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May 22, 2001

Bill Adams


JULIUS MASON: Well, ladies and gentlemen, PGA master professional Bill Adams is celebrating his 20th season, I believe, at the Ridgewood Country Club, and we'd like you to certainly ask Bill any questions you might have regarding his visit with Byron or any questions you might have about the facility here. But before we take a question from you, I'm dying to ask him, when nobody's looking, over the last 20 years, have you ever pulled out a 3-iron and tried to hit that flag hole off of that --

BILL ADAMS: Yes, I have.

Q. Honestly?

BILL ADAMS: I have. Unfortunately, I didn't have the same success Byron did. I will tell an interesting anecdote. Last year the New Jersey State Golf Association celebrated its 100th anniversary. (Inaudible). One of the members, who's the president of the New Jersey State Golf Association, Gene Binsingburg, duplicated the feat. He actually did it on the first shot. But he topped it, it was a cold, snowy kind of day, and he topped it and the ball ran across the macadam and across the green and rolled up and hit the bottom of the flag pole. It was the worst golf shot I ever saw, but he hit it on the first try. So it is something that every now and then we've tried to do for Kate. I think Byron is right when he said he could stand there all day long and not do it.

JULIUS MASON: Thank you, Bill. Any questions, folks? If you have a question, it certainly would help us if you used a wireless mic for our transcriptions. Everybody good? Questions once? A question in the back.

Q. Who's gonna win?

BILL ADAMS: Who's gonna win? Well, before we got this rain, I probably would have told you a little different story, and I think if it does continue to rain, the golf course is going to play real long. So earlier in the week, before we got this, I would have picked someone who really drove it very straight and not necessarily very long. I think Hubert Green's a very good example of that. But I think this golf course is going to play real long if it continues the way it is. I just heard that Halle Irwin was playing the 9th hole today and he hit three balls off the tee and the longest drive, the one closest to the green, was 235 yards from the green on a par 4. So I've watched him play seven or eight holes. He hit the ball in spots that you were -- I think the course played about 20 or 30 yards longer per hole than before we got this rain. The good news is the players will be able to keep it in play and the greens will be a little softer. The bad news for them is the rough will really grow. So I don't know whether the scores will be lower as a result of this or be just about the same, and who knows what the rest of the week's gonna bring for us weather-wise, but you look at the history of this club and when we've hosted events generally great players have done well here, Jerry Pat won the U.S. Amateur in 1974; he went on to have a pretty decent career. Cathy Whitworth (phonetic) won here once in an LPGA event. She's one of the greatest female players of all time. Lee Trevino, 1990. So I think it's probably going to bring a person who's had a great deal of success in a US Open, because this golf course is set up like a PGA Championship, US Open, it's an unbelievable test of golf, and I really think that it will bring out those kinds of players that do well. I think it takes a person with a lot of patience. Old man par does pretty well here at Ridgewood.

JULIUS MASON: Questions? In the front, Cliff.

Q. How deep do you think the rough will be there? Was there any debate about how high to make it?

BILL ADAMS: There's never debate how high it would be. We were told we would lower it two-and-a-half inches on Saturday and we wouldn't necessarily mow it again. I do think that, in the interest of doing what's best for the players, the PGA of America will make a decision about what's fair with this rain. The rough could grow in a week three to five inches. So I'm sure that the powers-that-be will do what's right. No one's trying to embarrass anybody, nobody's trying to do anything other than provide a real good test of golf. One of the officials said it best, "We hope the players leave here hoping the players think it was just a wonderful place to play." It is very thick. One of the things that we've done is mow the rough, actually lower heights and fertilized it to make it thicker, and when it does grow, it will be something to deal with. You want to hit it in play; there's no question about that, especially if it's wet. And it probably will be at this point in time.

JULIUS MASON: Questions?

BILL ADAMS: Can I just say one last thing?

JULIUS MASON: Absolutely.

BILL ADAMS: It's kind of an interesting thing. I wanted to parlay to you all, not too many people know about Byron Nelson because he retired at a young age. I'm gonna tell you, he's one of the most fascinating human beings that I've been lucky enough to know, I knew Coach Beerbrown from Alabama, I've played golf with Richard Nixon. Phil Simms is a member here at the club and the types of events we've had here allowed me to meet interesting people. He's the most interesting person that I ever met. That day that I interviewed him, he told me he had already done, I think, 14 interviews and he went on like he was as fresh as a daisy. He's very lucid and he's just a wonderful man and I asked, I think -- I tell you, I'm just so fortunate that I got an opportunity to spend an hour with him.

JULIUS MASON: We are fortunate. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. We'll see you hopefully at 1:30 with Larry Nelson.

End of FastScripts....

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