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IBM, United States Golf Association Begin Four-Year Partnership With Launch of usopen.com

New Interactive Web Site Will Include Near-HD Live Video, Real-Time Scoring, and Custom Tracking of Favorite Players to Bring Fans Closer to the Action During the 108th U.S. Open Championship

ARMONK, NY - 28 Apr 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced a new four-year agreement making IBM the official technology partner of the USGA. To commence the relationship, the organizations also announced the re-launch of usopen.com, jointly designed and developed by IBM and the USGA. The new interactive Web site will allow fans to experience the U.S. Open Championship in ways not before possible.

As the newest corporate partner of the USGA, IBM will contribute its business and technology expertise to help the USGA fulfill a key mission of expanding and improving the game of golf. IBM will help the USGA run the technology operations at the U.S. Open Championship (June 12-15) and provide scoring services for the U.S. Open as well as the U.S. Women's Open (June 26-29) and U.S. Senior Open (July 31-Aug. 3) Championships.

IBM joins American Express and Lexus as the only corporate partners in the USGA's 113-year history. As part of the relationship, IBM will be helping the USGA with its business operations, including the GHIN Network and Member Services.

"This partnership gives us access to IBM's technology expertise, which is critical as we move the USGA into the next phase of its history," said Pete Bevacqua, chief business officer for the USGA. "As the USGA continues to move forward with our mission of strengthening the game, we need to align ourselves with the best and most innovative partners. We look forward to collaborating with IBM as we strive to meet the needs of our members, member clubs and business partners."

The 2008 usopen.com Web site will be more engaging and more personalized for golf fans. It will be the first to allow fans at the course to post messages on-line via a new fan feedback application. In addition, the site will also have a more personalized experience with customizable player tracking and access to a rich array of on-demand video content, including player highlights, round highlights and course previews. The homepage will also offer exclusive real-time scoring and feature a video console with near-HD live-streaming video of Championship action over the four days, including marquee groupings and player interviews.

"Our partnership with the USGA enables us to apply IBM's technology and business expertise to help the USGA improve the game and make the U.S. Open accessible to more people than ever before," said Rick Singer, Director, Worldwide Sponsorship Marketing, IBM. "usopen.com is going to be an immersive web experience, including significant multi-media content, personalized features and real-time solutions. The excitement and popularity of this Championship called for a system that was reliable, flexible and secure. That is what we have worked with the USGA to deliver."

The USGA is the national governing body of golf in this country and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the world's golfers and golf courses.

The Association's most visible role is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open. Ten additional USGA national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women's Amateur.

The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, provides expert course maintenance consultations, funds research for better turf and a better environment, maintains a Handicap System and administers an ongoing "For the Good of the Game" grants program, which has allocated more than $59 million over 11 years to successful programs that bring the game's values to youths from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities. For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.

Over the past 48 years, IBM has extended its business solutions into entertainment and professional sports by providing results and competition management systems. Today, IBM provides technology support and solutions to major sports and entertainment properties, including the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and U.S. Open Tennis championships, the Masters, the NFL and Tony Awards.

For more information on IBM, please visit www.ibm.com.

Contact(s) information

Adam Christensen
IBM Media Relations
203-517-8907
acch@us.ibm.com

Chris Wightman
USGA Communications
908-234-2300
cwightman@usga.org

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