|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
May 24, 2011
\ BABE LAUFENBERG: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to the opening ceremony of the 2011 HP Byron Nelson Championship. And as I was talking to Mr. Pickens, I said, "a year has passed already?" I think this must be a biennial event here that we're doing because I know it hasn't been a full year. But it has.
At this point please rise and join the United States Marine Corps Color Guard of the 8th Marine Corps District for the presentation of colors. That will be followed by our National Anthem sung by national recording artist, Cary Pierce.
How about a nice round of applause for Cary Pierce, the United States Marine Corps Color Guard. (Applause). And for all of our Marines, soldiers and sailors serving both here and abroad. (Applause).
You may all be seated.
Boy, I feel like I should give a lecture up here. Please be seated. No, I'm not much for lecturing, except for if you listen to my two boys. I am Babe Laufenberg of CBS 11 Sports. My pleasure to once again be the MC here today, and as I was saying, thank you for coming back, and I know that the story behind this is if this job was easy, they would have found somebody good to do it. So they keep bringing me back, I keep accepting; and it's an honor for me to be here, honor for me to be here again with Peggy Nelson and be part of the 44th playing of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. And of course, it will be televised on CBS. Jim Nance will be in here for the weekend and that crew, so a lot of fun for our station to be a part of that.
Tournament theme, of course, is a great time, a greater cause, and while I know that everyone will have a great time because it happens each and every year, the greater cause is what this tournament is truly all about. Last year's championship recognized more than 4.7 million dollars for the Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers, and since the tournament's inception in 1968 over 116 million dollars have been donated to the center for charity. (Applause).
That is a pretty good number, and we're going to hear about more of that a little bit later in the program here, though. At this time I'd like to introduce the leader of the red pants gang. That would be the president of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. Please welcome Mr. Mike Massad, Jr. (Applause).
MIKE MASSAD: Yes, Mike Massad, Jr., and I have the privilege of being the president of the Salesmanship Club this year, and Babe, I want to thank you and Channel 11 and your entire CBS network for what you do for your championship every year. You guys are great partners. You help us in more ways than you know, and we appreciate that.
And in connection with the parties and the people that we need to introduce today briefly, there are two men we really need to recognize right off the bat, and these are two guys who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this championship what it is this year and what it will be for years to come. And the first person I would introduce is Bill Wilshusen, the chairman of the Salesmanship Club Charitable Golf of Dallas or as we call it the golf club. Bill. (Applause). He was hiding from me.
And then the next fellow we would introduce is our 2011 tournament chairman who has really worked tirelessly to get this tournament to the great spot where it's going to be a kickoff and a great tournament this year. That's John Becker. (Applause).
And as Babe mentioned, the reason that we're all here really is for our "greater cause" concept. And as most of you know, every dollar from this championship that we can generate goes to support the innovative educational and mental health programs of the Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Center. And these programs help support and provide therapy and education and training for families in the Dallas area on an annual basis, and last year we were able to serve approximately 8,000 people, thanks to the generosity of this community.
And our charity and our tournament could not be successful without the support of many individuals and groups who are with us every year in connection with presenting the Byron Nelson Championship. So please join me as I introduce them and thank several special organizations that make this tournament possible.
First I would like to thank our incredibly gracious host city, the city of Irving and the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau for what they do for our championship. And with us today we have the mayor of Irving, the Honorable Herb Gears. (Applause). And we also have with us the city manager of Irving, Tommy Gonzalez. (Applause). And we also have with us today the immediate past chairman of the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau Mr. Carlton Turner. (Applause).
It goes without saying that without the first class facilities and commitment of the Four Seasons, our championship would not be nearly as special as it is. So please join me in thanking the entire Four Seasons team. We do greatly appreciate you, and in recognizing Mr. Luis Argote, the general manager of the Four Seasons Resort and Club at Las Colinas. Luis. (Applause).
You all be nice to Luis. He's only been here about a month from his previous posting which was at Papagayo Peninsula in Costa Rica. He's still looking for the ocean, but so far he hasn't found it.
