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June 25, 2008

Roberta Bolduc

Mike Davis

David Fay



CHRIS WIGHTMAN: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the media. We're glad to have you on a beautiful Wednesday here at Interlachen. My name is Chris Wightman. I'm the Managing Director of USGA Communications and I'm hosting today's press conference along with some of our folks up here on the dais. Again we're glad that you're here, in beautiful Minnesota, well- steeped in USGA tradition. I don't know if many of you know this, but Minnesota is one of only two states to host all of the USGA Championships. And in fact this beautiful state has produced two U.S. Women's Open Champions, one is Hilary Lunke, the other is Patty Berg.

In fact, we have had two USGA presidents from Minnesota including Totten Heffelfinger and Reed Mackenzie. So we have a real close relationship with the state of Minnesota on behalf of the USGA.

With that said, I would like to introduce the USGA's Women's Committee Chairman, Miss Roberta Bolduc. Thank you.

ROBERTA BOLDUC: Thank you, Chris. Welcome to everyone, we're delighted to have you here. I would like to begin by offering an enormous thank you to the members of Interlachen, the staff, the many, many volunteers who are going to make this, without question, the greatest Women's Open to date.

We have 3200 volunteers on 35 committees from 46 states and four countries outside of the United States. That's an enormous commitment and we're deeply appreciative of the work that the volunteers do.

I would like to mention one very special item about the Women's Open, and that is that children under 17 are admitted free with a ticketed adult, up to nine youngsters under 17 with a ticketed adult. We have done this for years, it's a wonderful family opportunity to get introduced to the game of golf, youngsters that have not already done so.

Each junior coming in will receive a food voucher and a goodie bag with a hat and some other fun things. So I hope that we'll get the word out that this is a great place for juniors.

We have 156 players in the field this week. The playing level of women's golf has never been higher. In spite of the fact that Annika is stepping away from the game at the end of this year, we think the star will continue to shine. Interestingly, we have 27 amateurs in the field this week. Not too long ago it was somewhat unusual to have more than a handful of amateurs. And I think it's a testament again to the quality of women's golf that we have nearly 20 percent of the field this week who are amateur players.

We'll cut to 60 and ties after the second round and anyone within 10 shots of the lead. So we expect to have a wonderful field and a great leader board going into the weekend.

I would also like to make an announcement that the USGA has selected Sebonac Golf Club to host the 2013 Women's Open championship. Sebonac is located in Southampton, New York and it is a Tom Doak, Jack Nicklaus design. This will be its first national championship. It opened in 2006. It's quite a spectacular piece of property. I've not seen it personally, but I've heard it is just magnificent. This will be the first Women's Open held on Long Island and the first time the championship will be conducted in the state of New York since 1973.

Beth Murrison has copies of the press release and she will have that available for you after this press conference.

Now it is my pleasure to introduce the executive director of the United States Golf Association, Mr. David Fay.

DAVID FAY: Thank you, Roberta. It's a pleasure to be here. You know, I'm a fan of Broadway musicals. I was lucky enough to go to South Pacific last week. Fantastic. But one of my favorites is Carousel, and there's a song in there, June Is Busting Out All Over. And for us June has busted out all over. We had a most successful Curtis Cup match at the old course at St. Andrews. Enormous crowds, which is a real statement about how fans in Great Britain and Ireland support amateur golf. Then we had the terrific opening of our museum, the reopening, the Arnold Palmer Golf History Center, which was fantastic. I don't think have I to say one single word about Torrey Pines sin! ce it will live forever. It's one for the ages. And Erin Hills last week, a fantastic golf course in Wisconsin. We had a terrific final in the -- and if you've not, if you're not familiar with that golf course, I would encourage you to get familiar with it. It's a very special place.

And then here we are at Interlachen. As Roberta said, it seems every time we come to Minnesota, it's a home run. Chris said that it's one of two states to host every single USGA Championship. It was the first state to do that. California did it following on. And when I think of Interlachen, you can think about the Walker Cup in '93, you can certainly think about the third leg of Jones' Grand Slam in 1930. But I think about 1986 the Senior Amateur, we had lousy weather, it was basically the course was a quagmire and in the Senior Amateur you can take carts and most of the players do take carts. Well, carts were prohibited. So the membership scrambled, they got a number of pull carts from Edina Country Club, they got some from Braemar and basically you had members out there pulling these pull carts for the players. And it was really quite a statement with about the type of golf club that Interlachen is.

