home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 18, 2003

Nick Price


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Nick, for joining us for a few minutes. You played a great round today 65, but it is tough to beat Vijay who comes out at 66.

NICK PRICE: Yes, just looking back now, although I had my opportunities I needed to shoot 63 which is, you know, there was no wind today. Obviously the score was there for the taking. But the pins were in some very difficult places and the greens were exceptionally firm today. So it was hard to get the ball close, especially if the pin was cut on the front of the green.

Fortunately a lot of them were back, so you could roll the ball or release them from middle of the green to the flag. I played really well today. I hit really only 2 poor shots the whole day, which was my second shot on three and my tee shot with a 2-iron on No. 9, but I parred both of those holes. I had a feeling midway through the front 9, or the tail end of the front 9 -- 7, 8 and 9 that 15-under was going to be the number. I just felt some one was going to shot whatever it took to shoot 15-under whether it was Vijay shooting 4-under, or Slu or some else shooting a 5-under.

I had 2 really good opportunities on 12 and 13. I hit 2 beautiful irons shots into both of those holes. And the one on 12, I just didn't hit hard enough. And the one on 13 I misread. And then we made a great birdie on 14. I'm really charged up playing 15. And I am thinking if I can just maybe pick up 2 more with 16 and reach today -- and then I hit this beautiful drive down 15 and I've got 171 I think to the flag it was. I'm a little in between clubs. Per-Ulrik hit an 8-iron just before me but his clubs are alot stronger than mine, so I knew it was right in between there so I went with a soft 7. If I went back there now, I probably would make the same decision again and hit a 7-iron and it pitched two or three yards passed pin-high and it like hit the brick, and it released 45 feet passed the hole. It was probably the fastest putt on the course, the one I had coming down the hill. That green is always, for some reason, quicker than the others. Anyway 3 putts and I didn't birdie coming in. So as it turned out I was happy to make par on the last hole, but I sure would like to have made birdie and put a little pressure on Vijay.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Questions, please?

Q. Obviously, you got on that birdie one from the front 9, were you thinking that you had a very good chance in getting this thing done?

NICK PRICE: Oh, yes. I knew if I could get -- if I could post 15-under. When I got to 14, I really felt I could get to 15, no problem, after I birdied 14. And maybe even 16. And I don't know what to say. I hit a lot of good shots. I hit that shot on 15 which I just told you about. And then on 16 just I miscued my drive a little bit and the wind sort of freshened it in the face, and I hit the perfect 3-wood second shot, a nice hard draw, and if the ball had a just kicked right a foot, and gone in the first cut of rough, I would have had an easy chip up the green which is exactly what I was hoping for. Instead I've got a foot in the long stuff, and I got this woolly lie, and I'm trying to get the ball to run, and I left it 30 feet short of the hole which you often do when you have those kind of lies.

17, there was no way I was going on that flag. Only a mad man would go at that flag today. No way. 18 a strange thing happened too, I was right over the ball -- this is not an excuse -- this is exactly what happened -- I was right over the ball and about to pull the trigger and this rabbit ran, Vijay's pet rabbit, ran right in the corner there I should have backed off but I was so ready to hit it. Any way, I hit that thing in the right-hand rough and as I said I did well to make par.

Q. How well do you feel about your game going next week to a place where you have won twice?

NICK PRICE: Well, last week I played really well. I botched up two of the last three holes. Dave Leadbetter was here on Tuesday and Wednesday and helped me on my swing to get me back in position. I played so solidly all week. I really hit the ball well with the exception of Friday. I think that wind unsettled me a little bit. You know on this course, I shot 4-under the first day, 4-under yesterday and 5-under today. So this course, and Colonial, do play very similar. I think you have to hit a lot of -- you have to shape the ball, a lot of the tees here, to keep the ball in the fairway. And it's all about positional fatigue and if you do you that properly, you know, you can attack the flags. I think, you know, that's one of the great things about Colonial. If do you that, you know, you are going to play well there.

