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October 1, 2003

Nick Price


TODD BUDNICK: We thank Nick for joining us today. Nick, another great season, over $2 million, ranked 15 on the Money List, a couple big events left. A big year for you as well as the end, being the 100th electee into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Talk about the season a little bit.

NICK PRICE: As per the last three seasons, I've played really hard from sort of January through June and then my July, August and September, this year I was a little lazier than I was the three previous years, but it seems to be a recipe that's been working well for me, and spending those summer months with my family, so I did it again this year, and probably the biggest improvement in my game this year has been in my putting. I mentioned earlier in the year that I went to see Scotty Cameron, and I think my putting has been more consistent this year than it's ever been. Probably that '92 through '95 period I putted streakily. I've always putted very well in streaks and then I'll go off a little bit. This year I seem to have putted pretty consistently the whole year, and that's made a difference because my ball striking certainly hasn't been where it was two, three years ago. The other day I saw my greens in regulation are down, I've been trying to hit the ball further, so my driving accuracy is off a little bit. It just seems like now that if you can't hit the ball 290 yards off the tee, it's certainly a big handicap on a lot of golf courses, so I've been trying to pump it up a little bit, and that's not easy.

Q. How are you trying to do that?

NICK PRICE: Various ways. I mean, I've tried equipment changes, adding length. That hasn't seemed to help much. Basically you've just got to swing harder. I mean, to be honest with you, that's it. You can try anything you want. For me, I've just got to hit the ball harder, and it's very hard to do. When you've swung at 85 percent of your strength your entire career, so now bump it up to 90 percent, the younger kids today swing pretty much flat out --

Q. That's all they know.

NICK PRICE: That's it. I think the new equipment, particularly the drivers, are so forgiving that your margin of error is greater than it was with a wooden club, and that way you're not going to miss too many fairways taking a full swat at it. That's one of the things that I've been trying to do.

My last three months I've played three tournaments, which is pretty poor, but I'm going to play another six, including this one, the rest of the year. It's always nice to top the money that you've -- I think this year probably even if I finished last in this event and last in the Tour Championship, I'm going to make more money than I did in my best year ever, which was last year. Of course, money is going up so much it's not really indicative of the way you played.

I'm very proud of the fact that I'm still playing well at 46, which is -- it's getting harder, there's no doubt about it.

I play this week, Disney, then the Tour Championship, Presidents Cup, Sun City, and hopefully Tiger's tournament.

Q. Do you need an invite to that?

NICK PRICE: Tiger's tournament? I think I was 12th on the world ranking, and I think they chose -- the invitations went out the end of last week and they take the top 15.

Q. That's pretty good, you haven't played too much but with the Hall of Fame and being sort of the de facto host of the Presidents Cup you're going to be pretty worn here at the back end of the schedule.

NICK PRICE: It's something that whenever you're having fun, time flies so quickly, and I know Christmas will be up on us, but certainly The Presidents Cup will be something I'll be looking forward to for a long time. One of the major goals over the last two, three years was to make that Presidents Cup team, particularly because it's in South Africa, but I'd like to win one more Presidents Cup with 11 teammates because that feeling of winning in Australia was something very special for all of us. I think we've got a strong team and a very good shot at it this year.

Q. Did you win the clinching point?


Q. It was like the second match of the day.

NICK PRICE: No, it wasn't quite that bad. It was like the third or fourth. I played Duval, and the point that I made clinched the victory for us. It's something I'll be able to tell my grand kids anyway.

Q. They said you had to send a truckload of your career memorabilia up to St. Augustine. What all did you throw in?

NICK PRICE: I'm a bit of a pack rat.

