home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 19, 2006

Sir Michael Bonallack

Todd McCormack

Jack Peter


STEWART McDOUGALL: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to this Hall of Fame induction announcement. Can I introduce the top table, of whom I'm sure you know anyhow. On the extreme right, Sir Michael Bonallack, former secretary and past captain of The R&A; Jack Peter, senior vice-president and chief operating officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Can I ask Jack to start off proceedings.

JACK PETER: Thank you, Stewart. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. As Stewart said, I'm Jack Peter, I'm the senior vice-president and chief operating officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame. It's a delight to be back at the Open Championship. We were at St. Andrews a year ago to introduce some of our inductees of the Class of 2005. We're happy to carry on the tradition at Hoylake, 2006.

For those of you who don't know, the Hall of Fame is located in Florida. It's to recognize and celebrate the greatest players and contributors of the game, and beyond that to be an inspiration for players and fans around the world.

Currently we have 109 members in the Hall of Fame, and we're here to announce the newest inductee, who will become a member on October 30th, as part of our annual induction ceremony.

Before we get started, I want to take a moment and recognize a couple of folks. First is Peter Dawson, the chief executive of The R&A. He's been very generous with his time and providing this platform for us, has been very helpful. I also want to thank Martin Kippax, the chairman of the Championship Committee, for his help. They have become good supporters for the Hall of Fame, and it's a pleasure to get to know them.

There's five avenues into the Hall of Fame, and I won't go through the qualifications for each of them. But basically there's a ballot for the PGA TOUR; there's a ballot for the international side of the system; the LPGA has a points-based criteria system; and then we have two discretionary categories, one is called Veterans category, and the second one is called the lifetime achievement.

Today we will be introducing a new lifetime achievement inductee.

This individual joins the class of 2006 who have already been announced. Larry Nelson was elected on the PGA TOUR ballot; Vijay Singh was elected in 2005 but deferred his election until this year, so he'll be joining us in October, as well. Henry Picard was selected in the veterans category. And recently at the McDonald's LPGA championship we announced Marilyn Smith, one of the founders of the LPGA had been selected in the lifetime achievement category.

The final inductee is the first foray into the golf business, and I'm going to hold the name, but I'll talk a few minutes before I introduce Sir Michael. And as I go through this, it's not going to be much of a secret, but his foray into the golf business really began with a handshake with Arnold Palmer. That handshake set in motion a new industry for sports marketing and sports management. He went on to ink deals with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, to really round out golf's Big Three, and the foundation was set to become the International Management Group, now known as IMG.

His portfolio soon grew to have clients around the globe. Further under his direction his company set off into other areas of business, including the development of a media business known as Trans World International, now known as TWI, which has become the world's largest non-network producer of golf programming in the world. They are developing and staging golf events around the world.

He was named the Most Powerful Man in Sports by Sports World in 1990. He is considered the -- his accomplishments have profoundly changed the face of golf. And that is why we're pleased today to announce the addition of Mark McCormack into the World Golf Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement.

At this time I'd like to introduce Sir Michael Bonallack, one of our own golf Hall of Fame individuals. He was inducted in the year 2000 in the lifetime achievement category, secretary of The R&A from 1993 to 1999 and captain of The R&A from 1999 to 2000, and also has become a very, very good friend and supporter of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

At this time I'd like to ask Sir Michael to say a few words.

SIR MICHAEL BONALLACK: Ladies and gentlemen, I can't tell you how thrilled I am that Mark McCormack is rightly taking his place in the World Golf Hall of Fame because we probably wouldn't all be sitting here today if it wasn't for Mark McCormack and the influence he had on the game, and particularly on The Open Championship. When I first met him, I met him as a competitor; he was playing in the Amateur Championship at Troon.

I got to know him a bit then, and then I got to know him more. And when I became secretary of The R&A in 1983, I really got to know him. I've known -- not only as a friend, but as a very close business colleague who helped us, helped The R&A grow The Open Championship and we never had a contract. It was all done, as with Arnold Palmer, on a handshake. Because if you had a deal with Mark, that was a deal. There was no going back on it from either side. You were committed, he was committed, and you didn't need a contract.

