June 20, 2001
HARRISON, NEW YORK
MR. COMBS: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being with us today. I am Bob Combs with the PGA TOUR and we very much appreciate your attendance for this special announcement. Let me introduce our guest for this announcement. On my far right is Roger Adams. He is the General Manager of Buick Motors Division. Obviously, Buick is hugely important to the TOUR as our longest TOUR corporate sponsor, and sponsor of multiple events, we appreciate you, Roger, being here. To my near right Henry Hughes. Henry is the Senior vice-president and Chief of Operations for the PGA TOUR and of course, in the middle is the Mayor of the City of New York, the Honorable Rudy Giuliani. We very much appreciate you being here, Mayor Giuliani. I know you followed your son's progress around the course today playing with Tiger Woods. I understand your son played very well. It is a pleasure to have you in the program with us. Perhaps you can share with us some swing tips you may have given to Tiger Woods and talk about how that went. We very much appreciate the support you and your Administration have given to the PGA TOUR, to the Buick Classic, and you have helped the game of golf grow in this metropolitan area. Without further adieu, I'd like to turn the program over to you, Mayor Giuliani.
MAYOR GIULIANI: For Buick for sponsoring it, this is one of the really great golf tournaments. It is a real credit to New York City, to Westchester County, to the whole state and the surrounding area. I don't know if people know that New York City has 13 municipal golf courses, probably more than just about any city in the country. And we have a new one that's going to be opened in, hopefully, less than a year, Ferry Point that's being designed by Jack Nicklaus. That will be 14. We have one private course, and our courses are open to the public. People play on them everyday. They are one of our most crowded activities nowadays. One of the most difficult things is getting a tee time at a golf course in the City of New York. And with the help of Mayor Rudy Washington, who I hope is still here, he was playing today. There he is. We've irrigated all the golf courses in New York City. Rudy got a chance to play today. I want to thank you, Rudy, for all of the help you have given golf in the City of New York and in this entire area. Also, I want to thank the PGA TOUR, Buick, and in particular, Tiger Woods, for allowing a substitution for me today. I am on the disabled list. I have a bad foot so I brought a substitute in here for me today, Andrew Giuliani, who played very, very well. I want to thank Tiger for being so kind and generous with him. I want to thank Andrew for playing as well as he did. You did a great job, Andrew. Now I get to do something that I really enjoy doing as the Mayor of New York City. I get to proclaim a day. Mayors have the power to do that and I'm going to exercise that power right now. If you'd like to come forward, Henry, I'd like to do this with you. This is from the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York, proclamation - PGA TOUR, Buick golf, celebrating it 35th anniversary in the New York City area this week. Buick tournament remains one of the PGA's most anticipated events and is played in the Westchester Country Club in Harrison, New York. Through the efforts of the PGA TOUR and the Buick Classic tournament, New York has had the opportunity to watch world class golf, and they will over the next four days. This year New Yorkers can once again expect to see the tremendous skill of some of the world most acclaimed golfers from soaring drives off the tee to uncanny shots from the rough to the green, to heart stopping putts each year the Buick tournament provides great competition. We honor the Buick tournament for giving New Yorkers four days of spectacular golf and for the many charitable contributions the tournament sponsors have made to our city, to our region and to our state. Now therefore, I, Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mayor of the City of New York, in recognition of this important event proclaim June 18 through the 24 in the City of New York as PGA TOUR and Buick
Classic tournament week and it's signed by the mayor. Henry.
MR. HUGHES: Thank you very much, Mayor.
MAYOR GIULIANI: Congratulations.
MR. HUGHES: Thank you, Mayor Giuliani. This is obviously a very special week for us. As we come into the tournament we always have a goal of having the strongest competition among the best players in the world and we are sure we are going to have that this week. We also set a very strong goal for ourselves and that was to increase the exposure of this golf tournament and the PGA TOUR's presence throughout the Metropolitan New York area. Through the effort of several groups of people we think we are beginning to accomplish it and we are going to make significant strides this week. The volunteers, the staff and of course the fans in the Metropolitan New York area, continue to support this tournament and we appreciate all the efforts that they put in. Your personal support and commitment to this tournament is very, very, very special to us and just to highlight a couple of things that the Mayor and his office caused to happen this year - earlier in May we participated in the annual Fleet Week promotion and this brought tremendous awareness to the PGA TOUR, the Buick Classic, throughout the area. This morning a lot of people say that Good Morning America was here to cover Tiger Woods but we think it was really the Giuliani family that was out there. But that was tremendous exposure for Buick and for the Buick Classic and of course for the PGA TOUR. Finally we all look forward to this evening where the mayor has graciously agreed to host a reception at Gracie Mansion for all the top supporters of the PGA TOUR in this tournament. We know that's going to be a very special evening. None of this is possible without the support of our title sponsor. Each week we have a sponsor and we have a very unique one this week. As Bob mentioned it's our longest standing sponsor in excess of 40 years and also the largest sponsor on the PGA TOUR. In addition to the Buick Classic, the title sponsor of three other events. So Mr. Mayor, we appreciate all you have done for us. We appreciate and thank you for this proclamation. I'd like Roger Adams to come up and say a few words.