Q. Annika said she's got nothing and you send a truckload up there, and she can't find anything.

NICK PRICE: I'm one of those people that there's certain things that have sentimental value to me, and I've kept a lot of things over the years that mean a lot to me. I mean, obviously all my money clips from the PGA TOUR, every money clip I ever got, every ID, all the British Open badges, everything. I've got a whole lot. My wife and I sort of -- I had it in boxes all over the place and I would just throw it in. When the Hall of Fame people asked us to get everything together we consolidated it all and I started going through my money clips, and everything was there and all my U.S. Opens and my Masters and everything. It's something that's special for me, something I'll give my kids, and hopefully it'll mean something to them, as well.

Q. Is it on loan?

NICK PRICE: Yes, it's on loan. There's a couple of clubs that -- there's a Zebra putter and my black and silver shafted Taylor Made driver that if anyone took that away from me, I might kill them. That club made me more money than -- more titles.

Q. Is the Zebra from the Southern Hills era?

NICK PRICE: It was right after the PGA in '92 through '96 I used that driver.

Q. Why isn't it in the bag right now?

NICK PRICE: Because it's a dinosaur.

Q. It's this big, right?

NICK PRICE: Yes. Guys have got bigger putter heads than that now.

Q. How much do you figure you won with that?

NICK PRICE: I won probably 23 or 24 tournaments with that driver. When the big-headed ones came out, then they went backwards.

Q. Probably $10 million worth of tournaments.

NICK PRICE: I don't know, but something like 23 tournaments I won with it. I started using it two weeks after I won the PGA. A guy from Taylor Made, George Willard, I would use the steel shaft at the PGA in '92, and he said I'm going to give you one of these new graphites that we've made, and I had driving stats for so many years with that driver. 276 was the best I ever averaged with that driver, which is about four yards shorter than I'm hitting with the new stuff.

Q. You mentioned your improved putting. Have you ever thought back to how many tournaments you might have won if your putting had been better than --

NICK PRICE: If I putted like I did this year, I don't know, I'd probably have 60, 65 career victories, at least 50 percent more than I've won, maybe even more. I actually said to McNulty, who's probably one of my contraries, he's one of the best putters I ever saw. I said, do you know how many tournaments I would have won if I had putted like you, and he said, do you know how many tournaments I would have won had I driven like you.

Q. Is it a frustration, though, when -- to the average guy, the hitting of the ball sure seems a lot harder than it does to putt. Obviously you mastered the hard thing.

NICK PRICE: I was frustrated for so many years. It's funny because I'm still a big believer you can learn to do anything in the game, but when you're strong in one department and you're strong in that department throughout your career, that is a God-given gift. If you look at Crenshaw and the way he's putting, he's putted poorly several times, but he's been a phenomenal putter. If you look at Brad Faxon, it's a natural gift. Just like my driving, I had a natural gift.

I always felt good when the ball sat on a piece of wood an inch and a half off the ground and the lift was clean, I always felt like I had more control over it. My biggest problem was growing up on greens that were so different to the greens that we putted on during -- the speed. I grew up on greens that were 6 on the stimp meter, grainy. For four feet you had to have a little wrist on it because you had to hit it so hard. You come over here and everything is arms and shoulder stroke. If these greens had been 6 or 7 on the stimp meter, I might have been a good putter. When I first played at Augusta, I was glad I had strikes on because I felt like I was going to slip off them, they were that quick.

There were a lot of things I felt like I had to overcome that way, but now I feel comfortable on fast greens, and I have for four or five years.

Q. With that in mind, which facet of the game, which stat do you think is most important one that they keep on Tour? What do you look at first?

NICK PRICE: Well, I used to think -- driving used to be the hardest part of the game. It's now the easiest, there's no doubt. I mean, the best driver of the golf ball, there were two people I saw that drove the golf ball that I would have killed for. One was Jack Nicklaus and the other one was Greg Norman. I still believe Greg Norman was probably the greatest driver of the golf ball with a wooden driver that ever lived. I never saw anyone drive the ball as straight and consistently as he did with a wooden driver. As soon as the big-headed drivers came out, he became very ordinary, and it took away a huge advantage that he had. I would say in years gone by, driving.