Roberta mentioned Sebonac, which is fantastic. And I know that Mike feels the same way I do about the golf course. Mike Pascucci, who is the owner of Sebonac. He has to be one of the real Saints in the game. And he built this course and he felt he wanted to have a national championship and his question was, well, why not the U.S. Women's Open? And of course we're delighted that we're going to be taking it to this special course and once again, we will work with the traffic of eastern Long Island, but Mike is really well positioned to help us with that and I know that Suffolk County is fully supportive. It's going to be a memorable championship, as is next year's at Saucon Valley. And then following that we return to Oakmont where we have had a Women's Open before and I know that it's going to be, well, it's Oakmont. And then we go back to the Broadmoor where we're having the Senior Open this year, we had, and that was, I would guess I would call it Annika's coming out party. And then we return to Blackwolf Run, with that improbable finish Se Re pack over Jenny and then of course Sebonac.

So we're very excited about the way things are developing for our championships and with all aspects of the USGA. And with that I want to turn it over to the Senior Director of Rules and Competitions, Mike Davis, who will speak about the golf course and the conditioning and maybe even the weather.

MIKE DAVIS: Thanks on the latter point, David. Well, I'll be the last person up here to say how delighted we are to comeback to Interlachen. This is the fifth national championship we have had here and as David mentioned, one of the most historic U.S. Opens of all time was 1930 when Bobby Jones won. That was the third leg of his Grand Slam that year and obviously we have had some wonderful championships since then.

But we truly expect a great week this week. It's a wonderful golf course. I've maybe done a half dozen championships in the state of Minnesota and David's right, there's something about this state that's just, it, the golf season is short up here, but the enthusiasm that you get in Minnesota is just wonderful. So if the weather cooperates I think we'll have very large crowds for this Women's Open and Betse Hamilton, who oversees all the logistical things for the USGA for this, would tell you that this really has a very good chance of being an all time record in terms of attendance for Women's Open championships.

As David mentioned, I'll speak a little bit about course set up and then the course itself. On the scorecard this measures out to 6789 yards. That's the longest ever. At least in terms of the record books. 6789 yards. But that -- I don't think length of the course really is going to be the issue this week, because we are playing it at a par 73. There's five par-5s out here. So when you translate that down to a par 72 or par 71, I really don't think the length of the course is really going to be what we'll be talking about. If we get a bunch of rain obviously it's going to play longer and that may become a little bit more of an issue. But the longest prior to this was a few years ago at Cherry Hills where we played a par -- I forget what the par was there, I think it was 716. It was about 50 yards shorter. But we played at elevation. So it's really next year at Saucon Valley when we're roughly 50 yards shorter than this week but it's a par 71, that will be a long Women's Open course.

The Solheim Cup when it was played here several years back played it also as a par 73. About 250 yards shorter though. So it definitely is longer than what they played then. There was a couple new teeing grounds added, not specifically the Women's Open, but they added it, as an example, at our 17th hole, that will play as a long par-4 where one was added there. But with that, just like we did at Torrey Pines a few weeks ago, when you saw a yardage that was over 7,600 yards, I doubt you'll see any one of the championship rounds quite play the yardage because we do plan to mix and match some of the teeing grounds and probably upwards of 11 holes will move teeing grounds around and kind of match it with the different hole locations and try to bring different strategy in, different drive zones and really in a sense show off the architecture, the wonderful architecture that's here.

We have been asked a question a lot of why the nines were flipped. Easy answer. Just for logistical reasons. There's a lot more space around the club's ninth hole than there is their 18th hole. And that's the same thing the Solheim Cup did too; again just for logistical reasons. You go back and you look at all the other championships played here, they played it, I believe, I think I'm right on this, in a normal round as the club does. So when Jones won in 1930, our ninth hole this week was his 18th hole.

