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July 31, 1998

Nick Price


DAVE SENKO: Nick, 4-under, 67 today to go with your 65 share of the lead. Maybe just give us a run-down of your round today.

NICK PRICE: Sure. I started off with 10 today. It is a little tougher starting off 10 because 10 is a pretty tough driving hole, one of the toughest on the course; 11, you have got the water to deal with. Then you have got holes like 14, so, I just always -- when I start off 10, I just try and make sure I get off to a good, solid start and I birdied 12. I made a good birdie on 12. Hit a pitching wedge -- 9-iron for my second shot to about 22 feet. And that just got me off to a really good start I was happy with. I parred No. 14, which was a long hole today into the wind, and then 16 I eagled again. I hit 3-wood from about 247 yards to about eight feet behind the hole and made it. So I think I doubled my eagle score for the year in two days, because I think I have only made two or three the whole year. And then 17 and 18, I missed both greens. I think I used the wrong club on both holes. I was just through the -- just over the edge of the green on No. 17, with a 6-iron and then on No. 18, hit 6-iron went over in the bunker and actually ran up the back slope and I had no shot. I played it out about 15 feet passed the hole. But both of those -- got good up-and-down on No. 17. Then 18, I didn't get it up-and-down. So that was my only bogey of the day. Then on the front 9, I birdied No. 2 after hitting pitching wedge to about probably 16, 18 feet. I laid up on the par 5, No. 3, with an 8-iron. Actually hit a good drive, but I was stymied right behind that tree, and I laid up and pitched it up to about five feet, and I think I just parred the rest in. I had a chance,, hit 1-iron through the green on No. 6 and didn't get it up-and-down. But, you know, good day. I drove the ball very well today. I think I hit every fairway. I can't think of any that I missed, but I am pretty sure I hit every fairway, and, you know, when you do that, you are putting your hands on the ball and cleaning it and putting it on nice tough little grass sitting up there like this, it really makes it lot easier. I think we almost got to the stage on the course where if we don't get any rain tonight, we will probably have to not play lift, clean and place over the weekend. There are a couple of holes there where you are picking up mud. That is basically why, you know, we do have lift, clean and place because once you get mud on the ball it can fly anywhere. When you have got a couple of holes out here where you are going in with, you know, medium irons, 5- and 6-irons where you know the flag is cut pretty close to the water and it just makes it very tough if you have got mud on the ball to go at it. I think tomorrow, like I said, if we don't have rain tonight, hopefully, we won't have to play it tomorrow, lift clean and place.

DAVE SENKO: Questions.

Q. I guess you get asked this every year no matter how good or bad you are playing, you are always just playing so well here year after year after year. What is it about this tournament, this course that lifts your game?

NICK PRICE: I think summertime, I love playing in summertime. There is a few reasons. This is a good driving golf course. It comes in between the major championships which is when I have been practicing my hardest and am as prepared as I am ever going to be. But I feel comfortable on this golf course. Again, I say the greens here are just a little slower than what we are accustomed to because of the weather, not much slower but a little bit slower. They can't really cut these greens down really close with the heat because they'd lose them. So the greenkeeper's doing a great job, no detriment to the greenkeeper. But they are a little slow. I think I can putt a little more aggressively. I think that helps me a bit. Plus I low love zoysia, I think zoysia is one of the greatest surfaces to play off of. If you drive the ball well, you get a perfect lie every time. And, Bellerive, I won the PGA there and I have won here on zoysia and I know there is one other course somewhere I won on zoysia, but I do feel comfortable on the grass. It is very similar to kikuyu, which is what we have a lot of at home.

Q. Weather a factor at all today?

NICK PRICE: Not really. I think we were a little concerned coming in the last five or six holes because it started getting a little greyer. We all thought we might get skunked, stuck out there for the night with a storm coming in.

Q. How was the heat?

NICK PRICE: It wasn't too bad today actually. We had the wind blowing which, geez, if we can order that wind everyday, it would be perfect here. It wasn't nearly as hot as yesterday afternoon, I don't think. But the wind did make it a little tougher. That wind, when you don't have any run on the ball, and especially like holes like No. 18, where you don't really want the ball to get up in the air because if you miss-hit it a little bit or put a little hook or draw or fade on it is going to be accentuated by the wind. You try to get it low, but the ball isn't going to go anywhere because it is not going to run. It is difficult conditions like that. Also the wind does tend to swirl in places and this golf course because of the trees. No. 3 and No. 2, and No. 1 today it was a little -- it was doing this a little bit (indicating swirling), kind of makes it hard to pull the trigger when the flag is tucked three or four paces from the left edge of the green. I did today on numerous occasions go out toward the middle of the green.

Q. How close are you to getting back to where you were four, five years ago?

NICK PRICE: Not far at all. I am not far away at all. Just a question of you know, how hot the putter gets. Because of tee-to-green, my game, I think, is probably better than it was through that period of 91 through 94. I don't have any reservation about that. It is just a question of getting a little more confidence. That is the only thing that is lacking right now. I don't have a lot of confidence in my game. If I can get a win under my belt, I think I will -- the wall will break, and I will win a few more.

Q. Can you compare the rounds yesterday and today as far as ball-striking, what were the differences?

NICK PRICE: Both pretty similar days actually. I think yesterday I may have hit my irons a little closer than today. But, when you got a little bit of wind, it is sometimes hard to read that. I knew I was in the hunt all day today, that I am close to the lead, so just didn't want to make any foolish mistakes out there by trying to go at flags that I shouldn't have, and so a lot of the times you know, I just aimed slightly away from the flag just to make sure that if the wind -- if I had misread the wind either, the direction or the strength, that I was going to end up in a position where I could still get -- make a par from. I think on some of the holes out there, particularly like No. 4 where the pin was cut back left and you have got the wind blowing in left-to-right and that tree overhanging the pin where you have got to start the ball off the tree, I aimed at the middle of the green and pushed it and took my 2-putt and went to the 5th tee. So just the conditions are a little harder, I think, today.

Q. What is so good about No. 16? What is the best thing about that hole that makes you able to -- you have had such luck on it?

NICK PRICE: I don't know. Sometimes you feel comfortable. Both cases I felt like -- yesterday, particularly, I felt like I had to really hit a good 3-wood and today, you know, yesterday I probably had to hit a 3-wood 10, 12 yards further than I normally hit my best 3-wood, and today I had a perfect yardage. I had 247. I think I had 239 to the front and that is a perfect 3-wood for me. So I just went ahead and hit just a normal solid 3-wood. The fact that you make back-to-back eagles, that is in the lap of the gods. That is just a lot of luck making two holes-in-one. Not quite -- I think it is easier to make an eagle on a par 5 than it is to make two holes-in-one - for some.

End of FastScripts....

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