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May 25, 2007

Nick Price


KELLY ELBIN: Nick Price, ladies and gentlemen, in with around of 2-under par 70 in the second round of the 68th Senior PGA Championship, two round total of 141. 3-under par.
Nick, you had five birdies, three bogeys, give us a sense of what the conditions were like and how you played.
NICK PRICE: I think the key today was to take advantage of the downwind holes and then just try and hold your score together coming in.
I got off to a really good start, I birdied 10 and 11. And then as we came back into the wind, I probably hit my worst tee shot of the week on number 15. And I made a, ended up making a good bogey there, after being in the bunker. Pin high left for three. And I got it up-and-down there.
And then I made a good birdie on 2. And it was just hard into the wind. Obviously it's -- you have to strike the ball very solid into the wind and a couple of times there I miscued some tee shots and some iron shots and paid the penalty.
But that's going to happen on a day like today. You just try and just let it go and then play the next hole. And I think that's what I did really well today.
Then the finish I had really made my round. It's not the kind of day that you can go out and shoot a low number, but anything around par again I would have been happy with that. And I think a lot of my strategy today was based on just making good pars and that the finish really made my round.
KELLY ELBIN: What were the length of the birdie putts on 7 and 8, please?
NICK PRICE: 7, I 2-putted from about probably about 50 feet.
8, I hit a 9-iron probably about eight feet behind the hole.
KELLY ELBIN: Open it up for questions.

Q. How did the wind compare to yesterday, not only in terms of velocity, but also maybe difficulty.
NICK PRICE: Not quite as strong as yesterday when we finished. And probably not quite the strength that it blew yesterday afternoon. It seemed that when we were playing our back nine yesterday it was probably blowing a little harder and it probably continued to blow harder all day.
It was a slightly different direction today. I think it shifted more toward the east because we played the 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 almost straight down wind. Whereas, yesterday it was sort of quartering off the right.
But when the wind gets to that velocity, it doesn't really matter if it's five miles an hour or 10 miles an hour stronger, you're still faced with the same dilemma, and that's hit the ball solid into the wind. Otherwise you're going to pay the penalty.
And I hit a lot of good iron shots into the wind today. And the big thing is not to have any really bad holes out there. When I'm 1 or 2-under for the championship, I'm really playing cautiously. I'm not trying to play too aggressively because there's some holes out there you can make some really big numbers on. So it's sort of like just picking your way a little through this golf course and I did that very well both yesterday and today.

Q. In a curious sort of way is a very difficult course and very difficult conditions a good place for you to sharpen your concentration?
NICK PRICE: It is. I'm certainly, I think one of the things that I've done really well the last two days is stayed focused. But also I haven't let my poor shots worry me that much.
I've got a couple of good breaks where I could have -- a couple of nice bounces, which could have gone the other way. Looking back, if I had made a bogey or two with those bounces, I would still be around par, which is good.
So taking each shot as it comes on a golf course like this is the most important thing. If you get ahead of yourself, then you're going to suffer the consequences. So that's what I'm trying to do, every hole, every shot, play it as a, play it as it is and not get ahead of myself.

Q. With Romero and Ozaki ahead of you right now, your experience in big events like this, in Major Championships, that's much greater than theirs, you have victories in these. As we get closer to the end of the tournament how do you think that will factor in, how about that be an advantage for you?
NICK PRICE: The one thing I learned is patience is the most important thing. And going into the back nine on Sunday if the conditions are the same as they are or as they have been the last two days for the weekend it will be a question of not shooting yourself in the foot. It will be a question of waiting and playing smart, intelligent golf.
That old line that Jack Nicklaus always said, you know, and forgive me if I don't get it right, he said, well, I managed to keep my head while all of those around were losing theirs.
That sort of keeps ringing in my head, because that's what I think I did so well when I was winning. I stayed patient.
And you would hit great shots every now and then, but you weren't trying to hit great shots all the time. You were just trying to keep the ball in play and put the ball on the green. But I don't know if it's distinguishing to help that much. This is a whole new ball game.
Both Joe and Eduardo are established players, but it's -- I think it's going to be each to his own. But I'm going to try and stick to my game plan and not get away from what I've done well these last two days and hopefully it will be good enough.
KELLY ELBIN: As a reminder, Nick won the PGA Championship in '92 and '94 and the British Open in '94 as well.
NICK PRICE: I think the '92 PGA when I won there was probably the best example of patience, at Bellerive, because that was really a very difficult golf course and very long. And I can remember saying to my caddie, Squeak, when we got on the back nine on Sunday as I just said, if we don't make any mistakes this nine, you know, either mental or physical mistakes, I think we'll have a good chance to win and eventually I think I ended up winning by three.

Q. Everybody talks about how hard it is to play golf into the wind, but playing golf downwind is a different kind of challenge. Can you talk a little bit about the kind of approach shots you have to hit to the green so that you're not beyond them?
NICK PRICE: The one thing I found to downwind play is that you have to be committed. And you have to play aggressively downwind because the spin that you put on your iron shots is the difference between holding the green and going over the back of the green.
So I've always tried to be as aggressive downwind as I can. Because it's all about how much spin you put on the ball. And if you try and ease the ball into the wind, as is quite often the case, if you fall into a trap, you can't just hit it smooth. You don't get that same spin on the ball. And then so that's one of the things I try and do. Commit.
KELLY ELBIN: Nick Price at 3-under par.
NICK PRICE: Thank you.

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