JULIUS MASON: Good morning, Wisconsin. I should say good afternoon, Wisconsin. Thank you very much for your patience as we get ready to finish our head table. I am Julius Mason, Director of Public Relations and Media Relations for the PGA of America. Welcome to the 86th PGA Championship Media Day.
I'd like to introduce you to the members of our head table right now. First I'd like to introduce walking down the aisle, Rob Correa, ladies and gentlemen, the senior vice-president of programming for CBS Sports. Jim Awtrey, the CEO of the PGA of America . The defending champion Shaun Micheel. M.G. Orender, the president of the PGA of America .
Herb Kohler the president and CEO of Kohler Company.
The honorable Jim Doyle, governor of the great state of Wisconsin, and Dave levy, the president of Turner Sports.
We also have a number of other special guests in our audience that we'd like you to meet beginning with PGA of America vice-president Roger Warren right here in the front row.
PGA of America secretary Brian Whitcomb also.
From the Wisconsin PGA section we have past president Greg Adington with us.
From Whistling Straits and our vital member of the 86th PGA Championship executive committee, general chair and group vice-president of Kohler Company Hospitality and Real Estate Alice Edland.
PGA general manager and director of golf Steve Friedlander.
PGA head professional Dirk Willis.
Director of Kohler Communications and Internet Services, Michael Mueller.
Manager of Hospitality Communications and the media's best friend right up here in Kohler, Scott Silvestri.
Manager of golf course maintenance, Mike Lee.
And a host of PGA Championship staff members headed by PGA of America tournament director Barry Deach whom most of you know.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure to turn the mic over to Mr. JIM AWTREY the CEO of the PGA of America.
JIM AWTREY: Good afternoon. Certainly in two short months Wisconsin will get it's second PGA Championship. I think everybody saw today after we played it's going to be significantly different than the last PGA Championship played at Blue Mound Golf and Country Club won by Gene Sarazen in 1933. I doubt if those players were playing today they probably wouldn't believe what is in Wisconsin and what is in store for the players as they come.
At the 86th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, I have been doing this for over 18 years. It's the most anticipated major that I have seen, perhaps in that whole time. I think everybody has heard about the golf course. Some people have experienced it. But certainly it is what everyone is looking forward to this year. And as we build toward the championship and Shaun gets a chance to go back and tell a few more players who he's found, I think that there will be a lot more interest than there is today.
Certainly when you look at the PGA Championship and you have historically the strongest field in major championship golf, you need a great course to test these players. When you look at Whistling Straits this year it's going to play at a par 72 and generally when we think of a par 72 golf course, we anticipate low scores because these players hit it so far that it usually increases the red numbers. When you look at the golf course it's going to play just under 7600 yards, the wind certainly is a factor and those of us who played today saw that the wind is a factor. You will have par 5s that you reach downwind and par 4s that you don't reach into the wind. So it truly, I think, will focus our attention on a good score relative to the field as opposed to scores where we have traditionally focused on red numbers.
I think that will be a good experience for all of us because these great players have been shooting some extremely low scores and hit it so far, but I think this will test those players.
Last year's championship at Oak Hill featured 96 of the top 100 players in the world representing an international field of 19 countries.
The PGA Championship also as a major is the only all professional field of the majors. It includes 25 members of the PGA of America and our finest club professionals who will attempt to qualify for this event at the Longaberger Golf Club in Nashport, Ohio in a couple of weeks.
Those 25 professionals will then compete in the PGA Championship. Certainly bringing a major championship to your doorstep like we are here brings the world to that event. The international spotlight will be on Whistling Straits in Wisconsin and when you look at the television audience, it's going to be millions of viewers. Viewers will be seeing 27 hours of championship coverage on CBS Sports and TNT. Millions of viewers around the world in 160 countries and territories with a household reach of more than 371 million will be watching the event on television.
Certainly we are going to have a large audience on site. There's going to be over 25,000 people that will have the opportunity to view this championship when you look at all the people that are working at the event as well. Certainly, we would be remiss if we didn't focus a lot of attention on the great efforts of the Kohler Company in organizing the committee, the volunteers and residents and corporations from all over the State of Wisconsin.
45,000 people will have an opportunity to view the event, many people that would like to see the PGA Championship be a part of that history will not have the opportunity to do so we have created a PGA Championship exhibit which is a history of the season's final major and it's now on display at the shops at Woodlake in the Village of Kohler. This travelling display features the history of the PGA Championship and the great players from the beginning of Match Play with Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen; today's heroes as well, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Shaun Micheel. So that exhibit is at again, the shops at the Woodlake and we'd like to invite everybody over there for a chance to review that today at 3:30 and we hope you will stop by because there's some great pieces of the PGA Championship and the rich history. Julius.
JULIUS MASON: Thanks very much. It takes a great partner and none other has the PGA Championship seen in the State of Wisconsin and therefore it gives me great pleasure to invite Governor Jim Doyle to say a few words on behalf of our great partnership.
GOVERNOR JIM DOYLE: Thank you. This is a great year to be governor of Wisconsin. I think much of the country watching television knows how strongly we feel about the Green Bay Packers and the Wisconsin Badgers. This is a state truly of great sports fans but the people are going to see something really remarkable when they see the PGA Championship. They are going to find a state that's going to demonstrate how much it loves golf. I want to thank as well the PGA of America. They have been extremely strong partners with the State of Wisconsin on everything from traffic control to security, we are very, very confident that this is going to be a very successful event.
This is a great opportunity for Wisconsin. It gives us a chance to showcase this great state because we will be the center of attention for golfing fans all over the world. We estimate that 45,000 people will come to see the PGA everyday, about 300,000 total for the week, contributing about $75 million to the Wisconsin economy.
We also hope to take the opportunity to make new inroads roads with the business leaders from around the country who will be coming to Wisconsin for this event and hopefully we will be able to convince a few of them to stay here.