I would also like to offer a special note of thanks to the PGA TOUR and to the tournament business affairs representative with us today, Mr. Tom Strong. (Applause). He was here. Clap for him anyway. We'll do better with these next introductions.
As you all know, the game of golf is an international sport, worldwide with many great tournaments held around the world. One of the key indicators of great tournaments is a strong global title sponsor. We're confident that no other TOUR event can top the commitment and the creativity of our title sponsor, HP, and on behalf of the children and the families the championship serves, we are very, very proud to be their partner. Please help me thank HP and the hundreds of HP volunteers literally that are joining us this week.
I'm pleased to welcome first Frank Accettulli from HP who is our friend, our ally, our business partner and works with us literally on a daily basis that makes this tournament stop one of the best on the PGA TOUR. Frank is right here. (Applause).
Now it's my sincere pleasure to introduce another great friend from HP, Mr. Gary Elliott who's the vice president of corporate marketing direct from Palo Alto. Gary. (Applause).
MR. ELLIOTT: Thanks, Mike. Greatly appreciate it. I just want to say how pleased I am to be here. I want to acknowledge a couple people. So Peggy, thank you for all that you do. Kent Skipper. If you could -- where's Ken? Thank you for what you do. (Applause). Brooks Cullum and Frank Swingle, thank you for being our great partners.
On behalf of HP and the 320,000 employees that we have around this world, HP is honored to sponsor this storied event. What has started out as a sponsorship has developed into what we feel is a true partnership. And if you add in the legacy of the tournament, its namesake, Byron Nelson, it makes it that much more special.
Over the past two years we've been amazed at the work that the Salesmanship Club of Dallas has done. We have seen firsthand the results of the dedication of the staff at both J. Erik Jonsson Community School as well as the Constantine Centers. And as we watch students and teachers and counselors use HP equipment and tools for learning and development, I can tell you it's very satisfying. We know how vitally important technology has become in the sharing of information ideas, self-improvement and also to create an impression. And to that end it is my honor to announce that HP is making another technology grant of $100,000 to the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. (Applause).
As a company and as an individual we must never lose sight of how fortunate we are in our personal and individual lives to lend a helping hand wherever and whenever we can. We believe that the championship, this championship affords us a rare opportunity to leave the community better than we found it.
Each year we host a volunteer day at the tournament. This year the HP Gives Back Event is going to be held on Thursday. We expect about 80 volunteers to come in. We're going to be joined by some celebrities and HP leaders, and what we do is we roll up our sleeves and just get to work and hopefully make a difference. And we're delighted to go do that.
And as for the tournament we're delighted to have such a strong field. We continue to applaud the efforts of the entire organization who continue to make it even better. We're also happy this year to recognize some of the hardest working people on the TOUR, the caddies. And we are partnering with Cadillac to award a 2011 Escalade Hybrid to the caddie of the winner.
And if you have an opportunity, I invite you to stop by the HP Technology Zone that's right behind the second tee. You're going to see some of the latest HP technology and products, and I think you'll have some fun. We're also going to give away a number of products. So hopefully you can be there for that.
And for those of you who are following social media and the social media phenomenon, we're going to be taking it to the next level. Throughout the week we're going to be broadcasting the live twitter feeds on the screens around the golf course, and I'm willing to bet there's going to be a ton of tweets around the course this week.
In closing it's a privilege to be affiliated with a tournament that's raised more money than any other, and I think who arguably has touched more lives for the better. It is a tournament we feel that uniquely and irreverently honors the man and the remarkable spirit for whom it is named. Thanks very much. (Applause).
BABE LAUFENBERG: Gary, thank you. You know, I caddied in high school. I may -- there's an Escalade? Something tells me I won't get one of the top players to just say, hey, I did this 30 years ago; can I try it again? Who am I kidding? 35 years ago.
And as Mike mentioned Luis, if you're looking for the ocean here, I know you came from Costa Rica, just go look at that lake on 18 will have to suffice. And let me tell you this, it cost a heck of a lot more money to build than that ocean that you were a part of before.
