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PGA TOUR and IBM Unveil PGA TOUR LINKS Making Life on Road Easier For TOUR Professionals

PGA TOUR Players Participated in Development of Program

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ARMONK, NY & PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - 02 Mar 1999: The PGA TOUR and its information technology partner, IBM, today announced the roll-out of PGA TOUR LINKS -- a customized software package designed to streamline communications for PGA TOUR members and to assist them in managing their careers from the road.

By dialing into PGA TOUR LINKS from anywhere in the world, TOUR members can register for tournaments; check personal finance information, money lists and latest standings; access travel information; and even research the weather forecasts for an upcoming tournament. It's all available on-line, running on an IBM ThinkPad 600 customized for each of the 204 exempt PGA TOUR players.

IBM, the PGA TOUR and a group of 20 TOUR professionals, including David Duval, John Cook and Lanny Wadkins, joined in a 10-month collaboration to create, design, test and refine the features, functionality and navigation of the PGA TOUR LINKS application.

PGA TOUR LINKS features more than 65 different content areas, all accessible from a simple, easily browsable graphic startup screen. Highlights include:

"IBM has a wonderful team that worked with us to incorporate our ideas. For a guy like me, who barely knew how to turn a computer on, it offers a little bit of everything," said Lanny Wadkins, 28-year TOUR veteran. "I use it for managing daily cash use, committing to tournaments, calling up my stats, tracking my stock portfolios and checking weather forecasts for my next tournament."

As much as the PGA TOUR has grown, and as global as professional golf has become, we saw a real need and opportunity to enhance communication with our members and to improve their ability to manage business from the road, said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. PGA TOUR LINKS does just that. Players had an active role in the development of the program, and IBM provided the expertise and technology to address the needs of the players.

We worked hand-in-hand with the players and the PGA TOUR to design a solution that fit their communications and management needs, said Tom Burke, IBM sports marketing senior manager. This type of program typifies IBM's e-business solutions capabilities, and can be translated to other sports leagues and businesses alike.

PGA TOUR LINKS includes an intranet hosted on the IBM's global network, which is designed to give members of the PGA TOUR access to the public Internet, while also maintaining the security and integrity of their personal information. When connected to the network, players can download files and data stored on a private server, as well as Web content from the Internet. Security is maintained through IBM's RS/6000 firewall server.

The PGA TOUR LINKS application incorporates both proprietary and off-the-shelf application software such as Lotus Notes, Lotus Smart Suite, Netscape Communicator and PointCast. Network content is stored on an IBM Netfinity 3500 server and is managed by IBM Global Services.

Requests from members for TOUR information are handled by a Lotus Notes server, which is in turn served by the IBM DB2 server. As an added feature, players can use the Lotus Notes replication feature, allowing them to copy their on-line databases and access them off line.

As the Worldwide Information Technology Partner of the PGA TOUR, IBM provides the equipment and services to help the PGA TOUR plan, run and manage TOUR events, including the IBM scoring system on-site at TOUR events and technology support for the TOUR's various business areas. IBM also develops and hosts the TOUR's Web site, http://www.pgatour.com, and consults with the TOUR on other e-business opportunities to improve the productivity of its operations.

IBM is dedicated to helping customers, including many of the world's premier professional sports organizations, leverage the value of the Internet and e-business.

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IBM, ThinkPad, DB2, Net.Commerce, RS/6000, IBM Netfinity 3500 30U Server are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.

Lotus, Lotus Notes, Lotus SmartSuite and Lotus Domino are registered trademarks of Lotus Development Corporation.

Netscape Communicator, Windows 98 and PointCast are trademarks of their respective companies.

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