This is also our chance in Wisconsin to highlight the fact that Wisconsin is a great place for golf. We have some of the best and most beautiful golf courses in the world and thanks to Herb Kohler who has really made this area of the State of Wisconsin truly a golfing mecca. What he and Pete Dye have done is to create a magnificent golf course here that I think when people see it they are not going to believe there's a course like this in the United States, much less on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Wisconsin is now one of the Top-10 travel golf destinations in the world and we know it's because of courses like Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run. So Herb, thank you very much, we appreciate the efforts that you have made for the entire state of Wisconsin. And to the PGA and your great golf America program, it's a great source of pride in Wisconsin, we truly appreciate the fact that you have included Milwaukee as one of your target cities. You were there in February when the Department of Tourism launched the Golf Wisconsin program and it's been a smashing success. Last month more than 200 of Wisconsin's golf courses let thousands of kids play for free. Throughout the summer, we are doing a series of free golf clinics for kids and their families and we're going to keep telling the whole world what a great place Wisconsin is to golf, raise a family, and do business. So I am really, really looking forward to having them pick up on Saturday and Sunday in August and for everybody to see what I just saw, and that is that this is a very, very tough golf course and one people are going to see what a great -- what great golf fans there are here in the State of Wisconsin. Thanks very much.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much, Governor. Shaun, you were smiling at the one comment, were you?
Now, let's hear from one of our key partners who is responsible for bringing the PGA Championship to the world through the magic of television. Ladies and gentlemen, CBS Sports, Rob Correa.
ROB CORREA: Thank you. The 2004 PGA will be our 14th consecutive year of televising the PGA Championship. We have had quite a run. We have seen rainbows at Winged Foot and playoffs at Valhalla and Vijay and Tiger and Shaun Micheel's unbelievable shot on 18 last year in Rochester. It's been an unbelievable run for us. We don't think 2004 will be any different. We anticipate close to 40 million people tuning in for some part of our coverage over the weekend. Our production team will be led by Tony Petitti Tony stand up, our executive producer.
Working for Tony will be Lance Barrow, our coordinating producer, and Steve Middleton, our director.
We start with a preview show August 7 at 2 o'clock eastern. We have highlight coverage Thursday and Friday of the championship at 12:35 am and third, and final round coverage over the weekend from 2:00 PM 'til conclusion.
Our announcers will be our normal golf team with a couple of additions, David Feherty, Peter Kostis, Gary McCord, Peter Oosterhaus, Bill Macatte, Vern Lundquist, Jim Nantz and Lanny Wadkins along with Bobby Clampett, who you will hear from shortly.
One thing that I think this golf course will do for us - actually I think it's going to do a number of things - the uniqueness of this golf course in the United States is really going to serve to promote the PGA Championship. I think we will get a ton of media coverage, a ton of press coverage leading into the PGA. I think it's going to televise absolutely beautifully, and I think it's going to create a terrific PGA champion. Let's look now at some past champions.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much, Bob.
We all know they spell Dye around these parts D-Y-E around here. What Bobby Clampett being a movie buff and after he played 18 out here today, these are a few of the movie titles he may be incorporating into his August week. I am sorry I stole this off your pad this morning. "Dye Hard." "Never Dye Alone." "Dye Another Day." "Tomorrow Never Dyes." "Dye Watching." "Hard to Dye." "Do-or-Dye." "Too Young to Dye." "The Good Dye Young," and the "Thing That Won't Dye."
So knowing that everybody here has your cheat sheet, you are going to have to find something else to play with. If you wouldn't mind coming up and sharing some of your observations about the golf course today.
MR. CLAMPETT: You just stole all my material; I don't have anything left, Julius. On behalf of CBS Sports and TNT and to get a chance to play today I was amazed at the amount of dirt that was necessary to build this course and it was pretty obvious when I played the course to see where Pete got the dirt from. It's a pretty big pond that he dug out there. (Laughter). Amazing. I have been asked to make a few comments about the golf course. And quite honestly, it was a golf course, to coin a phrase, unlike anything I have ever seen before, or Gary Player once said, "It's the finest course of its type I have ever seen in years." But it's a golf course of 1400 bunkers. The most -- I have never seen or heard of a course with more than 100 bunkers before; 1400 bunkers.
When you look at the course and see 7600 yards pretty much at sea level, the ball is not rolling particularly far. It's a Links style but yet it's Americanized in that the ball is not rolling as far. Of course we have had a lot of rain up here and I would suspect at the time the PGA Championship comes along you will see firmer fairways. But by standards, when you look at the width of the fairways -- I was measuring a few -- and when you look at major championship history and you look at the PGA Championship, generally you are talking about fairways widths anywhere from 26 to 35 yards in width. And here I thought because of the way a lot of the holes move, the effect of fairway widths about averaging close to 20 yards, not far from that. Extremely demanding.
So not only are you going to have the longest course in major championship history; from a player's perspective you are going to have the tightest fairways to play to and if I were playing in this tournament, I would want to play at least 20 practice rounds and I would also look for the best local caddie and would certainly choose him over my own Tour caddie because it's a course that requires so much study and local knowledge. The amount of different tee boxes, the differing wind conditions, it's a course that off the tee -- I've never seen a course this demanding off the tee because a lot of the holes you are shooting into areas you can't even see where the ball is going to land so that blind tee shots, and -- there's a feel aspect. You can't -- it's not a mathematical approach to golf. It's more of a feel, and I think the guys that come up here early - I heard that a few of the guys have already been up here - Mark Calcavecchia and Stuart Appleby have already been up here playing a couple practice rounds. I think they are wise to do so. I would point out a warning to all the guys out there to come up and play several times before the week of the PGA.
I thought also today, I am absolutely exhausted after playing 18 holes. I think it's comparable to playing 54 holes on any other golf course. And I think physical fitness is going to be something that's going to probably be more applicable to this major championship than any other for the players. Of course we all know how much that's playing a part of professional golf now as opposed to 20 years ago, but I think this particular venue, the guys are going to need to be in shape to play here and play four rounds. I would say and even bet if the tournament were played today in these kind of conditions, off the tees and hole positions that we had today, I think it's an even bet that the scores would be -- the winning score would be double digits over par. It's that difficult. I am really, on behalf of CBS Sports and TNT as an announcer, I can tell you that I am really looking forward to announcing this golf tournament.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much, Mr. Clampett.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, keeping it all in the family, the president of Turner Sports, Mr. Dave Levy.
DAVE LEVY: I don't feel so bad now that my 93 posted score today.
This is Turner's 14th consecutive year with live coverage of the PGA Championship. Its sixth consecutive year on TNT with our partner CBS. I'd like to congratulate Shaun who is defending PGA Championship and as we all know, this is his first major win.
