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May 19, 2009
BABE LAUFENBERG: Good afternoon, and welcome to the opening ceremony here for the 2009 HP Byron Nelson Championship. Once again, I'd like to thank the color guard from the joint reserve base, as well. (Applause.)
I am Babe Laufenberg, the CBS 11 sports anchor. Everybody has thanked me for coming out and being the emcee today. Truly, it's an honor and it's a privilege, so I thank you for inviting me and allowing me to be a part of this. I'm a big golf fan, so this is right up my alley.
This year's theme is "a great time and a greater cause," and I think the great time is easy to have, especially with this chamber of commerce weather that has been flown in here, but it's a greater cause that will inspire us all.
Last year's championship donated more than $6.1 million to the Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers, bringing the total, and I had to double-check this, bringing the total from this tournament since 1968 to $110 million.
My recently departed dad, unfortunately, used to always say that the measure of a man is how you treat the people that you don't need. How do you treat the people you don't need? I think we can all acknowledge that we're nice to the people we do need, nice to our bosses, try to be nice to our wives, but how do you treat the people you don't need?
I think the Salesmanship Club and the work that's done out here is a real shining example. Hey, all these people out here in red pants and the fundraising that goes on at this tournament, they don't necessarily need these kids and need these families, but the kids need them. The kids need this tournament. I think it's just outstanding.
I grew up in southern California, always thought at one point I would move back, but it's so great to be a part of this community because I think it's a true community. It's a community that cares, and there's no greater example of that than the work that's done by this golf tournament. So my thanks to everybody who's a part of it. (Applause.)
At this time I'd like to introduce the chairman of the 2009 HP Byron Nelson Championship. Please welcome Mr. Charley Spradley. (Applause.)
CHARLEY SPRADLEY: Thank you, Babe. You were nice to make those remarks, but you do us honor to be here, and we want to thank you and your team at Channel 11 and the CBS network for the fine job you do covering our championship.
As Babe just said, this is for a greater cause. Each dollar from this championship goes to support innovative and effective programs that help children and their families in the Dallas area through the Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers.
We could not be successful, however, without the support of many groups, so please join me in thanking four very special organizations. First, of course, is our great title sponsor HP. We have with us HP's senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Mr. Michael Mendenhall. We have with us Mr. Gary Elliott, vice president of global citizenship for HP. And of course, we have their hundreds of volunteers who work with us and make this tournament more fun every year. Thank you for having them with us, too.
Next I'd like to thank our host city, the City of Irving, and its excellent convention and visitors bureau for all they do to support this championship. Please join me in welcoming the Honorable Herb Gears, and we have Teresa Aiden, operations director, and Dr. Carlton Turner, board chairman of the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Last year the golfers who joined us at the Four Seasons Resort and Club at Las Colinas saw a remarkable transition to this golf course. Without remarkable commitment from Four Seasons and BentleyForbes, the project would not have been completed in such a grand fashion. So please also join me in thanking, although I don't believe he is here, he deserves a thank you, Mr. Fred Weaver, Sr., the chairman and founder of the BentleyForbes, and a man who had been with us for a long time helping us with every little thing and big, and to Mr. Michael Newcombe, the general manager of the Four Seasons Resort and Club at Las Colinas. Thank you. (Applause.)
Not only is there support to this organization as we plan this tournament, but it is financial, and there was so much support and encouragement from Mr. D.A. Weibring and his team when they brought this tournament to the PGA TOUR. We also want to recognize and thank our partners at the PGA TOUR for their commitment to our championship and the charitable cause we support. Giving back had been the bedrock of the Salesmanship Club and the PGA TOUR, and it's why Byron Nelson was the perfect representative for our championship and represented the golfers well on the PGA TOUR.
Our first PGA TOUR tournament in Dallas was the Victory Open in 1944. Fittingly, it raised $3,000 for injured World War II veterans, and even more fitting was won by our own Byron Nelson. Today the entire PGA TOUR has raised $1.4 billion for charity and recently announced a new charitable effort captioned, "together, anything is possible." Please, welcome with us the commissioner of the PGA TOUR, Mr. Tim Finchem. (Applause.)