And then in terms of a golf course, this is primarily a Donald Ross design. So the routing pretty much is what Ross did. There's four greens out on the golf course that aren't Donald Ross greens. They are the 7th hole, the 8th hole, the 10th hole and the 12th hole. The 10th and 12th are Robert Trent Jones greens and if you look at those greens, if you're an architecture buff, you can tell they're Trent Jones greens. And then the old pro here, Willy Kid designed 7 and 8. And I think that help me out Matt was that before the '30 Open? But pretty much other than that you're looking at a Donald Ross course. They did fairly extensive restoration work a few years ago by Brian Silva and we happen to think they absolutely hit a home run with it. The bunkers look very much Donald Ross. A few of the greens were taken out to their original size and shape. And I think that it took a look at a few teeing grounds and tried to bring a few drive zones back into play. So it's a marvelous test, it's an old style. You got some blind shots out there. You've got small greens that are undulating but they're very canted. You got greens that really pitch pretty severely back to front. So it's a great style. The fairways have a lot of roll, you can see clearly when they built this course there weren't bulldozers out on the fairways. So you get all kind of neat rolls. A lot of unlevel lies and that certainly adds to the difficulty of the test.

As far as the course set up, the greens are a blend of poa annua and an old variety of German bentgrass. And they putt beautifully. You can just hit a ball and you just don't get a bounce to it at all. Coming into this week we thought we were going to have the greens around 11 on the Stimpmeter, maybe up to 11 and a half. And as it turns out, when we did hole locations, which we did back in May, we did them fairly conservative. So we are actually in the low 12s right now, which we think, in terms of a speed, really work well for this golf course and those hole locations.

And it was kind of interesting when you do the set up here there was almost two ways to approach these greens. We could have had the greens at maybe 10 and a half and really put hole locations on some of the very slopey areas, and in fact some of the members have said why haven't you done that, but I think looking at it there's a few greens that are flatter, particularly the Trent Jones greens, so we just felt that that speed and in the low 12s was a little better and it certainly makes recovery from around the greens a little more difficult.

Fairways, we really did very little work coming in. We, I say we, with altering the fairway widths or contours, a few of them were, but as you see out there, there's a lot of different variations in width and we, because of the contours and some of the fairways, because of the way the bunkering is, we thought it was very, very good coming into it. So in general, I think that the fairways at least if you look at the numbers on the widths, how many yards wide, they seem fairly wide for an Open Championship. But I think that in some cases maybe they are. But in general there's enough pitch to some of these fairways that we think that it will work quite well.

The roughs are primarily bluegrass and they have great rough here in the sense that it's not overly thick. It's not -- they don't really overseed with a rye, there's not a whole lot of poa annua in it and hardly any bentgrass that's gotten in. So it's just how we like them. Not overly thick, we can let it grow a little bit longer and you get a lot of different types of lies. So it forces a player to look down at her ball and figure out what shot she wants.

We will do like we have done the last couple U.S. Opens and Women's Opens and Senior Opens for that matter, the graduated rough. So this week we have got, as we always do, a six-foot intermediate, which is cut at an inch and a quarter. Then you go to a 12 foot width, what we call first cut of primary rough and that's at three and a half inches. And just to give you an idea, couple weeks ago at Torrey Pines, that same rough was only two and a half inches. About it's just a different kind of grass.

So we think that's right. The intent with that one is when you just miss the fairway, we want the player to go for the green. We want her to show her skills and we think that that length will do that. When you get beyond that it was topped off last night at five inches, so you can get some lies in there that you can absolutely get a ball home, but I think that given probably the lack of density, we may end up letting it go for the week, because it's only growing maybe a quarter inch a day. So we're very happy with the roughs. The bunkers like we have been doing the last few years, we did stir up the bottoms to try to make the bunkers a little bit softer so that the player can't get as much spin. And I was telling somebody the other day, one of the best things I heard at Torrey Pines, it just -- I almost wanted to do a cartwheel is when a player actually said, we were trying to avoid bunkers at Torrey Pines. Because we haven't heard that in who knows how long.

But we kept the rough down around the greens a little bit, like we have done here, stirred up the bunkers, and actually they have kind of gone back to what they were supposed to be, which is hazards. So hopefully we'll have that again this week.

In terms of what to watch for, some of the holes, the par-3s here at Interlachen are really I won't say the meat of the course but you've got four holes that are all extremely different from one another architecture Lee but they're all difficult holes.

