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Mickelson Set to Defend the "King of the Swing" Title

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL -- Bank of America, "The Official Bank of the PGA tour," will be the presenting sponsor of the PGA tour's West Coast Swing for the second consecutive year in 1999.

As part of the sponsorship, Bank of America will honour the player who accrues the most points during the PGA tour's West Coast Swing as the "King of the Swing." Bank of America unveiled the "King of the Swing" program in 1998 at the beginning of the West Coast Swing. This year, the West Coast Swing will add a ninth tournament - the World Golf Championships (WCG) - Andersen Consulting Match Play at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, CA.

In 1999, the "King of the Swing" title will be determined by a point system that will allow the nine tournaments in this year's West Coast Swing to be of equal importance. The West Coast Swing standings will not reflect the PGA tour's money list as they did last year. Instead, the top eight finishers at each event will receive points ranging from 100 points for the champion to 10 points for the eighth-place finisher.

As the leading money winner of the eight 1998 West Coast events, Phil Mickelson was named "King of the Swing." For his win, Mickelson was presented with an IBM ThinkPad loaded with a $100,000 on-line banking account and a trophy.

The finale of last year's "King of the Swing" competition was postponed until August 17, when the third and final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was completed. Mickelson, who began the delayed round in 10th place in the "King of the Swing" standings, fired a final-round, 5-under-par 67 to earn his 13th PGA TOUR title and overtake David Duval as the leading money winner of the West Coast Swing.

"It was a pretty exciting day for me," said Mickelson, who began last year's Bank of America West Coast Swing with a victory at the Mercedes Championships. "It was such an enjoyable day and a very uplifting moment. I'm looking forward to this year's Bank of America West Coast Swing because I feel it is important to get off to a good start each year. Playing well early, especially winning early, can set a positive tone for the entire season."

The season will also get underway in a new locale as the Mercedes Championships moves from La Costa, CA, to the Kapalua Resort's Plantation Course on Maui, HI.

As presenting sponsor of the PGA tour West Coast Swing, Bank of America supplements the purse of each of the West Coast Swing tournaments by $300,000 while conducting consumer promotions around each stop, with the exception of the WGC - Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship.

"We are excited about the response to the 'King of the Swing' program," said PGA tour Commissioner Timothy W. Finchem. "Bank of America's support of the PGA tour through its presenting sponsorship of the West Coast Swing has helped make our early season events even more attractive to our players, tournament organisations and fans."

The following is a schedule for the 1999 PGA tour West Coast Swing Presented by Bank of America:

Jan. 4-10 Mercedes Championships, Kapalua, HI
Jan. 11-17 Sony Open in Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
Jan. 18-24 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, La Quinta, CA
Jan. 25-31 Phoenix Open, Scottsdale, AZ
Feb. 1-7 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Pebble Beach, CA
Feb. 8-14 Buick Invitational, La Jolla, CA
Feb. 15-21 Nissan Open, Pacific Palisades, CA
Feb. 22-28 Touchstone Energy Tucson Open, Tucson, AZ
Feb. 22-28 World Golf Championships Andersen Consulting Match Play, Carlsbad, CA

The following is a breakdown of the "King of the Swing" new point system:

1st place 100 points
2nd place 70 points
3rd place 60 points
4th place 50 points
5th place 40 points
6th place 30 points
7th place 20 points
8th place 10 points

TW 4/1/98