down with me in my life, I could not have wished for a better friend teacher and supporter. His patience and absolute confidence in my ability has never wavered. We have learned so much about this great game together in the countless hours we spent on the practice tee and walking the great courses of world. And I hope you've had as much fun as I've had. Finally to my wife, Sue, and our three children Greg, Robin and Kimmy, I want to thank you for making my life whole. Together you have shown me what life is all about, and I cannot thank you enough for your love patience and understanding while I've pursued my dream. Sue, you have always been my biggest fan, my toughest critic and above all else, the best companion I would ever have wished for. Thank you for choosing to share your life with me. In closing, I would like to thank everyone here at the Hall of Fame for the hospitality they have extended to us, and all of our friends who are here tonight for coming and sharing this very special moment in our lives. Thank you.

End of FastScripts...

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