News Release

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Woods-Duval Showdown Whets Prime-Time Appetite
August 5, 1999

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

Woods-Duval Showdown Whets Prime-Time Appetite
Mercedes Championships Looks Forward to Time in the Spotlight

The appetizer: The Showdown at Sherwood. Tiger Woods vs. David Duval battling head-to-head under the lights on prime-time television.

The main course: The 2000 Mercedes Championships. Golf's version of a prime-time battle royale, pitting all 1999 PGA TOUR event winners against each other on Kapalua's stunning Plantation Course.

Wood's match-play win against Duval on Aug. 2 drew a 6.9 rating, which was higher than the 6.5 expected by ABC, and surpassed ABC's typical figure on Monday nights during the summer.

"This demonstrates that television viewers are ready for golf in prime time if the product is worthy," said Joe Eberhardt, Vice President of Marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA. "Not every event can pull this off, but the Mercedes Championships format gives us an advantage. People want to see winners and every player on the Kapalua course will be a winner."

ESPN is planning 10 hours of prime time coverage at the Mercedes Championships from Hawaii on Jan. 6-9.

"The Showdown was a great success," said ABC producer Jack Graham. "One big factor is Tiger Woods. He transcends the sport of golf. Any event that has Tiger Woods is going to benefit. It's proven that he brings in viewers."

Woods, the 1997 Masters champion, has played in every Mercedes Championships since turning pro in 1996 and is qualified to return to Kapalua in 2000, having won three PGA Tour events in 1999.

Lawrie Brings Taste of History to Kapalua

With his stunning, sudden-death win over Jean Van de Velde and Justin Leonard at the British Open on July 18, Scotland's Paul Lawrie qualified for the 2000 Mercedes Championships. The addition of Lawrie adds a taste of history to the Mercedes Championships, as Scotland long has been considered the birthplace of golf. Lawrie, who will travel nearly 7,000 miles from his home in Aberdeen, Scotland might well have a competitive edge against a stellar field on the Ben Crenshaw/Bill Coore-designed Kapalua Plantation Course as it's playability resembles "links golf," courses defined by sandy, undulating, turf-covered ground usually along a seashore.

Lewis Trades Hoop Dreams for Trip to Hawaii

Also in July, 6-foot-3 Texas golfer J.L. Lewis (John Deere Classic) won his first career PGA TOUR event to qualify for the Mercedes Championships at Kapalua. A 1978 all-state high school basketball player, Lewis earned a basketball scholarship to Emporia (Kan.) State University. Multi-winners Tiger Woods (Motorola Western Open) and Carlos Franco (Greater Milwaukee Open) secured Mercedes spots with earlier victories.

Kapalua Resort Plans Major Renovations

Renovations are planned this year for Kapalua's three properties with completion scheduled just in time for the New Year. To complete the $25 million project, The Kapalua Bay Hotel will begin its pool area expansion in September, and its lobby enhancement and upscale function space expansion in November. The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua also is doing a little more than routine housekeeping and a mint on the pillow this winter. The hotel will put $2 million into renovating all of its 548 rooms in November. Everything from bedspreads to light fixtures will be replaced, keeping the color scheme of coral and seafoam green. The new look will be finished in time to welcome players and tournament participants for the 2000 Mercedes Championships in January.

The Hottest Tickets in Town

Tickets for the 2000 Mercedes Championships go on sale Aug. 15. Call C & J Telecommunications at 888-310-GOLF toll free, 24 hours for phone orders, or purchase tickets on-line via or On Maui, tickets can be purchased at the Kapalua resort at all Golf Shops, the Honolua Store, The Logo Shop and The Body & Bath Shop. Tickets also can be purchased at all Activity World outlets on Maui and at the Ka'ahamanu Shopping Center Information Booth.

Media Bulletin

For a 2000 Mercedes Championships media credential application form, contact Linn Nishikawa, Media Coordinator, (800) KAPALUA, (808) 669-4480 fax or e-mail

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