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


December 12, 2008

Nick Price

Jeff Sluman


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome our leaders at 8-under par 64, Nick Price and Jeff Sluman. Nick, we'll start with you. You're playing with a two-time winner. You know how to pick your partner for this tournament, don't you?
NICK PRICE: Well, it was actually great. Slu and I spoke about two, three weeks before the end of our tour. I asked him if he was playing this week and he said, Yeah.
I said, How about you and I, you know. Fortunately he said yes. I think the great thing is our games are very similar. We both drive the ball pretty much the same distance.
Today the difference was we just putted so well. We made some really key putts, especially the first hole, because we both drove -- Jeff drove left and I drove right into the hazard. I managed, with his ball, to at least scuttle it out about 100 yards.
He knocked it on there about 20, 22 feet and I holed it for four, so we walked off with a four instead of potentially a six. Then we had some good opportunities the next four or five holes, but it was quite difficult to get the ball close to the hole.
When we made the turn we made a couple good putts. I think 7 and 8, and then the back nine we just really hit -- Jeff hit a beautiful 5-iron into No. 12 to about three feet and I made that. Holed a good one on the next hole. We just seemed it ham and egg it, which is what have to do.
As Kenny said earlier, we didn't really put ourselves in a lot trouble except for 17. We kind of made a bad mistake there, because Jeff went left and his ball was substantially farther then mine. He had the hardest shot coming downwind with the angle into that green. I could have dropped my ball and then chosen which ball we would hit, but we didn't.
I just said to him, I could drop this, but it could go anywhere. We didn't realize you could drop and then chose and select which tee shot. So it was a really bad rookie mistake for us. But I ended up, what, chipping in over the green. He hit a great chip to about ten feet and I holed it. We walked away unscathed, but it could have been a really bad bogey downwind par-5.
JOHN BUSH: Jeff, you've won twice here as I mentioned. Kenny was just say how important the first day is in this tournament. Can you expound on that a little bit?
JEFF SLUMAN: The Champions Tour that Nick and I play now, if you don't get off to a good start you can shoot yourself out of the tournament potentially. So it's very key obviously any time to play a good round golf, but the alternate shot is the toughest format. You don't want to just get yourself out of tournament.
If you're not leading or right in second or third place it's still okay, you just don't want to be way down that leaderboard. We were 1-under after five holes, actually, six holes. I thought, man, the whole world has got to be way ahead of us. We got done with the sixth hole and looked up at the leaderboard and there was only one team ahead of us.
We realized how difficult the golf course was playing. I think that kind of, you know, inspired us, set us at ease. We birdied 7 and 8 and played a wonderful back nine together, and here we are.
JOHN BUSH: How about the conditions, Nick? It was pretty breezy.
NICK PRICE: It was tough. As Kenny said earlier, you know, they put some of the tees up, which was really fortunate. This course would have been extremely hard today if they hadn't done that. I think the tour staff did a great job of setting the course up.
JEFF SLUMAN: Especially in this format.
JEFF SLUMAN: If it's scramble or best ball they can push it back. In this format, you got to give the guys a little opportunity, put a little more difficult format. We're not used to it.

Q. Having come off a pretty good year, do you always wonder what it's like taking some time off and getting back into it and seeing how your game is going to be?
NICK PRICE: Yeah, you know, I think both of us have out there many years we kind of know what to expect when we take time off. I actually didn't have a whole lot of time off, because the clubs I've got are kind of running out of grooves, and I've been running to break in a couple of new sets there.
I hit a lot of balls over the last two, three weeks. Plus, I got to play in that Wendy's 3-Tour, which I guess was two and a half weeks ago. So, you know, I've stayed pretty sharp. I haven't really put the clubs down, not like Slu anyway. He hadn't played for five weeks. You wouldn't have thought so the way he played today.

Q. Talk about the putt on the last hole. What do you have?
JEFF SLUMAN: I obviously knew it was very fast just judging what Scott had done previous to that. But he was kind of -- you know, the Triple D we call it: Downhill, downgrain, downwind, Scott was. I'm on the fringe going straight up into the green.
I knew it was going to be obviously slower, but when I hit the putt and it get through the fringe so well, it just went through just perfect, I said, Oh, boy, this is probably going a little harder than Nick wants. (Laugher.)
NICK PRICE: It was looking four, five feet by, which wasn't good for me. I couldn't see the line of it, so...
JEFF SLUMAN: I finally looked up, and I said, Well, it's dead on line. Everybody in the stands started standing up so they had a good view of it. I guess it was going fast enough that it wasn't going to break.