Q. After your session with David, Nick, are you hitting the ball about as well as you have all year (inaudible)?

NICK PRICE: I changed shafts in my irons about three weeks ago, I put a little bit of a softer shaft in there. I'm hitting the ball with my irons distance. I know today is hot. I was around zeros, 160, 170 with a 6-iron and I am almost 10 yards longer just last week and this week.

Q. You changed them last week?

NICK PRICE: I changed them right after Hilton Head. I had two weeks at home working go with him. That's made a big difference. My driving has been really good. Today I drove the ball right down the middle of just about every fairway. So I am, Jimmy, I am looking forward to next week. You need to have a great off the tee game for next week. If everyone there will let us play golf next week I think hopefully I will have another crack at winning next week.

Q. Is it tougher to take a day like this when you come up second when you are playing close to your best golf?

NICK PRICE: Well, to be honest, that 70 I shot on Cottonwood that's what cost me. Not the way I played today. I was just too far back going into today, you know. Vijay is playing that well, I knew he was going to shoot 67, 68 worst today. The guy I played with him 3 rounds last week. I have never seen him swing a club better. In fact, it looks like to me the harder he hits it the straighter it goes which is always a problem when you are playing against him. Whatever he has been working on. I know a little bit of what he has been working on. It's paying dividends now.

Q. Speaking of last week, what a difference a week makes in his life?


Q. A lot of criticism for what he said last Sunday, this Sunday?

NICK PRICE: You know Vijay is a straight up person. You always know where you stand with him. I don't think he meant to say that he wants Annika to miss the cut. But I think he is just frustrated with all of the questions that have been going on. He sure got crucified this week. It just shows you how strong the guy is, he can come back and play the way he did and win. I certainly have a lot of admiration for him.


Q. Did you loft it the all on 17, you said you were in between clubs?

NICK PRICE: No, Jimmy, my caddy and I, it was a joint decision. As I said, it got back there and would probably do the same thing again because it was the correct play. It was the right play at that time. I just don't know why, you know, that green was so hard.

Q. It just released?

NICK PRICE: The ball marker didn't even leave a dent in the green. That happens when you have, you know, you hit dry spots on the greens. That happens. It's just a bad break.

Q. Yesterday you were talking about how you learned to practice better as you got older maybe not as much, do you think Vijay needs to do that?

NICK PRICE: I don't think he practices as much as he used to. I really don't. About three of four years ago he was addicted to hitting balls if you can ever have anything like that. It was a condition that he suffered from. I mean I never seen anyone. I distinctly remember one year at The Western Open standing on the practice tee after lunch and I said to Jimmy Marchetti, I said I'm going to out last Vijay today. It's like 2 o'clock in the afternoon. I left at 5:30 and he was still hitting drivers. That's what he does, he just pound balls.

I think the big thing with Vijay what I notice the last year and a half his strategy has improved on the golf course so much more. I can remember a couple of years ago, two or three years ago playing with him at Colonial next week, and he never missed a shot in two days. But he was trying to hit the perfect shot every time he was out there. And afterwards he had shot I think 3-under and I was at 4-under and I said to him you're an idiot, you would shot 7, 8-under if you just played smart today. You don't always have to shoot at pins. I think that is one thing he learned now. His strategy is a lot better. You don't win major championships by not having good strategy.

Q. Play more conservatively?

NICK PRICE: Play more conservatively but you use that oxymoron conservative aggression where you just don't lob it into the middle of the green, you play solid and aggressive to the middle of the green. That's a hard thing to do. Tiger does it really well. All of the great players over the years learned to do that, play away from the pin but aggressively away from the pin.

Q. Do you wish now you hadn't said anything to him?

NICK PRICE: No, it doesn't matter. He forgot about that the next day.

Q. Nick, one last question about this coming week, I'm from Ft. Worth, you think we have been remiss in not giving proper attention to the guy who is coming in as defending champion?

NICK PRICE: You said it. I mean I have answered more questions about Annika than how I am playing going into next week for the last -- how long has she been invited, three months. She had what 41 other tournaments she could have chosen.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: 48. Not really.

NICK PRICE: I wish her the best of luck, I really do. She has a big heart. I will give her that. I don't think I would be able to do what she is going to be able to do next week. I really don't.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Nick.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297