At TNT we have 17 hours of live coverage, Thursday and Friday from 2:00 to 8:00 PM and on Saturday and Sunday the early rounds from 11:00 am to 1:30. Turner Sports extended it's television agreement with the PGA of America which runs through 2011 continuing to cover four days of live PGA Championship coverage as well as the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
I'd have to say it is wonderful to work with Jim Awtrey and M.G. and the great people on his team at the PGA of America. 17 hours of coverage will be anchored by our Emmy Award host Ernie Johnson, Bobby Clampett and Lanny Wadkins reported Billy Kratzert, and Jim Huber. We have also been looking forward to working with our friends at CBS to fill the rest of our announcing team.
In addition to the 17 hours of the PGA Championship coverage on TNT we will also air 28 hours of the British Open from July 15 through July 18 from the Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland as well as six and a half hours of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf December 3 and 4 from Poipu Poi Bay Golf Course at the Hyatt Regency in Kauai for the eleventh straight year.
Along with the television agreement Turner also signed a 10-year interactive alliance in 2002 to manage and operate PGA.com, official site of 28,000 PGA professionals around the country. That agreement also runs through 2011. This year the PGA.com has plans again to offer the users the ability to watch live action on several holes as well as provide real-time scoring and leader boards, exclusive interviews and information on the history of the PGA Championships. I am sure after playing today there will be history made again here today in Wisconsin this coming August.
JULIUS MASON: Thanks very much, David.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, the president and CEO of Kohler Company, Mr. Herb Kohler.
HERB KOHLER: When Gene and I trudged the land out here and discussed the concept for a Links course, we sort of shook the staff of Kohler Company. The golf staff in particular. They were concerned that if we required walking as opposed to carts, that we probably have half the play that we were having over at Black Run on the two courses over there.
Well, I think after ole-Pete got done digging around and moving, what, 8,000 truckloads of sand, and this land over here to the north that rolls, would you believe when Pete and I walked it was nothing more than a military airport, flatter than a pancake. This land over here to the south was a slightly dished wetland, 45 feet above Lake Michigan. But we believed in our concept. We wanted to go back to the roots of golf and we were rather firm that it was going to be a walking course only. Little did we realize that within six months of completion a contract would be assigned with the PGA of America for one of the world's great majors.
Little did we realize that as we prepared for this tournament 8,000 volunteers would apply for 3600 positions.
Little did we realize that the daily tickets that were offered would be sold out in two days. And the demand was so great in the first couple of hours that actually brought down a server of AT&T based in Milwaukee.
Little did we realize that 52 corporate tents would be sold; a record for the PGA Championship.
This kind of demand perhaps can come only from the State of Wisconsin, but it's in large part because of the excellent organization from Barry Deach, the director of this tournament, and also from the staff, I would say, of Kohler Company who was been introduced to you earlier in this program. It's also because of the tremendous support we have received from the governor of this state, a good democrat that he is (laughter). The tremendous support, particularly in traffic management. You can put on the best tournament of the world but if you can't bring people to the course and exit them from the course in a reasonable fashion, you are going to have a lot of bad-mouthing. And what his staff on the state patrol have been able to do, I think, at least theoretically is quite remarkable. They have a plan that incorporates every aspect of traffic management you can imagine, including helicopters and planes and signs that change direction as need be. They have discussed what happens, all sorts of what-ifs; what if we have a traffic accident on this route or on the other route, what do we do. It's amazing, the planning that they have put in place.
But I think for most, Pete Dye and Herb Kohler never anticipated the raw enthusiasm that we find in the State of Wisconsin. It really, really is overwhelming. 83 percent of the tickets sold haven't come from beyond this state. They come from within this state, 83 percent. That's a remarkable number. And we don't have New York and we don't have Chicago and we don't have L.A. at our doorstep.
So am I excited? I am very excited. And it's only two months away. Thank you very much.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much Mr. Kohler. Now, ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure to introduce the president of the PGA of America , Mr. M.G. Orender.
M.G. ORENDER: Thank you, Julius. On behalf of the 28,000 men and women of the PGA I'd like to welcome you here today. We appreciate your support and your enthusiasm for this great championship. The PGA of America is very fortunate. At this event we are very fortunate to have the governor, Governor Doyle's offices, the Kohler Company Home Section. Herb mentioned the incredible turnout for volunteers of this community. This is going to be as Jim Awtrey said, a much anticipated championship. It's going to be a great championship. The PGA, because of our ownership of the PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup and the senior PGA, we are very fortunate to be able to generate revenues for our association to fulfill the two missions that we have. One is to elevate the standard of our members. We believe that better educated, better informed PGA members make the game of golf more enjoyable for the nearly 30 million golfers that we have in this country, and second is to grow the game of golf.
We are very proud of the program Governor Doyle mentioned a minute ago, it's called Play Golf America. It was launched by the PGA of America with the support of the rest of the golf industry. There is a web site that I would encourage you to go and look at; it's playgolfamerica.com.
We are using over $12 million of media to buy television spots, television partners at CBS and Turner and others, to help the consumer find golf professionals that are involved in a number of programs when one we just ran last month, we had nearly 5000 PGA members involved last month at a program called Free Lesson Month, where we gave well over 80,000 free golf lessons. We are trying to help those consumers that want to play golf play more golf and play better golf. I would encourage you before you leave to pick up a media kit that tells you more about Play golf America.
As you see from the preceding video the PGA Championship or the previous 85 editions has been a virtual highlight for many of golf's special moments. We are fortunate that each year our championship produces signature moments. Last year we had one of those signature moments from our current champion. You saw the shot on the clip and I am sure you saw it on television and you have seen it so many times since then, but as he stood 185 yards from the green in the first cut and hit that 7-iron he couldn't see the ball nearly go in the hole but the rest of us did and it was one of the special moments in golf.
Since that major championship where Shaun Micheel rose to the occasion and defeated a field not only at a great golf course but defeated the strongest field in golf which the PGA Championship every year produces the strongest field in golf. Last year we had 96 of the Top-100. This year we don't expect any less to see this great venue, but as at that Hollywood-scripted moment when he won that championship his life has been changed for ever.
Since then he's gone on and had a tremendous record since then. (Inaudible) The birth of his first child, I think probably took him a little off his pace there, but he's playing great golf and we look forward to him defending his title this year. In fact the only question left is can he pull off another magic moment at Whistling Straits.
Ladies and gentlemen it's our pleasure to introduce the defending PGA Champion, Shaun Micheel.
SHAUN MICHEEL: Thank you very much. A couple of things. Mr. Kohler, I'd like to know the 4400 volunteers so I can hire them to come and look for my golf ball.