The 4th hole is a way up in the air and you play to almost a redan- like green. So it falls away from you. So you have to land it short. And particularly if it gets firm you're going to see balls land in the front third that may release the whole way to the back of the green. So it's a neat feature. The 8th hole is our long one. We're going to play it from a couple different yardages. I think one of the rounds on the weekend you're going to see us play it back, a back hole location from the back tee, and it's going to be upwards of 240 yards long, which is kind of the way the 7th, excuse me, the 8th hole at Oakmont was last year for the U.S. Open. In that it says that on the card, but it really doesn't play that long because you can bounce a ball in, it was designed for that.

The 12th hole, which is a Trent Jones hole, really brings the water into play, a relatively big, flat green. And then the last par-3, 14, is what a lot of people think of with Donald Ross. It's kind of a crowned green that falls off on all sides. So nice, really nice blend of par-3s.

The par-4s, I think the hardest ones are going to be -- the two hardest holes are going to be 9 and 17. Those are going to be you make a par there and you're going to be running to the next teeing ground and be very happy. Those, you just can't fudge it, you've got to hit a good drive, good approach, and then you still got some work left with putting.

Five, the 5th hole, the 6th hole, will also, I think, play pretty tough. But then you've got maybe five holes out there that are 360 yards or less. And in each one of those cases the greens are really neat, in most cases they're neat Donald Ross greens that sit up in the air with a lot of contour, undulation on them. So if you miss the green it's a very tough up-and-down.

Then, as I mentioned before, the par-5s, there's five of them. And it's been a quite awhile since we have played a par 73, but when we came in to do the set up, we looked at it at it and said, it just makes sense. The holes play better as a par-5 than they do a par-4. And as much criticism as we sometimes take for converting fives into fours, most of the time we do that because not really trying to protect par, but it plays better as a four. In other words, it may be that you're as back as far as you can get and almost the whole field is, can hit the green in two so if you go back to kind of what the definition of par is, it's an expert player, how many shots to get to the green and then two putts. But here I mentioned those holes just didn't work well as fours so we're keeping them as fives.

But that's really the fives are where the girls or the players are going to be able to make up on par. Where they might lose it on the par-3s, the par-5, I think if they play them properly, definitely birdie holes. I think that we will mix up teeing grounds throughout the week. So my sense is that everyone of the five at least for a portion of the players in the field can get there in two if they hit two really good shots.

Beyond that, the weather for the week is, as David mentioned, we have had since I've been here and I think I've been here maybe six, seven days, it has been perfect. I mean just perfect. It wasn't really until the last couple days that we got some humidity. But we have had beautiful sunshine, nice breeze and unfortunately they're calling for some stuff today, tomorrow and really I think Friday's going to be our tough day with a front that's going to come through and we may get some pop up stuff Saturday. So it's a Women's Open. We just can't seem to get through this week without bad weather. But we have got our fingers crossed. And I think with that we'll turn it over to questions that anybody has. But we're looking forward to a great 63rd national Open Championship.

Q. Mike, you and I have talked with about this before, you were just talking about the green speeds. 12s. Or low 12s, consistently all the way through 18 holes? And if so, obviously if I've got the numbers right, because I have to reverse them in my head, but I think that 3, 9 and 17 got some tricky situations there. If you're going to Stimp them at those speeds, does that just, you just have to be really careful with the hole locations?

MIKE DAVIS: You're exactly right. It is low 12s. And this week occasionally we get a course where you really have to treat one or two greens differently. Example of that was the first green at Winged Foot a couple of Opens ago. But here what we're treating all the greens essentially the same. But the reason we maxed out in the low 12s on speed is that we do have a few greens that if they get up to 12 and a half or even high 12s, we're going to lose hole locations and we're going to have big problems. But the green I would say that we're most worried about that really is dictating this speed is championship 6. Or club 15.

For the Solheim Cup I understand championship 17 was the one that really gave them fits. But on that one when they went, they did the renovation, there was a lot of green that they recaptured in the back. And if you look at that green and study it, it's much more level back there. So 17 where we're going to have hole locations really won't be an issue.

