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THE BARCLAYS MEDIA DAY
August 3, 2010
PETER MELE: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I want to welcome you and thank you for coming to today's media day. It's hard to believe that the tournament is really only about three weeks away. It's sneaking up on us.
First of all, I want to thank Barclays, they are truly the best title sponsor on the PGA TOUR. I obviously am biased. It's truly because they understand the big picture. They understand that the partnership has to be between not only the tournament and them but also all aspects of the event, whether it be the community, the charities involved, the volunteers, obviously the players and their wives and families, their clients, our other sponsors.
So they really do care about the entire tournament, not about just what affects them. We're very fortunate to have them as our title sponsor.
I also want to thank Ridgewood Country Club and their staff. We're very excited to be back here in a short two years. We were here back in 2008. They have a wonderful staff, wonderful membership. The Board of Directors is very supportive. The membership really opens their arms to host the Barclays again this year.
I also want to thank the media. Without you we really couldn't do a lot that we do. You do a great job for us. You promote our efforts, promote our sale of tickets and all that. You do wonders for us, more than you really know you do.
At this time I want to welcome our first speaker. He is the head of research for Barclays Capital, Mr. Larry Kantor.
LARRY KANTOR: Thank you. On behalf of the more than 150,000 employees of Barclays around the world, I'd like to welcome you here to The Barclays at Ridgewood. Really excited, looking forward to a great tournament. We're also excited to partner with the PGA TOUR in sponsoring this tournament, which as you know is the first PGA TOUR playoff event for the 2010 FedExCup.
We also share with the PGA TOUR an appreciation of the men and women who serve in the armed forces. Each year this event and the PGA TOUR have done more and more to show their appreciation and support.
This year what we're going to do is start the week with a military appreciation event on Tuesday, August 24th at the USS Intrepid. This is going to feature Barclays president Bob Diamond, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and Phil Mickelson.
We'll provide more information on this event in coming weeks.
After the kickoff on the Intrepid, we're going to have a Military Appreciation Day here on Wednesday and other events honoring our men and women in uniform throughout the week. We'll show more details as we get closer to the tournament.
The tournament's dedication to the military is actually a good segue to introducing our next speaker, Phil Mickelson. Phil and his wife Amy established Birdies for the Brave, along with the PGA TOUR, and it raises millions of dollars for military home front groups that provide services and programs for military men and women and their families.
We at Barclays have actually been thrilled to partner with Phil Mickelson. Phil has become very engaged with our activities and with our clients and has behaved as a true partner, I have to say, in every way.
If you've watched Phil play golf, you know he is somebody who fully engages with whatever he's doing. You go back to the Masters. He didn't just win the tournament, he kind of grabbed it by the throat and stuff it in his pocket, left really no doubt about who the champion should be.
I always say you can tell character by how somebody behaves in adversity. I think we all remember Phil losing the lead on the 18th hole of the U.S. Open at Wingfoot. How did he react to this? He faced the media head on and answered all questions. But I think, more importantly, he was able to put all that behind him and go out and win, and win big.
He's also as you a all know, been faced with some difficult health issues with his family that he's handled with determination, with grace and style. These are the kind of qualities we live by at Barclays.
Like all other financial institutions, we've had some difficulties over the past few years. We didn't shrink and hide. Instead we went out and looked for opportunities like buying the U.S. operations of Lehmans. We're thrilled to sponsor this wonderful golf tournament and also to partner with Phil Mickelson.
We're also proud to join with Phil and with the PGA to support our military to put their lives on the line so that we all can live in peace and prosperity.
Phil is going to speak a bit about that program that he and his wife Amy set up and will also take some questions. But before we get to that, I'd like to give you a sneak preview of the Barclays ads that are going to be featuring Phil that will debut later this week.
LARRY KANTOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Phil Mickelson.
PHIL MICKELSON: Thanks for coming today. I hope that the round went well. We have a wonderful golf course here to start off the playoff series, start here with the Barclays.
I'll open it up to questions if anybody has any questions, but not how to fix your slice (laughter).
Q. This is the only event in the New York City area. Do most players get how important that is?
PHIL MICKELSON: We love coming here and playing. Because there's so many great golf courses, we get a lot of major championships played here. I know all the players really enjoy the time here and appreciate that. When we played at Bethpage we had a response unlike any other place in the country.
I'm hoping that we play a Ryder Cup here because it would be such a great home-court advantage for us, the way the people here come out and support golf, understand sports, really support it. This would be a great place to host it, in my opinion.
