News Release

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Mercedes Championships Wind Wisdom
Feb. 24, 1999

KAPALUA, Maui, Hawaii -- "This Month at the Mercedes Championships" features news from Kapalua's Plantation Course and the Mercedes Championships, Jan. 6-9, 2000:

Mercedes Championships Wind Wisdom

Surprisingly, the trade winds at Kapalua, which blow anywhere from 15 to 35 mph or more, were unusually calm for the 1999 Mercedes Championships. "The trade winds blow approximately 70 percent of the time throughout the year at Kapalua," said Dr. Thomas Schroeder, director of the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research at the University of Hawaii. "At Kapalua, the winds are often stronger due to its proximity to the mountains. This past January we had what we call Kona weather, where the winds are light and variable, but they head in the opposite direction of the trade winds."

Some of the most difficult holes on Kapalua's Plantation Course were designed with the trade winds in mind. "Locals know how rare it is when we don't have the trade winds. Kona weather can make a four-shot difference on the Plantation Course," said Gary Planos, Mercedes Championships tournament director. "On holes number three, nine, 10 and 13, which usually play into a headwind, most players were using wedge shots for their approach, instead of a mid-iron shot that would be required when the trade winds are blowing. In fact, the average score for the field of champions went from slightly over 69 on Thursday to an even par 73 for the final round Sunday when the trade winds reappeared."

Four Join Duval on List of 2000 Qualifiers

Rocco Mediate (Phoenix Open), Jeff Sluman (SONY Open in Hawaii), Payne Stewart (AT&T; Pebble Beach National Pro-Am), Tiger Woods (Buick Invitational) and Ernie Els (Nissan Open) have joined David Duval as qualifiers for the 2000 Mercedes Championships with their tournament victories this year.

Television Ratings Exceed Expectations for 1999 Mercedes Championships

The Thursday through Sunday telecasts on ESPN drew a 1.5 cable-rating average. That translates to nearly 11 million homes in the U.S. Sunday's final round alone drew almost a 2.0 rating. "We are pleased with the numbers we received for the Mercedes Championships," said Donna Orender, PGA Tour senior vice president of television, productions and new media. "It was a great start for us in the new year. We think there is tremendous potential there. As viewers get used to the live, prime-time presentation, the viewer base will continually grow."

Kapalua Draws Big Crowds for "Best of the Best" Tournament

On site, an estimated crowd of nearly 21,000 attended the four days of competition, including close to 10,000 for the final round. It was the largest crowd in the history of golf on Maui.

Dates Set for 2000 Mercedes Championship and Mercedes Dealer Championships

The 2000 Mercedes Championships will be held on the Plantation Course Jan. 6-9, while the Mercedes Dealer Championships will be held Jan. 10.

Media Bulletin

Requests for media credentials are now being accepted for the 2000 Mercedes Championships. For an application form, contact Linn Nishikawa, Media Coordinator, (800) KAPALUA, (808) 669-4480 fax.

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