It was an extraordinarily difficult day, all of us that had an opportunity to play found the challenge out there. The wind certainly plays a big part and, Bobby, I am not going to give out too much information, I don't want those guys playing any more practice rounds. I would like to have that trophy for another year.
It's been a great year. I have had some great friends. Julius has been a tremendous help through the process. I can't explain to you the difficulty that it is when you go from relative obscurity, kind of like I was flying under the radar for so many years to being asked to do this that or the other, just a lot of responsibilities, and so Julius, thank you very much for taking care of me the last 10 months. I am excited that there is still two months left, to try to get my game back in shape. Today was an extremely difficult test for all of us. But I am certainly happy to represent the 28,000 men and women of the PGA of America and certainly happy to represent that trophy over there. For the next two months, I will do so and hopefully have another chance to win again. So thank you very much.
JULIUS MASON: Thanks, Shaun. As you can imagine, Champ, many of us are dying to find out what went out on the golf course with you today. So pull out your hole-by-hole. And let's go ahead and begin with the par 4, 491 yards. First hole.
SHAUN MICHEEL: Let me say here for those of you that are sick and tired of us hitting irons off the tee and hitting 3-woods off the tee, and all that stuff, you want to see the big stick, you guys want to go follow John Daly, now you can follow all of us because we're going to hit driver on every shot I think out there, even some par 3s. I think Jim hit a driver on 17 today and came up short. (Laughter). I didn't have any birdies today. He had one, so, it -- starting out, it was a pleasure to be able to tee off on the first hole, kind of get a view of the golf course from start to finish.
And I won't take too long, but the first hole, just 400 or 500 yards, I don't remember. Just a nice solid tee shot. What amazes me about that shot for being the first hole was that there's not that much room to hit it. It's probably one of the most penal first tee shots that I have seen at a golf tournament. It's going to take a true test and it just basically starts from hole No. 1 through 18. I think it just let's you know that right at the beginning.
I hit probably one of my best drives of the day there this morning, and still left with about 185 yards into the pin. The pin was somewhat towards the front.
5-iron up there and thought that was a pretty good start, but then you go to 2, obviously you got a par 5 there. Obviously another drive. I won't even go through the tee shot. Pretty much driver on every hole out there.
You know, from where I have played today, it was a challenge. Left me with a lay-up shot, I think I hit it out to the right a little bit there, the wind was pretty much coming in off the lake just a little bit which makes that hole play even longer than it shows on the score card. Pretty much just another lay-up shot, I think finally reached the green and I think I made bogey. So I found the first two holes -- I knew I was going to be in for a long day. Couldn't wait to get to No. 5 when it finally turned downwind.
3, for those of you -- I don't know how many of you have seen the golf course. If I am going through this a little too slowly please speed me up. 3 was a really difficult par 3. I think it's showing 183 yards to the back tees.
JULIUS MASON: Guessing you didn't bring out a driver on this hole.
SHAUN MICHEEL: No, I hit driver on just about every hole out there. The greens are very consistent. There are places that you can put the pins and places, that you can attack the flags, you know, you can use some of the terrain. I look forward to August. Hopefully it will play a little bit firmer so you can actually use some of the contours that Herb and Pete put into this golf course.
JULIUS MASON: Off the tee?.
SHAUN MICHEEL: 5. It wasn't blowing like it is today. Into the wind. It was just enough hole, plays a little bit downhill. I was able to hit a 5-iron on to the green.
I am noticing all those holes are named. I had a few words I was wanting to name them out there. They called this hole the ^ girly hole. Very challenging hole. I think if I remember right there was a stake in the back of the tee that says 493 yards. And it played every bit of it. Obviously there was a premium on every shot to get the ball into the fairway. Certainly that's one that you need to have any chance to really making a 4 there. I ended up having to lay-up with a 5 because I hit it just off to the right into the rough. You don't have to be very far off-line on this golf course and you are going to pay the price. Pretty much every time that I was three, four steps off the fairway it was pretty much all I can do is to kind of get it back into play. From there it was a lay-up shot. I ended up having to come back in with one of my gap wedges which is probably not 100 yards left for my third shot. Shows you how difficult the hole could play.
No. 5., Finally started making my way back downwind which was a blessing, getting beaten up pretty good out there. I think it's a hole that you can challenge. A lot of times guys see par 5 on the score card, they immediately think birdie. You hit your tee shot out there, you see what you are faced with on your second shot. You realize quickly that 5 is a pretty good score. I don't really foresee anyone maybe taking a go at the hole. I think it's a 3-shot par 5, depending on wind conditions and firmness of the greens. I actually hit a 3-wood off the tee because the wind was down off the left and up with a 5-iron had a nice play for a birdie just playing as a 3-shot hole. I think that's pretty much what you are going to see out there. I just don't foresee -- because if you -- inhumans out there that are going to taking a go at it. And when you see them do it, they are either going to pull it off or going to make 6 or 7. I think that's what a true par 5 really should do for you. Very risk/reward type of shot.
Going down to 6, probably shortest hole on the golf course for par 4, par 5. Couple of different ways to play the ball. I think I hit driver off the tee. Everybody was kind of egging me on to hit driver, try to drive the green. You can do it, there is one particular bunker that sits out there, that's it impending doom, if you hit it in that bunker you are going to make 6. I pretty much hit driver down the left side and had just a little short pitch, although there will be guys that will be able to get that ball onto the green. The green is undulated. I imagine it's going to be very slick come tournament time and making a birdie would certainly be a good score. I think of the first six holes that's going to be one that maybe you might see your first birdie on. I am not sure there's too many birdies out there until you get to 6.
7 ... shipwreck, I thought every par 3 was a shipwreck out there. Particularly 17, but 7, what a great hole. Pin was actually set in a nice location today. You can utilize some of the slope. It was downwind today, playing about 214 the card has on it. I seen my caddie has on here "don't miss right." Okay. He has got that on several holes. But... (Laughter). Anyway...
JULIUS MASON: What did you hit?
SHAUN MICHEEL: 6 downwind, maybe 195 or so to the front, pretty much just playing the front yardage in there. Hit the green, got 2-putt, I think we tied that hole; did we? Made 3. We had a nice little friendly match out there today. So PGA of America's budget is increasing. (Laughter). But you go to No. 8, another one you just don't want to miss it to the right. You have got obviously that big lake out there that's just kind of waiting to grab you. The moment I think you get a little bit aggressive off the tee, you know you have got some high rough and it's just ultimately the golf course is about fairway. 462 yards on the card, that's what they played about. I think a lot of guys will hit 3-woods there, maybe some 1-irons depending on the firmness of the fairways. That left me with an 8-iron in. Actually I 2-putted there and thought I made a birdie. I was a little --(inaudible).
