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October 3, 2004

Chris Andrews

Jonathon Linen

Ken Schofield


RODDY WILLIAMS: Good morning, everybody. Thank you very much for coming in and joining us today for the announcement of the 2006 venue of the World Golf Championships American Express Championship. First of all, I would like to welcome a number of dignitaries here today, Ed Moorhouse, the executive vice president of the PGA TOUR; Andrew Georgio, the chief executive of the PGA TOUR of Austral-Asia; and Louis Martin, the director of the Asian Tour. Thank you very much for joining us today.

On the table I would like to introduce on my right here, Jonathan Linen, the vice-chairman of American Express Championship; in the middle, Ken Schofield, executive director of the European Tour, today representing The International Federation of PGA TOURs; and on the far right, Chris Andrews, commercial director of The Grove.

Without further ado, I would like to first hand it over to Ken Schofield to say a few initial comments.

KEN SCHOFIELD: Thank you, Roddy.

Good morning, everyone. Thank you for attending. It's a pleasure to speak this morning on behalf of The International Federation of Tours, and firstly, of the opportunity to express all our appreciation in professional tournament golf really over the long haul to our dear friend, Jon Linen, who on behalf of his company, American Express Championship, for many years has supported professional golf tournaments.

But particularly so in this last five years since the WGC program got underway and the American Express Championship, this championship, the concluding one in each of our individual seasons. And, Jon, your continuing support is appreciated, and it's very nice seeing you here in Ireland.

I'm very pleased to say that in 2006, when the American Express Championship will next return to Europe, having played on two occasions in Spain and here in Ireland for the second occasion, the 2006 American Express Championship will come to England and will come to, in many people's idea, the finest new inland golf course in England, The Grove in Hertfordshire. And on behalf of The Federation of Tours, we want to express our appreciation through you, Chris, and all of your team at The Grove, in coming forward and accepting hosting this wonderful championship. We wish your facility and the tournament all possible success. We look forward, all of us in our various Tours and teams, to working closely with you and your people.

Thank you very much indeed. Back to you, Roddy.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Thank you, Ken.

Jon, would you like to say a few words on behalf of American Express Championship?

JONATHAN LINEN: Ken, thank you very much for your kind remarks. We go back a little bit longer than five years. We won't tell how long.

American Express is a company that worries first and foremost about its brand and its commitment to service and excellence, and golf as a venue and a sport resonates the highest amongst our card members around the world of any other activity, so it's natural that we would seek ways to participate in golf in a way that both supports our brand and also helps us to provide facilities to entertain our card members and customers around the world.

The World Golf Championships, and in particular, the American Express Championship, are a perfect match for that. We've been thrilled to be a part of it since 1999 when we started at Valderrama, and we're particularly looking forward to the opportunity to go to The Grove back in the UK for the first time.

We have a very large market in the UK. In fact, our European headquarters is based in London. So it's an exciting place and a natural place for us to seek an opportunity to present this championship, and we're so pleased to be able to do it at The Grove. I haven't played The Grove yet, Chris, but I've played at Kingsbarns many times, and if it's anything like that, we're in for a treat.

Thanks very much for being a part of it. And Ken, thank you for the opportunity to be here. And thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Thank you. Chris, if you'd like to say a few words.

CHRIS ANDREWS: Certainly. Well, as ever, first of all, a few thank-yous to American Express Championship, to The Federation, to the European Tour, for choosing us, and really putting their faith in us; to Kyle Phillips for designing what is a fabulous golf course, and to all my colleagues back at The Grove who have worked incredibly hard over the last few years to make all of this possible.

I don't know how many of you know about The Grove, but we bought it just over eight years ago, in 1996, but it took us, partly due to the UK planning system, nearly four years before we were able to put a spade in the ground.

Looking back at those times, the prospect of sitting here today was in reality just a dream, so I can't begin to tell you how proud we are as a team of people and how excited we are about holding this event in London in two years' time.

I suspect that from our point of view, the hard work starts tomorrow morning, in order to make sure that all of you, players, their families, the sponsors, and all of their guests and the public are all touched by what we describe as The Grove experience, and I really am looking forward to working hard with everybody here over the next few years to make it a great success.