As most of you remember, when we lost Byron, the Salesmanship Club of Dallas came up and decided that they were going to provide two significant award programs to honor the man who of course was a legend both on and off the course. Now, both programs are designed to continue Byron's legacy of giving back to the community and his encouragement of young golfers. So if we can please have our young gentlemen here today stand and be recognized, Denny McCarthy from Rockville, Maryland. (Applause). Justin Thomas from Goshen, Kentucky. And we'll give a round of applause in absentia here because Michael Johnson, in keeping with the spirit of the award of excellence both on the golf course and academically, he's taking finals and graduating. So he cannot be here. But Michael Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama.
Denny, do you mind standing up? From Rockville, Maryland. Red Skins fan? Okay. The award is revoked. One thing you're going to have to learn is when in Rome do as the Romans. Let's try that again. Red fan? Oh, okay. Okay. Like Byron that's a man of character that can't be bought. Thank you. (Applause). Very good. Couldn't break him.
Okay. I'm going to bring Mike Massad back up here, if we could, and I think Mike has another presentation. Mike?
MIKE MASSAD: Thank you very much, Babe, and before I introduce this next lady, I just want to say on behalf of the Salesmanship Club and our staff and our program, Gary Elliott, that is a tremendously nice gift, and you do so much for us and we greatly, greatly appreciate it. (Applause).
And likewise, we are deeply grateful to Peggy Nelson for her continued involvement and commitment and support for this championship which bears the name of really the finest gentleman to ever play the game of golf. And Peggy, if you would say a few words for us. (Applause).
PEGGY NELSON: Thank you, Mr. President. It is my privilege not only to have been married Byron for almost 20 years and to have learned pretty much everything I know from him and from his wonderful example which continues to influence me in slightly eerie ways, actually. But it's been my privilege also to be involved with this tournament and to come out and get to enjoy seeing my friends every year and working with these crazy red pants guys and to get to see these kids this morning. I can't wait to hear them sing. It's going to be wonderful. All of you people that support the tournament that work, and I mean there's so much work that goes on before and during and after this tournament that we make it look like fun on the surface, but there's a whole bunch of feet paddling underneath that water. So I know you appreciate all the hard work that goes into it, and look forward to a great week. We're looking forward to some great golf and a winner on Sunday. Thank you. (Applause).
MIKE MASSAD: Thanks very much, Peggy. And in connection with that, in 2007 was when the Salesmanship Club initiated the Byron Nelson prize. And that is to honor our tournament's namesake and our dear friend, Byron Nelson. And the prize is presented each year to some individual in the world of golf who has exemplified the ideals of giving back to the community as Byron did every day of his life. And this year we received many nominations of men and women who have translated this into the game of golf and service in their community as Byron did.
The permanent trophy, which is down here and we'll present in a minute -- maybe we'll do it now. Like Peggy says, you're really in charge, aren't you. But the permanent trophy that we'll present recognizing the honoree includes a wooden clock, one of the 14 that Byron Nelson left unfinished in his wood shop, and in addition to this clock a contribution of $100,000 will be made to the honoree's designated charity in connection with the prize.
And in connection with the prize this year, we are so pleased once again to be able to partner with one of our nation's most generous philanthropists and undoubtedly one of the most successful entrepreneurs our generation has known. He's sometimes been called the oracle of oil for his uncanny knack of predicting oil prices. Did you get this last one right? (Laughs).
But it is his tremendous philanthropic spirit that it's probably equally well known that we celebrate today. And in connection with that we just came from a meeting from Lance Barrow of CBS, and if you'll tune in for the broadcast Saturday afternoon you'll see a vignette that CBS I think filmed this morning on Mr. Pickens entitled "60 seconds with Boone Pickens." They've been doing this at a lot of their tournaments. So please tune in and see that.
So it is my privilege to welcome a true Dallas legend, T. Boone Pickens, the presenting sponsor of the Byron Nelson prize. (Applause).
T. BOONE PICKENS: I wish I could pick that oil price. It's a privilege, of course, to have been the presenting sponsor for the Byron Nelson since 2007. And so I always look forward to this every year. But the comment about the Salesmanship Club, you guys are the greatest. You really are. And but you remember who my mentor was in the Salesmanship Club, Paul Bass. And Paul Bass introduced me to speak a number of times, and I know it's five times is the way this came out.
