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November 23, 2003

Tim Finchem


COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, President Mbeki, President de Klerk.

Before I make a few general comments, let me thanks the fans, as well, tremendous fans and sportsmanship exhibited this week. I am delighted that you are attending the first nighttime closing ceremony in the history of the Presidents Cup. (Applause).

I'd also like to thank Hasso and Sabine Plattner and the staff at Fancourt for all the hard work and hospitality that has gone into this week, as well.

We had a unique situation today. Let me just take a moment to explain it.

Unlike most matches in the game of golf, the Presidents Cup is operated procedurally pursuant to a captains' agreement. This agreement was drafted and executed first by the captains in 1994, Hale Irwin and David Graham. It has been amended from time to time prior to different matches over the last number of years.

Tonight we had a situation arise as we proceeded to the playoff. There was clearly some discussion given the unique quality of these matches and the phenomenal sportsmanship and competition that occurred, whether it was in some ways a letdown to declare a winner since both teams had exhibited such tremendous competitive enthusiasm and energy.

However, we did proceed to the playoff. As we got through the second hole, the captains concluded that at the end of the day, both teams should be considered winners. (Applause).

Given the fact that this was different than the other changes in the captains' agreement because it was made during the competition, there was a concern about, and a moment was taken, to determine by each captain whether his respective teams concurred with moving in that direction, and both teams were very enthusiastic in that regard.

So I'm happy to report that both teams are the winners and that the Cup will be shared for the next two years. (Applause).

I will point out that in the past and tonight, the winning team receives the gold medallion, the losing team a silver medallion. We obviously do not have enough medallions, so all players will receive a gold medallion at a later date.

End of FastScripts.

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