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November 4, 2008

Sandy Flockhart

Padraig Harrington

Trevor Immelman

Phil Mickelson

Zhang Xiaoning


SANDY FLOCKHART, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific of HSBC: Thank you for joining us today. I think the crowds that we have are indicative of the interest that golf in China and the interest that is growing in golf in China. I'm sure you've got many questions for Phil, Padraig and Trevor, so I intend to keep my opening remarks brief.
What I do want to say, however; that there are a number of reasons why HSBC is extremely pleased to be once again sponsoring this event. First there, is the simple fact that HSBC Champions is now widely recognized at Asia's Major, bringing together the very best golfers, choosing tournaments and Order of Merit winners from around the globe.
Second, HSBC Champions, top-to-bottom sponsorship of golf; a sponsorship that now spans 25 countries and a sponsorship that here in China includes our partnership with China Golf Association to grow local talent through the HSBC China Junior Golf Programme... and I'm sure we'll have a Chinese major golf champion some day in the future.
The third reason we are pleased to sponsor HSBC Champions is once again, the tournament promises to be a world-class event. Of course, this would not be possible without the support of many, including the State General Administration of Sport, the China Golf Association, Shanghai Sports Administration Bureau, Songjiang District Government, the Sheshan International Golf Club and International Management Group, support for which we are all very grateful.
The fourth and final reason we are pleased to sponsor this tournament is admittedly a rather selfish one: Simply HSBC Champions also allows those of us from HSBC to spend some quality time with our most important customers out on the course and away from the office. And any day on a golf course is always better than a day behind a desk, particularly lately, I can tell you that.
Now as I said earlier the HSBC Champions would not be successful without strong support, strong support for example, from the general administration of China and the guidance of the organising committee. It is there for my honour to invite Zhang Xiaoning, Director of Multi-ball Sports Administration Center, General Administration of Sports of China, Managing Deputy Chairman and General Secretary of China Golf Association to say a few words. Director Ziaoning?
ZHANG XIAONING, Director of Multi-ball Sports Administration Center, General Administration of Sports of China, Managing Deputy Chairman and General Secretary of China Golf Association: Honourable colleagues, guests, dear friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
So on this occasion of the 2008 HSBC Champions, please allow me to welcome all of the players, officials, journalists and fans who have come all of the way to Shanghai for this tournament. Also, I would like to thank you for your long-term support. My thanks also goes to Shanghai Sports Administration Bureau, the Songjiang District Government, the South African Sunshine Tour, and other related organizations.
Thanks to your great support, the HSBC Champions has grown in its influence over time, and it has become one of the top men's professional golf tournaments in China with the highest prize funds and the biggest influence.
So this is year's HSBC Champions will be held from the 6-9 of November at the Sheshan International Golf Club. At that time, many top players from all over the world will present to the golf fans high-level competition.
The CGA also has eight players from China who are ranked in the top eight in our ranking system to participate in the tournament. We actually look forward to a better performance from the Chinese players this year but believe that with the support of HSBC and with the guidance of the organising committee of this tournament, this year's tournament will be very successful. I wish the players to perform well in this tournament and I wish to thank everyone for making this event possible.
To conclude, I wish this year's HSBC Champions be crowned a big success, thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Phil, would you like to take my question now?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, please.
THE MODERATOR: Just now we learned your skills in Chinese calligraphy, and you're doing extremely well. How does it feel to be defending your first overseas trophy?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's very exciting for me to have won this tournament last year. I look forward to coming back and starting on Thursday to try to defend my championship. But I know it will be very difficult because HSBC has brought in a world-class field, and it's a world-class golf tournament.
We have some of the best golfers in the world, three major championships were won this year by Padraig Harrington and by Trevor Immelman. We have some of the best players in the world playing their best golf, and I believe that this tournament is going to be a great opportunity for all of China to see golf at the highest level, and it will be very difficult to defend my championship, but I look forward to the start on Thursday.
THE MODERATOR: If you win, how will you celebrate?
PHIL MICKELSON: Drink champagne.
THE MODERATOR: Next, I would like to pose my second question for Padraig Harrington.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I think every week when we go into tournaments we try to play our very best to get ourselves into contention on Sunday and have a chance of winning the tournament when it comes right down to the end of the week.
As players, we know it's difficult to win every week, but there's other factors we can control, and getting ourselves into the right position, getting ourselves in there with a chance on Sunday, and then you know, that's what we enjoy in the game is the excitement, the tension, the nerves of playing the last couple of holes when it really means something when the championship is on the line. That's what we play the game for, that's why we practice.
This is a big tournament. As Phil said, it is a big championship. HSBC run a great show here. They have got the best players assembled in the world this week, so it's going to be very large World Ranking points. So there's a lot of reasons to win.
But the main thing is to get yourself in that position and you learn a little bit more about yourself when you're under the pressure.
THE MODERATOR: If you win this big tournament, what would you like to do best?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Drink some of Phil's champagne. Maybe we can all do some karaoke that night or something.
THE MODERATOR: Trevor, are you nervous?
THE MODERATOR: What are your feelings this week about this big event?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Pretty much the same thing that Phil and Padraig said. We come here hoping to be prepared, and looking forward to the week. Looking forward to the opportunity to compete here in China at a fantastic tournament, and you know, I've been trying to get my game in shape ready for this week, so I'm hoping to go out there and play as well as I can and hope for the best.
THE MODERATOR: Will you drink champagne if you win?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: There's no doubt about it.
THE MODERATOR: Now the floor is open for our media friends.