Then you get to 9, another hole that kind of plays as you can see right there, I was out to the right playing with the sheep, and it's kind of playing down off the left, I don't know how it is going to play during the tournament. I am hearing the wind switches a little more left to right and in of the southwest on the hole which makes a little bit more difficult.
A lot of guys are going to hit 3-woods off the tee, I think you can hit driver and it narrows up considerably the further that you hit down, and of the green out there, that's the probably the smallest green that they have got on the golf course. So you get the ball on the fairway you think, okay, I am safe but then you have got a small target to hit to, makes it very challenging.
Q: What did you hit into the green on that one.
SHAUN MICHEEL: I hacked it out of the rough, and had to get up-and-down. But I probably had 140 yards or so to the front. Maybe 145 or so. A nice hole. Just nice fit. As Bobby said, a lot of the angles on the front nine from where I was teeing off, you are shooting into some very small areas over there. The wind was so strong at that point that trying to work the ball back into the wind like we try to do really wasn't an option because you just kind of want to utilize that if you can; particularly with the way the wind was blowing you can use it to shape your shot.
JULIUS MASON: You make the turn and you come over to 10 and you see what is --
SHAUN MICHEEL: I had a bratwurst first, I did that. I had to digest what happened to me out there. I think I shot 4-over out there.
JULIUS MASON: That's a compliment, Governor, by the way.
SHAUN MICHEEL: Just had a nice nine holes. It was a great nine holes. Obviously I would have liked to have played a little better but I think seeing the golf course for the first time, it's very challenging off the tee. A lot of blind shots out there. So I didn't feel particularly bad about really the way I played at all.
You got to 10 and as you can see out there there's an aiming bunker out there; definitely do not want to be in that bunker. I am saying it's about 260 probably to carry. The way the wind direction was blowing it was a driver, kind of hit it off that bunker and a little bit and keep it off the left side of the fairway; although that doesn't give you a very good angle. You'd really like to get that ball over that bunker if you could and keep it somewhere between there and the rough to give yourself a little bit better of an angle attacking that flag. I just wasn't in there with a sand wedge and kind of released to the back of the green. That green obviously being elevated is much more affected by the wind, which drives the green up considerably and then it just makes for a firm approach shot. That was just a driver and a sand wedge in there.
No. 11, as you say, we're just kind of going downwind just kind of following the coast line, and just a driver there to the right and you know, and what is important about this hole and any of the holes where you are having dog-legs, is you got to know certain numbers, you have got to know certain yardages over areas that you are trying to play to.
I had a great caddie out there. He did a great job. He doesn't know my game. He doesn't know the information that I need. So I will be anxious to get my caddie out here to kind of get some angles because I played it a little bit too far to the right and thought I hit a pretty good tee shot and I was stuck with you know, hacking it out of the rough and then trying to get another one up by the green and trying to make a par. I think that hole I got down there, that waste area there, ended up making a nice par.
Very challenging. You come up to these holes, you think you got a par 5, and you know, you miss your tee shot out there and you are struggling to make a 5. So it was certainly a lay-up for two or three shots. Then made a nice putt for a par.
12, when I first walked up onto that tee it's a par 3, I thought the guys in front of us were on the next tee box. There is such a small landing area over there to the right, I told the guys today that if the wind blew and of course this is for our guys that have got to survey the green, if the wind was blowing in this direction, with this strength, if 80 guys make the cut on the weekend on Saturday or Sunday 25% would hit the green. It's that difficult an approach shot with that back right pin.
It's a true testament to the design. You play a hole that 155 yards, I mean you should make a guy have to, you know, to try to hit a really good shot in there close. That's what it makes you do. Plenty of room out to the left, but might see the pin down there one or two days, but just a very difficult hole.
JULIUS MASON: What did you hit off the tee.
SHAUN MICHEEL: 8 and I hit too much club. It went over the green there and a chip back.
13, cliff hanger. 400-yard hole. What a great hole for a short hole. It just -- another shot that requires a demanding tee shot. I am kind of beating a dead horse but I cannot emphasize that enough, the importance of getting the ball off the tee into the fairway and you are going to see people maybe even take driver out of their bag for a while and just try and get the ball in play because that's what this course requires and this hole in particular. But if you get this far in the fairway I think you can score. I think you can make a birdie. This is another one of the holes and there have been a few where I think that birdie will be a great -- would be a good score. I think you will see a lot of guys make birdie on this hole.
For me it was -- I carry a 5-wood. I have done that mainly for some of the par 5s and after playing today I might take that club out of the bag. I am not sure that that is a club that's going to be effective around this course. I have hit that one -- I have hit it once, and after going back and thinking it through I might have to put a 1-iron into the bag because I think you just don't need it on the golf course.
It was a 5-wood off the tee, strong -- weak 4-wood, strong 5-wood, just a metal wedge from about 150 yards or so. I laid back.
14, back into the wind. That's where the fun began for me. Actually we had a -- I think Jim said we are all getting tired, we are all hitting it at the same time. We're pretty much trying to get finished out there. I'd say relatively short hole. But the way it's designed it's a hole that's played back into the wind. That's exactly what they wanted. That's exactly what they got. 372 yards doesn't seem like a whole lot and typically for us that's going to be a long iron, 3-irons, 2-irons, something like that. Some guys might play aggressive and hit a 3-wood and a short iron into the green. But today it was a driver, which had I hit the fairway, would have left me probably 155 yards into the pin. Hit it out to the right and again not much room there. I challenged the hole. You can certainly lay back. If you do lay back on that hole, there is a bunker that's just out on the left side that doesn't afford you the opportunity to see where your target is. So if you want to see the green, have a nice clear shot at the hole and guys are going to hit driver, and the guys that hit the fairway can certainly make a nice score on the hole.
15, I played with some guys over the years that -- very accurate players, but maybe not the longest players -- and I think these next two holes you will see that they will -- depending on how they set the golf course up, will not be able to reach the fairway. I don't know how they are going to do it. I don't know what the conditions are going to be two months from now, but I just know that after playing with enough of these guys out here that there are just certain players that will not be able to reach this fairway with 15, 20-mile-an-hour wind. Hopefully these guys will take that into consideration when we're playing. Doubtful, but they are not the USGA.
Anyway I will probably get in trouble for that one next week.