The 9th hole, candidly, is another one we're really watching, not so much for putting. Because once you get up on the flat on the green it is pretty flat. It's just that architecturally the way that hole is, you go up, you get to the flat and then it's almost a bowl green. So what you will see this week are some players if they hit their ball up too high up that really it's a collar length in the very back of the hole you could see it come back down and roll the whole way off the green and that's not really a set up issue, that's really an architectural issue. But that is one that we have looked at saying that we think that's only going to happen for the most part if you just run up the right side and it kind of comes back, there's a funnel there. But looking at it, that's just the way that is. If you're a player, and you ever get above that 9th hole, you have made a huge mistake because you're going to be hoping for a bogey at that point.

Q. David, couple of probably a million unrelated questions here. But is there a date been set yet for Pebble Beach for the women?

DAVID FAY: The date remains the same. 2014.

Q. So your answer is yes, a date has been set?


Q. Thanks for taking it easy on me. And secondly, Cherry Hills was somewhat of a home run I think for the Women's Open. Has there been any interest from the club in bringing it back?

DAVID FAY: Well, you're right, Cherry Hills was a home run. And we have had discussions with the club about a number of championships including a possible future Women's Open. But that's as far as it's gone now. It's just discussions.

Q. Lastly, and completely unrelated, I don't know if this is for you or Roberta, why isn't there a U.S. senior Women's Open as there is for the men?

DAVID FAY: Well that too has been discussed over time and we have had conversations with many people, players who would be affected by it. The LPGA. And the answer is that there may come a time when there would be a U.S. Senior Women's Open, but we don't think that time is just yet. In order to put on a championship we would want to do it in a first class manner, we would want to have an appropriate purse, we want to have an appropriate site. We want to make sure that everything from media coverage to gallery is there and in our judgment we're not comfortable doing it yet.

And I also would say that we have had conversations with the LPGA and I'm not exactly sure whether -- how they would feel about a U. S. Senior Open. But that's been a question that's been asked probably about ten years. And I'm sorry it sounds like a Groundhog Day answer, but our position remains the same. We're just not ready to do something like that yet.

Q. What do you find is the biggest obstacle in terms of making it appropriate, the size of the purse, the field, which is the biggest thing?

DAVID FAY: It's hard to say. I don't want to separate out one. But I hope I've touched on the issues that I think are -- that need to be addressed. You don't want to have a national championship with highly skilled players and not have a, in my opinion, not have a prize money that is commensurate with their talents. But let's face it, when you're dealing with professional golf, it's athletic competition at the highest level, but it's also entertainment. And you have to factor in the entertainment value in determining the prize money. And also you have to work with a -- we presumably would want to have it broadcast and you would have to -- that's another component, too, getting the broadcast ! partner.

Q. David, I was wondering if I could get your thoughts on what's been a fairly pronounced shift in the set up under Mike. And multiple tees and graded rough and God forbid actually making players think every once in awhile when they're standing on the tee box. It's been pretty well received by the players. I'm wondering is this what we're going to see going forward and have you enjoyed the feedback and actual making of birdies here and there on occasion?

DAVID FAY: Well I think Mike is probably collecting a big book of press clippings that he'll provide me at the appropriate time.

Q. Salary review?

DAVID FAY: But I have to say that I have been fortunate, lucky, bright, whatever it is, to make a number of very, very good hires and Mike is, when we elevated him to Senior Director of Rules and Competitions, that certainly was one of the finer hires, not just for the set up of golf courses but for the way he's taken the department. Which really is, it goes to the heart of what we do. And has energized it from top to bottom. But with respect to his creativity, I have said that I applaud it, I think that Mike is one of -- he's a strong player himself, well, pretty strong.


But he has this ability to get into the skins and the minds of the players that he is setting up the golf course for, both for the U.S. Open and for the Women's Open and for the Walker Cup, for the U.S. Amateur. And that's so important because you can get some players who might consider themselves very good players and they're looking at a golf course through their eyes. He's looking at it through the eyes of the people who are playing. And I think that the creativity that he showed two weeks ago at Torrey Pines, it was, and it wasn't hokey, I mean the fact is that just to use 14, the players knew that it was going to go forward, they didn't know when. But I don't think that -- I don't think that what you saw at 14, nobody just showed up at the tee and pulled out a club. They had to sort of think about it a bit. And Mike is, with his -- with the graduated rough and the moving the tee markers up-and- down, he is causing these great players to think. And I think that that is great for all of us to witness. He'll probably put this in his press clippings now too.

