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August 25, 1999

Nick Price


JAMES CRAMER: We have Nick Price with us this morning. Nick, who scored the winning point in the 1998 International -- for the International Team in the Presidents Cup, which earned him a place here in the field. Nick, this is the place, Firestone Country Club, where it got started for you here in the States. Could you comment on that?

NICK PRICE: 16 years ago, totally different. When I think back now to what I achieved that week, it was really a significant milestone in my career. You know, coming in here, obviously, I hadn't played well the British Open the year before and getting in the hunt here, it was really important for me to finish it off. When you had Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Aoki, and the others breathing down your neck on the back nine; it wasn't the easiest back nine I've ever played, but I proved to myself I had a lot of game in me. And it was just a question of getting all my ducks in a row and continue and go on from there. But wonderful memories, every time I play this golf course. Even though it's changed slightly over the years, with some of the new tees and some of the greens they have made, it's still the same Firestone for me. Lots of wonderful memories. Especially amongst people in the clubhouse, the staff, there were so many of them that were here then and are still here now. They have memories with me about all the things that went on. I think I holed an 8-iron on the third day on the 9th hole. The guys in the locker room were throwing towels around. It was a great week for me. I always hope I come back here. I just hope I can make that Presidents Cup for a few more years so I can keep coming back here.

Q. Which begs the question: In 2001 as currently planned, the tournament won't be here.

NICK PRICE: I don't know the politics of that, but it's hard to believe when you look at the way the event is set up this week that it would change venues. I just think that the whole golf course with the area around with the corporate hospitality, and the amount of space there is here, and the tradition that we've had here over the years that it would be hard to change this venue.

Q. If you had your druthers, would you have the 2001 event here?

NICK PRICE: Absolutely. Without a doubt. I don't think that's a dispute for me.

Q. But it could go to Johannesburg?

NICK PRICE: I think we've got the other ones. Andersen Consulting and the American Express championship. I think those are the one that is should move around a little bit more, or maybe bring one of those here. But I certainly think that one of the World Champion Events should be here every year. How they figure that out, I don't know. But I felt they were going to move the match play around a little more than this event. But I haven't really studied the final intricacies of how Mr. Finchem set everything up.

Q. If it's not here in 2001, does it hurt Firestone at all?

NICK PRICE: I haven't even thought about that, to be honest with you. I guess like most other guys, we just felt it's going to be here, or there will be one event for the world TOUR.

Q. What's your perspective on the Ryder Cup?

NICK PRICE: Nothing like putting me on the spot. I think if you compare the two teams, the American team is very, very strong. Maybe a little fragmented now with what's been going on the last couple of weeks. I think they are going to have to work hard on pulling themselves together, and remembering that they have got to try and win back the Ryder Cup. I think that's priority No. 1 for them. Looking at the European side, with them being fairly inexperienced and not having the likes of Faldo and Langer, and Woosnam in there and Ballesteros, guys who have really been a huge part in the Ryder Cup success for the European TOUR over the past decade or so, that does leave a question mark. But I believe with all the young guys, their intensity and their morale has got to be very high. And I think those young guys might rise to the occasion. There's pluses, pros and cons for both sides. But the American team is beatable, as we showed in the Presidents Cup last year.

Q. Just a bit.

NICK PRICE: And 18-hole match play is anybody's game. I don't care what anyone says. You know, you go play No. 1 in the world versus the guy who is 100th in the world, and if the guy who is 100th in the world plays well for 10 or 11 holes, it's over. That's how it is these days, particularly with match play. I think momentum is a big thing with Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup. I think the momentum you get from the first day, if you're on the under -- if you're on the receiving end of that momentum, you've got to try to change it and swing it around, and that's sometimes very hard to do. But it's going to be interesting. I'll probably watch a little bit on Friday and Saturday, and then sit down and watch the singles matches on Sunday, because I always like watching the nitty-gritty match coming down, Jay Haas and Milton Wallace, where guys are struggling to make double-bogeys. Just like you guys. (Laughing.)

Q. Like Carnoustie?

NICK PRICE: If you like root canals and hemorrhoids, you would have loved it there.

Q. At this moment, the most written about and talked about players in the game are 23 and 19 years old. You were once 23 years old and trying to make a career for yourself. Is it harder now than it was for you guys, for like you and Greg at a comparable age?

NICK PRICE: I think if they were 35, it would still be harder for them now, because of the quantity of the media that we have and the amount of attention that these guys are getting. I mean, Tiger has put golf into places that it hasn't been for a long time: People Magazine, entertainment networks, TV. He's making news all over the place. So, I think golf has taken off on a different -- I don't know what's the right way of putting it. But it's certainly taken on a different light to ten years ago, 18 years ago. It's certainly in a -- it's got this momentum going right now going amongst fans. It's got a great image. It's got exactly what we needed to come along: Two youngsters who could capture all the attention of the young people out there. At the PGA you could see all the youngsters flocking around these guys. We've tried for a long time now to encourage more and more youngsters to play. I think when the youngsters, first of all, see these heros in Tiger and Garcia and the amount of money they are making, which is always a big thing: I can go out there and play golf and be like Sergio and Tiger and get well-paid for it, I think that makes a huge impact on their lives. So golf, in general, is just going through this boom phase right now. I just hope we can maintain it, because I think everything in life as we know is cyclical, and we're certainly riding that huge wave. And the big thing to do is, I guess, not get ahead of yourself and forecast too many bright things when you're at the peak of it. Just try and ride it out, and make sure in a when it bottoms out, you're still in a strong position. I think when I see the combined efforts of the TOURs, South African, Australasian, European and the Japanese TOURs, I think golf is in very good hands right now.

Q. (Inaudible.)

NICK PRICE: I think the thing that's difficult for me is trying to get my game on a roll now. I've said this before, but it's like a juggling act. When you've got kids and when you're traveling and you've got business interests, and you're trying to play golf as well, you want to just stop for a while and play golf for six or seven weeks and see how good I am, if I can beat these guys. I think Greg feels the same way. I think a lot of the guys feel the same way. Just can we devote as much time to practice and playing as they do. That's the tough thing. Because whatever you give you up, you take away; or whatever you take, you give up to someone else. That's why I feel the more time I practice, the less time I spend with my family; so I feel guilty there. So I'm trying to find the balance at the moment, which is a little tough.

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