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October 28, 1999

Nick Price


JAMES CRAMER: We have Nick Price with us. Shot 70 for his first 18 holes; 32 for his second 9, for a 4-under par total. Good round.

NICK PRICE: Very happy. I started off the first six holes this morning, I played pretty solidly and I was 1-under par. Then I bogeyed 16, 17 and 18 to shoot 2-over. I was a little ticked off when I got onto the first tee, and then I played really well, birdieing 2 -- 1, 2 and 3, and then birdieing 5. And then gave one back on the next hole. But just hitting the ball well. I am putting really well still, which is why I think I am making so many birdies. But my game is in good shape. I think this is a good golf course for me. You have got to drive the ball well. And there is a lot of long irons, not a lot of you know, sort of wedge, 9-iron, 8-iron shots. There is a lot of medium irons, which doesn't naturally tend to lend itself to low scoring. Although, Davis is playing really well and there is a couple of guys who are up around 6-under, which I think is a very good score for this. As it heated up a little bit today, the ball went a little further and the course played a little shorter as it was drying out as well. But I am very happy with the position I am in.

JAMES CRAMER: Questions for Nick.

Q. If I might, a two-part question. Number one, I know it was probably a little difficult to concentrate to start with, but did it feel better getting out there, doing what you do with the people, did it kind have come to you, you start feeling a little better?

NICK PRICE: I think Saturday will probably be a little better than today was because there will be some -- after the service tomorrow, there will be some, I don't want to say finality, but at least we will -- I think a lot of guys are thinking about the day tomorrow, and seeing Tracey and the kids. I know certainly I am. And it was very low-key out there today, I think, for everyone. I don't think anyone was really fired up, but we are professionals. We go out there and when we are on the golf course, we try and just play golf. But I must have thought, oh, I don't know at least two, three dozen times today about Payne, and looking at the ribbons, and it is not an easy day today. It wasn't an easy day.

Q. Could you sense the gallery was even a little subdued?

NICK PRICE: Yeah, I think everyone was a little subdued. That is a perfect word. I would say that is the attitude and the feeling in the locker room. And everyone is, you know -- I think we are all missing him. There is just -- just takes time sometimes for it to set in to know that we are not going to see him again.

Q. How about the galleries, they are kind of subdued, too right now kind of not wanting to --?

NICK PRICE: I think there is a lot of feeling out there right now in that respect. Like I say, I think Saturday will probably be a little better.

Q. Have you ever done anything like this before?

NICK PRICE: In what way?

Q. I am not sure. I mean, I would guess you haven't known a friend who has been killed, but --?


Q. Maybe you have?

NICK PRICE: A lot of them. When I was doing my service back in Rhodesia in the '70s, I lost five or six of my friends from school, guys that I knew that I grew up with. You know, when you are 18 and 19, it is a little different. I mean, or 20. I guess you don't really look too much to the next day when you are that age. You live for the day and whatever happens -- when you are involved in a war, there is death all around you, but it is totally different. When you see someone has family and kids, it is just -- I don't know -- you make good friends in the military. But the guys, you have only known some of them for maybe three or four years, and I have known Payne for 18 years or 19 years. And I remember when, Chelsea, his daughter was born. That was 13 years ago, 14 years ago. Just the progress that he went through in his life, I think we all shared it in a way when he built his new house, his kids, which school they went to. We lived in Orlando. We saw -- we spent quite a bit of time and saw all of that. I think, certainly, years of knowing a person brings you closer to them. So it is a little different, but it is just very difficult when you see the wife and the kids Tracey and the kids left behind. Also, where he was in his career because he was just on the up, and I think he had probably, I feel, two, three, maybe four good years left in him before he would have hung his clubs up for a while waiting for the SENIOR TOUR. In fact, we often joke about that because he is two days younger than I am. His birthday is 30th January; mine is the 28th. I always used to say to him, "I am going to be out there the week before you are." It is just -- it is a difficult thing. Any time you lose someone that you have been around, he has been a part of my career in a small way because of the amount of golf that I have played with him; so he his passing certainly leaves a hole. Just like when Squeeky left although Squeek and I had a little bit different relationship. I think we are a little closer than Payne and I were, but certainly is, there is a certain part of that, that times that we have played together and jokes that we may have shared and times that we may have shared on the golf course that, you know, you wouldn't really be able to have those anymore.

Q. When you have been to the service tomorrow, do you think that you will be able to say to yourself, perhaps that is an end of this, we can move on or do you think there will be still some --?

NICK PRICE: I think funerals and wakes to me have always been a way of saying farewell and paying your last respect. But you take the memories that you have of that person with you forever. Depending on how close that person was to you, how often the memories will come back. Squeek, for example, there isn't a week that goes by that I don't think about him. With Payne, I mean, his locker was always near mine because alphabetically we are pretty close, so I think it -- we will all miss him.

Q. Can you recall a competitive round more difficult for you personally to concentrate or was this the most difficult?

NICK PRICE: That is a very hard question to answer. Every round is unique, and this one I wouldn't want to compare to any other round for the simple reason that we haven't lost anyone in golf -- I mean, for me, when Squeek died, it was very difficult. But he had been sick for a long time, and I think his wife and all of his friends and myself we sort of prepared ourselves for the worst, you know, the suddenness of this is just something that, you know, just got us all by surprise.

Q. Were you aware of what Bob Estes did on The First Tee? What is your reaction of that gesture?

NICK PRICE: He obviously felt like he was doing something that, you know, made him feel good for doing it. I don't know. I often think: Well, what if Payne was around what would he have wanted, what would he have wanted you to have done. If something happened to me, I'd want all of the guys to go out and birdie the first hole, say, "That one is for you, Bud." I mean, just different people have different ways of reacting to things. Then have 20 beers in the locker room afterwards (Laughter).

Q. I hope you don't think this is a ridiculous question, and if you do, consider the source; don't answer it. I am sure the officials knew there was going to be kind of tough on you guys this morning. Was the course set up in a manageable way that like didn't push you to --?

NICK PRICE: No, there was no difference to -- I don't think that even factored into it. I don't think they set the course up any different to the way they would set it up any other day.

Q. Have you thought much about -- a lot of different ideas about how Payne should be remembered, trophy or whatever. Have you thought about anything?

NICK PRICE: We will have a bit of time off the next couple of months and I think a lot of guys you know, will put forward suggestions. I have certainly started thinking about it as to how would be the best way, maybe name a tournament after him or I think most of the awards have names right now. Maybe the Rookie-of-the-Year Award should be called the Payne Stewart Award. I don't know. But there are a lot of, I think, opportunities for us to remember him by. I think we will do - we will definitely do something. It is just a question of when. But someone who had a career as outstanding as his and for the contributions that he made to golf and to charities and to the PGA TOUR, I mean, he was really, in my era or in my -- as my contemporary was one of the guys who was significant in making the TOUR what it is today. I think there were maybe five or six guys that did that through the 80s and early 90s and he was definitely one of them. I think we should and we will do something.

End of FastScripts….

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