MIKE DAVIS: May I have these recorded, please?


Q. You mentioned entertainment value and along those same lines, Mike, can we sort of come to expect -- well, let me back up a second. Number 7 here, is that going to be at some point in time a drivable par-4? This week? And then the larger question is, is this sort of going to be a signature for you? I mean, 14 really worked. I don't think Tiger ever even figured out what he wanted to do on that hole and he won the championship. But none of us were thinking that was a hole that was going to be a drivable par-4 until you came up with it.

Are you always going to want to have a drivable par-4 or will you not force it on a certain course if it's not there?

MIKE DAVIS: First point about here, it's No. 7. That is, we are going to play it up one or two days in the week. I wouldn't do it Thursday Friday, just because of a pace of play issue. But the hole from the back, it's a very short dogleg left to begin with. It plays I think 315 yards or so. But we're going to play it up at least one day at 249. And really it isn't even a true 249 because the way it's measured on the dogleg. But what's neat about that hole is you have to, if you're going to go for it, you've got to curve your ball right-to-left. It's not a duck hook, but it's just a nice gentle draw. And we looked at that and said, you know what's neat about that is you can ! go for it or you can lay up and there's challenges on both. Particularly where we'll put the hole location.

With respect to future venues I think the easy answer is we will not force it. Example next year at Bethpage, we're not going to do it just because the architecture doesn't lend itself to that.

You have to have enough risk but you've got to have the reward with it. They have to match. And in fact David and I talked about it before Sunday of Torrey Pines, that I thought it was going to work well for the reasons I kept going through in my mind, but you don't really know. And if only ten players out of the 80 went for it I would call it a failure but I think there was 57 or 56 or whatever that went for it. And it's, you know, there was a blend of scoring.

But when we did it at Oakmont it worked. Because those holes were architecturally set up for it. We did it the one hole at Winged Foot. But, no, we will not force it. So it won't necessarily be a trademark. But I think when you get that opportunity, it's really neat because you do make the players think. And we want -- we don't want this to be gimmicky, but at the same time we want it to be the hardest championship of the year, whether it's the U.S. Girls Junior, the Women's Open, the U.S. Open or the Senior Men's Amateur, but at the same time there's nothing wrong with introducing more risk, reward and making the players think, giving them opportunities, and taking a hole and really saying if you play it great you can make birdie, eagle, but if you don't play it so great, if you try something and don't pull it off you're going to pay the price.

Q. Mike, I was wondering as you got into the minds of these great players what was your winning score for this week?

MIKE DAVIS: I'm lousy at picking a winning score. Simply because when you're asked that you never quite know what the weather conditions are going to be. So if we do in fact get a lot of rain and the players can really stop their balls on a dime, so to speak, that will make it easier. And if we don't get wind, that will make it easier. But on the flip side it's going to make it a longer course. Which I think for the Women's Open is probably a little bit more of an issue than the Men's Open. But the last few days, this course has been perfect. I mean this was as championship condition as we can get it. The firmness we worked really hard, in fact I'll introduce meat row could he in! the back who's the golf course superintendent who's done a marvelous job. Had some winter kill -- Matt, raise your hand just -- so if you have some questions you can ask him afterwards. But it's hard to pick a winning score. Just simply because you're not sure how much wind, what the firmness is going to be. But this will be a good test regardless of whether it's soft or firm.

Q. David, could we get an update on the groove situation? Wasn't that due for some sort of roll out in January, I think, in theory? Has there been any developments on that front or are we going to have to all change irons?

DAVID FAY: The latest update is there's no update. We are still on track, we hope. There are a number of components that we have to get everything resolved. A number of -- and we're moving ahead on that. But to give you a timetable at this time, it would be premature.

Q. R & A still a part of the equation in getting them signed up for the same time?

DAVID FAY: Well the R & A, it's a change in equipment, a change in any rule will not happen unless both sides support it. Fully. The fact that you've not heard anything should not be construed as meaning there's a problem. It's just that we -- anything dealing with equipment, particularly these days, is complex. You deal with the specifications, manufacturing tolerances, I think that one thing I would say that we have never, at least in my experience at the USGA, researched and done the lab testing and the player testing to the degree that we have with this subject of grooves.