JULIUS MASON: We can alter our transcripts; don't worry.
SHAUN MICHEEL: I told you I needed a lawyer up here before I got here. It's a driver off the tee and 465 yards really doesn't do that hole justice. I think the way it's playing tight it's well over 500 yards.
Again, putting the ball in the fairway to give yourself an opportunity to have a shot at the green is important. However, you know, you are going into that green with a long iron and it's very severe around there. I think one good thing about the golf course is on these long holes they do give you some opportunity to run the ball into the green. Now, left-right-long, that's a different story but they do give you a chance to play short and to play a shot to the green. I think that's a design -- that's a sign of a great design of a golf course. To give a guy an opportunity to play forward and they have done that. So again it was tough hole for all of us. It was a driver and I think I pitched out up the fairway and kind of finally got it onto the green there.
16, same thing as 15. Driver off the tee for me but again, challenge to get the ball to the fairway. I got it out there a little bit to the right and kind of chipped it up the fairway and was surprised to find out that I had 220 yards in for my third shot. Had to hit a 3-wood and I am walking up to the green, I am about halfway up to the green and my caddie is yelling back at me that my ball was back another 20 yards. I thought I had gotten it up close to the pin. So the wind was really playing havoc on us out there.
That will be a 3-shot hole. 535 yards, plays well over 600. No doubt in my mind if the wind is blowing like this, there will be no one, no one will reach that green in two. And I am surprised by a lot, what these guys can do out here, but no one will reach that green in two with the wind conditions the way they are.
17, what a great hole. You stand back there on the tee, 223 yards, you got a green out there that you can see and you can certainly see what is to the left and not a good place to go. They do give you some room, the green is really large and it's a large green, a very deep green. So you can manufacture some shots but there is one particular bunker that's just to the right, just short and right. It's kind of where you'd want to aim. It's really where you'd want to bail out. And I said this earlier that a lot of the golf courses that we play, most of the designers give you a chance or give you an area to bail out to. But this is a major championship and it is equally difficult on both sides. So there's not going to be anybody that's going to have a bailout. The guy that tries that is going to be in equally difficult trouble if he is left or right. It's just that type of hole. That bunker is not one that you want to be in. Again they give you the opportunity to hit it short of the green which is what I did with a 3-iron.
Probably there was a wood shot for me, but didn't feel like I was up to the challenge there. The wind was blowing pretty hard off the right. And M.G. actually picked up there. He hit it left over there and I had to take a look over there. It was not a place to be. Jim hit driver there and hit it great. (Laughs). Anyway, it just -- very difficult hole. That bunker on the short right, there is just no bailout. I think you will see a lot of players short and if the wind -- I keep saying this wind, I am just going to quit saying it. It affects every single shot out there.
18 will be an interesting hole because it's kind of a blind tee shot. When you walk over to the tee box, I noticed there is another tee box that sits down much lower below the surface of the fairway. So I didn't have a chance to go down there and look at it today but it will be -- I don't know if they are going to play it there. But it's a very difficult shot. But again it's kind of a blind shot off the tee. I hit driver today with the wind just off the left, I had roughly 185 or 190 yards to the green. Interesting thing about that hole is the run-out area of -- the fairway does end out there. So if the wind does blow more easterly straight off that lake I think you will see guys hit 3-wood off that tee because you can run it through into the rough.
You know as you can see when you look over there, it's a very large green and that's another thing the golf course does to you. It kind of lulls you into thinking that, okay, I will survive the tee shot. I survived the second shot and I have got it onto the green. But then you are faced with 60 or 70 feet over two or three ridges. So the golf course challenges you from tee box all the way through. And again, that's just a great concept.
I was fortunate to get out there with a 2-putt and end my day. It was a very enjoyable day. Along with the massage therapist at the spa, I think we need to have some psychiatrists and a couple of couches; I will pay for it; but you know, overall it's a great golf course. I don't think Bobby went out on a limb at all when he said that double digits would win the golf tournament. Obviously today where I played from was very difficult, but if they stay the way -- I think you are going to see a 10- or 12-over cut. Probably the most difficult and challenging golf courses that I have ever seen. I have played Carnoustie last year in a European Tour event and found it equally challenging. The tees weren't back quite as far as they were today. But chances are maybe you are going to see a great champion. I wish that they would take off par. I think professional athletes, all of us have some sort of ego out there in life, and it's very disconcerting when you are standing out there and you are hacking away at your fifth and sixth shot just trying to finish. So I wish they would just take off par and just let the lowest four days be the winner (laughter). Forget about over par because we do get caught up into that.
Everyone is, particularly the PGA TOUR, we get caught in, oh, Ernie shot 18-under, Tiger is 26-under, whatever. Hey, those guys are good out there. Par is just a number. Ultimately the last person standing on the 18th green is the champion and I just think that you are going to see a different -- I think you are going to see a different winner again. A lot of people are going to come up here and think, you know, Links-style golf course, I have played a few of those before. They are going to show up on Monday and realize they should have played this golf course all summer long.
Anyway it's a true test of golf. I am happy to be defending at Whistling Straits. Thank you.
JULIUS MASON: Thanks.
You could smile after that hole-by-hole. I will remind you at Oak Hill basically you did that and I believe you came out on top.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are ready for the question and answer of our news conference and because we have a sport reporter on the other line in New York taking down every word you will be saying and every word they will be saying, we ask that you use a wireless mic.
Q: Jim, I am wondering how you are going to address the issues of the waste bunkers out here given the situation with Stewart Cink earlier in the year and the fact that there are an awful lot of them out there. How are you going to --
JIM AWTREY: There's really no such definition of a waste bunker. What we're going to do is play everything inside the ropes as a prepared lake bunker. So if you look at the proposed roping, you saw the flags out there today, most of -- I'd say most -- for these players, all of the bunkers or sand that they are likely to be will be inside the ropes, so it will be a prepared bunker.
Outside the rope areas it would be played through the green. So when you look at those sandy areas, you may lightly ^ so your club, you may move loose impediments. And in doing so, you may move a little bit of sand but you cannot improve your line, your lie or your stance. So I think it will be pretty clearly defined in that way and I know Kerry plans on right up until Monday, reviewing those areas to determine whether that's all sand or whether some or all of it could be soil because if a ball imbeds in sand through the green, you are not entitled to drop. So only if that were in soil. So that will be one of the things that they will look at right up to the last minute.
