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May 26, 2007

Nick Price


KELLY ELBIN: Nick Price, ladies and gentlemen, tied for second after three rounds of the 68th Senior PGA Championship, along with Denis Watson, two strokes behind Eduardo Romero.
Nick, your thoughts on a 2-under par round today, your second consecutive 2-under par round.
NICK PRICE: I hit the ball really well the front nine today. And then I couldn't make a putt. Until the ninth hole. And in the back nine I kind of, my long game went off a little bit. I had hit a couple of loose tee shots and some scruffy iron shots. But my putting was better. I made some, I think I 1-putted the last four holes, which really kept me in it.
Even though the wind wasn't blowing as hard today as it was yesterday, the back nine was very difficult. Cross wind, left-to-right going out, 10, 11, 12, 13, and then right-to-left across coming in. Which made holes like 16 and 17 and 18 really difficult.
So I hung in there well today. I didn't play too aggressively on the back nine. I tried to just sort of stay within three or four shots of Eduardo. He played so beautifully today. I mean the guy, apart from the last two holes, he hit some fantastic shots.
So I was just trying to stay in there. The third day is when you're three or four behind, you just try and put a round together like I did today, a good solid one, and stay in touch for tomorrow.
I don't think he's going to lay down. He's playing so well. One of us behind is going to have to shoot a really good score tomorrow.
I think again it just depends on the wind, the conditions. But if it plays anything like it did today, I'm going to have to play a little more aggressively if I'm going to catch him.
KELLY ELBIN: Officially Nick 3-putted the last three greens and had five 3-putts on the back nine -- or 1-putts, sorry. 1-putts. Sorry.
NICK PRICE: Yeah. Okay.

Q. Could you cover your birdies and your bogey, please.
NICK PRICE: Second hole, I had a sand wedge from about 75 yards. And I just spun the ball back off the green and I was in a really difficult, chipped it up there, putted it up about eight feet and missed it.
Then pars all the way through to number 7.
7, I hit a driver and a 3-iron on the green on number 7 about 35, 40 feet from the hole and 2-putted.
Then No. 9, I hit a sand wedge for my second shot to about 25 feet and made that.
Then pars all the way through until 16.
16, actually got a little lucky on 16, I pulled my iron shot, I was aiming probably five yards right of the pin and I pulled it and ended up hitting it about four feet away and had the easiest putt on the green and made that for birdie.
So I was very happy to par 17 and 18. In fact 17 I tried to hit it on the front left edge of the green, because I knew anything past pin high on that hole was dead. And I hit it, I missed my shot probably by two yards and it went in the bunker and I hit a really good bunker shot out. A little unlucky it didn't go in.
Then a really good up-and-down on 18 for par. So all in all I'm happy.
KELLY ELBIN: Very good. Open it up for questions, please.

Q. Can you just talk about playing with Denis in the final round what that's going to be like. Both of you seem pretty excited about it?
NICK PRICE: We haven't played together for awhile. And I'm really happy that he's making a resurgence. He's such a talented player. In 1984 he had such a wonderful four or five months there. He won three in a row. And I know he's been plagued with injuries, but I think he's one of those players who is going to just have a great Champions Tour, a career on the Champions Tour. I think he's got the bit between his teeth now and he's come close to winning a couple of times, last week, and I think his confidence is very high.
There's very few people who get as confident as he does when he's playing well. So he's going to be a major factor tomorrow, there's no doubt. But it will be fun. It will be fun.