Q. Mike, not to jinx anything, but we already had an 18-hole playoff on the men, for the women it's a three hole aggregate. What are the holes?

MIKE DAVIS: Yeah, thanks, Dave. They will be -- it is a three hole aggregate. Holes 16 through 18. And then if they're still tied we'll go back to 16 and continue to play on a hole- by-hole basis in that order.

Q. David, further to the question about the Senior Women's Open, you mentioned that the LPGA -- you had in your discussions with them, had issues with that. Have they actually responded to you in any kind of a way that you can characterize more than that?

DAVID FAY: No, no.

Q. Are they opposed to it?

DAVID FAY: I think that the LPGA, which is a terrific organization, is first and foremost concerned about promoting its own product. And that's understandable.

When you get to -- when you're thinking about introducing a new championship, which we have done a number of times, we introduced the Senior in 1980, we introduced the Women's Mid-Amateur way back with the Women's Amateur Public Links. You also have to factor in what's the field going to be, not just the field on site but the total number of entrants. And as I said before, I certainly don't want to give the impression that the LPGA would say absolutely not. Because first of all, it's our championship. But it's a matter of the talent pool, in my opinion, the overall talent pool, and it's also your golf is healthy as a spectator sport but how many -- how are you spreading the interest too thin? You would now, again, you would be looking at this, this would not be an amateur competition. You're looking for the full magilla on this. With television, with galleries, with corporate tents, with ticket sales, with media interest, and again, it probably will happen some day, I don't know when, but you've got to look at this, in my opinion. You just can't make a knee jerk emotional reaction. You have to look at it as not only an athletic proposition but also a business proposition.

Q. Have you gotten any queries from players who happen to be eligible for a championship that doesn't exist yet?

DAVID FAY: You mean the U.S. senior Women's Open?

Q. Yes.

DAVID FAY: Well, sure. And I think that there have been times in the past where some of the players have actually attended this press conference and asked that question.

Q. That must have been fun?

DAVID FAY: So you -- players of a certain age that they want to compete, they still have skill, and their Tour and the name of the proper name of it escapes me now, but it's a handful of -- but that's how you start. That's how the Champions Tour/SENIOR Tour started with I think the PGA of America had the granddaddy, they were the first with the PGA Seniors Championship. And that was pretty much about it until the Onion Creek and the Legends, that kicked it off. For those who remember, our inaugural at Winged Foot East it wasn't exactly a rousing success. But we took a look at the calendar and realized that maybe we might want to cut age from 55 to 50 in 1981 and in 1981 that jump started it by, guess wh! o, Arnold Palmer, when he beat Bob Stone and Billy Casper in the playoff at Oakland Hills. But it still -- it will be discussed periodically, but we're not there yet.

Q. When you talk about the entertainment and the business model, which all makes perfect sense, if any type of a Senior Tour at the LPGA never got going, do you think the USGA would ever find itself in a position of recommending to someone who was -- who wanted to stay competitive to try and regain their amateur status post-48 or post-50 or what have you and then play the Senior Women's Amateur?

DAVID FAY: Well, I don't think it's our place to recommend to the players, I think that they might, they would make the decision and even that has evolved over time. There was a time when we were far more stringent as far as giving a player with some reputation, allowing him or her to become an amateur. Regain their amateur status. It's been liberalized a little bit. There's still that fundamental distinction, but there was -- in most recent wave of amateur status reinstatements there's a fairly prominent, at one point this was a player who was one of the better players in the country. But we're not going to recommend to someone what they do. But it is available there for them to consider.

Q. David, I assume you were pretty pleased with the night golf experiment on the east coast at Torrey. I'm wondering what's been the conversation with NBC, whether you see that happening, tee times in the same time frame for the other west coast events going forward and did you install lights at Bethpage yet?

DAVID FAY: I didn't hear the last thing about Bethpage.

Q. Did you install lights at Bethpage yet?

DAVID FAY: No, but if you go to Bethpage at any given weekend there's probably some headlights on at about 3 a.m. in the morning, people firing up their cars.