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm absolutely delighted to be here in Dallas again. I've enjoyed my visits over the years. My first one as commissioner was I was invited to speak to the luncheon of the Salesmanship Club. I got to the luncheon, it was my first one, and about 300 members were assembled for lunch, and I said, boy, that's really flattering that all these people would come out to see me speak. Byron Nelson came over, and I said to the then-current president, "I'm really flattered." He said, "Tim, this is the way it is at all our luncheons. Get over it." (Laughter.)
But I'd like to congratulate and thank the T. Boone Pickens Foundation for sponsoring the Byron Nelson Prize. I think this is a very positive step for the tournament. I'm delighted to see Adam Scott here, our defending champion, who's one of our most charismatic and exciting players on the PGA TOUR, and I'm particularly delighted to see Peggy Nelson here, who became a great friend of mine and Holly's over the years.
The reason I'm excited about this prize, and I'll just mention quickly on the tournament side, I think anything that perpetuates Byron's memory as part of Dallas and the infrastructure of the tournament and the relationship of the Salesmanship Club is a positive thing. I think it's a very positive thing for this week going forward and for the tournament.
But also, beyond this week and the partnership with HP and what that means to impact thousands and thousands of lives, in the broader scheme, this award also helps in bringing home every year the notion that a great player, the PGA TOUR, a great sponsor like HP and a phenomenal organization like the Salesmanship Club can come together and do what has happened here in Dallas over these previous few decades. And over the years, and I've said this a number of times publicly around the country, community organizations in city after city have looked at Dallas and seen what can happen when a tournament gets integrated with the community, and we see more and more tournaments that are reaching their potential now in terms of giving back. And that's very, very special, because giving back and charity is a fundamental part of what the PGA TOUR is.
Twelve years ago it was made part of our mission statement. We took the step of saying as a policy we would not add any tournament to the Champions Tour, the Nationwide Tour or the PGA TOUR going forward that wasn't organized for a charitable purpose with 100 percent of the net proceeds going to charity. It's that important to what our culture is today.
And so much of that is because of Byron, in his nice way, pushing and pushing and pushing to focus on charity. And we owe him a great debt of gratitude to get us to this point. Two weeks ago we announced an upscale redirection, if you will, of our charitable efforts by putting a lot more resources behind letting everybody in this country know what can happen at PGA TOUR events and giving examples of what's happened right here in Dallas to tell that story more effectively, because over the years people say, Tim, you've just got to get out and let people know more about what's happening with PGA TOUR charity.
Secondly, we're partnering with our players. A very high percentage of our players who are out here for more than three or four years have their own charitable efforts, foundations, fundraisers, commitments as they serve on boards of charity. And we're going to partner with the players, restructure our website to be able to bring that information home to fans all over the country and all over the world so they can get involved more with what the players do, and by a consequence of that, tell again our story a little bit better.
So we have a lot of plans for starting in 2010. But today we're really here to remember Byron and to use his memory to recognize in this first award somebody who's very, very special in the game of golf. I want to congratulate everybody involved in that and thank the Salesmanship Club and HP for their partnership, what's happened and what will continue to happen here in Dallas in the years to come. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
JOHN NOLAN: I'm John Nolan. I was the chairman of the 2008 tournament, which is why I look extremely relaxed. I don't have a care in the world. Somebody pointed out something on Saturday, and I said, "You need to talk to Charley. It's his tournament." But Charley always looks relaxed, also. At this point I'd like Adam Scott, our defending champion, and Peggy Nelson to come to the podium.
Adam, you've been a great champion. You were wonderful last year during the tournament. Glad to have you back to defend your title. I think everybody would agree, I know Peggy would, that it was an incredible putt on 18 but it was a series of incredible putts on Sunday afternoon that got you there. We're delighted to have you back.
For many years -- as you know, you didn't get to keep the trophy last year. In previous years, this keeper trophy that Peggy is holding was presented to the defending champion personally by Byron Nelson. We hope this year you will accept this from Peggy and me and know that we are thrilled to have you as our defending champion. (Applause.)
ADAM SCOTT: Thank you, John and Peggy, very much. It's nice to have something like this to take home with Byron Nelson somewhere in my house forever. It's a great honor to be the champion of this tournament.
I just want to recognize the work of the Salesmanship Club on behalf of the players. It's truly incredible what you guys do. We see you often throughout the year, but when we come back here and see how you pull everything together, it's really remarkable. So thanks for all your hard work. And also, thank you to HP for their support of this event. Obviously without you guys, we don't get to play, and we certainly love playing here in this area that's supported so well by the community. It makes it a very fun event for us to play in.