He helped us with the division contracts. He negotiated all the overseas television contracts for The R&A. He started off the merchandising, which has grown and grown over the years. We have merchandising contracts in most of the countries of the world; he licensed our products. He advised us on corporate hospitality; just look how that's grown over the years. And of course, he provided the players -- and this is where he was so astute and so honest, because he represented a lot of players.

But any of the things he ever suggested were not for the benefit of his own players. He looked at the much broader field; he looked at the benefit to the game of golf. And it was this that led him to start the course of the World Ranking, which was his baby, his idea, until this day everybody recognizes the World Ranking is really Mark McCormack's ranking, and I'm very proud that I'm chairman of that, taking over from Mark. And again, that was done for the benefit of golf, not for the benefit of IMG players.

He was a remarkable plan man. He had this tremendous foresight. He'd come to me with absolutely crazy ideas; do you think The R&A would be interested in sponsoring or putting their name on ladies' underwear? And no, I don't think they'd be willing to go that far. And he used to carry this pad of notes around with him, and he'd shuffle through them until he got to your page and things he wanted to discuss with you. And then if you wanted to discuss it with him, he'd bring out a new page, and the next time you'd meet him he'd be on to that page.

Without him the professional golfers would not enjoy the rewards they get today. He grew the prize money, helped grow the prize money, attracted sponsors to the game, and of course, he attracted television. He was quite a remarkable man. He was a great friend of The R&A, and I think he, of all people, is most worthy to be in the Hall of Fame. I'm delighted he's there.

JACK PETER: Thank you. I did want to take another moment and introduce Todd McCormack, who was able to join us today, who is Mark's oldest son. Thank you for being with us.

We also, as part of this announcement, want you to know that Arnold Palmer will be with us on October 30th at the induction ceremony to accept on behalf of Mark and he's looking forward to it and he wanted me to extend his appreciation to The R&A for allowing us to do it here. He, as everyone knows, is a huge champion of the Hall of Fame and thought it was most appropriate that Mark was coming into the Hall of Fame.

Q. Did you say you played in an Amateur or you were both competitors?

SIR MICHAEL BONALLACK: I didn't play him, but he was playing at the Amateur at Troon in 1968, I think, I'm not sure he didn't beat Ronnie Shade. He was that good. I think I'm right, he qualified for the U.S. Open one year.

TODD McCORMACK: That's right.

SIR MICHAEL BONALLACK: He was a good golfer, and he loved the game.

TODD McCORMACK: Knowing how to manipulate numbers to his advantage, he once announced to me he was actually leading the U.S. Open after five holes. He was very proud he birdied one of the first five holes and he went back and checked the main leaderboard and found out he was the only one at 1-under. He was very proud of that.

SIR MICHAEL BONALLACK: We used to play golf regularly, even up to the day he died. We should have been playing golf at Lahinch. We used to go on the Tour every year, Sandy Tatum, Colin Maclaine and myself. We did the east coast of Scotland, the west coast of the USA and the west coast of the USA and we were going to do the west coast of Ireland the year he died.

Q. Sir Michael, I knew Mark pretty well, interestingly enough, I think that he took a lot of hits, a lot of criticism because he was such an innovator, and you can speak to it because you knew him intimately well. Do you feel that there were a lot of times where he took a bad rap because he was in control of a lot of things in the world of golf?

SIR MICHAEL BONALLACK: Yeah, I think when you're representing players, as well as an event in television, you've got all these different fingers, if you like, in the pie, and a lot of people assumed that the things you were doing were all tied up together and all for IMG's benefit.

They weren't. He was totally dispassionate. When it came to The R&A, he would do what was best -- recommend what he thought was best for The R&A and The Open. And he personally used to -- I think he took responsibility for the R&A's affairs and I think for Wimbledon. And they were his two prize -- I think prize -- I wouldn't say contracts, but prize interests.

And I always found him very fair. If you thought there was a conflict and you said so to him, he would immediately say, okay, well, we won't do that; if you think there's a conflict, I agree, and we won't do that. But you always knew exactly where you stood with Mark. He was right down the middle. And I'd much rather have him on my side than against me.

JACK PETER: Thank you again for attending, and again, the induction ceremony is Monday, October 30th, just about a hundred or so days from now. So hope you all can make it. Thank you again.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297