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February 20, 2007

Tim Finchem

Greg Norman


COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM: Thank you for being here, your presence means a lot for what we want to accomplish this week. Mr. Mayor, thank you for your words and we're delighted with your hospitality. All of the people from OHL, congratulations, it's really a very special development that's happening here. And Greg Norman, it's always good to see you and we're delighted that we can partner with Greg in bringing this tournament forward.
Let me just first say that from a PGA TOUR perspective, we are delighted to be here today. A lot of planning has gone in to being here, a lot of effort, and we appreciate the efforts of countless people here and in the area who have stepped up to support including Great White Shark Enterprises to put this together. Thank you for that.
This is first time for a PGA TOUR event in Mexico. We have played the Nationwide Tour in Mexico. We have played the Champions Tour in Mexico, and in 2002, we played the World Cup over in Puerto Vallarta. This is the first time for a PGA TOUR event. I think it's a good partnership, the idea of putting together a quality PGA TOUR event; it's good for the PGA TOUR and good for golf. It's also good for Mexico, the tourism industry, for OHL and to get people to learn about the fact that there is quality golf in Mexico to be enjoyed, particularly in the United States, but also around the world.
As we look at this partnership in the next six years, I think there are four or five really good reasons why we are so confident that it will be not just successful, but impactful. The first reason is the golf course. Greg Norman has designed a real gem of a golf course which is not surprising to us. Greg Norman has designed a golf course in Atlanta, Georgia that has been on the PGA TOUR for a good number of years and is a stand-out golf course. Greg Norman has a reputation that we have witnessed. He is an architect who came up with a plan and a strategy of the golf course, but he uses his skill, which is hands-on. He spends an enormous amount personal time to assure that the golf course comes to fruition. And as I went around this golf course today, I can see that he delivered on that expectation again here, and it is very special.
I talked to a number of players this morning, and to a man they are very excited about the opportunity to play Greg's course here. And it all starts with what the fans are going to watch on television, and that's quality golf.
The second thing is we have a great field. Every PGA TOUR event is filled with the best players in the world. But this week, we have 42 players in this field who have won tournaments on the PGA TOUR. We have eight players who have won major championships. We have players in this field who collectively have won 145 times on the PGA TOUR. These are really world-class players who represent the best the PGA TOUR offers week-in and week-out through the year.
The third thing is that because of the growth of the international focus on the sport, we're delighted to be able to tell you that our telecast this week will be broadcast in over 200 countries around the world to half a billion homes, and in doing so will carry the message of quality; the quality of the golf experience that is available here for others to come and enjoy.
And the last thing I will point out is that this tournament is very much part of the new FedExCup competition on the PGA TOUR. There will be 12,500 FedExCup points awarded this year. The winner will earn 2,500 points. And that is not the only reason, but certainly one of the reasons why so many great players have come south to take advantage of the opportunity this week.
Let me just conclude by saying that I want to thank, again, the Governor and the Mayor for being here because your presence means so much to the stature of what we're doing this week with this tournament. But also everybody who is here, the members of the media, the volunteers who are helping, the staff of Great White Shark that are managing the tournament, thank you for what you're doing to put on a first-class PGA TOUR event. Salvador and -- -- yes, indeed, they can do it just as well as we can. Thank you very much.
GREG NORMAN: Good morning and good afternoon everybody, Mr. Mayor, Governor, Commissioner Finchem, and Salvador. (Laughter).
From my perspective as a planner, as an owner of the company and being in the business of golf course design and playing in over 32 different countries around the world building golf courses, it's an honor to be standing here. I've been coming down to this part of the world for over 21 years, and I've seen lot of change, from Cancun, all the way down here to Mayakoba. It's absolutely incredible to see the transformation change, and it can only come from one reason, to and create this destination for everybody to come to. We have some beautiful weather, beautiful beaches.
Now, I've been fortunate to play golf all over the world as a professional and I've also experienced the land of all the great golf destinations and around the world so to see something like the Mayakoba, one of the best -- and outstanding and recognize that and take advantage of it and creating this destination. Thank you for that.
But from my golf course design perspective and other guys chasing the ball, the guys that are here this week, I want to thank them for the tremendous effort in creating a supreme destination to play.
And to the PGA TOUR I want to thank them for taking the opportunity to play at Mayakoba, and the GOLF CHANNEL, broadcast to 200 countries around the world is a great showcase of the PGA TOUR.
I'm looking forward to seeing the outcome of the results. I know this golf course is difficult, but I'm sure there are high-quality players this week that can handle a way of figuring out how to beat this place. I really want to thank you, Governor, Mayor, thank you again.

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