Nowadays, your short game, you just have to have a short game, whether you call it putting or chipping or bunker play. The most important stat, well, scoring.

Q. But other than scoring.

NICK PRICE: Probably maybe greens in regulation because if you're hitting a lot of greens, that means you're hitting a lot of fairways or an adequate amount of fairways, and you're having a lot of birdie putts. So greens in regulation is probably one of the most important ones. If you have a look generally across the board, you'll see that the top 30 guys on the Money List are all in the top 40 and 50 in greens in regulation.

Q. You've always done real well at the tighter Colonial type courses just to pull a name out of the course where the value of par meant something. You mentioned you're playing Disney. That's usually a sprint from beginning to end. When you know you're playing in a place where the cut was six under last year, do you attack the golf course?

NICK PRICE: Well, that time of year the greens are soft. You can throw 3-irons at the pins and they'll stop. That's why the scoring is always so low there, because you just fire straight at everything. And they're not particularly long. But that's not really the kind of course that I expect to win on. I mean, if I have a great week, especially with the way I'm putting now, I have more of a chance than I've ever had.

One of the things I've always enjoyed about golf hitting off the tee is having the ability to not only the control the distance -- the accuracy, but controlling the distance you hit it. Golf to me, there's too much emphasis nowadays -- too little emphasis on control, and when you look at the fairways and the length and everything, I can remember playing with Trevino and he was saying, hit a soft driver. I never heard about hitting a soft driver in my life. You ask any of these kids to hit a soft driver out there, no way. That was part of the game in the 50s and 60s, 70s. That's sort of part of the game I think is something that's missing.

Q. I don't want to get your life story here, but what are the circumstances of how you got interested in the game? Who did that for you?

NICK PRICE: My 15-year-old brother, I was eight at the time, he took me -- like most eight-year-olds who had 15-year-old brothers, you always want to hang with your older brother because they did more fun things than you did. He said, come on, I'm going to the golf course, do you want to come. That was the first time I didn't have to get down on my hands and knees. I realized he had an ulterior motive, he needed a caddie. I'll never forget, he and his buddies had an old canvas bag, it had like four pieces of string for a shot and there must have been 40 hickory- shafted, plastic-coated shaft -- a hodgepodge of everything, probably worth a lot of money today. So I put these over my shoulder. You can imagine what it did to my shoulder. After two holes I was dragging it along. It had one left-handed club, and in those days I was left-handed, if I played cricket or badminton or anything. I pulled out this 5-iron and started whacking it down the fairway. They had a great junior golf program at home which I got involved in about a year later, and that's how it started.

Q. Did you have a teacher there or a coach who influenced you?

NICK PRICE: No, my brother taught me just about everything. It was the blind leading the blind there for a while, but at least I believed him.

Q. So you could have been a lefty?

NICK PRICE: Yeah, the biggest problem in those days was trying to get left-handed clubs. For every 200 sets you might see one set of left-handed clubs. They were very difficult to get.

When I switched around to -- after maybe a year of swatting around with three left-handed clubs, I originally had my left hand under the right and played cross-handed and eventually switched to a conventional way, but you adapt. When you're a kid, that's not a big change and it wasn't that big a deal.

Q. Do you remember the name of the course?

NICK PRICE: The first one we used to sneak onto was Sherwood as in Sherwood Forest, and there were four holes, 13, 14, 15 and 16, and they were on the other side of the road, and you could see on the 15th green anyone coming onto the 13th tee, and that way if anyone was coming we ran into the grass, into the tall elephant grass and hid there. When the guys went by then we'd come back and play. It was a good 800 yards from the road, so any time the club staff would come and try to chase us off we'd hightail it into the woods.

Q. What city was that in?

NICK PRICE: Salsbury.

Q. Your brother's name?

NICK PRICE: Tim. We had a lot of fun.

Q. What years were you in the Air Force?

NICK PRICE: '76-'77.

