Boy, after reading the recent stuff from Carolyn Bivens, Tim Finchem's press conferences are so boring!
Still, it was a combative teleconference with the Washington scribblers on demise of the Booze Allen and the reconstruction of TPC Avenel:
With respect to how we got to the scheduling decision, as I indicated at the end of our television negotiations, when we released our schedule earlier in the year, we felt like it was important to give as many weeks to possible consistent dates. We could have gone to a continuation of a situation where some years we play earlier in the summer in Washington, like we played last year, and other years we could play later in the summer. The feeling was that we would continue to have an inconsistent execution of our product, probably the fallout of that being a lack of continuity with the title sponsor, which has certainly been the case there since Kemper left. We just didn't want to go down that road. We wanted to try something we felt like had a better chance of continual year in, year out success.
I've always said, that if you can't have consistent product execution, it's just not worth it.
Q. Big picture question. How did the tournament in DC, one of the biggest markets in the nation, nation's capital, wind up on the outside looking in as far as the good dates go, and some tournaments in smaller markets, like the 84 Lumber in Greensboro, not nearly as well supported by the public as this one, how did they end up with the good dates and this tournament was on the out?
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: First of all, it's kind of hard to answer that question in the way you phrase it because you're assuming certain things about a "good date." We have dates on our schedule from the first week in January right through now the fall series to November. What's a good date for one market is not a good date for another market. What's a good date for a particular sponsor is not a good date for another sponsor in the same market. There are a lot of variables in terms of what goes into a date.
I think that the reaction to the date change in Washington has really been focused on one thing, and that is being in the FedEx Cup season, early summer, is preferable to anything else. I certainly wouldn't argue the point that being in the FedEx Cup season is an advantage. But I think the reaction perhaps has been a little bit overdone in terms of the negativity of the fall, as I said earlier.
The bottom line is that we were not comfortable, and frankly neither was Booz Allen, in continuing a date structure that has historically led to an event that would not be the kind of event on a number of levels that we'd like to see over the long term in the nation's capital. We wanted an opportunity to do something better. We thought consistent dates was part of that, but there are other factors.
This is a little weird....
TODD BUDNICK: Thank you very much for your time today, Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Thank you, Todd.
Ladies and Gentlemen, if you need additional information, we're available to you. I know a couple of you have called in the last couple of weeks. I've deferred those conversations until I had an opportunity to make comments generally today. In the aftermath of this week's tournament, I'd be happy to make myself available or other people on our team. We'll have more to say about Avenel here very shortly after the public hearing.
In the meantime, I would encourage you to cover this week's tournament. We have a lot of great players there, good golf course, we're looking forward to a good competition. Thank you.
I would encourage you to cover this week's tournament? What else would they cover?