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


June 20, 2007

Brad Faxon


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Brad, for joining us for a few minutes at the Travelers Championship. I know you always have a big week or couple of days, it's either a couple of days before the event or sometimes the Monday and Tuesday afterward. We were all watching it on TV yesterday and it looked like it was a successful tournament.
BRAD FAXON: Yes, it was.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: And we just had the championship sitting in that chair.
BRAD FAXON: He's won here and at CVS.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Talk about playing close to home.
BRAD FAXON: This place has always been special for me, to be this close to home. After 2005, there couldn't have been a better place to win and better way to win. I've been friends with Ted May and his wife Debbie for a long, long time, and I feel like this has been in my backyard. I think I've played 22 times here. I played Wethersfield. I'm probably one of the only guys in the field who's played at Wethersfield. That was 1983.
We had a great two days at CVS. The weather was unlike this, and a lot of the guys who played there, came here. I played with J.J. yesterday, and we played together last year at the Shark Shootout. He's a great friend, a good guy, one of the best drivers of the golf ball I've ever seen. I was pretty happy for him yesterday.

Q. Talk about all the new things that Travelers have done to raise this tournament up into the upper echelon. Talk about some of the things you've seen and what the players are looking for now coming in.
BRAD FAXON: I think there are things you probably won't see that are being prepared for the next few years. But Travelers coming in, Hartford is the insurance capital of the world. I know they want to make a mark in New England. They want to get the tournament back to the stature it had in the past when 18 was filled up with more people than you can imagine. I think they're cranking up what they're doing to players' amenities, purse, the driving range is under construction now, the First Tee project, and getting the whole community back involved and making sure that this is the best event in Connecticut.

Q. Conversation among the players about players playing tournaments that have been around for a long time. You know, just feel an obligation to play certain places.
BRAD FAXON: Is there talk among players? I think that was maybe a two-part question. The first thing I would say is most of the older guys who have played tournaments like this for a long time have an allegiance to a tournament and they get to know the people that are involved and you see the same people here every year you come back.
It's tough now for smaller cities sometimes to keep a tournament alive. You know, you see what happened to Pleasant Valley or maybe the Tour outgrows it or the city just can't support the event like it used to be able to. I would say there's less and less, you know, kind of like in professional sport, players jump from team to team like nobody's business, but that happens in golf a little bit. I don't see that players necessarily feel like they're obligated to play an event, you know, every year or whatever. I think it might be better for Tour if you said, okay, you do have to play this tournament once every five or once every four years. I don't know if that actually could work. There would be a couple of things that would be tough to do, say if the tournament is opposite the British Open, how would you make Tiger play in Milwaukee. It comes up every year at policy board meetings how could we do this, could it work. Sponsors would certainly love to have the top players play there every year, or every other year, whatever it is.
I guess it was a rule that was made 25 years ago when players joined the Tour. I don't know if you could do that right now without getting a lot of grief from players. This is not a new concept. Weather it's Tiger or Phil or whoever you're talking about doesn't play every four years, Jack Nicklaus didn't do that either. He played 18 tournaments. He had the smallest schedule of anybody maybe besides Bruce Lansky. But he played where he wanted to play.
I remember sitting in the Alex Alexander's office at the BC Open. He was the tournament director up there. He had a letter from Jack Nicklaus for like 12 consecutive years saying, I'm sorry, I will not be able to attend this year. I know you have a great event, maybe next year. And the same kind of letter came every year. I'm not sure if the top players send letters to every tournament they don't go to. I'm sure they don't. It's not a new concept of top players not playing everywhere, it's going to continue to be the same thing. It's kind of like people talking about the golf courses are obsolete now. They were talking about that 50 years ago when steel shafts were invented.

Q. You talk about your allegiance to this tournament. You've played 20 plus years in a row. You were pretty outspoken about not wanting this tournament to fall off the map. Talk a little bit about what Travelers has done to bring the good ol' GHO back to elite status and how you were a part of that.
BRAD FAXON: No. 1, it was off the schedule. Buick was out. They did a nice job here for four years or three years -- three years. Travelers saw the opportunity. We got lucky, it was off the schedule. Travelers came in and said, This is a perfect match. The date we think, I think it's better now than it was the last few years, right before Labor Day. I haven't seen a full commitment list. You had Phil, but he has an injury so he withdrew. There are good players here. You've got a good field of players here. And it certainly would have been nice to have Phil here. Hopefully people bought all the tickets before he withdrew.
I don't always think one player makes or breaks a tournament. It helps a lot. But I haven't been into the locker room yet, I haven't registered to see how is it going to be different when we get in there. I know this golf course is one of the best TPC courses we have. Players love to play here. You here the comments from everybody all the time. It doesn't favor one style of player. It's been great the last two years to have local guys win. I know J.J.'s win was popular here. And I know Travelers is doing everything they can to capitalize. They hired a good marketing team to do everything to get players involved with sponsors. And that's an important piece of this. If Travelers feels like they can do business, other than just show great golf, then they will be here a long time. They stepped up the purse. Like I said, they're going to make this a first-class driving range and practice area. They're going to have more player amenities out there when they finish the facility out that way. I think the golf course will be improved. Not much needs to be done here.

Q. Did you look at the schedule and maybe so far played some tournaments that you normally don't play? Do you think the FedExCup and the points are starting to alter players' schedules a little bit?
BRAD FAXON: Yes, there's really only two months left before the playoffs start. That's eight tournaments. So guys that are on the edge, guys that want to get in that top 140, top 120, top 70, top 30, they're playing more. And you've deep field of players here. And I think that's for a couple of reasons, because of FedEx, because the date is earlier. Having the U.S. Open close to New England is better, next year it will be in San Diego. We'll see how that affects the field.

Q. You mentioned in your first few remarks about the crowds on 18 not being what they were 10, 12 years ago. If you can take us back to 2005 and the feelings you get in your own backyard coming up 18.
BRAD FAXON:I got to do it twice that day, play that hole twice. In regulation play on the 72nd hole, you always like walking up the last hole when you're playing well in any tournament. But this one is full of people, full of people that appreciate the local guy. And at the time I hadn't really seen the leaderboard for a few holes, so I knew I was doing well, I didn't know I was in the lead by a couple shots, and I finally got to see the big Jumbotron there, saw that I was in first place, I had just missed the green off that shelf and got up and down there, and then I had to wait about an hour and go out and play it again.
The Tour, seven or eight years ago, they decided that the first playoff hole would be 18, we used to go to 15 and the crowds would have to run around. But as soon as Chart Vanderwal finished we went back out. It was still electric. There were still people wanting to see, and then you hit a shot of your life and you get to walk up. And then he hits the flagstick. That's the most memorable time I've had on the Tour.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Brad.

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