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March 13, 1999

Cliff Danley

Arvin Ginn


JAMES CRAMER: We have Cliff Danley and Arvin Ginn, PGA Tournament Director.

CLIFF DANLEY: We've called you all here today -- the tournament just had a meeting with the American Honda people, the PGA TOUR people and myself, the executive director, and based on the latest meteorological information that's available to us, we expect some weather to come in tomorrow afternoon between the hours of 3:00 and 7:00. That's as finite an estimation as I can get at this point in time and there may be some possibility of some thunderstorms in this particular weather band that's been moving across the country. And with that in mind, we all decided we'll play two tees tomorrow morning starting at 7:30 -- approximately 7:30, Arvin?

ARVIN GINN: 7:30 to 9:30.

CLIFF DANLEY: 7:30 to 9:30 in hopes we can get the tournament completed by 3:00. The broadcast on NBC will be taped, it will be shown at the regular hours between 3:00 and 6:00. So obviously with your assistance we need to get the word out to the general public and everybody, and our tournament staff is now meeting in the process, as you know, we have to get buses here earlier, we have to get sky boxes open earlier, we have a lot of logistical things to do. We need to also notify all the players that already completed today of what the change in the scheduling will be tomorrow, and it's our best hope, based on all the information provided us, that we will be able to complete the tournament in a little bit windier but sunny conditions at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon. The reason for the decision was -- is a pretty obvious one. If we got any delay at all starting on the normal tee times, we wouldn't be able to get done probably tomorrow afternoon, even if we had a 15 or 20-minute delay. The golf course is pretty long and spread out by the time we could get everybody off and back on again, it would probably be carried over to Monday which is something none of us particularly want to do. So all things considered, we really had no options based on the information given us at hand. But it is supposed to be -- wind is supposed to pick up in the morning, it is supposed to be warm and a little cloudy, you know, like it is today and later on in the afternoon, this front is supposed to move down and the weather -- there's no guarantee we would have stoppage, but it was a high probability that there would be, so with that in mind, we didn't want to take any chances. We hope to finish the tournament on time, at 3:00, and crown our new champion.

Q. Who are you relying on as far as your weather information, National Weather Service?

CLIFF DANLEY: The PGA TOUR is -- has a meteorologist.


CLIFF DANLEY: He travels from event to event. He's been here all week and he has realtime -- whatever the terminology is, Doppler radar, whatever. We've been watching the front for three days move across the country and it's pretty much stayed exactly the way he's been predicting it. Like I said, we met at 3:00, and to tell you the truth, if we waited until 5:00 or 6:00, his forecast isn't going to be any different. Logistically -- the support people need to get done what they need to get done now, so waiting two or three more hours would do nothing but burden our support groups and it is not going to change. There's nothing there that looks like it is going to make any difference between what he's been saying all day. So we waited as long as we could and we made the decision, and that's the way it is going to be.

Q. Cliff, there have been times when people really try and get the TV on, you know, for live action or Arvin, whoever wants to answer, in the past you've had to fight, wanting to have live golf instead of doing something like this, was that something you had to debate this time to switch to an earlier tee time then go to tape delay?

ARVIN GINN: It was discussed, it wasn't necessarily a debate. It was something that all the entities need to be on the same page. And I think given our prospects of interruption, which is 75 to 80 percentile, we're told, that going off one tee in two's, we couldn't afford a 30-minute interruption and finish because our schedule time is 6:00. And as most of you know, if it's overcast, 6:20, 6:30 you're not going to play golf, okay, so that's what's it's all about.

Q. What time was the last group expected to tee off tomorrow?

ARVIN GINN: Approximately 2:00 to 2:15, depends on how we finished today. 2:15 was the last time of the day and we kind of adjust that 5 or 10 minutes, depending on how they play today.

Q. Cliff, you guys have had a little bit of history of bad weather, that's obvious, but this week you might even have record crowds, can you address the situation how you've had three great days then you kind of find yourself in this situation?

