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March 15, 2000
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Thank you very much. Here today to present the McCormack Award.
You may recall in 1999, the governing body of the World Golf Rankings, Official World Golf
Rankings instituted the McCormack Award to do two things: One, to recognize each year that
player who was in the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Rankings for the most
number of weeks during the year; and secondly, by naming it the McCormack Award to
recognize the fact that Mark McCormack was the instigator of the rankings back in 1986 in
what were originally the Sony rankings. In 1987, in the first time ever that the -- all of
the major golf organizations have come together in a governing way; that is, each of the
major championships, the Royal & Ancient, the Augusta National Golf Club, PGA of
America and the PGA TOURs from around the world in conjunction with Mark organized a board
to oversee the World Golf Rankings. And since that time, and I'll get into this a little
bit more detail this morning when we talk about business, but since that time the rankings
we think have adequately and effectively, we think, represented a reasonable picture of
where players are comparatively as they play different tours around the world. The
rankings are an effort that continue to be altered and amended and changed as we go
forward, but the basic structure that Mark put into place in 1986 has worked. It's worked
well, and by naming this award after Mark last year, we recognize his well in creating
these rankings. I'll be back to actually give Tiger the award here in a if you minutes,
but first I'd like to ask Mark who chairs the board to make comments.
MARK McCORMACK: Thank you, Tim. I'm going to be very brief. I know that it is a great
honor and pleasure for me to have been involved in the creation of the World Golf Rankings
and to see the rankings grow in universal acceptance around the world. And it's a
particular honor today to sit here next to a gentleman who is rewriting the record books
of golf as each year goes on. In every generation of golf since I've been involved in this
the sport, everybody always says there will never be another Hogan, Snead and Nelson and
they said there will be another Palmer, Player, Nicklaus, there will never be another
Ballesteros, Watson; nobody can ever dominate again. But this young man has ones again
proved everybody to be totally wrong. He has dominated the sport in the past year -- in
the past year or so in a way that's just breathtaking. And he's handled himself with great
dignity around the world, a great ambassador around the world for the U.S. tour and
himself, and what he's done to bring golf into places of the world that it's never been
seen before is absolutely incredible. And I think when it's awe written at the end of the
day the contribution that Tiger Woods has made to golf is something that perhaps something
that nobody else has ever done. It's an honor for me to be here and be a part of the
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: In 1999 we awarded Tiger the McCormack Award for his performance
in '98, and that year he was No. 1 for a total of 43 weeks during the course of the year.
Last year after he overtook David Duval he went on to lead the rankings for 37 weeks at
No. 1. This year he has such a large lead in the rankings at the end of the first quarter
now that it's highly unlikely that he will not be here winning the award again next year.
But I want to point out that while Tiger coincidentally is in the 100th week that he has
been in the No. 1 position this week, it still is far short of Greg Norman's record of 331
weeks. And the reason I point that out is I'm always looking for ways to encourage Tiger
to think about playing more golf for more years. And as I said to Tiger a couple years ago
nobody has ever in the history of the PGA TOUR ever played every single week, and that
would be a record if you wanted to think about that. Tiger holds the record in the
Official World Golf Records as the fastest player to move from amateur status to the Top
100, the fastest rise to the Top 50, the fastest to the Top-10 and No. 1. Earlier this
year, he reached a point where he had the highest ranking point average in the history of
the rankings of 22.26, the highest ranking point total in the history of the rankings of
1024, and the largest margin of the ranking 9.63 average points ahead of David Duval. An
incredible record in the ranking, an incredible record on the PGA TOUR, and I'm delighted
to present the McCormack Award to Tiger Woods. Tiger? (Applause).
TIGER WOODS: Thanks, Tim. Obviously, this is a pretty nice award. God, it looks pretty.
Pretty heavy, too. But last year was a great year, one of those years where a lot of
wonderful things happened, not only to win some tournaments, but I won a major
championship, as well. And a lot of good things go my way in order for the rankings to
turn out the way they did. And just the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes you go out there
and you play and good things happen. Other times, it just don't go your way, but last year
I got a lot of good breaks at the right times and was able to capitalize on them and won a
few tournaments here and there and was able to have a nice year.
Q. You've already won a few tournaments here and there this year. How important would
it be for you to win a tournament here at home?
TIGER WOODS: It would be nice of them to have both of them at the same time since I
already have Disney, it would be nice to have Bay Hill as well. I think it would be even
more special to win Arnold's tournament, just because of the fact that he is "the
King." I've been fortunate enough to win the Byron Nelson, as well as Memorial which
is Byron Nelson and Jack's, respectively. And it would be nice to be a part of Arnold's
tournament as well; get that sword.
Q. Tim made a reference jokingly to someone playing all 52 weeks --
TIGER WOODS: 42.
Q. How stretched are you? Is there anything else you can stretch into your schedule,
fit into your schedule?
TIGER WOODS: I could play probably a few more, but the problem is then I run into the
problem of not being fresh. I can always play a lot and that's fine. But I don't -- I play
differently than I guess some players out on the TOUR where I'd much rather focus on
quality not quantity. And I play with such a high intensity that one of my tournaments
might be -- maybe two or three of another person's tournament schedule in a row. Plus,
also I have to deal with a few more things at a tournament site than most.
Q. Was today the first day you played with Aaron Baddeley?
TIGER WOODS: Mm-hmm.
Q. How was his game and how long before you think we have a 12-year-old on tour?
TIGER WOODS: Depends how tall he is. Aaron hit the ball very well. I was very pleased
to see how nice a kid he is. He hit the ball really well. I mean, he's only -- I believe
he's 19. I was telling Mark O' today that at 19 years old, there's no way I ever hit it
that good at 19. I was spraying it all over the lot, and just trying to get up-and-down
and score, and something I could do, but I wasn't as good a ball-striker as Aaron is.
There's no doubt about it. The only thing I hope is that he enjoys it. He's doing the
right thing by playing as many tournaments as he possibly can to gain experience. I was
fortunate enough to get a few exemptions as an amateur. I took full advantage of that. You
know, it's something that's completely different than he's used to, playing amateur golf
in the biggest amateur tournaments, and that's stepping up and playing many tournament
events. It's a different atmosphere and you need to get used to that before you come out
here. And I think Aaron has a very bright future ahead of him.
Q. What do you think of his plans to not go to college, to have his college be out
TIGER WOODS: That's fine. A lot of golfers who don't grow up in the United States do
that. Here in the United States, we're a little bit different on that. If you're a
professional athlete in Europe or Asia or down in Australia, the goal is not to go to
college. The goal is to try and earn a living as fast as possible. And that's different
than how we are. Plus, also, in those -- in the foreign countries, they have a junior
academies that we don't have here. We rely on the college program to get us through that
and develop our game. Those academies take the kids at a very early age, very reminiscent
to what Bolletieri did in tennis and take them off at a very early age and put them in his
academies and grow them to become professional golfers, and we don't do that here in the
Q. What are your thoughts as the Commissioner was up there, ticking off those list of
accomplishments of how soon you've accomplished, what goes through your mind when people
talk about you like that?
TIGER WOODS: I think, obviously, they are very humbling, but I think more importantly,
I look back and see how -- I reminisce how hard it was to get to that level. Having
practiced a lot, worked very hard and more importantly, you had to win. One of the biggest
accomplishments that I am so proud of and I will continue to be proud of is the fact that
I got in the TOUR Championship in '96, in seven events. From not having a card to being at
the TOUR Championship, I think that's one of the biggest accomplishments and that gave me
the confidence to go on and keep playing well. And I was able to do that and got my card
for the two wins and assured that it gave me the freedom to go ahead and know that I had a
tour to play on. A little different than when I turned pro at Milwaukee and I had nothing
going on. I could play here, Europe, Nike Tour, Challenge Tour, Asia, I could play all
over the world, but I didn't have a place. Once I as able to win in Disney -- I'm sorry,
in Vegas, I knew I had a place to play for the next couple years.
End of FastScripts