Again, thank you. I'm proud to be the champion, and I'll be working really hard to not let go of it this week. (Applause.)
BABE LAUFENBERG: Adam, thank you. Thank you, John, Mrs. Nelson. Adam, we have a few cameras running so it's a good time to throw down the gauntlet and say you will win this one again.
It's my pleasure now to introduce the senior vice president and chief marketing officer at HP. Please welcome Mr. Michael Mendenhall. (Applause.)
MICHAEL MENDENHALL: I think we brought a little bit of California weather to Dallas. Isn't this great? Really wonderful.
I want to just say that HP is honored to be the sponsor of this tournament, and it is because of the great work you're doing. If you go back to Bill and Dave in 1939, one of the founding philosophies of the company was being a good global citizen, and what that meant was in any community where we work or put on an event that we were to leave it better off than when we came. And I think you, the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, have done just that in Dallas. You embody that spirit that we have at HP about being that good global citizen, and you've done remarkable things to raise over $110 million for charity.
I was fortunate to get to go out to the school and visit with the kids and get to spend some time, and I'll be going back out, because as with HP when we go into a community we leave it better off, 100 volunteers will be going out one morning with myself, and we're going to improve that school by putting in some of the latest technology, and this was enabled again by what HP and the club has done together.
I want to thank the commissioner, and I want to thank the PGA. I want to thank Peggy and the club for putting on such a great event. But at HP we like to say, "A pixel paints a thousand words." (Laughter).
So with that we've done a little pixillation of our own to show you why HP is a sponsor of this tournament, and it's not just for the great golf, but it's about changing the lives of kids. Let's take a look.
You are making a difference, and you're creating change. At HP we like to say you create an amazing change. When you're out there on the golf course, you're going to see these guys in red pants. Go up and thank them not just for what they're doing at this tournament but every day all year long. Thank you very much.
BROOKS CULLUM: Thank you very much for those kind remarks and for that truly stunning video. We say all the time that this tournament has been truly blessed by our title sponsors. Thank you for the absolutely best title sponsor on the PGA TOUR.
As you saw, HP truly believes in our cause and in helping children and their families in the Dallas area. On Thursday over 100 HP members and volunteers will commit to a day of caring and with the students and the teachers at the J. Eric Johnson Community School. Thank you again, Michael, and thank you to your colleagues at HP.
I am Brooks Cullum, chairman of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. Following Byron's passing two years ago, the club established two significant awards programs to continue Byron's legacy, and in his honor, both programs were designed to continue the legacy of serving youth and their families but in slightly different ways.
The Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Awards were designed to carry on Byron's legacy through encouraging young golfers. We believe that by recognizing young golfers from around the world and bringing them to this tournament that we will benefit the future of golf, that we enrich our commitment to young people and in a singular way show the strong interest Byron had in giving back to young golfers, the game of golf and his community.
Last year five young golfers from around the world were the first recipients of the Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Award. This year we honor four more athletes. Please welcome the 2009 Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Award recipients. I will name them, and if they'll stand and if you'll hold your applause until the end.
First we have Cameron Peck of Olympia, Washington. We have Brinson Paolini of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Evan Beck, also from Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Emiliano Grillo from Resistencia, Argentina. Our apologies for the Spanish language. (Applause.)
Just a little bit about these young men. Last year at the U.S. Junior Amateur, Cameron and Evan battled to the final round for the championship. Cameron ended up winning that event. Evan later came back to play in the Junior Players Championship and won.
Last December Brinson defeated of last year's honorees, Patrick Winther of Denmark in the finals of the Polo Junior Golf Classic, and in the 2008 North Open, one of Argentina's major tournaments, Emiliano finished runner-up to Andres Romero and tied with Angel Cabrera. That's the same Angel Cabrera of the Masters and the U.S. Open.
Not only are these young men outstanding athletes, but they're outstanding citizens. Michael, I'd like you to please note that Cameron said his first shot came at the HP Boys' Invitational at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club, and Brinson is a two-time American scholastic junior all-American. We thank you for your sponsorship, and HP must be proud of these young men.
Now I'd like to call on Frank Swingle, president of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, to present the Byron Nelson Prize.
