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May 24, 2007

Nick Price


KELLY ELBIN: Nick Price, ladies and gentlemen, in his debut in the Senior PGA Championship, in with a round of 1-under par 71 at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
Nick, if you would talk a little bit about your round and the conditions out there today versus say what you saw the last couple of days.
NICK PRICE: Obviously playing early today was a bonus. But it really only helped us on the first four holes.
The wind was still not anything like it is now, but it was still blowing. I actually had a little scruffy sort of start to my round, even though I birdied number 3.
I made a couple of good par saves. And then the wind started blowing for us around about 8 or 9.
It was fine until we turned back into the wind on 14. And then -- I must just say one thing, I think Kerry Haigh did a great job of setting up the course today. Because if we had played the tees that we played in the practice rounds, it would have been very, very difficult.
So he moved the tees up on some of the holes and as far as I'm concerned he made the course more playable.
But it played a little different to Tuesday in the pro-am. And then yesterday I only played nine holes, which is the front nine.
But the golf course, if you hit the ball straight, the real key to playing this golf course is keeping the ball in play. And you know you're going to make some bogeys. It's just a question of keeping, hitting the fairways or keeping the ball in play off the tee and not trying to attack this course too much.
You have to play cautiously at times, you have to hit away from the pin, and it's tough in this wind. Any golf course you play in this kind of wind is hard, but this one is particularly difficult.
KELLY ELBIN: Could you go through your birdies and bogeys, please.
NICK PRICE: Number 3, I hit an 8-iron for my second shot. I had about 127 yards, 26 yards in the wind. I hit an 8-iron to about 10 feet.
Then my bogey on number 6 I think it was. Was it 6 or 5? 5, the par-3. I miscued a 6-iron downwind, hit in the bunker short. Blasted out about 10 feet behind the hole and missed that.
Par-5, I hit a bunker shot, hit my second shot in the bunker and I knocked it out to about five feet and made that.
Then bogeyed number 8. Very difficult shot today. Back right hand pin cross wind down and I hit it left of the green, chipped it to about five feet and missed it.
Then I birdied -- 10 I hit a good second shot about 25 feet behind the hole, just on the fringe, made that.
11, a drive and a 3-iron just short of the green. I chipped up to about six inches.
12, I 3-putted from probably just off the front edge about 25 feet.
And then just made good solid pars all the way in.
KELLY ELBIN: Open it up for questions, please.

Q. Would you call this, is this a three club wind for you? Three club wind?
NICK PRICE: Yeah. Probably between two and a half and three clubs.

Q. How hard is it to mentally switch from going down wind on playing that strong a wind and then all of a sudden have to go into it?
NICK PRICE: When the wind gets this strong it actually knocks the ball down with the short irons. So it doesn't, it actually plays much longer because you're not getting the benefit of the wind downwind as much downwind.
Your drives normally go further because you get a little more roll on the ball. But in a wind like this, any time downwind you're not going to hit it much more than about 160, maybe 165 yards. So it's a club and a half downwind maybe two clubs. But then it's two and a half to three clubs into the wind.
I think that just the experience of links golf, because these are very links conditions here right now, and certainly I felt like I was playing a links golf course today.

Q. Couple questions. One, have you looked at the scores and are they where you thought they might be? Then the other part is just asking about how you played 17, how it played today.
NICK PRICE: I figured when the wind started blowing hard today that anywhere around par was going to be a good score. Even a couple over today. You haven't shot yourself out of the tournament with that or the championship with that score.
It's just one of those courses where you just have to keep the ball in play. Otherwise you're going to shoot a big number. And the guys who are playing well -- I think someone's 4-under. Romero, I think it is. He's a very strong wind player. So I think you're going to see a lot of the wind players come to the fore today, come up.
17 is such a difficult hole. Fortunately today it was dead into the wind. If it's slightly or left-to-right or right-to-left, it is a very difficult hole. So they had the pin at the back, which gave us a little more room. Which I thought was a good way of setting it up. Because if they had the pin in the front, or the middle section of the green there would be a lot of balls in the water there today. What also makes it difficult, you got that huge bleacher or stand behind it. So the wind really buffets when you get in there. And I had a little three four-footer to save par there and my ball couldn't make up which way it wanted to oscillate, you know.
I'm glad we played that tee today. I think there will be a few guys still playing, maybe me, if we played the other one.

Q. Yesterday you were talking about how you seem to find something with the driver, after the practice round you said you started to find something. Did that carry over to today?
NICK PRICE: Yeah, it did. I came in on Tuesday and yesterday and I was having a little bit of trouble pulling my driver. And then I fixed it up today. I was just getting a little narrow. And so I got a little wider with my back swing and I hit the ball a lot straighter with the driver today. A little more power too, which is good.

Q. In terms of the wind conditions combined with the golf course itself, does the Ocean Course compare to any particular course in the British Open rota?
NICK PRICE: Well, it's different. One thing that he's got on this golf course which you don't often see on links courses are these raised greens. And some of these greens are raised up pretty significantly.
The back nine the 15th hole is undoubtedly my favorite hole on this golf course. It looks like it's been there for 200 years.
Any time you have a raised green -- and, see, the difference in the British Open when they have a raised green is that the approach is very firm. So you can pitch the ball 20, 30 yards short of the green and run it up on to the green.
Here, just because of irrigation, the water drains off the green and the low lying areas are very soft. So you are forced to play the ball on to the green. And that's the difference with raising the greens as much as he has here.
And it just requires incredibly good iron shots. The 8th hole today it was almost like I had to slice my iron shot to keep from not going left because the way that greens sits on an angle like this and the wind blowing right-to-left, you just are hitting into such a small area, so -- but there's some wonderful golf holes out here. But all the greens that were down today, though, you could still play them.
KELLY ELBIN: Nick Price in with 1-under par 71. Thank you, Nick.
NICK PRICE: Thank you.

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