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October 14, 2008

Ewart Brown

Brian Whitcomb


JULIUS MASON: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm Julius Mason senior director of communications and media relations for the PGA of America. Welcome to the 26th PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
I think you know our special guest today with us. First, the president of the PGA of America, Mr. Brian Whitcomb is joining us. And the Doctor, the Honorable Ewart Brown Premier of Bermuda as well.
We also have some very special guests that I would like to you meet. First the general chairman and mid ocean club vice president, Mr. David Ezikel is with us; the PGA of America vice president, Mr. Jim Remy; and the PGA of America secretary, Mr. Allen Wronowski; and also with us is PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka over in the front row. And at this time I would like to turn the floor over to Premier Brown.
PREMIER BROWN: Good morning, everyone. This looks like another wonderful Grand Slam of Golf, and no matter what the weatherman seems to say, it seems to smile on the Mid Ocean Club and the PGA of America for the Grand Slam. We are here this morning to announce that the 2009 and 2010 PGA Grand Slam will be played in Bermuda. (Applause).
First I would like to share with you that we will stage those events in 2009 and 2010 at the Port Royal Golf Course. Port Royal is undergoing a $14 million extreme makeover, and we expect that that course will be upon completion one of the finest public courses in the world. We are very proud that the relationship with the PGA continues.
I said last evening at our event that this is the kind of milestone that we enjoy. This is the kind of announcement we love to make, because it is a case of growth and development in the relationship with the PGA of America and the Grand Slam.
BRIAN WHITCOMB: First and foremost let me tell you how excited and proud we are to be on the great island of Bermuda to host the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. And a special thank you to the Premier, Premier Brown, thank you for your dedication and passion towards bringing this event to one of the most beautiful spots in the world, and that's one of the reasons why we are so happy to extend this contract.
Whether it's Bermudian people who show the love the way they do, great fans, whether it's these great venues we are at, Mid Ocean club which we are so proud and fortunate to have been here for two years to where we are going, Port Royal Golf Course, we are excited about that.
We know that our television partners, we know how excited they are to be able to show the world through the game of golf how beautiful this island is, and the warmth and feeling that you get while you're here in Bermuda. We are excited about that and excited about the Port Royal Golf Course and going there. It's important, when you have two golf courses with the stature and visibility that you have there, as well as the absolute beauty as well as a challenging golf course, that the world gets to see that on this island so we are thankful for that.
We know the players love being here. They told us both years now how excited they are and how happy they are to be here. So when you add that all together, it's a small wonder that through the Premier and the government here and the tourism department and the PGA of America that that relationship continues to grow and flourish, and that's why we are not only so proud to announce not just 2009 and 2010, but to play one of the great golf courses in the world, Port Royal Golf Course.
It's an exciting time for PGA of America and it's an exciting time in the game of golf, simply the view of golf through Turner Sports that the world gets to see great champions play on great golf courses in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. As the president of the PGA of America, we are proud of this announcement, and I want to one more time extend my heartfelt thank you, Premier, for you having the vision, wisdom and foresight to bring the PGA Grand Slam of Golf to one of the prettiest spots in the world. Thank you, sir.
PREMIER BROWN: Let me add that the people here at Mid Ocean deserve the highest commendation for first of all getting us out of the rocks last year and doing it in such a superb manner. I would like to thank David Ezikel, as well as Shirley James, for the work that they put in to make sure that we operated as a team in this venture.
And so to all of the members at Mid Ocean, thank you very much and we look forward to your volunteerism extending to Port Royal.
JULIUS MASON: Ladies and gentlemen, we are minutes away from teeoff, but we do have a couple of minutes to answer some questions.

Q. How was the decision made to move the tournament to Port Royal?

Q. Why was the decision made?
PREMIER BROWN: Well, as you know, this is a government investment, a taxpayer-funded tournament, and Port Royal is a public golf course, a government golf course. So it's ideal that we would have either the option of moving it to that course.
We think that it gives yet another opportunity for people to see that Bermuda has more than one or two or three golf courses, and that Port Royal was worth the investment and now we are ready to show it off.

Q. I was just wondering what the completion date was on Port Royal at the moment?
PREMIER BROWN: January. We are still on schedule for January, and I've been informed this morning that we are on schedule.
BRIAN WHITCOMB: I can also add that we have had our PGA tournament staff over there this week and they are absolutely confident. The progress is there and the golf course will be completed and ready to play and in a condition to host our PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
So not only can the Premier speak to that end, but so can the PGA of America.

Q. How much more challenging will the newly-configured Port Royal be?
PREMIER BROWN: I'm told it will be even more challenging than it was before. Port Royal was always considered a good golf course and we think it's gone from good to great.
I'll read off some of the specific changes that have occurred at Port Royal. As you know, the course was opened in 1970, designed by Robert Trent Jones. These are the specific changes: The course is lengthened by 281 yards, from 6,561 to 6,842. Hole No. 12 will change from a par 3 to a par 4, and 13 will change from a par 4 to a par 3. All tees and greens will be returfed. The tee boxes and areas around the greens will be bermudagrass. All tees and greens will be rebuilt and all bunkers are being resigned. And of course, we have installed a reverse-osmosis plan and a course irrigation system, and we are on schedule for January.
JULIUS MASON: Questions? Questions twice? Ladies and gentlemen, let's enjoy the first round of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Thank you very much.

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