But you will see a generous roping and everything inside the ropes will be a bunker prepared. Anything that's not fully inside the ropes will just be through the green.
Q: I realize, Shaun, par is just a number, but what was your number today?
SHAUN MICHEEL: I shot even par today.
Q: Did you really?
SHAUN MICHEEL: 77. (Laughter) It's tough. I think anybody that comes here for the first time without any type of knowledge or any expectations I think my expectations today were see the golf course, not really evaluate how my score was going to turn out, just kind of get a feel for where it was that I needed to be on the golf course. It was a fun day. I had a great time with my three partners that I played with today. We had a nice friendly match, a nice conversation, so score really was irrelevant for me today.
Q: I am wondering if Mr. Kohler doesn't have his wind machine blowing in August, how difficult this course will be if the wind isn't blowing? I have heard it doesn't necessarily blow like this every day in August.
SHAUN MICHEEL: It's hard to say. I only know how it played today and how it could play. I think it's windy here every single day. I don't really foresee any changes there. PGA of America is extremely fair. They have always represented themselves well. They have always gotten a great champion. Undoubtedly when they come set the golf course up -- they know that the wind blows out here so maybe they do adjust some of the tees. There are times out there and we talked about this as well, that a course is set up a certain way and an unusual condition comes in halfway through the round and there's just nothing you can do about it. You have got to kind of play with it. It's just really hard to say. I think the greens you know, I think they are a little bit slower than what I am used to. The Memorial greens were extremely fast yesterday. So I didn't have a great feel on the greens. But it's just difficult to putt. There's a lot of little subtle breaks out there. But if the wind calms down, I still find it's one of the most challenging golf courses. Last year, I shot 4-under and four perfect conditions, and I think this golf course is a lot more difficult than Oak Hill and I still think that over par -- I think if there's no wind I think five or six other will still win the golf tournament.
Q: How has your breakthrough victory last year with the PGA changed your life on the Tour and are you satisfied the way you have been playing in the ensuing months?
SHAUN MICHEEL: Well, I think it's every player's dream to win a golf tournament. Obviously everyone rates their careers differently, some on major Championships and players like myself, I am happy to contend each and every week and try to improve that way. I really didn't have anything to gauge myself on really after last year's PGA. Last year was kind of a strange year, Ben Curtis and I winning our first tournaments happened to be major tournaments and trying to figure out how we were going to handle all that came with that and it started the next week at Firestone.
I was blessed with the birth of my first son in November, so in some ways it wasn't as difficult. My practice schedule certainly changed a little bit and I took some opportunities to play in some overseas events, and with my father so I wasn't really playing a lot on the PGA TOUR last year towards the end. But as far as this year, I have had a pretty consistent year. The last few weeks I have kind of been out of form, really since The Masters I have taken a lot more time off this year. As much as I hate doing that, being home with my family has probably been one of the most important things. My wife was pushing me out there. She used to beg me to come home nights; now it's the other way around. So I think in some respects I probably should be playing a little bit more and staying a little in a bit more competitive shape. But I finished fourth in a European event in Thailand, 9th at the FedEx Championship and 22nd at Augusta. Not great, but that was my first time there and didn't putt particularly well.
I am not really satisfied. Last couple of weeks I lost some confidence. Played in Memphis a couple weeks ago and just found the conditions to be very difficult. It was unusual weather conditions and course conditions that we had in Memphis and it was a course -- it was set up difficult. It was a tough day.
Last couple of weeks I have lost a little bit of confidence I think in some of the things that I was doing into March. Definitely like to get back on track. I am in the process of trying to find Dave Peltz and work on some short game issues. I think putting has been always been something that I have needed to work on.
But you know, a couple weeks ago if you'd asked me that, I thought my game was great. I am not winning. I think people -- you win one golf tournament and I think they expect Tiger to win every single week. So I am blessed that way.
Other than the last two weeks I felt pretty consistent. I've missed two cuts this year. It's not bad but I'd like to improve. I have a tough course coming up in a couple of weeks. You have got to have your A-game going there. So I have to improve, for sure.
Q: Shaun, what percentage of players will go to a major course to play practice rounds maybe before that Monday and because of the newness of this course and everything that has been heard about it, do you anticipate more players coming up here to practice than maybe a typical major?
SHAUN MICHEEL: I suspect so. I think there will be a lot of people that will be anxious to talk to me at the U.S. Open to see kind of what I found unless everybody knows that today was my Media Day and they have heard a lot of great things about the course.
I think a lot of the veteran players, much like the PGA of America the USGA, they alternate between historic venues, courses that they have played before. They certainly had a list of courses that they want to play, they like to play and that they consistently play every five, six, seven years.
This is -- I certainly would recommend people coming up here because if you do not, the practice rounds are going to be six hours long because there is so many different angles, you know. It's all about a certain yardage. I mean, you get out there and you hit into an angle into the fairway and instead of just -- you have got about a 20 or 30-yard wide little area that you need to put your ball. I think it's going to be important for guys to come out here and have their caddies come with them. I am not as comfortable with having a local caddie. I am used to how my caddie does things; I think most of the guys are. But I think it is imperative that the guys come up here and play. I would certainly like to come back here and play a few more times before.
I was actually thinking about playing the tournament prior which is the International. I haven't decided yet, but I may not play that week and try to come up here a little bit earlier than I was planning on because it's just -- I think local knowledge and just trying to get a feel for the golf course; there's nothing to aim at out there. I mean, there's no depth perception. When you get out there, I got the first hole today and it looked like I had 220 yards to the pin; I had 180. You just lose your bearing. So it is important.
I think that the players when they hear what I have to say, I think they will come up. I think you will see them in the next month or two, most, if not all the players try and call up and try to get a round in before.
Q: Mr. Kohler, how would you rate the wind conditions today and do you have any scary anecdotes from the windiest day you've played out here?
HERB KOHLER: I'd say this is a little above average for an August day. Steve Friedlander, are you here? What would you say? He's our director of golf.
SCOTT SILVESTRI: The wind today is a bit above average. August tends to be the least windy month of all of them. So this was a pretty windy day. It certainly is windier now than it was this morning, but definitely above average.
HERB KOHLER: That's the end of my answer. (Laughter).
Q: Shaun, you talked about how challenging the course is. But you also just mentioned about how there's nothing to aim at. Would you call it a fair test of golf?
