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June 26, 1997

Nick Price


LEE PATTERSON: Good start.

NICK PRICE: Yeah, good day for me today. You know, I really haven't done a lot of work. Obviously the last ten days I haven't really hit very many balls and, you know, I came out Tuesday and a little scruffy. Yesterday was better. And, today was better again. So, I hit the ball well today. I drove the ball very well. I only missed one fairway. And, I missed two greens. I had couple, maybe two, three on the fringe which doesn't count in regulation. But, only missed 2 greens, the 4 and the 18. So, good solid ball-striking round. Left a couple of putts out there. But, I made a good one on 18. Probably the longest putt I made today on 18 to save par. And, five birdies and the rest were all pars. First hole, I hit 7-iron for my second shot to about probably about six inches. Then the third hole, I laid up and hit sand wedge for my third to about eight feet. Par 5, I was just through the back of the green in two, and I chipped up to about 18 inches. And then 15, par 4 I hit a 1-iron off tee, 9-iron to about three feet in. And then number 16, layed up again. Hit sand wedge to about probably twelve feet. And then the putt on 18 was probably about 15 feet to save par. Of course, with the rain that we had last night, it is playing long. I mean, it was nice and firm yesterday. We had run and release off the tee shots. But, today there was none of that. The ball was just almost coming back at you. And, you know -- in fact, it is a pity about the rain because the course was really playing nice and fast yesterday. And, now it's got back to, you know, what you expect in summer, just kind of spongey out there. And, it has drained really well. It has, but, I mean, with the amount of rain last night, the ball is just not releasing at all. It is making it, you know, easier to get the ball closer to the hole from the fairway because, you know, the balls stopping very quickly even with a 5-iron stopping within about 3, 5 yards of where it lands. So, you know, good solid iron shots and you have got a good birdie chance. But it is playing a little longer. And, although we had some of the tees up forward a little bit, it is still played probably the same length as it did yesterday. Sure could do with a little breeze here. That would help.

Q. Even though it has been awhile since Squeeky was your partner, how much different is it now with your new caddie and how much does this still weigh on your mind since it has only been a couple of weeks now?

NICK PRICE: Well, you know, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him a lot. Especially when I am out on the golf course still call my caddy, Jimmy, "Squeeky" sometimes. Just guess we were so close for so long that, you know, it is automatic; you just think about it. Certain instances, you know, when you are in certain positions or you have a shot that -- or you are in a hole or something that, you know, maybe two, three times today I thought about him on the golf course. And, you know, it is hard. I mean, it is really hard. But, I am trying to sort of just put it in the back of my mind; know that if he is around watching, he would want me to play as well as I possibly could. But, you know, as I said yesterday, you know, for the longest time, I always felt that he was going to be back on my bag and, now, there is no chance of that. That was -. That is the hardest thing, I think, I had to accept that, you know, he is not going to be around anymore. But we've got to get on with our lives; he would be the first one to say that. Just try and play and win as many tournaments as I can and do as much as I can for the foundation that he - the Jeff Medlen Foundation - that we started. And hopefully, you know, through his battle, we will be able to help someone else who is going through a battle and maybe cure them. Or maybe someone who doesn't have enough money to go through something to go through all the treatment and, you know, if Squeek's battle with the disease saves one life, I am sure he will be very proud of that.

Q. You are one of the more personable players on the Tour than a lot of the players. And, seem to be a lot more emotional than a lot of them. Did you say that you are going to dedicate or try to win this for Squeeky?

NICK PRICE: Well, you know, I haven't thought about that too much, to be honest with you. I will do that when the time is right, I think. It will be very hard for his family right now, you know, so I am trying to keep a low profile right now. Let them go through their mourning and, you know, just let everything settle down a little bit. We will just wait and see how it comes out. Certainly like to win a major and dedicate it to him because that is something that -- PGA is kind of special to both of us. It was because he won it three times and I won it twice. It was my first major and, you know, the PGA of America have been -- were really good to both Squeek and myself. And, I know I have spoken to a couple of the guys, Jim Autry and a few of the other guys about doing something with them for the caddies or leukemia, whatever it is. But, we want to keep his name, you know, around and about so that, you know, kids who are caddying 20, 30 years time will know who Jeff Medlen was. And that is the best thing I can do right now, I think.

Q. Keeping in mind that all tournaments are important for you, you seem like your game from the stretch right after the open on through the PGA, especially in the '90s is just peaking always this time of year. Is there any -- aside from motivation of the big tournaments coming consecutively, anything else there --

NICK PRICE: Yeah, it is funny because, you know, summer I have always played my best golf. Whatever happens, it seems like before summer is a bonus for me. But I think if you had a look at the bulk of my success, it would be in the months of July, August, September, and October. I have always seemed to play really well and I like the heat. I grew up in the heat. Not as hot as this, but I do like the heat. And, you know, also the courses are a lot lusher in summer. I am a bit of a gouger with my irons. I am not a picker. And, I think when -- in the springtime, when there hasn't been as much growth and the ball doesn't sit up as well, I tend to hit a lot of iron shots that squirt a little bit. Whereas, this time of year, the ball is sitting up well and I feel like I can pick it off a good lie. But, also, I just seem to have a -- July and August and June seem to be really good months for me. I don't know why. I don't play well in the Open. I am -- I haven't played well in the Open. I have done okay but if -- I have never really contested at the Open. And, I just don't know. I drive the ball pretty well. My game should be suited to that. But, I think at the Open you have to be an exceptionally good chipper as well and I am kind of an average, maybe slightly above average, chipper. That is one the reasons why I haven't played well there. But this is the time of year that I really like the most. Summer is fun for me. So, I like to go through another spell like I did in 1993/1994 in the summer.

Q. (inaudible)?

NICK PRICE: I haven't even thought about that. I think I sought of look at us as all golfers more than, you know, as international players. But, you know, now you come to remind me. I can only speak for myself and I was pretty motivated after being sick last year and not having really a particularly good '95. And my life certainly is back in a nice routine. I am very comfortable with everything around me. But, you know, just shows you how strong international players are. I think that is what that tells me is that you know we have got a very strong bunch of international players right now and we don't have to just look to America or Europe to see the top players in the world. Now it encompasses the whole world. And, you know, I know certainly in South African, Southern Africa and Zimbabweans, we have got very good depth of young players coming out. I think it is guys like myself, Frosty, and Ernie, who motivated those young. Players like Greg did to those guys who are coming out in their early 20s now. I think that is a result of the good play. But, I know the kids back home in Zimbabwe, they are not scared anymore because I kind have paved the way for them a little bit. They know that someone from that small country can go out there and be No. 1 in the world and there is no reason why they can't do it. So -- but international golf, I mean, is so healthy right now. And, it is kind of -- the golf chain has gone through another surge in the - not only with Tiger - but I think he has kind of compounded that surge. But, it was going pretty strong before he came along too. Great flavor as well. Nice to be able to talk to guys in the locker room about cricket and rugby as well.

End of FastScripts....

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