I think the players do get it. I wish we had more events here. But the fact that we have a premiere event is a sign of how valuable this market is to the game of golf and how much we appreciate the New York fans because we have one of our best events right here.
Q. How do you feel this course suits your game?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's a golf course that I've come to love even though I've only played it a few times for the reason that I'm a big fan of Tillinghast. I think his golf courses are some of the best ever. I've been able to win at Baltusrol. I game close at Wingfoot with one of his designs. His golf courses are something that I've really come to love and appreciate and try to emulate in some of his architecture style.
Although I've only played one event here, I'm looking forward to getting back here and hopefully playing well because I feel like I played well on his golf courses.
Q. (Question regarding being No. 1.)
PHIL MICKELSON: It would mean a lot to me. But like your shirt shows with that Augusta logo, I appreciate you wearing that, it's been a fun year because of that, because of the Masters win.
These next two weeks, Akron and the PGA, before we get to the Barclays, are special events, not because it provides an opportunity to become No. 1. If I were able to come out and win the PGA, I would take a year that's been special and memorable and make it one of the best years in my career if I were able to do that.
I don't know exactly where my game is. I didn't play well in Europe. I had two weeks off. I haven't really played great golf in six or seven weeks. I've been working on it a little bit. I feel like it's pretty close, but I won't know till I get out there and play a championship golf course like we're going to play at Akron and get ready for the PGA. It just continues here to Ridgewood. We have some great golf courses and tournaments coming up.
Q. No. 1 matters, though?
PHIL MICKELSON: Absolutely it does. It would be a very important thing. But, again, it's not something I'm focusing on as much as it is trying to get my game sharp for these upcoming events, the final playoffs as well as the majors.
Q. (Question regarding the FedExCup playoff and its success.)
PHIL MICKELSON: I think it started off slow. I think it just took us a little while. I felt last year it went very well. I think we've tweaked the formula to a point where it's exciting now, where the FedExCup championship is not done before we even play the last event. Five guys have a chance to win. I think the formula has been tweaked and ironed out to create excitement. I think we play some of the best golf courses, starting here at Ridgewood, finishing at East Lake.
The buildup or the prestige has increased each year. I think the players are really coming to look forward to the playoffs and appreciate what they mean.
Q. (Question regarding shooting 59.)
PHIL MICKELSON: I think it's incredible. I was watching this week. I get a text saying D.A. Points has to birdie one of the last two to shoot 59. There's somebody else who had a chance. J.B. Holmes had a chance. Dave Stockton, who has worked with J.B., had a little procedure done, was watching the golf, saying, J.B. almost shot 59. Then Stuart Appelby coming out and does it. It's some amazing golf.
I think the conditions lent itself to it in that we have a softer golf course that's in beautiful shape, par 70, so it was possible. But to shoot 11-under, to shoot 59, is incredible golf. Paul Goydos did it a few years ago.
I don't think that it's equipment-driven. If anything, we've had a roll-back with some of the grooves. I don't think it's equipment-driven as much as it is talent.
Q. Some of the guys are saying the grooves are supposed to work against players.
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know how it's helped. But what I think has been cool about the whole groove thing is that the course setup, the rough setup, has not been as ridiculously along as it has been where players were getting injured, were players were having to hack it out.
I think the most exciting shot is a recovery shot. Because the rough hasn't been as long, we've seen lower scores, but we've also seen more excitement. I think shooting 59 is exciting. The recovery shot is exciting. Looking back on it, it's probably been a good thing.
Q. Because of the quest to get to No. 1, have you felt any more pressure or put more pressure on yourself in the last six weeks or so? Seems like this is the year where it's really wide open, anybody could be Player of the Year. Your thoughts on that?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know if I put more pressure on myself or not. I mean, I don't know. But coming down to the stretch, there's a lot of cool things that can happen. It not just myself that has a chance to be No. 1, Lee Westwood does as well. We have a lot of guys that are fighting to get on the Ryder Cup, guys that have a possibility to be Player of the Year, guys that have won multiple times on the TOUR. It's been an interesting year in golf. It's going to come down to these last two months. I think it's going to be a lot of excitement.
I think it's going to be exciting the last two weeks, culminating in these last two major championships, then it starts again with the playoffs right here at the Barclays to really kick off or create really who gets Player of the Year and who is going to ultimately be on the Ryder Cup team and all these exciting things.
Q. Can you tell us what it takes to play great golf at this course?
PHIL MICKELSON: You got to hit the ball a little bit longer and straighter than you do currently (laughter), and all those 3-putts and 4-putts aren't helpful either.