SHAUN MICHEEL: I certainly would. When you are talking about unfair that's when you start shaving the greens down, you know, making them run about 12 or 13 and you are sticking the pins up at the top of the slopes. There have certainly been some mistakes over the years that, as I alluded to earlier, you set a golf course up then you are affected by unforeseen weather conditions that changes everything and just makes you play that much more difficult. The course sets up very, very challenging. I would never say that it's unfair. There are things that they could do to make it unfair. That's by shaving the greens down and putting the pins to where if you miss it, it doesn't stay up on the same level; it rolls off the green and so forth. But I don't foresee them doing that.
Q: Jim, I am wondering can you talk about the unusualness of having a major, a relatively new course like this and just how it came about and your reaction when you first saw this course for the first time?
JIM AWTREY: Well, most of you know strategically we try to insert a new golf course periodically into the rotation because there's great golf courses being developed. You can't go back to the same ones and say those are the only ones that will be there for the next 50 years.
Interestingly enough, we received a call from Pete Dye about 1997 at Winged Foot. We had just concluded the tournament and Pete said to come up and look at the golf course. I thought he was talking about Blackwolf. I have said, we have seen it. Kerry's been there. He said, no, we have got a new one. I remember telling Pete, I said, Pete, you know how we do things. Kerry starts with a letter coming in, then he reviews the course and that's the process we go through. He said, well, like it is, to look at it, and so we agreed to do that as a favor to Pete.
One interesting thing, we had just been very hot in Winged Foot. It had been in the 90s, extremely hot, rained the last day. Got off the airplane here and had to get a jacket. That was encouraging. When you get off a plane you have to get a jacket to wear in August and everybody is criticizing us, but when I came out the first time it was roughed in. There was no grass. Second nine was not even in that stage. Clearly, it had a unique piece of land. And Pete had complete authority to build a Links-style golf course. When you give Pete authority on a waterline like this, which for a small-town boy from Oklahoma is an ocean, you turn Pete loose with a dozer, you are going to get something spectacular. We saw that in the early years and we made a commitment to the club professional championship, and then clearly we wanted to play a PGA Championship. We saw it was unique. We worked very hard.
I think Herb said something about within six months of some day we had a contract. As I recall it was a little bit longer than that and a little bit more discussion than those six months. But it's one of the great venues, I think, in the U.S. and when you look at new sites, you have to start with golf course that will test the players then you have to look at a community, a state that will get behind a championship. Certainly you see that in Wisconsin and when you add it in the fact that it's the major event coming to town and the turnout that we have got that made it very special.
So it goes back to 1997, but you know, sometimes you look at a site and you see something unique about it, something very special and that's what this was, and we made a commitment very early on to this golf course. Some of you may recall we moved the tournament from Louisville, Kentucky at Valhalla to this site, many people questioning a brand new site moving a tournament but that's how strongly we felt.
Q: Curious to follow-up on earlier question with how this victory has changed your life and approach. Has it changed more from your end or just more on how people treat you, perceive you and also if you on 18 did you happen to drop a ball at 175 and hit 7-iron?
SHAUN MICHEEL: No. I guess I really didn't answer that question before. I apologize. I think professionally for me it really changed my career because it changed my life because it gave me an opportunity to not really to not have to send in my Q-School application like I have been doing over the last four, five years. This is my seventh year on the Tour; I have been exempt now for five straight years. But it was really the first time that I could actually take a deep breath and only think about you know, what my future might mean and how I can improve and become a consistent player on the Tour.
Personally, the birth of my son and marriage to my wife Stephanie probably are the two best things that have happened to me. This probably ranks third. But undoubtedly my career is probably the highest point and it's been kind of a rollercoaster. I have been blessed to have a lot of great support, not only from the PGA of America but family and friends, friends on the Tour that have really helped me to try to realize that, hey, this is a golf tournament, this is a very large golf tournament, very important for my career and very instrumental in where I am tying to get to but try not let that change you, try not to have to live up some of the expectations that some people have. I think we are our own worst critics at times. Undoubtedly when I won I felt a little bit pressure over the next few months that I needed to try and showcase my talent or to try to compete each and every single week, and it's difficult to do. There's very few of us that are able to do that. Hopefully one day I will be able to kind of figure that all out and be able to be on the leaderboard every single week but until then it's still a learning experience for me.
But I just have enjoyed myself. I really have. If you look at my stats I have played 13 -- I think I have played 13 tournaments out of 24. I have certainly taken a lot of time off and that's due to wanting to be home with my family. I am just taking some opportunities -- I do have responsibilities to my sponsors and to my position on the money list and my position in the world ranking, but I think anybody will forgive me for taking that next year right after a win and doing some of those things. And just not putting so much pressure on myself and I think by next year after this year's PGA if I haven't won again since then, maybe I can just show up at the golf course and kind of get back how it used to be. I used to be able to spend a lot more on the range and maybe that's what I should be doing. I have a difficult time saying no. I am learning that. Bob Tway, Nick Price have been great friends of mine. You can't say yes to everything. Up to this point I said yes to everything. Trying to find a tactful way to say no and spend more time on the range and the putting green where I need to be is probably something I need to stick to.
Q: Following up, when you break through and win your first major does that take pressure off you from that point on or does it add to the pressure because the bar is raised?
SHAUN MICHEEL: Yeah, it is. It is different pressure. It took the pressure off that I had a place to play for 5 straight years because I knew until I turned professional in 1992/1993 and after 2001 I hadn't played on the same Tour in consecutive years. That took me from the Tour, to the Nike Tour, which is the Nationwide Tour, to Asia. So the five-year exemption certainly took a lot of pressure off. It is going to allow me to improve on some of the things that I have been wanting to do. As you know when you go out there and you are playing, your battling for your PGA TOUR card every year you are afraid to really work on some of the things you want to work on. It's all about scoring, and dollars making sure you are in that top 125. In hindsight, I felt like I just really needed to 1-up my PGA. How can I 1-up the PGA? I would probably never hit a shot like that again on the 18th hole. I would love to have the opportunity. So there are times when I get on the golf course and it gets frustrating and I just go back and I think about that shot and I think about what that tournament means to me and my family and just kind of puts me in a quieter place. So it did take some pressure off but then expectations from other areas certainly have maybe brought that pressure back. Particularly now that the PGA is coming back around, but you know, it's a good position for me to be in. I am enjoying it.
JULIUS MASON: We're running a little long today. I'd like to invite Scott Silvestri.
SCOTT SILVESTRI: I want to thank the members of the media who have really been with us for two years here. We talk about partnerships up here. You have been great partners as well. Thank you.
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