FRANK SWINGLE: Thank you, Brooks. The Salesmanship Club initiated the Byron Nelson Prize to honor our tournament namesake and our dear friend Byron Nelson. This prize is to be presented to a person or organization who in the golf world exemplifies the ideals of giving back, that Byron personified throughout his life.
This year we received many nominations of men and women who translated success with the game of golf into service with their community just as Byron did throughout his life. The permanent trophy recognizing the honoree includes a wooden clock, one of 14 that Byron left unfinished in his workshop. In addition, a contribution of $100,000 will be made to the honoree's designated charity as part of the prize.
Again, this year, we're pleased that Dallas philanthropist, the "Oracle of Oil" and now known as the "King of Wind," T. Boone Pickens, is honored with presenting the Byron Nelson prize. Please join me in welcoming Mr. T. Boone Pickens as he joins me here. (Applause.)
T. BOONE PICKENS: I don't hear as well as I used to, but as you know I'm not a member of the Salesmanship Club, but I want to commend you guys for what you do to promote this tournament and what it does for our city and all. It's great, and what you do with the funds is fantastic and outstanding. I'm proud to be sponsoring the Byron Nelson Prize. This we know underwrites the Byron Nelson legacy and in his own way his commitment to sportsmanship.
So it's a big day for me, and I look forward to this every year. I bumped into Arnold in the lobby. I don't know what he's doing here (laughter).
I have a quick story about Arnold and me. You know how you like to be connected to a legend? But we both are members down at Augusta, and he was finishing 18, and he was through for the day, and I was finishing 9. So we were right there at the same point. We shook hands and had a few minutes' conversation. I went over and teed off 10.
But about two months later I saw him, and he said, "Last time I saw you was there at the club. How are you playing?" I said, "You don't realize what a person of your power does to a person that's not much of a golfer." "Oh, what's this story?" I said, "No, I'm serious. I shook hands with you and I went over to 10 and I hit a nice drive and bogeyed the hole but played it pretty well. But I was thinking about you when I teed off 11 and I hit a really good drive, and my second shot was something that I know you've done many times on 11 at Augusta." He said, "What's that?" I said, "I knocked it in the hole." He said, "You eagled 11?" I said, "That's right. After I shook hands with you it inspired me." This is a true story. And he said, "I've never eagled 11." I said, "I thought you guys eagled 11 many, many times, that it wasn't that unusual." He said, "well, it is." (Applause.)
FRANK SWINGLE: Without your support we couldn't do this. Peggy, if I could ask you to come out here, please.
It's our privilege and pleasure to present the 2009 Byron Nelson Prize to an icon. He's a great golfer, winning seven major championships. He was The King, the first golf superstar in the television age. He played in the very first Byron Nelson Classic in 1968 and graciously returned for 11 years thereafter. He's a man of great faith, courage and perseverance who's given back both to his sport and to his country.
Byron once painlessly noted that "He has what I call an Eisenhower smile. Those two men, they smile and their whole faces look so pleasant, it was like they were smiling all over." He's a man Byron Nelson respected and who is clearly deserving of the Byron Nelson Prize. Please join the Salesmanship Club of Dallas and Peggy Nelson in honoring Mr. Arnold Palmer. (Applause.)
ARNOLD PALMER: Thank you, Frank, Peggy. I'm flattered to be here, and thank you, Peggy and Frank, and all of you, Commissioner.
To Peggy and to the Salesmanship Club and Mr. Pickens, this is a great pleasure to be able to say a few words about Byron Nelson, who was my hero and a guy that I suppose other than my father I probably got more from Byron and the things that he did in golf than probably any other pro or person. I read his book when I was a little boy and he was writing about the system that he used. I will not say that I tried to copy his style of play, but I did try to copy a lot of the things that he did and some of the discipline that he applied to himself and to his game, and I think that's what we're talking about, a great man, a great player and a great guy.
Those things that Byron did over his life were pretty fantastic, and when he won 11 tournaments in a row, I was sitting on the edge of my seat watching and just waiting for it to happen again. And to have worked with him when he was doing television and I was a player was something that was a great privilege for me. And I guess maybe the bottom whole thing is that he was just a man that continued to contribute to not just the game of golf but to life and to other people. He was a person that I had the highest respect for.
To be here to accept an award in his name is a great thrill for me. And people said, "What are you doing? Another award?" Well, this isn't another award; this is a very special award. The opportunity to come here, and I played in this tournament a number of times, and it was fun. I'm sorry I'm not here playing this week.