CLIFF DANLEY: Well, to be honest we've been watching this thing all week, and everyday, you know, it's great, we've had, you know, we've never had four -- these particular days like this in the past few years, but the reality was it was always there in the back of our minds because people are coming out, they're seeing the blew skies and it's been great, and that's all well and good, but we've looked at this possibility all week. And as it became more and more of a reality, Arvin, and myself and the Honda people, you sort of have a feel for whether it is going to happen or not. Now, obviously, tomorrow it could be sunny all day and this thing could never get down here for some reason, and we'll finish early in the sunshine at 3:00. We'd all like it to be live, but if the choice is to not have a champion by tomorrow night, and have a two-hour broadcast with an hour delay of fill and then follow over to Monday, we'd much rather inconvenience our support people and volunteers and get done early and have a good telecast. But one thing I would like to say is we're not making this the harbinger of doom that the sky is going to fall tomorrow so when this gets out... We are still trying to have people come out and watch the golf tournament. It is supposed to be warm and windy, it is not going to be ominous in the morning and real overcast and dark and that type of stuff. It is going to look pretty much like he said, just like it is right now to probably, you know, 2:00, 3:00 in the afternoon. So we just hope everybody comes out early and, like I said, we will crown our new champion around 3:00 and everything will be good. We've been through this before. We've lost days, we've lost tents, we've lost just about everything that you can imagine, so this is just another thing that you go through, but at least now we've got the meteorology equipment and sophistication, we have better communications with THE TOUR and everybody else, so we are all prepared for this a lot better and it is a lot less strenuous than should we or shouldn't we, you know, do we or don't we.

Q. So what's your best estimate of when the leaders will take off tomorrow, you said between 7:30 and 9:30?

ARVIN GINN: 9:30 would be the leaders, yes.

CLIFF DANLEY: They will go off the first tee.

Q. Can you address the attendance, what it's been like this week so far?

CLIFF DANLEY: Well, so far, you know, through today it's been the best it's been in four years. Our ticket sales have been up greatly. Our concession numbers, our parking numbers. We don't put out specific numbers because it's very difficult in spite of what some tournaments may say. It is very difficult to say how many people are actually here. But when you look at the parking numbers, the food numbers, the advance tickets we've been selling everyday, it's all been the highest since 1995. So obviously if this was a perfect world, and tomorrow it was sunny and 80 degrees, this would be the biggest turn out we've had in five years. But we are very happy with the way things have gone. Hey, look, we will take four days of great weather, you know. The reality of it is you get what you get.

Q. Is this typical of the reaction to pending bad weather situations on the Tour, or normally is there a delay until Monday? How is that normally handled when there is a situation like this for a Tour event?

ARVIN GINN: That's a good question. Everything is different. Every situation is different. Our primary goal and the players' desire would be to play 72 holes in an event, not be a 54-hole event. And certainly if you could do anything, and based on the information you have, to complete 72 holes by Sunday evening or Sunday afternoon, then that's what you're trying to do. Otherwise, if you don't, then if you have a good forecast for Monday, you go to Monday to try to complete 72 holes.

Q. Does TV have a say?

ARVIN GINN: TV certainly is involved, but the primary thing here, the No. 1 thing here is the competition and you start there and you try to fill in all of the entities around that and to satisfy those because they all have responsibilities. But the primary thing is the competition, to try to complete 72 holes. TV is very understandable as to what's going on, yes, I should have said that, to answer your question.

CLIFF DANLEY: They want to finish, too. They're not going to be here Monday.

ARVIN GINN: Monday they're gone.

Q. It's still twosomes also?

CLIFF DANLEY: No, threesomes.

ARVIN GINN: Threes on two tees, we golf -- this will be what we call a horseshoe, or the inverted U, however you want to call it, but the people that are in the middle of the field, in the middle of the standings, they will go first off both tees.

Q. What are the possibilities of a guy ending up winning on nine?

ARVIN GINN: That's a possibility.


ARVIN GINN: That's happened before. Keith Clearwater won at Fort Worth quite a few years ago, he and Davis Love were -- they finished -- both finished on 9 and they were one and two, and we had nobody on the backside, and television was not equipped to -- they had to do everything hand-held on the front side.

Q. I'm sorry, you are switching to threesomes instead of twosomes?

ARVIN GINN: Oh, yes, you have to when you go two tees, you couldn't make the turn if you did twos.

CLIFF DANLEY: Plus we have 82 guys playing, so we got a pretty full field.

ARVIN GINN: Quite a large cut. Any other questions?

Q. Thank you.

CLIFF DANLEY: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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