Q. Could you talk a little bit what that was like and at that point did you ever envision a career in golf?

NICK PRICE: Well, I had a bit of success as a youngster, a junior. I came over here in 1974 and won the Junior World in San Diego, and it was a great opportunity for me because they paid -- they gave you -- each country that wanted to go, they give him like $500 towards expenses, and in those days I think it cost like $480 to fly over, and I stayed with people, otherwise I would never have been able to come. I won that, and -- I figured I could play a little bit against the juniors, and I didn't have much international exposure as an amateur but went to the British Amateur and a few other amateur events in Britain in '74 and did okay.

During my service, I didn't really know -- in the back of my mind I wanted to be a professional, but that was a dream. It was something that I didn't really ever -- I wanted to be a pro, but I just didn't know if I was ever going to make the grade. Just before I finished my international service, my mom and I sat down for dinner one night, and she said, what are you going to do. I said, I don't know. And she said, go try. You're only young once, you're 20 years old, go try for three or four years, and if you make money, keep going, and if you don't, you can come back and start another career in something and you won't be too old.

Every year I went I saved up all the money that I had. I sold my car and I went to South Africa and played there, and each three or four months I made enough money to get by. 1980 was really a big turning point for me when I won in Europe and finished like 12th on the Order of Merit and made 25,000 pounds for the season and I was ready to retire. That was a lot of money in those days.

Q. What did you do in the service?

NICK PRICE: I was a radio operator, and then I went into ciphers and codes, all that sort of stuff. I was part of an HDF, which was a high density force of -- it was almost like a fire force. There were seven or eight helicopters, two fixed wing, one transport aircraft, and when there were uprisings in certain parts of our country, we would react to those and spend anywhere from three days to two weeks trying to sort out that area and then withdraw and go back to another place.

Q. Did you ever get shot at?

NICK PRICE: Oh, yeah. I fired back a few times, but I didn't know where I was shooting. It's dark out there. It's not very comfortable hearing those things whizzing around you.

Q. Did you ever play on the PGA TOUR before they went to the top 125?

NICK PRICE: I came here in '82 and I had three invitations. After my performance in the British Open in '82, I got three invitations to the Canadian Open, the BC Open and also to the Hall of Fame tournament. That was the last year they had it at Pinehurst, and I missed all three cuts by a shot. But I was pretty determined at that stage to come over here because I had had -- David Leadbetter was here and I had worked so hard with him at the beginning of '82, and I felt like my game was -- this was where I wanted to play golf.

Q. You said this one time a few years ago and I wonder if you could elaborate on it a little bit more. When you won the World Series of Golf, you told me in a sense that was the worst thing that could have happened to you because you thought at that point, boy, this is going to be easy, then you went eight years without winning. What happened in that eight-year period and how did you get yourself back to where you could win again?

NICK PRICE: It wasn't really the worst thing. It depends on how you look at it. My biggest problem was that I used to play -- I could play exceptionally well for three or four weeks out of the 30. Ten percent of the time I would play really well. The other 26 tournaments I had no idea what I was doing. I mean, I could shoot 85/65/74/69/80. I mean, I was all over the place, and I knew if I wanted to build a career in this game, that there was no way, unless I changed things and refined my golf swing, and that's what I started doing in '82.

It just so happened that during that '83 period that I was starting to play a little more consistently that that victory at the World Series came at a perfect time, and if you ever look at '84, '85, '86, I had great weeks like that, but I just never won. I came in second or third or fourth, but I had a lot of chances. I probably had two or three chances a year to win over here in '84, '85, '86, '87, '88 and '89, but I just never converted.