And it was right before he was ready for me to get up, he said, "I saw a guy the other day, and he said, 'Paul,' he said, 'have you read Boone's last book?'" I can't remember what he said. Paul said, "I sure hope so." (Laughs).
And I said, "Paul, that's getting old. You've used it five times now." He said, "But I still get a good laugh off of it."
So anyway, I know today we honor Deane Beman. Deane and I have never met until today and we've both been called legends. And this brings in Paul Bass again that he introduced me, or somebody did, that I was a legend. And I said, "you know, Paul, that all started," I said, "just a couple years ago that they identified me as a legend."
He said, "yeah, that's a guy that's 75 years old and still has a job."
But Deane is a real legend. I mean he's 73 and we're calling him a legend. So you didn't have to go to 75 and still have a job to do it.
But we both pride ourselves in being good CEOs. Back in the days of Mesa days, when I was picked as CEO of the decade, Deane, you probably deserve to be the CEO of the decade, of the century for the PGA because you were a man with a plan. And I can still remember when I was in college, my dad came to see me and I was in my sophomore year, and he said, "you know, son" -- he came, I was being initiated into a fraternity, and he was in the same fraternity SAE, and he came and pinned me with his badge, which he had gotten out of Tennessee in '22, and this was in '49.
He pinned me. We hugged each other, and it was a real nice ceremony, and now -- very unusual thing, but now my dad was my brother, which not many people can say that. But anyway, we walked out on the lawn and everything turned different. He said, "son, you know," he said, "your mother and I are concerned that you're not on the same plan to graduate that we have you on." And I couldn't -- I didn't have much response because I think he was right, or I thought he was right at the time.
And he said, "you started out in vet medicine," and he said, "that didn't seem to be what you were cut out to be." And he said, "now you're over in the business school," and he said, "I don't think much of the business school." So he said, "I want to tell you, either get in geology or engineering and get the hell out of school in June of '51." And he looked at me and he said, "son, you know, a fool with a plan can beat a genius with no plan. Your mother and I have real concerns that we have a fool with no plan." (Laughs).
I tell you, that was right at the semester. Two weeks later I already had eight hours in geology. I went over to see the dean of geology Brown Onette, and I said, "I gotta get out of here in June of '51." He figured with me for about 10 or 15 minutes, and he said, you know, you go to one summer school, carry 2.18 or 19, you'll be out o' here. I said, "sign me up, pal. I now have a plan." (Laughs).
So anyway, this is a pleasure for me. I did do Ken Venturi -- do you remember he insulted me one time when I played golf with him. He said, "you know, Pickens, you don't hit the ball very far." He said, "if you would hit it and run backwards, it would look like you hit it further." So that's the kind of things I had to take from people.
And then Arnold. But Arnold and I had an interesting experience at Augusta. I had dinner with him one night. The next day he played early. I played a couple hours later. He was finishing on 18 when I came to make the turn and coming off 9. And we shook hands and said good to see you, enjoyed evening and everything else, and then I go over and tee off 10. I saw him two weeks later in a White House holding room, and I went over and said, "you know, Arnold, you can't believe what a legend like you can do for a regular golfer."
He said, "what happened?" I said, "well, you remember..." He said sure. I said I was finishing up 18. I said, "Let me tell you, I felt like Popeye when I shook hands with you." You all are not old enough to remember Popeye, but that was a guy that ate spinach and did like this and his muscles popped out and everything. He said, "wait a minute. What is this story you're getting ready to tell me?"
I said, "Well, it's true. I went over and hit a good drive on 10. Was on in two, and then I three-putted." I said, "I was a little bit excited after shaking hands with you there when you were finishing." And I said, "you know, I settled down and I got over to 11," and I said, "I did what I know you've done many, many times." He said, "okay. What is it, Boone?"
I said, "I eagled 11." And he said, "you eagled 11?" I said, "yeah." I said, "You've done it a lot of times." He said, "I've never eagled 11." I said, "I thought you guys eagled all these holes every time." No, he didn't.