Q. In what ways does HSBC benefit by staging the HSBC Champions?
SANDY FLOCKHART: I think in terms of our brand image -- (inaudible) -- and definitely the game of golf, actually, but I think particularly in China with the burgeoning growth, I think golf is going to be an incredible phenomena in China and Asia in years to come.
Putting our name behind this tournament is an opportunity to build our brand and to bring golf to the huge population in China and Asia, and also, with so many of the great golfers that have played, hopefully there will be a young Chinese person that will want to be the next Tiger Woods.

Q. To defend your title, do you have any official preparation before you come to China?
PHIL MICKELSON: I did prepare for this tournament, and having played this event last year and knowing what to expect at Sheshan Golf course, what I spent most of my time on was my putting. The greens at Sheshan are some of the most difficult greens to putt, very much like the Masters, and so I spent a lot of time practising speed and practising my putting to be able to perform well on the greens. I believe the greens at Sheshan are the key to success here.

Q. As we all know, the China Golf Association has a cooperation with HSBC in many areas, in addition to HSBC Champions, what are their projects and what are their partnerships about? What's your view on the role of HSBC in this partnership?
ZHANG XIAONING: Thank you for your question. We've been enjoying good cooperation and partnership with HSBC. This is of historic significance. Golf is fairly young in China, and our partnership covers a wide range of areas, one of which is the HSBC Champions, and this provides a world-class golf event in China and for Asia.
We do see an increasing number of spectators and an increase in media coverage of this event, especially paying a close to attention to the performance of these world-class golfers.
In addition, our cooperation with HSBC is more than the HSBC Champions. We focus on the young, rising star golfers in China, and this programme has been going smoothly. We already have the HSBC National Junior Championship and every year, we are going to do a lot of golfing promotions in the Chinese primary and secondary schools, and so far to my knowledge, there are about a dozen schools in China who are now introducing golf to their students. And at the same time, in our sport, we do have some young Chinese golfing stars and they are doing well at the moment and I believe that the rising stars will come out of these potential candidates.
What's more, our cooperation is very sincere and we do share a common vision, that is to cultivate high-end, world-class golfers for China. So we do share the same dream and same vision, and that is why we come together and we have carried our series of projects and programs, and I believe that we are going to have more projects with HSBC here, and I really want to say thank you to HSBC for your trust and support.

Q. Your record is quite excellent this year; you have won two major titles so far. For this year's HSBC Champions, what's your expectations on your own performance this year?
PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I don't come into any tournament with too high of expectations. Obviously I had a very successful year winning the two majors over the summer. This year, I had a little bit of a down period, which is normal after having such a high.
But I'm actually keen to get out and play at the moment. I'm very interested and I love the course this week, and it's a very important week. I'm looking forward to having a very strong week.
I know it's difficult to turn up and win on demand, but the important thing is that I feel like I'm ready to play and I'm looking forward to getting out there and feel like I can put in a strong showing this week.

Q. HSBC Champions have been in Shanghai for three years. What is the positive role that the HSBC Champions has played in raising the profile of Shanghai?
QIU WEICHANG, Deputy Director Shanghai Sports Bureau: We located the HSBC Champions in Shanghai and we do see progress every year. The high concentration of these world-class golfers is very special and unique and I believe this world-class golfing event will facilitate golf in Shanghai. I was at the site of Champions over the past three years, and at the very beginning, the local fans did not observe the courtesy on the golf course because we heard the mobile phones ringing very often in the first year, but we do see progress of the courtesy, so we really appreciate that.
At the same time, I think HSBC Champions is what we need, like the Chinese Masters Cup and the Formula I Grand Prix. I think this presents a good platform to facilitate the communication between China and the rest of the world. At the same time, the HSBC National Junior Championship was held successfully (at Shanghai's Sino-Bay Country Sports Club) with the support of the China Golf Association. I think this is also conducive to the cultivation and fostering of the new rising stars in Chinese golf, given the financial crisis at the moment, we really appreciate HSBC's dedication to this championship. The class of the champions has not been compromised by the financial crisis.
I really appreciate HSBC for your commitment and at the same time, I appreciate that HSBC Champions will facilitate the image of Shanghai, and as we all know Songjiang District is the heart of this HSBC Champions. So the location and presence of Champions will improve the profile of the Sheshan International Golf Club and also Songjiang District.
So we really appreciate HSBC Champions for all of the benefits Shanghai gets.

Q. What's your approach this week?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: For me, winning the Masters was an absolute lifelong dream and something that I will cherish forever. I think it was important for me to get that first victory because I proved to myself that, you know, I could compete at the highest level and that I have the game to come through and win my first major. I think that was a huge step for me.
I would say my golf from now on, will be just to keep prying and improve my game and working on my game so that hopefully I can put myself in those situations again and just keep trying to win golf tournaments. Obviously, you know, for pretty much every golfer who turns professional, the dream is to win major championships.
So you know, those are the events that I'm really trying to work hard for to be able to go to the majors and feel like I have a chance come Sunday. That's definitely the goal for me from now on is to keep improving and hopefully try and win a few more.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much for coming and joining us and we wish you all very good fortune at the HSBC Champions this year. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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