It was great. I think it was great not just for the U.S. Open, I think it was great for the game of golf because golf is a prime time sport. I mean it was a big time, prime time sport. And the reaction that I've heard from people and you all must have been hearing it too, from people back in the east saying this is fantastic. It was late, but it wasn't that late. It's not like World Series game or some playoff games where they're ending around midnight. And I think the discussions that we have had with NBC, they're, of course, elated with what the numbers produced. And I believe that going forward it would make sense to have the same type of broadcast window when we're at Pebble, when we're at Olympic, when we're at Chambers Bay. So why not?

Now I know that some of the British press were not very happy about it, but, hey, John Hopkins could just sit back and he enjoyed all of it because filing the story, the reality is that we were not going to, we were not going to end before 6 o'clock. So 6 o'clock, you do that, well others are five, eight hours there and so and as I said, somewhat in a joking manner, perhaps it might not have worked well for press in Europe, the United Kingdom, but it might have worked better for the media for the rest of the world. But the main thing is golf was a prime time, big league sport by having that broadcast window, in my opinion.

Q. One last thing, David, just based on the events of last week I think there's now great speculation of how much longer Tiger Woods is going to be with us competing. Does that have any bearing at all, do you think, on your meetings going forward in the next year with the IOC?

DAVID FAY: Well, I'm not a medical person. I have every expectation that he's going to come back as strong as ever.

With respect to the IOC, the IOC, and since we're talking about golf in the Olympics, here's the timetable. The decision will be made by the IOC in October of 2009 in Copenhagen. There are going to be two new sports that will be added to the program. We hope golf will be one of them. We now have every major voice in golf on the administration side supporting it. So that decision will be made in 2009 for 2016. And who is to say who will be the dominant players on either side in 2016? What the IOC would want is at the time if golf were successful to get a good representation of the best players in the game competing in Olympic golf. They know they're not going to bat a thousand. They didn't bat a thousand in tennis. Pete Sampras never played Olympic tennis. Most of the leading women did. But so I don't think that the IOC is going to be looking at Tiger's X-rays and making a judgment as to how he feels about Olympic golf. I hope that Tiger would say positive things about it. Because, again, it's, in my opinion, it is hands down the most popular sport in the world that's not on the Olympic program. It's got universality which is important to the Olympics, it can be an environmentally friendly sport. You don't have to build a new stadium. But it will clearly mean a lot to countries around the world who are trying to get golf started in their countries. That may be the most important element of getting golf on the Olympic program where countries, where they don't have golf courses or many golf courses they will be able to go to their national Olympic bodies, get funding, to go to the countries, the governments and get funding. And to say that golf will be a cornerstone of the summer Olympic games, you can't say that. I think it will be -- it will fall into that category of it will be below clearly track and field, gymnastics, swimming, those are the events that people are most interested in when you're talking about Olympics, but you talk to the sailors, you talk to the tennis players, and there's something I think that -- it's -- if I were a player of that talent and I had the opportunity to win a gold medal and to win a gold medal is a special thing. I would want it. I would want to take the opportunity to do it. So we're hopeful.

Q. As I understand it, two part question, there are two spots, there are five candidates for the two spots, five sports vying for the two spots?

DAVID FAY: Well seven actually, because baseball is off the program after Beijing and softball is off the program after Beijing.

Q. What do you tell the IOC, you and those of you who have been going over and communicating with those people, what do you tell them when they say -- I mean I know you just said that they understand you can't bat a thousand, but you know, I mean obviously Tiger Woods is the most recognizable athlete in the world by most people's eyes, and they're going to want him and they know that would be good for the Olympics, but in general what do you all tell them when they ask you about delivering the top golfers?

DAVID FAY: We tell them that no one makes the decision for these athletes other than the athletes themselves. It's interesting President Rogge brought up Tiger Woods and pretty much said, well, he may not be one of the, he may not -- where will he be in 2016? We should probably release that. Which we just have now done, as a challenge to Tiger that he will be one of the best in 2016. That's a long time off. He'll be what? How old?

Q. 41.

DAVID FAY: Not that long off given the way Hogan and others played in their 40s.

ROBERTA BOLDUC: Before we adjourn I would just like to recognize Betse Hamilton, the director of the 2008 United States Women's Open and I'm sure she would be more than delighted to answer any outside the ropes questions after the press conference if you have any.

And Pete Bevacqua is in the back, also the Chief Business Officer for the USGA and I'm sure he will be able to address any issues in that realm.

End of FastScripts

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