Q. Speaking of confidence, two straight, two rounds like you had the last two days, how is your confidence and how much do you build off the way you finished getting up-and-down those last two holes especially?
NICK PRICE: Every time you get the ball up-and-down it kind of makes you, gives you more confidence. Because you feel like you can miscue a couple of shots and still get away with it.
I played so beautifully the front nine today. I really hit the ball exactly where I was aiming. And I just hit it very solidly.
Then, I don't know, I just got a little jumpy, I don't know. I had some tough putts too. It wasn't like I had easy putts. So, and then the back nine, as I say, I just played cautiously. So the confidence is much better now. I feel at peace with myself. Every now and then I get a little sort of tentative out there. But on the holes that counted today I hit some very good shots and even though they weren't close to the hole, they were right where I was aiming and like I said yesterday, there's four or five holes out here that if you miscue your tee shots, you're going to make some big numbers.
And I got lucky on 11 with a poor tee shot and managed to make a five. So that was one good break I had today.
But confidence is, my confidence is getting there. I mean, whatever happens tomorrow, if I can just shoot under par again tomorrow, win, come second, third, fourth, whatever, I'm going to take a lot more confidence with me to the next week.
And this is the first time I've been in the hunt for a golf tournament I think since or championship since the Byron Nelson in 2005. So it's a good feeling. There was some good memories today, good feelings. And especially finishing on a positive note. I'm looking forward to playing tomorrow. I really am.

Q. I guess how much did your hopes rise to go from five back through 15 to just two back now.
NICK PRICE: Well he let the three of us back in the tournament, or in the championship.
Because if he had posted 9-under, we would have had our work cut out tomorrow as well as he's playing.
But he was just unlucky basically. So the way he's been hitting the ball, he hit one poor tee shot today, and that was on 15. And managed to make a great par.
But I can't see any give up in him, to be honest with you. And he managed his game so beautifully today. He took irons off a couple of tees where he didn't need to hit the driver. And he's in control, he really is.

Q. Denis said you and he had played at the same club since you were about 14 years old. I was wondering if you have any interesting stories or funny things that have happened that were repeat able that you could tell us about playing golf with Denis. Or him playing golf with you.
NICK PRICE: Denis is a couple of years older than I am. I think he's a '55 model, so he's 52 this year. But when I was about 14, Denis obviously was 16, he could really fire. I mean the guy could shoot some numbers that when we were that age, we were just agog with how he was playing. I mean, he could shoot 63s and 64s when the rest of us were just shooting around 71 and 72. That's how good he was.
He just had that ability when he got on a roll, he never backed off. He was one of those guys that when he got to 8-under after 13 holes, he was looking at to, you know, at shooting 59 or 60.
And what happened to him in his career I have no idea. I know he was plagued by injuries, but I think he lost a lot of confidence. And I thought he was going to have a stellar career after the year he had in 1984. But he's found his game back. He seems very content with himself and life. So I might, we might have a few stories tomorrow to share.

Q. You played three really good rounds here, at the Ocean Course you know what it takes to win a PGA Championship, with an eye towards 2012, when the PGA returns here, what do you think those pros are going to fairways out here on the Ocean Course?
NICK PRICE: I think that the PGA's going to have to be very aware as to how they set the course up. Which tees they use, which pin positions they use. August, I guess the wind one good thing the wind probably won't blow as hard as it has done this week. But I remember September when the Ryder Cup was here the wind howled, so I might be wrong.
But they're going to have to be very careful and as to how they set it up. Because if you have a day where the wind blew like it did yesterday off some of those tees, I mean, there's just no bail out. That's the thing that's hard this golf course. If you look at number 17, hitting it in those bunkers is no picnic. And that's really as you go further and further right on those other tees, I don't know if you can keep it on the green, to be honest, with the wind we had today.
You got to start the ball five yards in the water. And nobody likes doing that. So if they set it up well, I think it will be a great PGA Championship. But it really is in the hands of Kerry Haigh and the guys who set it up, because there can be some huge numbers on this golf course.

Q. Going wire-to-wire in any tournament, let alone a Major Championship is pretty tough. Do you think there's going to be more pressure on Eduardo or players such as yourself a couple strokes off the pace?
NICK PRICE: Probably more pressure on him. This is a hard golf course to protect a lead. But he wasn't protecting anything today the way he played. He went out there and just hit, put the swings on and hit the shots that he needed to. So I'll be right there tomorrow keeping an eye on him and see how he's doing, but I don't see any back up in the man, honestly. He's just swinging so beautifully and he's got everything under control.
But I'm pretty much just going to play, try and play the way I did today and then if I need to put the foot down on the back nine and take a few chances, I'll have to. But I should imagine it will come down to the back nine again as it always does on Major Championship day.
KELLY ELBIN: Nick Price, tied for second with one round to go.

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