home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 31, 2008

Nick Price


THE MODERATOR: Nick, 69 today to go with the 66 yesterday. Right now you're 9-under, one behind Andy. Maybe a quick rundown on your day. Looks like no bogeys, but three birdies.
NICK PRICE: Yeah, I made three really good putts to save par today. The opening hole I pushed my 8-iron into the right-hand bunker, blasted it out there about 22, 23 feet by. I holed the putt. Even though it was an indifferent way to start, it was nice to walk off there with a par.
Then I made a two on 4, is it? I hit a beautiful hybrid in there probably about 12, 14 feet from the hole, made that.
Then No. 7 I was in between clubs and I tried to muscle a 6-iron. Got over the top of it, got in the bunker, hit it about 12 feet by. I had a sharp, breaking putt and made that. I felt like then if I just played smart, you know, my short game, the way my putting was, I just didn't -- I wasn't hitting it flush like I had yesterday.
But, you know, I didn't feel like I needed to go at any flags today. And I really didn't, only on a few of the holes. But I had a lot of putts it seems between sort of 18 and 25 feet for birdie. If you get on the wrong side of the hole, which I was a couple of times, you're on the defensive and you really can't give them a run.
Let's see. I parred all the way through. I made a very good save, again, on No. 14, the par 3. I was in between clubs again. Because the conditions are so soft, I went for the longer club, trying to get it all the way back to the pin. I pulled it. Just from the fringe, tried to 3-wood it. I left it about 12 feet short. I made that. That was a huge save again. Hit a 6-iron to two and a half, three feet on the next hole.
16. Actually the course played so long today, I hit a good tee shot. Had about 250 to the front. Pushed my 3-wood. Didn't make par there, which was a little disappointing. But I made up for it on 18. Hit a drive, 8-iron in there 22, 25 feet, made that. 18's been good to me this week so far.
You know, it was a scruffy day. Kind of the sort of day if you're not on your game in conditions like today, and also I shot 6-under yesterday, so I don't want to sort of shoot myself in the foot, do anything stupid today, so I played today with a little bit of cautiousness. It's a good round. I may have been able to have shot a couple shots better, but I'm very happy with shooting 69 and staying right in there.

Q. Andy mentioned how he had played with you a couple times this year, and putts weren't falling. He saw a couple fall for you this week. What do you attribute that to?
NICK PRICE: I switched putters. That putter I was using through that period, I putted streaky. I would go through streaks and then I wouldn't make anything for a while. Just never felt that comfortable.
This putter I started using in Baltimore three weeks ago. I just putted more consistently with it. When you get your speed down and you can focus on your line more, you're not worried so much about the speed when you get over the putt, I think that's when you putt your best. Certainly the last three weeks I putted pretty decently with it.
Also I'm giving myself a lot of chances. That's the thing. I'm putting myself in position to make a lot of putts. But those three par putts today were bigger than any birdie putts I made, that's for sure. They kept me going. I didn't want to go on a slide. It was an easy day to shoot par or over par today because of the conditions.
As I say, all in all, I'm really happy.

Q. As much as you've talked about practicing, balancing your life, not being obsessed with winning, how important is it to put yourself in position here?
NICK PRICE: Yeah, I'm still competitive. I mean, even though as we spoke last week about the priorities change, I'm still competitive. One thing that I do feel, I'm feeling more and more comfortable under the gun. As I said to you, as well, my confidence took a real knock for a period of probably middle of 2005, 2006, 2007, because I played so poorly through that two-and-a-half year period.
You know, there's still gremlins there. They're getting fewer and fewer, but there's still bad thoughts every now and then. I try and discard them and think about other things, but they still creep in every now and then.
I'm starting to feel more comfortable. When you start feeling more comfortable, you just let your game play instead of getting in your own way, which I think I've done a little too much this year. What hurt this year a lot was the tournament in Austin where I played so well the last day and really only hit one poor shot when I kind of hit my 5-iron on the 16th hole a little chunky. But it still should have got over the water. The hole before I hit the back end of a tree that was cut overhanging the green. I thought I hit my sand wedge there four feet from the hole. I really did. If I went back and had to hit the same shot, I'd play exactly the same shot again. It caught back into the tree, back into the water, I ended up making double bogey. I was a bit stunned there. Double bogeyed the next hole. Ended up coming second. That stung a lot. That hurt a lot because I played really well there.
Sometimes the golf gods don't shine on you. Sometimes things don't go your way. But it balances out. You have to have that belief. I know it's going to balance out. Somewhere along the way, maybe not this year, but next year, I'm going to have a really good break and win a tournament. Someone's going to say to me, You were really lucky. I'll say, Do you remember back when? That's the way I've always believed. Everything has a way of balancing itself out.
Like I say, that one really stung because I did all the right things. I feel now that if I can get a win under my belt, then I'm going to get going again. I'm not going to say I'm going to dominate out here, but I'm going to win my fair share, which is what I want to do.
The competitive instinct in me still wants to win golf tournaments. Whether it's the Champions Tour, whether it's the PGA TOUR, or junior golf tournaments or amateur tournaments, it doesn't really matter, you want to win. I've put in enough work to win now. Hopefully if it doesn't happen this week, I know it's going to happen sometime next year.

