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September 14, 2003

Clair Peterson


CLAIR PETERSON: I guess the big questions revolve around tomorrow. I guess the 2000 event is what we used as kind of a benchmark for what we're going to do tomorrow. We have free admission. We have free parking. The parking lots will be the Isle of Capri -- I'm sorry, Quad City Downs, with shuttle service. The VIP lots will all go to Rock Island County fairgrounds. We have a 7:15 a.m. estimated start. They're going to play as many holes as they can today and finish tomorrow.

ESPN2 is going to cover the last two hours live starting at 8:00 a.m., until the event is finished. The volunteers pretty much, I think, have been informed from their volunteer chairman, but it's basically going to be the kind of day that we're used to having early in the week, Thursdays and Fridays.

So past that, I mean, what a great day. It was Quad Cities, in my opinion, just responding to the event, the energy, the excitement that had been building up. We got a little cold water thrown in our face on Friday and Saturday, literally and figuratively, and today the golf course was full. We don't have a mechanism to count the crowds, but we watched on TV with all of you and saw the berms filled with people and shuttle buses bringing full busloads in. The Quad City Downs lot as I understand it was full, so it was a very exciting day, and I thank everyone in the Quad Cities.

I just think that our mission certainly was accomplished today that we set out last summer, and that was to reintroduce our product to a whole group of players who had not been here before. They've seen just about everything you can see over the course of tournament week, ideal conditions early in the week, significant issues to overcome as it relates to course playability and weather.

The maintenance crew, Chris Hague, did a heroic job, I think. They were out here at 3:00 o'clock this morning. The Board of Directors all had rain suits and pitchforks and utility vehicles and were spreading mulch. The operations people who are normally doing that were happy to have the help. The TPC staff hand-picked the driving range because you couldn't get a vehicle out there and retrieve 560 dozen golf balls.

We're not going to let anybody rain on our parade; and today was just so exciting, I think, for anyone who was involved with the event, either from a volunteer standpoint or from a community standpoint. We're very proud of the product that we present here, and I don't think we could be any more proud than what we were today.

Q. Did the example of what you did in 2000 enable you guys to do an even better job of scrambling this time?

CLAIR PETERSON: 2000 wasn't anything like this. That was just kind of a benchmark plan to finish Monday. The last 48 hours have been -- we don't quite honestly control the decisions as it relates to conducting the tournament, the decision to try to go to 36 and cutting the field and so forth. We didn't get a vote in that. We were told what was going to happen. I know that the Tour has a sense of responsibility and mandate to try to get a 72-hole event in, but the 2000 event was a Sunday weather episode that didn't allow play to finish, and it was completed on Monday.

A total washout on a Saturday was tough. We had ten corporate sponsors who had Saturday-only tickets and hospitality areas because these things are not all sold by the week. The Board really was fantastic. We had a meeting in the 18th tee skybox Saturday morning with the rain and the wind and everything else to try to come up with a plan and came up with ways to put those ten clients in hospitality areas today, but a total washout on Saturday was much different than what we had to deal with in the year 2000.

Q. Did you get all ten of those clients taken care of then for today?

CLAIR PETERSON: We did. We had two hospitality areas. John Deere was very gracious and had been using the double-decker skybox on 18 tee. I don't know if any of you have seen that over the course of the week, but that was their area. They said we understand and we think we can handle our people in the other two areas behind 16 and 18, so you may use that.

We also had one of the four tents on 18 that we had available on Sunday, so those two hospitality areas were offered to the ten clients. We as a tournament, as a gesture of goodwill and good faith, paid for the beverages in those areas today. The sponsors invited people to see golf, to watch golf, to see this golf course and these players, and it's hard to reschedule sometimes, especially on a weekend, so we just felt like we wanted to help them succeed in what they had promised their customers, and that was to, as I say, watch a PGA TOUR event on a great golf course.

Q. The decision to push back the starting time from 7:00 to 11:00 today, was that your call or something that the Tour --

CLAIR PETERSON: That was a PGA TOUR call, as all of those have been. Like most of you pushed open the shades this morning and saw it raining, the plan for 36 holes starting at 7:15 was an ideal situation with the hope that there wouldn't be any rain past midnight. So delaying it until 11:00 was just a call based on the conditions that were in place.

The golf course got over three inches of rain yesterday. I mean, that's a lot of rain, a lot of water for a golf course to handle. Chris Hague and his crew just did a fantastic job. It was heroic.

Q. You're saying it's more or less beyond making the best of a bad situation because actually today has been a good situation?

CLAIR PETERSON: I think it was. I think it was fantastic. It was rallying, and we're not going to let these conditions that we have no control over affect the conclusion of the event.

Q. So if you were going to have one day of good weather, this was the day to have the great weather, Sunday?

CLAIR PETERSON: It was a good way for a lot of people to end tournament week. We hope that a lot of people come out tomorrow. I think it's going to be very exciting. There's a lot of great names on that leaderboard and there's a lot of movement that could happen. With free admission and parking and shuttles, our hope, and this was the case in 2000, a lot of people came out. There was a lot of people in that amphitheater when we had that four-hole playoff. That's our hope for tomorrow.

End of FastScripts.

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