It just allowed me the luxury of being able to go out and play without losing my card, which you ask any one of those guys in the locker room, that is probably the greatest thing that could happen to them is if you could say, well, you've got a year now to work on your game and get things the way you want to. It's one thing getting the ball around the golf course. It's another thing getting it around the golf course the next day in a similar fashion to the way you played the day before, and I think you look at Hogan and you look at the great players over the years, certainly the way I read it, that's what they did so well. Hogan actually said in his book, he felt when he started playing his best golf, he had no fear of going out and shooting two, three good rounds and then in the back of his mind knowing there wasn't a bad round then. He knew that he could still play poorly and shoot 70. That's what you have to do out here. Nowadays you have to play poorly and shoot 68.

You always look at the bottom end of your game. When I'm on the practice tee and I hit eight great shots and I hit two bad ones, those two bad ones are the ones that I've got to fix because those are going to give me the double bogeys or whatever, and then it's the other eight, you'll make six pars and two birdies out of the other eight swings, but if you make two double bogeys it ruins everything. So you have to elevate the bottom half of your game, and that's what that opportunity, winning that World Series did.

Q. You're going into the Hall of Fame at 46, right?


Q. I think I added two years to your life the other day. I apologize for that. The rule for the Tour on the international side is 40 and above and yet you're going in with Annika who's still 32. Does that seem kind of odd?

NICK PRICE: No, I think she deserves it. She's dominated ladies' golf in a way -- probably the last one to do that was Kathy Whitworth. She's a phenomenal golfer. LPGA have their criteria for the Hall of Fame, but it is kind of strange at 32 to get into the Hall of Fame, but she does deserve it. That's not my call, to be honest.

Q. Just a perception of probably someone who's coming into the peak of their career.

NICK PRICE: Nice thing to get under your belt at 32, isn't it?

Q. A question about Ernie. He was in here yesterday and he was talking about maybe next year starting to kind of scale back his schedule a little bit. He mentioned that he's talked to you about this. Did you counsel him on that? Did you tell him he's traveling too much or did he ask your advice?

NICK PRICE: A little bit of both. Ernie is like a brother to me. I love Ernie. I've known him since he was 13 years old. He's in a situation in his career now, he's 33 years old, he has eight, ten years of productive golf left in him, of really being able to stay in the top four or five, realistically. He might be able to extend that, but that's 40 majors he's got left. I think he needs to make each year, put a ring around those major championship dates and say, whether it's two weeks before or three weeks before, and say I'm not going anywhere outside of that time zone, so I'm not going to go to China and play and I'm not going to go over here and play. I'm going to stay here and I'm going to work hard, so he can peak. That's what he's got to learn to do now is peak for those major championships. It's what Tiger has done so well, what Jack Nicklaus did so well, and we all know Ernie has every bit of talent, game, everything. To me there's no weak links in his game, and if he can focus on that period, and that's all he's got to do is 12 weeks of the year, make sure that he is around those major championships. The rest of the year he can do whatever he wants to.

I think whether you play two weeks and have a week off before you go to a major or whether you play a week, have a week off, play a major, or have a week off, two weeks off and then play the two weeks and then play the major, whatever it may be, that is what he needs to do as far as I'm concerned so that he's rested and ready to go because his schedule, as he's well aware, he goes around the world. He loves it, too. He loves playing in Australia, playing all those places. And people say, well, he does it for the money. He doesn't do it for the money because he goes there and he wins. If he went there and missed the cuts and he didn't play very well, then you could say he's doing it for the money, but he's not. He's won -- every time he's put his foot in Australia he's won a tournament. That's what I've been trying to tell him anyway. You've established yourself as a great player, now establish yourself as one of the true great players by winning another three or four major championships.

Q. His desire is probably underrated.

NICK PRICE: Without a doubt.

