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October 30, 2008

Nick Price


THE MODERATOR: Nick, great start. Looks like you made a couple long putts on 16 and 18.
NICK PRICE: Nice way to finish.
THE MODERATOR: Talk about your day and then we'll get some questions.
NICK PRICE: You know, I hit the ball really well today. I drove the ball as straight as I've driven it for a while. Hit a couple of really long tee shots. Just had good control with my irons.
On a golf course like this, where it's really important to leave yourself -- I mean, this is a classic style golf course where if you get past the pin or even if you're pin-high on some occasions, it's really tough to be aggressive with a putter. You sort of stalk the greens. You keep the ball underneath the hole. I did that really well today.
Took a lot of pins out of play and just sort of played left or right, whatever the case may be. But I had good control with my irons, my distance and my accuracy. That's really what set up my round.
I missed some very makable putts from probably the fourth, fifth hole onwards -- sorry, sixth. I had some opportunities anyway. All in all, it always balances out. Those two bombs I made, the one on 16 and the one on 18, you know, sometimes that happens. In fact, I didn't play 16 at all well, and walked off there with a birdie. I felt like I'd stolen something.
But, you know, all in all a good day. Really no chinks in the armor today. Not really any parts of my game that were out of whack. So a good day, a really good day for me. No bogeys. One green missed. I think I missed maybe three or four fairways. Two or three of those were in the first cut.
Nice way to start.
THE MODERATOR: Let's go over your birdies. On 2?
NICK PRICE: Drive, 3-iron layup, then a sand wedge to probably 12 feet. The next one was on 9. I hit a driver off the tee and hit a sand wedge again up from about 105 yards and I hit that to about five, six feet.
Then the next birdie was 13, the par 5. Just pulled my second shot left of the green. Actually miscued my 3-wood. Pitched up to about four feet.
Then had birdie chances on the next hole. 15, I hit a really nice 7-iron in there. That was a perfect example of keeping the ball just a little underneath the hole. Hit it about 15 feet left of the hole, just short, and ran that one in.
Then 16, I tried to hit my driver a little too hard. It was starting to rain, starting to cool down. I wanted to hit a good, hard drive and get one down there where I could at least have a go at the green. I pulled it in the left rough. Hit my next shot through into the right rough. Got a wedge on the green. I guess it was about 40 feet?
THE MODERATOR: Says just a shade over 41.
NICK PRICE: I'll take 40 feet (laughter).
Then 17, had another good chance. Hit a great putt on 17 from about, I don't know, 15 feet, I suppose. Then 18, 3-wood and a 7-iron.
You know, it was a good day. Good way to start off.

Q. On 18 it hit the rim three or four times.
NICK PRICE: It actually hit the right edge of the hole, was breaking back right again. I thought it was going to pop out and stay out. Sometimes the golf gods are kind to you. You need those breaks once in a while.

Q. Like 18 at Augusta.
NICK PRICE: You know, that one at Augusta was actually a better putt. It just went round. Did a 380 or 390.

Q. You heard about the course, but never played it before.
NICK PRICE: It's beautiful. It's 9.95 out of 10 condition. It's hard not to give it a 10. The greens are beautiful. I mean, the fairways are nice and firm. I just hope it doesn't rain too much. We don't want mud on the ball. That's the only thing that will probably detract from this week is if we get a lot of rain. Mud is a golfer's nightmare. When you get mud on the ball, it goes all over the place.
Hopefully, you know, it won't get much heavier than this. I guess Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning early it's supposed to rain really hard. But I really enjoyed the conditions. It felt a lot like links golf yesterday, you know, with a lot of release with the driver. If you turned the ball, got a nice flight on it, it would release 30, 40 yards.
I always love golf courses where you stand on the tee and instead of just launching it and trying to hit it as far as you can, you're actually trying to do something with it, turn it, get an extra 15, 20 yards, or cut it and get it into a spot. This golf course yesterday certainly was playing like that. Hopefully it won't rain too much.

Q. On the conditions, you obviously design courses.
NICK PRICE: It's very good. It's a classic old style golf course, you know, where there's a lot of openings to the front of the green where you can run the ball on, which I always try and incorporate in my design. But there's also some great little pockets on these greens where you can tuck the flags.
Pin positions could make this golf course play really difficult. If you really tuck these pins here, there's a lot of pins you wouldn't be able to shoot on unless you're really on top of your iron game.
Really, I can see why guys enjoy coming back here so much. It doesn't really favor any length of hitter. If you look at the guys who have won over the years, McNulty is not particularly long. Then you look at Thorpe, who is a longer hitter. There's been a good cross-section of winners here. Always a sign of a good golf course.

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