He said, "You must have hit two really good shots." I said, "No, I didn't." He said, "What was it?" I said, "I hit a really good shot and then I hit a perfect shot." So anyway, that's the truth. That's a true story. And so we're going to honor Deane here, and I'm going to turn it back over to Mike and make the pass-off. Thank you. (Applause).
MIKE MASSAD: Thanks very much, Boone, and we do appreciate your sponsorship and support in the Sportsmanship Club. And as you've heard now for 2011 on behalf of the Salesmanship Club and Peggy Nelson and T. Boone Pickens, I want to announce that, to no one's surprise, Deane Beman is our 2011 Byron Nelson prize winner.
And before he comes up here I wanted to share with you a few comments about Deane's career. He's been very distinguished not only as a player and administrator and a visionary, and he truly, we think, represents the spirit of the Byron Nelson prize. He was an outstanding competitor when he was playing golf, including winning two U. S. Amateurs, one British Amateur and four PGA TOUR events, the first of which he told me before our ceremony was the Texas Open in San Antonio. Deane is probably best known, despite that outstanding record, for his work as the PGA TOUR commissioner from 1974 through 1994. And during his reign as commissioner, Deane's vision resulted in the tremendous growth of the PGA TOUR and the game itself as we've come to see it today.
Deane spearheaded the introduction of the senior tour in 1980, the Nationwide Tour which began in 1989, and also the TPC Network, which began with the construction of the TPC stadium course in Ponte Vedra, Florida. And I'm not sure how many there are, some 26, 27 TPCs, so you can see he benefited them.
While the TOUR assets under Deane continued to grow, Deane also focused on what the TOUR could do to give back to the communities in which all of these tournaments were being played. And in fact, during a visit to the Salesmanship Club Youth Camp that we have in Hawkins, Texas, it was then that Deane decided that all PGA TOUR events should be required to give back to the charity in the community where the tournament was held.
And that decision and his subsequent implementation has only led to more than 1.5 billion dollars in charitable giving from PGA TOUR events since the program began. And before I present this trophy to Deane, I don't want to forget to introduce his lovely wife, Judy, right here on the front row. (Applause).
And inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000, Recipient of the 2000 PGA TOUR Lifetime Achievement Award and now the Byron Nelson Prize Winner, I would like to have you welcome Deane Beman. And Boone, and Peggy, if you would join me up here for this presentation. (Applause).
And before Deane steps to the podium, I do want to give him one unsolicited plug and that is for his new book that just came out this month. Is that correct? Entitled "Golfs Driving Force." And it's the inside story of the man who transformed professional golf into a billion dollar business, and we could not be happier to have our awardee this year be Mr. Deane Beman. (Applause).
DEANE BEMAN: Thank you, Mike. When I say Mike Massad, I always want to look sort of at my eye level, not look up at Mike Massad here, but the other Mike Massad back here at my eye level. Mike, congratulations on your son being a chief here.
Let me first say that I couldn't be more honored to receive an award with Byron Nelson's name on it. Byron Nelson there are a lot of things that Byron has been involved in in this community, but he's been so involved with golf.
I did play in the 1968 tournament. I did have that opportunity. But then I wasn't thinking about any bigger things than trying to make a living. We couldn't care less what the Salesmanship Club did. All knew that you had nice prize money and that we were here as players trying to get it. That's all we knew.
But when I became commissioner, I got a little wiser. I came to Dallas one year with Judy, and Bert Speed took us down to the camp, and it dawned on me that, you know, my thoughts as a player were I couldn't care less what the Salesmanship Club did. All I cared was that you were giving me the prize money to play for. It dawned on me that these volunteers weren't doing all this work just so I could make a living and walk out of Dallas with some money in my pocket. They were doing it for a bigger and higher purpose.
And that's when it dawned on me that if I was going to be successful in taking the TOUR from a minor sport to a major sport, which means injecting big money into it, which means that the players are going to make a lot of money, that the thousands of volunteers that this book that you mentioned are dedicated to are not going to take their vacation so that a month of golf pros can go out of town and make a lot of money. They are going to do it because they are doing something worthwhile for their own community.
