The 2005 Senior PGA Championship
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An Interview with Isao Aoki

May 24, 2005

THE INTERPRETER: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for coming today. I know that there's quite a bit of you from the mass media, so there's hardly any Japanese media. So after this presentation is finished, we will give you an English translation of what we're doing today.

And so we would like to begin the presentation of the Isao Aoki's World Golf Hall of Fame Commemorative Ring Commendation Ceremony.

(Speaking in Japanese.)
THE INTERPRETER: So first of all I would like to ask chairman, who is the chairman of the PGA of Japan to present the ring to Isao Aoki. And this is made of yellow gold. And I am asking the chairman to hold this up for you.

By the way, I'm sorry I forgot to mention the gentleman who is speaking right now is Mr. Isao Matsui, one of the board members from the PGA of Japan and he is in charge of publicity.

(Speaking in Japanese.)
THE INTERPRETER: So if you would, Chairman Nagata, please stand up and if you would do the honors of presenting him with the ring. This ring has the Isao Aoki's name and the World Golf Hall of Fame is also inscribed on the side.

Everybody got their pictures? Mr. Aoki says, I was going to kiss him, but I decided not to.

(Laughter.)

(Speaking Japanese.)
THE INTERPRETER: So if you would give us a few words, Mr. Aoki.

(Isao Aoki through interpreter.)
ISAO AOKI: First of all, by looking at this ring and receiving this ring, I don't know whether I was, I am deserving of this ring, but looking back I am really very, very happy that I was able to receive this ring. And playing golf all these years. And I think that just there was quite a bit of influence from many, many people. And as a person too, I really appreciate this wonderful honor. And I think by looking at this ring and receiving this ring I can truly say that I did probably die without regretting how I lived my life. And I have no regrets. And I think that this will be a very big part of my life. And it will always influence me. If I can somehow, through this wonderful and great opportunity, if I can repay back to society of all of the wonderful things that golf has brought to me, I would like to do that. And I again I am very pleased and very honored to have received this ring, as well as being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. And hopefully that I will continue to play as well as I have in the past and then perhaps maybe bring more of the interest into the world of golf for every one.

So again, I am grateful for the PGA to have given me this opportunity and I believe that there are eight Japanese players that are playing in this tournament this week, and I feel that with this ring I got an extra boost from the Japanese PGA and hopefully the eight of us can do very well this week. And not to say that on behalf of the Japanese players, but I hope that one of us or as a Japanese ‑‑ one of the Japanese players, that we can do our very best and hopefully that we will finish well this week.

I hope that this will also bring us more opportunity for the senior tour to prosper in the future as well.

(Speaking Japanese.)
THE INTERPRETER: As Matsui's comment was that Ayako Okamoto, who played with the LPGA and now she's back on the Japanese tour, was announced last week that she is also going to be nominated ‑‑ she has been nominated for the Hall of Fame this year. And Matsui has asked Mr. Aoki what his comments were about that and Isao Aoki's reply was finally she has been recognized as a player worthy of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. And she probably won't realize what has hit her until after she has been inducted. And I am, Mr. Aoki's comment was that I am very, I probably she feels just as happy as I was when I heard the news. So, and when you get inducted to the Hall of Fame you look back and you realize and you're very glad that you ‑‑ very pleased and happy that all of your efforts and hard work has been paid off. So it's great that playing golf for a long time and then being rewarded this way is great.

(Speaking Japanese.)
THE INTERPRETER: So starting Thursday again the 66th Senior PGA Championship will start and eight of the players will, eight of the Japanese players will be playing. And so we wish them all the luck. And then in closing I would like to have Mr. Nagata, chairman of the Japan PGA, to say a closing remarks for us.

(Speaking Japanese.)
THE INTERPRETER: So my remarks are with the induction of Mr. Aoki's induction into the Hall of Fame, and as I, as was mentioned earlier, there are eight Japanese players here this week. And we hope that they will be in the, in contention for winning this tournament.

So anyway, I would like to also thank the PGA for letting us use their media center and the interview room for this great occasion of the presentation of the ring. And I thank you.

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