To play great golf here, the reason why I love Ridgewood is that they have a lot of birdie holes and they have a lot of tough par holes. So it's exciting to watch. It's exciting to see guys attack the drivable par 4 or attack the par 5s, then it's exciting to see them make pars on tough holes like 18 coming down the stretch.
I think what really makes a player play well here is course management and strategy because if you attack the holes properly and birdie the right holes, you almost want to play a little bit defensive on some of the others. You can't put the pedal to the metal and try to birdie every hole here. It will come back and bite you. The greens are tough. The penalty for the rough and the bunkers is tough. You've got to be somewhat strategic.
Q. (Question regarding the military foundation.)
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm proud Barclays is doing so much for the military. I think that's really cool. It's something that my wife and I have felt strongly about over the years. Although I've never actually served in the military, my father did. We still have an obligation to show appreciation and respect to those that are putting their life on the line every day. Whether we agree with the war or not, whatever our feelings are, these people are risking their lives for our freedoms. I think we all have a responsibility to show appreciation.
So to start Birdies for the Brave has been something that's been cool. There are so many players on TOUR that have supported military charities that are all part of the Birdies for the Brave, I think it shows the class that Barclays has in all that they're doing to help and promote supporting the troops.
Thanks, guys. Hope to see you in a few weeks, maybe even next week at the PGA, but look forward to seeing you at the Barclays in a few weeks. Thank you.
PETER MELE: Thanks, Phil. I know you have a busy schedule today and in the weeks ahead of you. Look forward to seeing you here in a few weeks.
In addition to the event on the USS Intrepid that was mentioned earlier, I want to highlight some of the other military initiatives that we have throughout the week. Before I do that, I want to introduce another great partner of this event, the mayor Jim Tedesco of Paramus.
MAYOR TEDESCO: Thank you, Peter. Welcome back to Paramus. In 2008 when I stood here, I talked about what it means for the PGA TOUR to come to Ridgewood Country Club and the town of Paramus. I talked about the experience that people would have and what they would leave with.
After 2008 was done, I had the opportunity to talk to some of the professionals. Actually I talked to one of the wives of one of the professionals. They told me they couldn't have asked for a better experience.
Well, 2010 is going to bring an even greater experience to the people that come, not only to the players, not only to everybody else, but to the spectators and others that are going to participate in this.
The benefit of this local area is phenomenal. We will get over a million dollars worth of charity to the local charities here in this area. But what it means to the business community and to the others in this community and to the north jersey region is really important at this time in the economy.
So I welcome back the PGA. I welcome back Barclays as a wonderful sponsor. I had a difficult time deciding on what to wear, whether it was a town of Paramus, Ridgewood Country Club, or Barclays. But Barclays won out because they are the ones footing the bill and I'm proud of being able to wear their shirt.
On behalf of everyone in the town of Paramus, the state of New Jersey, I welcome back to the PGA TOUR, I welcome back Barclays. You will have an exciting six days of golf and four days of high-tournament caliber golf. So thank you.
PETER MELE: Thank you, Mayor.
This could not happen without the cooperation of the community. Mayor Tedesco has been a great partner of ours in 2008 and again in 2010. We could not do this event without his support.
As with many other TOUR events, Barclays is going to continue providing free admission to men and women active and retired from the military throughout the week, as well as sponsoring the Patriot Outpost, which is their hospitality venue. They can grab something to drink, something to eat, get out of the sun, interact with the other military men and women on-site and their families.
In addition, we're going to have Military Appreciation Day on Wednesday, August 25th. We're working very close with West Point this year. We plan on having the drill team here and the color guard and the glee club to do some activities in between the afternoon and morning ProAms. We'll also have 54 members of the military act as caddies for one hole as they play during the ProAm both morning and the afternoon.
Food and beverage are being provided by Chick-Fil-A, Whole Foods, Nature Valley, Jelly Belly, Appleby's and Coca-Cola. BA Systems is also a supporter of the Patriot Outpost and sponsoring the video aracde portion of the event.
We also have a different promotion going this year. Again, always trying to make things more fun for the spectators, keeping in mind the desire to make money for charity. We kind of stole this idea from the NBA. We are going to have a hole-in-one competition. It's called Make It, Make a Million. It's going to be one shot, you make it you get half a million dollars and half a million dollars goes to charity. We hope many people, since we have insurance, make the hole-in-one. There will be 10 of them that have one shot. It's going to be on seven center, which is not a competition hole. 150-yard shot for the men, 135-yard shot for the women.
Again, thank you very much for coming out today. Thank you for all your support you give us and hope to see you back here in a few weeks. Thank you.
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