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March 30, 2000

Nick Price


JAMES KRAMER: Why don't we go ahead and get started. We have Nick Price with us this afternoon 34, 34 for 4-under, 68, good round, Nick.

NICK PRICE: I played really solidly today. The delay was a little unsettling this morning, obviously. I warmed up twice. But we hadn't actually started. We were the next group to tee off on No. 1 when they blew the horn. So I guess we got a little lucky there. Our round wasn't really disrupted; still had to go out and warm up again. When we got back out it was really cold; then it just steadily got warmer and warmer. I think we got pretty fortunate there because I am sure the guys who started early and had that cold weather, first four, five holes for them or three or four holes couldn't have been much fun. But I played really well. I struck the ball very well. I think I hit 17 greens today. I missed one green which was the first hole. I missed it by about two feet right on line just the wrong club. And I had numerous birdie opportunities but I holed a couple of good ones, one particularly on No. 5 where I pulled my second shot with a wedge to about 35 feet, I had an uphill-downhill left-to-right break that I made. Then I made three birdies there after, but not very long putts, probably I guess about eight feet on No. 6. 10 to twelve feet on No. 10. And then on 17 I hit a 6-iron to about six feet. But all and all, a good day. Really happy because I am kind of counting on my good play from last week and also from Doral. I feel like my game is in good shape. It is just -- trying to make sure that I don't get myself too tired for next week and just pace myself nicely this week. It's been a while since I have played -- played 3 in a row but I haven't played 4 in a row for a while. But I am going play at Hilton Head as well. But I think I think a lot of us were concerned when the bad weather was around because when you have bad weather it makes for a much longer week. That is the last thing you need going into next week. We are here this week and I am trying to concentrate on what I am doing this week.

JAMES CRAMER: Any questions?

Q. Why would you be playing 4 in a row?

NICK PRICE: It is basically because my summer schedule, I have cut back on quite a lot. I did last year because my kids have 12 weeks of school vacation from June, July and August, and I am only playing five events in those 12 weeks. So kind of under my earlier schedule and also the back end of the year just so that I can spend more time with them during the summer.

Q. Surprised the course is still as firm as it is?

NICK PRICE: I tell you what, this course, it is in such unbelievable condition. I can't -- I don't even know -- I mean, even splitting hairs you can't criticize anything. I am not joking. There is, if anything, you might hear a couple of guys complain a little bit about the greens being too firm the first bounce even with a short iron, but I think it is good. It is absolutely perfect the way it is set up. Only thing that is lacking is about two inches of rough and that is just because of the dormant -- what kind of grass do they have off the fairway? Is it zoysia? Okay, right. It is kind of hard to recognize at the moment. That is the only thing that is missing right now. I think, otherwise perfect warmup for next week. A lot of shots very similar -- these greens are pretty quick right now even with the rain we had this morning.

Q. I know you concentrate on what is going on here this week, but do you find yourself always keeping like one eye on what is coming up?

NICK PRICE: When I am out there playing I am focused on what I am trying to do today and my next shot at hand. But obviously when you when you get off the golf course, you sort of look back and say, well, I hit some good shots there, but I better start practicing this and get that right; not only for this week but also with next week in mind.

Q. What is it exactly do you think that has caused you get it in good gear this week with Doral and last week and this week, anything in particular?

NICK PRICE: To be honest with you, and I am not going to want to sound like an advertisement here, but those irons that I have got have really helped my game an awful lot. There is no doubt about it. Probably the best set of irons I have ever had. I have picked up probably half a club and I am hitting them a lot straighter. But also the other thing is my putting is a lot more solid now. I am putting -- I think last week, be interesting to see what the putting stats are, but I think I did pretty well in the putting stats last week. And this field, you know, it is funny, I sort of looked at the beginning of this year and my life is in order and when you get that way, you know, not building any houses, I am not doing anything, my kids are all healthy, everything is fine, and things are particularly going along nicely. I am sort of right in the middle of all my contracts, no new contracts coming up and I am very settled. And invariably, when you get like that, that is when you play your best. Certainly feel like in the last two months that the work that I did early on in the year is starting to pay dividends now, particularly the last month, I should say. It is still fun for me to play golf and as long as it is, I am going to be out here.

Q. Would is the last time you had this peace of mind?

NICK PRICE: Oh, I don't know. Last year was good. I mean, last year was our first year in our new house. So I was pretty settled last year. I just putted really poorly for the better part of four, five months there. Toward the end of the year I putted really well. I started getting my putting in shape and my game had been pretty solid all year, but you know, I don't know. It is hard to think. Probably back in 1991, maybe 1992, I had this kind of peace of mind.

Q. (inaudible)

NICK PRICE: What I feel like I am doing well is I am putting well from that 20 to 30 feet range which really takes a lot of not making a lot of them, but when I hit it out that distance, I don't feel like I am going to 3-putt. When you do have that feel, the feeling of putting well from that length, you don't have any pressure on your iron game. So it is a little bit of a give and take there. My iron game is a little better because there is not that much pressure and I think just generally out there I don't feel like I am going to make any stupid mistakes.

Q. (inaudible) (question about Tiger Woods)?

NICK PRICE: There is certain courses where he just -- he is going to be so difficult to beat. There is no two ways about it. But there are lot of courses out here that he is going to struggle on which aren't suited. Well, not to say struggle - I do not ever see him struggling on any golf course, but there are just certain ones he has more of advantage on. Augusta is one of those golf courses, although I think the rough on that first cut that they put in last year may have affected him a little bit. But to answer your question, no, I don't think it would have -- we all know that this game is a game of streaks and he is going through, you know, a really long streak -- as long a streak as probably anybody has had in modern day golf. But I think his game will slow up a little bit. I think it is very difficult for him to keep -- to stay at that pace for the whole year and you will see his game peak and trough and peak and trough throughout the year. But when he is ready to play and he is firing on all cylinders, you get him on the right type of golf course that suits him, he is very, very difficult to beat.

Q. Did you see how a little bit of that could have been you, a player over 40 could step it up and be right there?

NICK PRICE: Yeah, I mean, when you have a -- look, and I don't want to -- I don't want you to take this in a negative context, but when you look at a lot of those victories that Tiger had were through guys making mistakes. It was just a matter of time before it came up against someone who wasn't going to make mistakes. Tiger, I am sure he will be the first one to admit that to you. But that is often what happens when someone dominates, I mean, I know a few of those victories that I won through that period 1992 through 1994, there was a little bit of intimidation factor there and some guys made some mistakes. But when you are playing well, that happens to you. Tiger is not going to have it all his own way not as much as a lot of people seem to think. But he is going to get a whole heap of it.

JAMES CRAMER: Any other questions? Thank you.

End of FastScripts….

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