That's when I decided that the most important thing I could do not just to raise the level of income for the players that I represented, but to make sure that the TOUR endured was to make sure that every event stood for the kind of thing that the Salesmanship taught, duty and honor. I went down to camp and that's what it was all about. It wasn't be me trying to make a living or impress the trail. It was about what you were doing for your community.
So we did make sure and a policy board passed a resolution that all future PGA TOUR events must be run for charity and 100 percent of those proceeds of every event had to go to things like the Salesmanship Club does in their community. And the 1.6 billion dollars that has been raised and keeps multiplying every year, we got a good start back when I was here, but Commissioner Finchem and his staff and through the volunteers like the Salesmanship Club have made it all work.
And it works because we're all responsible. The community wins. The TOUR wins, the game of golf wins. And so we learned that there wasn't just one winner in golf, that there was a bunch of winners. And the Salesmanship Club, as I say in my book, is the example that we used and it's taught us all how to do great things.
I wanted to recognize Hewlett Packard for your involvement here, the PGA TOUR and what we do for the communities that we're involved in almost every city in this country. It just would not be possible without marrying up the corporate sponsorships with the tournament and the volunteers. Our aim at the PGA TOUR is to -- and certainly the involvement of the Salesmanship Club and what they do for their community, but it's to make sure that our corporate sponsors who invest in golf and invested in their local communities get more out of their investment than they put in.
And I'm happy to say that because of our corporate sponsorships and our title sponsorship program, the statistics will show that the investment that the corporations make in golf that benefit the community they get more than three dollars worth of value out of every dollar they invest. And we want to keep it that way. We've gotta make you a winner, too. Thank you.
And Boone, thank you for making it possible for me to help a school in Florida. That's where the $100,000 is going to go. These are tough times for institutions like that. I have a daughter who is physically and mentally challenged, and she's been going to this school for about 30 years. So the Duval Home in DeLand, Florida is going to be the recipient of this money. (Applause).
But the Salesmanship Club and Byron Nelson and Boone Pickens, and I hope the leadership of the PGA TOUR, they know one thing that you're not paid to try and you're not paid to fail. You learn soon enough when you do fail how to do it right. And you learn how to do it right. (Applause).
MIKE MASSAD: And as Deane mentioned the Duval Home in Florida provides residential and day training programs to individuals with developmental disabilities, and Deane, on behalf of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, congratulations. And in fact, do we have the right guy as the winner of this prize this year or what? (Applause).
Thank you very much, and I guess I have to give up the podium now back to Babe. But we appreciate everybody being here.
BABE LAUFENBERG: All right. Thank you. I want everybody to know my hands never touched the clock. My rule of thumb is there's a limited supply, I think. So I don't want to be the one to drop it. Okay.
Denny, one last chance? Still a Red Skins fan. Okay. Man of character, man of conviction right there. Thanks, everyone, for coming out today. Looking forward to a great tournament. I do find it very interesting and almost incongruent that HP as the sponsor of a golf tournament. You've got a company that's the leading edge of technology sponsoring a sport where they still keep score with a pencil that doesn't have an eraser. But it all works. It all works.
And Mr. Pickens, happy birthday to you. He celebrated a birthday on Sunday. (Applause). And again, always a pleasure for me to be a part of it, Mrs. Nelson. Congratulations to you.
At this point let's welcome all our young students there. I cannot believe how good this group is. I have a 13 and a 16-year-old, and I would have broken up four fights by now. We have them all over there very patiently waiting. Please welcome our choir from the fourth grade class of J. Erik Jonsson Community School.
That was simply outstanding. How about another round of applause for the fourth graders from J. Eric Jonsson Community School. (Applause). And I guarantee you they were just as nervous standing up as somebody will be on 18 trying to make a putt for a million dollars to win the tournament this week.
All right. That concludes our event today. Appreciate everybody for coming out. No doubt it's going to be another tremendous championship. Again, thanks to HP for sponsoring, and again, the kickoff for the HP 2011 Byron Nelson Championship starts right now.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports