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November 7, 2000

Jose Maria Olazabal


JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: We were talking about the golf course so far. I played well today. 2, 3, 4, 7 was a par 5. Even No. 8, about eight yards. There is quite a big difference in those front nine compared to previous years. I was asked if that would help Tiger or not. I said if anything, it could help Tiger, because he's the longest of the hitters playing here this week. For instance, by No. 4, I think he will be one of the very few that can reach that green. Whenever the golf course we play is long, I think it will favor his game, even though this golf course demands a lot of accuracy off the tee. Obviously, the other thing that makes it more very difficult is the wind. I was talking about the world tournaments, if it has been a success or not. It is true, this week we are missing about a dozen players. The Match Play (Andersen Consulting Match Play in Australia) next year, a quite a few people are going to miss that one, too. But I think from my point of view is that this tournament next year will be played in September. I'm sure that everybody that will enter the tournament will not miss the tournament at all. We just have to find a better day for the Match Play. I think the day for the Match Play couldn't be any worse, being the first day of the year. I think once you work that out, I'm pretty sure that you will have the top players playing those tournaments, too.

Q. Earlier today, Darren Clarke came in and explained why he put his name to a letter to the Tour. He said he saw the names on it. Yours was included. I was wondering if you could explain the background.

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: I don't think we should make too many comments about it. I think it's just a very simple issue. We just want to know where the money is going and where it has been spent. Simple as that. I think any of you being in the same situation would be doing the same thing. I don't think there is anything to see anything apart from that. I don't think we have to see any problems at all. We just don't know. We don't have enough information to really make an adjustment about how well it's being run. It's as simple as that.

Q. How did it start? You spoke to Seve or Bernhard Langer? How did the whole thing start to you?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: Well, I think, it just came along. I don't think it was necessarily one player or the other. I think the feeling was there. When you look at the numbers, we talked to each other. It was not just one certain player that started the whole issue. I think that it was a group of people more than anything else.

Q. What actually do you want? You just want to see where the money's gone over the years; and if you're happy, you'll just move on?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: Simple as that, yeah. I mean, what would you do?

Q. I would want to see where the money is going.

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: Simple as that. We're all human beings. This is a big company now. And I mean, we're not trying to find anything special here or whether there's been any misconduct at all. It's pretty simple. I guess we want to know how the money has been spent. Simple as that.

Q. How far do you want to go back? All the years? Last year? Two years?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: I don't know. It would have to come down to what the players want.

Q. Are these figures all available in the accounts that you've received as a member? Isn't that the case? You get them every year. You get a report from the executive secretary, surely. All that's on file somewhere.

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: Yeah, but it hasn't been detailed. It hasn't gone down through details. The figures here, expenses here, pretty much as simple as that. That's what we want to know.

Q. Do you know what Ken Schofield earned?


Q. Do you think you should know what he earned?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: What do you think?

Q. Yes.

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: Well, this is a company. Why shouldn't we know? It's simple.

Q. You employ him; you know that?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: Yeah, we all know that. I mean, don't try to put us here against each other. I mean, it's just a simple organization. I mean, I don't think we have to try to see anything else than that. It's a very simple issue.

Q. The implication is it might not be a simple issue.

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: We're guessing here. So I'm not going to make any comments on that at all. I mean, we will have to see the numbers first. I mean, please. (Laughing.)

Q. Do you know how much the TV contract for the Ryder Cup was?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: How would I know?

Q. Is it detailed?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: We just don't know the numbers precisely, so that's what we're asking for.

Q. You don't know that?


Q. I don't want to belabor this. Please don't think we're putting you in a position, but what the Tour is saying now is that they haven't received this letter.

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: Whatever they say. Sooner or later, they will get it, if they haven't yet. So that's not a problem.

Q. It's on its way?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: It might be on the way. If they haven't received it yet, it might be on the way. We just got the signatures last week; you all know that. Maybe it's on the way. Maybe they haven't received it yet. That's not a problem at all. We can wait ten days, twelve days, two weeks, three weeks, then we will have to sit down and talk about it. We talk about it anyway.

Q. You're leaving for America anyway?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: I will still play in Europe.

Q. I was wondering if you could just answer me one thing about --?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: Are we playing a tournament here or what?

Q. If you figured out the number of years that you and Seve and Nick played, why now? Why not in the last 20, 20-odd years? Why are the questions being asked now?

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL: I think the right time has come to ask those questions. This was not a matter of years at all. Years ago, the matter was more of down to a schedule, facilities for players, facilities on the driving range, facilities on the golf courses, conditions on the golf courses, courtesy cars, driving range balls. I think we've gone down all through those issues up to now. Now, this is another issue that has come up. And, well, I think it's just the right time for us to do it. Are you sure there's not any questions about the tournament at all? (Laughter.)

End of FastScripts….

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