Q. Do you think it's so strong to the point that when he zeroes in on the majors, it could hurt him? If you look at what he did this year at the Masters and the Open where he --

NICK PRICE: Shot 79, 78, yes. His desire has intensified over the last three or four years. He's become more determined, there's no doubt about it, but I also believe that he puts an excessive amount of pressure on himself. I tried to say to him at Augusta -- I could see he was tense in the practice rounds because he was playing so beautifully. He was like, what could go wrong this week. Everything that can go wrong is between the ears. I said to him after the practice rounds, just be patient, stay patient. That's all you've got to do. I was very disappointed to see him shoot 6, 7 over in the first round. He came back and had a chance to win it eventually, but it's that bottom half of your game that kills you. If that bottom half of your game is strong and you turn that 79 into a 73 or a 74, he might have won.

Q. Reducing the damage?

NICK PRICE: Right, reducing the damage.

Q. What do you think he's capable of doing in a ten-year window of opportunity that you're talking about if he continues?

NICK PRICE: If the game doesn't change too dramatically from where it is now, that is to say, you know, I've seen some of the young college kids in five years' time, everyone is hitting it as far as Hank Kuehne. That is a distinct possibility, believe me. When I've seen some of these college kids, the way they hit it, 310 off the tee might be short in five years' time, believe me. If that happens, then Ernie and those guys, unless they can bump it up, are going to have a problem. If the game doesn't change too dramatically, he can win six majors out of those 40. He's got every -- I've never seen a guy with such a beautiful touch around the greens. To him it's all about management, managing his game, hitting the right clubs off the tees, aiming away from pins when he doesn't need to go at them, all the things that Jack Nicklaus was so great at doing and Tiger Woods was so great at doing when he was playing his best. Ernie needs to analyze and look at that a little bit more, and I think he'll win at least another three, four majors. I'd love to see him be a grand slam golfer. He has the ability to win Augusta and the PGA. I've never asked him if that is a goal of him, but it should be.

Q. He said the other day he wants to be No. 1 in the world, and I think frankly is seeing that Tiger is going to own that for quite some time. What are your thoughts on that?

NICK PRICE: I think he's got a chance. I mean, if you look at where he was two years ago when he went through that whole year without winning a tournament and then Ricky Roberts got back on the bag at the beginning of 2001, he had a great year in 2002 and the tail end of 2001, 2002 then he carried that momentum through the British Open last year, and then he had a phenomenal winter or summer in South Africa, that period, started off this year unbelievable, and then I think at Dubai, you saw a tired Ernie. I think he was tired, and if I had been his manager I would have pulled him out and said come back, sit down, get some energy back.

Q. Greg told me when he was at a peak he'd show up to a tournament and he'd just look around and say who's going to finish second. When you were having that good streak, did you think that way?

NICK PRICE: No, because what I did so well when I was playing so well is I never thought further than the next shot I was going to hit. I just added them up at the end of the week. I knew when I got on a roll when I started hitting the ball well that I just had to be patient because I knew other guys were going to make mistakes. Squeaking out, that was my big thing. Fairways and greens and not make any mistakes. Let the other guys chase, or even if I'm behind, you don't make mistakes because they're bound to make some.

Q. Was there one victory you thought you played best?

NICK PRICE: TPC, Players Championship in '93. I don't think I've ever been -- that one and Southern Hills in '94, I don't think I've ever been in that much control, driver, irons, bunker shots, whatever. That's probably how Tiger has felt 100 times. Sun City in '92. I think there were those three occasions where I felt I was going to dust the field.

Q. Tiger is just a couple tournaments away from that cut streak record, which is 113. Can you put that into perspective for us at all?

NICK PRICE: Outside of winning all four majors in one year, that might be the next most impressive stat because I was talking earlier about consistency. Even when he plays poorly, he still has the ability to reach deep down inside of himself and make birdies. Where was it this year he nearly missed the cut?

Q. The Masters.

NICK PRICE: Yeah, the Masters. The guy didn't want to miss that cut for anything.

Q. He was dicey in Boston, too. He had three holes to go and he was one-over the cut line and then went birdie, birdie, par.

NICK PRICE: The great players, I think if you look over the years, and I don't want to philosophize here, but the way I read it, even when the great players were playing poorly, they always had the ability to set themselves a goal for that day irrespective of how they were playing, and whether it's on the second day to make the cut or whether it's on Sunday going from 20th into the top ten, that's what they did.