But to all of you, to the Salesmanship Club, which I have worked with before over the years, and those of you who are old enough to know that -- I don't think there are people here that are old enough. (Laughter.) And the donations that you make to children, to golfers, and of course to the foundation, which will go to the various medical centers around the country and to my personal medical center in Orlando, Florida, and to a lot of causes that have to do with children, and to make that even better and better, I appreciate that.
So thank you very much, Salesmanship Club, Peggy, Boone, and to all of you who make all of this possible, thank you very much. (Applause.)
FRANK SWINGLE: As I mentioned, the Byron Nelson Prize comes with a $100,000 contribution to charity. That contribution will be made in Arnold Palmer's name to the Arnold D. And Winifred W. Palmer Charitable Foundation, which supports the Arnold Palmer Hospital For Children and Women and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando. These hospitals have been healing women and children from central Florida and around the world with care and compassion and leading-edge medical care.
Arnold, on behalf of the Salesmanship Club, again, thank you and congratulations. (Applause.)
BABE LAUFENBERG: Mr. Palmer, you said the one thing you're sorry about is you're not playing this week. Can we get a sponsor's exemption? If you want to play, I think they will arrange this. (Laughter.) I don't think I have to clear this with anyone.
It's interesting, Mr. Pickens telling the story about Augusta, and I don't think you can meet Mr. Palmer and not come away with a story. You don't have to be there long.
I had the opportunity in 2001, I caddied for Troy Aikman at the Bob Hope Classic, and we had the great honor to play with Mr. Palmer on a Saturday. Mr. Palmer had the honor of being 72 years old that day and shooting 71, first TOUR player to shoot his age, I believe, in 22 years, since Sam Snead. It was unbelievable to watch that.
The interesting thing, the Bob Hope is a little different. It's not just the pro-am at the beginning of the week and then the pros go out later; they play with them until Sunday.
So I was caddying for Troy on Saturday when we were playing with Mr. Palmer. They're giving the amateurs the front tees. Mr. Palmer is playing from the championship tees and the back tees. He was in the tournament.
Now, Troy Aikman was still playing at the time, 6'4", 230, big, strong bull of a man. Mr. Palmer was spotting him about 40 yards on every drive and then blowing it over his ball, and I told Troy, I am going to drop this back right in the middle ever this fairway if this 71-year-old man keeps outdriving you. I asked Mr. Palmer's caddie -- on every par-5, he'd hit the drive and the caddie would immediately hand him a 3-wood. I said to the caddie, "Does Mr. Palmer have any irons in that bag?" He looked at me kind of quizzically, and he said, "Why do you ask that?" I said, "Every time he hits a drive, you just hand him the 3-wood; you don't see the lie, you don't see how far it is, you don't see the trouble ahead." He said, "One time I handed him an iron. He looked at me at said, 'See all these people out here? They didn't come here to watch Arnold Palmer lay up.'"
Now, the downside to this story, I told the story to Troy after his caddie told me and Troy was tickled with it too. So we get to a par-5 and he has 270 over water, so he wants the 3-wood, and after it went in the water then I handed him the iron to lay up, and we took double bogey. I said, "Remind me not to tell you any more stories about Mr. Palmer."
What makes this championship and the Byron Nelson Prize so special is that it recognizes the recognizes the unselfish nature of its namesake. As we all know, Byron Nelson cares about others and he cared most about the children. With that in mind, please welcome up the J. Eric Johnson Chorale. (Applause.)
I do stand corrected, I've got to retract a previous statement when I spoke about my dad and how do you treat people you don't need. I said we don't need them, but then you watch that video, and they're going to be teachers that teach our children, they're going to be veterinarians who we take our animals to, they are going to be doctors who we all need one day, and we even had a president in the group. Nice round of applause for the J. Eric Johnson Chorale.
That concludes the presentation today. We've got a great week of weather ahead. I know everybody becomes an amateur meteorologist for this week. We've got a great week of weather ahead. We have a great defending champion in Adam Scott, and we honored this afternoon one of the greatest ambassadors and greatest champions in all of golf, The King, Mr. Arnold Palmer. (Applause.)
May the rest of the week be as nice as this afternoon. Everybody, thank you for attending this afternoon, and enjoy a great week of golf.
End of FastScripts