JEFF ADAMS: Thank you, Henry and Mayor. I just want to make a couple of comments on behalf of Buick. As Henry mentioned we are the largest and long standing corporate sponsor of PGA TOUR. This tournament holds a special affiliation for us, a special fondness for us, there's nothing quite like a New York crowd, and we appreciate being here. It looks like the tournament is going to be a sellout this week. We have got Tiger Woods in the house. We have got mayor Giuliani in the house. And we have a special Proclamation from the mayor that we greatly appreciate. I wanted to make a brief note of thank you to all the volunteers. We could not do this or any tournament without the volunteer base that so graciously give us their time. It's all about giving contributions to charity and I am pleased to announce that we have contributed the most to charity from this tournament of any of our other or a total of four PGA TOUR events so the most comes out of the New York area and we have been able to contribute 11 million dollars on behalf of charity as a result of these activities and we think that's really what it's all about. A special note of thanks to the volunteers. Thank to you the Mayor for being here for this Proclamation and for the PGA TOUR for all their support and let's hope the weather holds and we will have a fabulous weekend.
MR. COMBS: Thank you, gentlemen. I know the Mayor's schedule is tight. If there are questions for any of these three gentlemen relative to today's announcement, to the golf tournament, to Buick Classis, to the PGA TOUR week in New York I know one of the three would be happy to address it.
Q. What is the sellout in terms of how many people you are expecting?
MR. COMBS: The question would be the expectation of a sellout in terms of number of people; I'd like Henry to adress that question.
MR. HUGHES: What we try and do is based on the infrastructure of the facility, the parking, the access and egress for the people, but we are looking between 35 and 40,000 people. That's per day.
Q. Mayor, can you tell us what it was like for your son and for you to play with Tiger Woods?
MAYOR GIULIANI: It was enormously exciting for me as Andrew's dad and watch him play with Tiger Woods. Andrew is the one who got me interested in golf a game I never thought I would play. I am sure -- I am not sure I still play golf but I try. I was very, very proud of the way in which he played and the way he handed himself. I can't tell you what a kind and generous person Tiger Woods is. He was very, very nice to Andrew, he talked to him quite a bit; gave him a lot of tips. Andrew attempted tod give Tiger Woods tips once or twice, but -- so it was very, very exciting for me. I love this game. It is a beautiful game. I probably never loved it more than watching it today.
Q. Andrew hit the ball very well. I was watching him on several holes. What was the score? Do you know the score was?
MAYOR GIULIANI: I don't know what his individual score was. He played pretty well. What was it?
MR. COMBS: Under those conditions pretty good score, good play.
Q. Did you walk the course or did you take advantage of the Casey Martin --
MAYOR GIULIANI: I think I probably walked it more than I should have. I have plantar fasciatis (phonetic). I am not supposed to walk. So I used the cart for about half and -- but I couldn't resist kind of like moving in and listening to to what they were saying with each other. It was just a very, very exciting day.
Q. Did you swing the club?
MAYOR GIULIANI: Actually I didn't swing the club. I probably was too embarrassed to swing the club.
Q. Mayor, you seem to be ooing and ahhing on several of Andrew's shots. Were you surprised -- I mean he is quite a good golfer. Were you surprised by his performance?
MAYOR GIULIANI: This is how how he plays normally. Sometimes he has actually played better. He has broken 80 twice so he has been -- he is a very good golfer. I was surprised he played this well under the kind of pressure, you know, with Tiger Woods and with enormous crowds, so I was very proud of him.
Q. How many strokes does he usually give you?
MAYOR GIULIANI: Never enough so that I can win. (Laughter) He always seems to have enough strokes so that he can beat me. Last time we played I was ahead of him by 3 going that -- the 14th hole; he ended up winning by 5 if you can get an idea of what it is like.
Q. How appealing is the prospect of some day having a PGA TOUR event within the city, within the 5 boroughs, something you think --
MAYOR GIULIANI: It would be very exciting for the city. I think one of things that people don't know about the City of New York is how much New York City loves golf. If you just go take a look at some of public courses - Clearview I think is the most played golf course in the United States. Go up to VanCortland Park, it is the oldest municipal golf course in the United States. Tee times are tough to get even with 13 golf courses. So actually having a TOUR event there would be very, very exciting. It would get tremendous support from the people of the city. It is a sport that New Yorkers really love very much very much.
Q. How will that happen?
MAYOR GIULIANI: Well, there is a new golf course being built, Ferry Point, right near the Whitestone Bridge, hopefully that could be a place where we would be able to have a TOUR event some day.
Q. How about this tournament?
MAYOR GIULIANI: This tournament is very, very exciting.
Q. How about moving this tournament?
MAYOR GIULIANI: I don't know. I love Westchester County. I don't want to be talking about moving it. They let me play here --
BOB COMBS: We have a tremendous tournament going here that continues to grow and we are very pleased about that. Gentlemen, schedules are going to preclude I think any further questions, but Mayor Giuliani, especially, thank you very much for all your time and interest and support. We genuinely appreciate it. For members of the media, Tiger Woods will be in here for his pre-tournament interview in just a few minutes. Following Tiger's interview, there will be a joint Tiger Woods, Buick presentation. There will be more information about that. Thank you very much.
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