Thank you very much.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Everyone, thank you very much. Do we have any questions?

Q. This is for Mr. Linen. American Express has a wonderful record in terms of making the World Golf Championship a World Golf Championship five out of seven years in Europe. Do you have plans for expanding it really worldwide? Is there a chance of it going to Asia, wherever?

JONATHAN LINEN: Well, I suppose there's always a chance. We, of course, do that in collaboration with The Federation and fitting it into the picture of the whole World Golf Championships and what they do, and we're announcing The Grove today, and that's as far as we're looking out at the moment, so stay tuned.

Q. Would you anticipate hosting all the players in your hotel?

CHRIS ANDREWS: Yes. I think that's quite an exciting prospect, to have everybody in one place and to look after families and kids and have a sort of focal point. I think we are, definitely.

Q. Is the prize money pretty much going to remain the same?

KEN SCHOFIELD: I think Ed might be able to help us. I think prize money has been set, hasn't it, through 2006?

ED MOORHOUSE: Next year will be $7.5 million, and 2006 it's going to $8 million.

Q. Do we have overall prize money for the World Golf Championships for 2006, including Match Play and --

ED MOORHOUSE: Currently the NEC Invitational, Match Play and American Express will be, for 2005 and 2006, $7.5 and $8 million. Each of the events will play for that. The World Cup, we have not set the purse levels beyond 2004 yet.

Q. Can I ask Mr. Linen, how have you found your Irish experience over the last couple of American Express Championships, and do you ever envision coming back to our green and slightly wet isle again?

JONATHAN LINEN: I personally am in Ireland at least three times a year, so I'm a fond participant of the lovely green of Ireland. We had a wonderful experience two years ago here, a little different weather-wise, so it's nice to get a little bit of the more typical Irish weather experience in, and we hope to come back sometime in the future. It's been great here.

Q. Would you in the future look at perhaps, in this corner of the world, bringing it forward a couple of weeks rather than gambling with the weather?

JONATHAN LINEN: You'd have to talk to the schedulers on the calendar. We don't have much to do with that as a sponsor, but Mr. Moorhouse or Mr. Schofield may be able to answer that one.

KEN SCHOFIELD: I guess we're guilty this time. Obviously we are a couple of weeks later than we were in 02. It's a complex jigsaw in all of international sport, and our sport of golf is no different. This tournament is normally seen as the third. It's not going to be any earlier than it's been, and we'd like to think it's not going to be much later.

Q. Do you see coming back to Ireland in the near future, or is it your hope to spread it up to Scandinavia, Germany, to kind of spread the word around there?

KEN SCHOFIELD: I think it is fair that American Express, as the major title sponsor of this particular championship, and the support that they give to also the Accenture Match Play and the NEC, that it's very reasonable that The Federation will listen to each of the sponsors' market needs, and I think in fairness it was made quite clear that we had the experience at Valderrama for two years, similarly here in Ireland. And I think, Jon, you made it reasonably clear that London and Southern England is one of American Express' biggest markets anywhere, and I think the announcement of The Grove today has responded to that.

So I think that type of thing will come into the mix, but I think that for three countries to share in the first five of them I think is quite reasonable, and I think it's also these countries, being Ireland and England, are very reflective of the strength of our Tour, the support that we have at our own venues and our own particular support structure, and I think Ireland, as we've said, and Spain have been real leaders for European golf's efforts in the last 10, 15 years, and England, it's nice to see them with such a new venue come back in and be the host.

Q. Do we know yet whether there will be a crowd limit? Who knows how many people might want to watch. It's presumably a couple weeks after the Ryder Cup.

KEN SCHOFIELD: It's certainly going to be very close to Ryder Cup 2006. Of course, that will be Ireland's -- a real feature for Ireland with the American Express leaving. I don't know, I know that Peter Adams is a boss from our side of operations, and I'm sure that he, along with his colleagues, will take a view. We'd all like to think it will not be an all-ticket affair, but it would be a nice challenge to administer if it became so.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Gentlemen, thank you very much indeed, and thank you all for coming in today.

End of FastScripts.

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