Q. What are your thoughts on the course thus far?
NICK PRICE: You know, a lot of guys told me before I came here what a great golf course it is. Certainly it's one of the best we play all year on tour. I was actually licking my chops on Wednesday when we played, when it was playing firm and fast, because I love that. It had a little bit of a links-type feel to it where you could run the ball into the green from way out, long irons, par 5s.
It's unfortunate it just got sloppy. It's still dry enough. I mean, it's going to take a lot of rain before we won't be able to play. But I feel bad for the superintendent. He had this course tweaked perfectly on Wednesday. It's just the kind of golf I love playing, when you can manipulate the ball off the tee, get an extra 20 or 30 yards' run.
Today was a bit of a slog. You just got the ball up in the air.

Q. Were the greens considerably slower today?
NICK PRICE: No, not as much as I thought they may have been. They dried out pretty well. But what happened today, and it's no fault of anyone's, but when you have these spikeless shoes, soft spikes, and the sun doesn't shine, the ground is soft, even though there's only 29 guys or 27 guys in front of you, around the hole it does get a little bumpy because it doesn't recover. When it's firm and the sun's shining, you stand on it, two minutes later everything is back up again. It got a little bumpy around the hole the last five or six holes. Seemed to notice it more. I don't know why.
But they're great. Hit a good putt, it goes in. You can't ask for anything more.

Q. You mentioned gremlins. Most would think that a three-time major champion wouldn't still feel gremlins in this game.
NICK PRICE: I think it's no different to any other sport. Golf is about momentum. Whether it's a football team, be it a baseball team, whatever it is, it's about momentum. You get confidence, you draw confidence from momentum. You can't just become a confident person overnight. I'm going to lay some confidence on you. It doesn't happen that way. It's a progression over a period of -- some people it takes a little longer, other guys it's a short period.
For me, I've always felt that I've sort of played my confidence into my game. That's probably what's been lacking the most, is just the little self-doubt there. Again, I look back on those two and a half years, it was an awful time for me golf-wise. A lot of it was brought on because I was still playing on the PGA TOUR, I was trying to hit the ball as hard as I could, trying to catch up with guys. I just lost my golf swing. It was pretty bad for a while there.
But everyone's got gremlins. I don't care who you are, you're always going to have self-doubts. You've got to just pull the trigger. That's what I've always done so well and why I play a little quicker than most guys. Once I make a decision, I try to stick to it, give it a hundred percent focus and concentration.
It's different. Nothing ever stays the same. I feel in my golf game now that I'm almost like I was in the late '80s before I really started playing well. I just need a little spark to get me going. Whether that's a confidence thing or a swing thing or a putting thing, whatever it is, it's right on the edge there. Maybe if I get that first win, I'll burst the floodgates. We all suffer from that.
It's one of the things why I think when guys took long periods of time off between the regular TOUR and the Champions Tour, they would come out here and it took them a while to get going. I mean, I remember Kite when he first came out here, he didn't win in the first year and a half when he was out here. Took him a while to get going.
It's a new environment, new golf courses you're playing. There is a certain comfort level you have to experience before you go out there and start winning.
That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it (laughter). Most of the time golf courses, they don't change that much. The conditions may change a little bit, but it's still going to be the same golf course. I think most of us have played enough competitive golf that one or two practice rounds, a couple rounds out there, you pretty much know what's going on.

Q. (Question regarding Nicklaus/Tiger records.)
NICK PRICE: I can remember saying to a good friend of mine way back, after I won the World Series in '83, I made my first victory over here, I think I'd won about four or five times worldwide. I looked at Nicklaus' record, 72 tournaments. Man, how does he win 72 tournaments? I knew how hard it was to win that first one. My buddy said to me, If he won 72, it wasn't that hard for him. If it had been that hard, he never would have won 72. So find a way to make it easier. That's the bottom line.
But obviously those guys are the two greatest players that ever played the game. Whether Tiger beats Jack's record or not, those two are head and shoulders. Bobby Jones I think was right there with him as well because he dominated his time. You're talking about once-in-a-lifetime golfers.

Q. You've won 18 times, Hall of Famer, you can still have that much self-doubt for a period of time?
NICK PRICE: Still do. Ask some of those guys on Wall Street who thought they were so smart two or three months ago. This is easy. Now all of a sudden they're all doubting what they're doing.
It's the same thing. It doesn't matter. Life always throws you a curve ball. It just depends on how you bounce back off it. I'm just happy I got my game back. A lot of my contemporaries and friends lost their games, never found their games back. I was thinking about that for a while, too. Middle of last year, Am I ever going to play decent again? It just turned.
Again, that was slow progress. As I say, momentum is everything in this game. You've got to get momentum, put in good finishes. Not very many people come out from college golf or amateur golf with guns-a-blazing and get into it. Even though most of us came out, had good careers on the regular TOUR, that was then, this is now, it's a different time. Taken me a while to adjust, but I'm ready.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297