When I look at the young players today, that's what I look for when I'm going to see someone that's really good. He's struggling with his game but he's still trying to make a score and finish that much higher than he started the day. Tiger is probably one of the best exponents of that in the game right now.

Q. With the Player of the Year up for grabs for the first time in a while, how would you weigh how you pick this year with so many guys that you could make a case for?

NICK PRICE: There's five guys I see that have a chance. If Ernie would win this and maybe the Tour Championship and have a really strong finish to the year, he'd be a candidate, as well. The way I see it, Mike Weir, Davis Love, Jim Furyk, Vijay and Tiger are the five that have the opportunity.

Q. In that order?

NICK PRICE: No, not necessarily in that order. I'd probably give it to Mike right now if it stopped. Davis would be close because with The Players Championship, even though you guys don't regard it as a major championship, with the quality of the field and the difficulty of that golf course and the way he won that championship this year, that's worth two or three wins just like winning a major is.

I think there's too much golf to be played right now to say who's going to get it. Any one of those guys -- money title, that's huge. If you win the money title, that's a big thing. I'd start looking - if it came down to splitting hairs, who's got the lowest stroke average, who's played the most consistently, who's missed the least cuts, who has the best performance in the majors.

Q. How would you prioritize that, scoring average, money titles, majors, performance in the majors?

NICK PRICE: It's a feel thing. It's not something that you just sort of say that's it. There's no real formula, I mean, that you can throw all the things into a computer and spit out what you've programmed, but it's also a feel thing. You look at the guys who have played the most consistently. Vijay has had an unbelievable year. If he had won a major, he'd be hands down, but he hasn't won a major championship.

Q. Two top tens in majors, though.

NICK PRICE: Two top tens. Mike Weir who's third --

TODD BUDNICK: 28th was the British, everything else was top ten.

NICK PRICE: He's done great this year. If someone like Tiger won the Money List, that would certainly for me give him an extra point or two on the vote.

Q. Who did you vote for in '98, O'Meara or Duval?

NICK PRICE: O'Meara. He won two majors.

Q. Do you think Tiger is going to be a victim of his past success in this vote if it stays as close as it looks, sort of the notion of Tiger is going to --

NICK PRICE: I think most of us can look at it objectively without -- isolating this year and not looking back. I mean, I certainly feel I can do that. I mean, Tiger has won four times this year, but his performance in the majors has been pretty disappointing for all of us. Someone who dominated majors for five or six years, something has not been right, whether it's his driver as everyone thinks it is or his golf swing, I don't know. It's going to be a really interesting next two months. I think it's going to be really -- what is it, five weeks to the Tour Championship. I, like the commissioner, are hoping that the guys play more tournaments so one guy can poke his nose in front a little bit more because it's pretty much -- I don't know how I'd vote right now, probably for Michael.

Q. It's nice to talk about, though. For once it's not a slam dunk.

NICK PRICE: That's right. That's what this championship and the Tour Championship are all about is to extend their interest in the tour. I can remember going to Olympic Club, both occasions being not that much ahead of Azinger. I played my tail off both years, and all of a sudden I'm standing on the first tee at Olympic and I've got everything to lose. That's a terrible way to feel, but fortunately both years I came out winning the money title, which still to this day -- that Arnold Palmer trophy is very proudly displayed in my trophy cabinet.

Q. More important than Player of the Year?

NICK PRICE: Which one, the tours one or the PGA of America?

Q. Either one.

NICK PRICE: The one from the Players is really the one that means the most. Anything that's got Arnold Palmer's name on it that you win, it's pretty nice.

Q. So are you playing Bay Hill next year?

NICK PRICE: Every time he sees me, he doesn't want to talk to me anymore, Arnold, why weren't you at Bay Hill.

End of FastScripts.

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