Q. It rained yesterday, and then it seemed like it got windier as the day went on. How was it for you guys and how did it affect the conditions?
JEFF SLUMAN: Well, I've been here every year since -- I think it's nine years here now.

Q. Eight.
JEFF SLUMAN: Eight. So I've been here eight years. To me, this is the first time I've seen this wind on the golf course. The weather has been fantastic for every other year. It's going to be great this year, but just because of that storm cycling through right now, it's a different wind condition.
You know, kind of internally, when you've played a golf course so many times as we have on the TOUR, if you're used to one similar prevailing wind condition, I mean, that's just how you feel.
All of a sudden you get something 180 degrees opposite and it's really a totally different golf course.
NICK PRICE: Yeah, you basically know when you tee off when the wind is coming from a certain direction what's ahead, and today, you know, we were sort of guessing every time we got on a tee or before you'd played that hole, I wonder which way the wind is gonna blow on the next hole?
So the start was pretty difficult today, two, three, and 4, but we managed to get through there.

Q. Kenny said this tournament is won on the first day. It's so hard to catch up on the last two days.
JEFF SLUMAN: Then where's the check? (Laughter.)
NICK PRICE: We'll take it.

Q. Other than Fred and Stewart Cink, they were 4-under with a bit to go. Do you guys feel like -- is what he's saying true?
NICK PRICE: Our biggest challenge the next two days, not being the longest of the hitters, obviously they're going to put the tees back and we'll be at a bit of a disadvantage on the par-5s. A lot of the guys will be putting for eagles. Maybe if the wind conditions are right we can reach two of them, but it's going to be a challenge for us.
If we keep putting the way we've done, you know, I think it'll sort of balance itself out. But I think we have a little bit of a disadvantage the next two days just from the length point of view.
JEFF SLUMAN: Yeah, I think tomorrow is the big day. We have to go out and make a bunch of birdies. Fred Funk and I played together last year. We did well on the alternate shot and well on the scramble format, and I would expect Nick and I to do well on the scramble format because we're both very good iron players. If we get the ball in play we're probably going to have pretty good chances.
But tomorrow, you know, I've got to go out and probably -- well, we both got to go out and make a bunch of birdies.
NICK PRICE: Make the birdies. It's a great format, though. It's such a wonderful event. Once you get by today, you know, you feel -- because you can shoot 1-over quite easily today and really not have an opportunity to contend in the event.
JEFF SLUMAN: You know, this format we were talking about, it wouldn't be great for, you know, a regular tour event, but this would be a great three-day Champions Tour event for something like this for just a little variety on our tour.
We don't get a chance to do that. We -- at the Liberty Mutual this year it's just a straight best ball. But if we had something like this at some golf courses, I think all of our guys would love it.
NICK PRICE: Absolutely.

Q. Nick, talk about your season in the context of coming so close.
NICK PRICE: Yeah, you know, it was a little frustrating. But compared to the way I played the last couple years I was really happy. My game turned around. My nerves were still a little fragile because my confidence was probably at its lowest point.
The bottom fell out of my game sort of the end of '05. You know, basically, I was playing courses that were way too big for me on the regular tour. The game had passed me by, I think. In order to try and compete I started trying to hit the ball too hard and basically lost my golf swing.
When that happens, you may lose a little bit of interest. I still thought I was trying. But this year, toward the end of last year and the beginning of this year I started playing really well again and started hitting a lot of quality shots.
I had four or five opportunities to win this year, and albeit for a couple of poor shots here and there I probably would've had two or three victories. But I kind of feel like I'm in the same situation I was in the late '80s before I broke through in the '90s and really played well. A lot of similar thoughts and feelings that I have in my game, and, you know, I just need to get over that hurdle that one time.
It's a lot of fun out there. I think Slu and I have spoken about it often. If the Champions Tour was anything else we probably wouldn't play nearly as much as we do. It's great fun, and I just think as soon as we feel -- certainly I feel -- that I can go out there and win, I'll keep playing.

Q. Would a win this week do something for your confidence?
NICK PRICE: Fred Funk Jay Haas and I won the Wendy's three weeks ago, which was a really good thing for us really obviously. But I played anchorman that day. The last couple holes I knew I had to put the foot down, and I did. So that sort of gave me a lot more confidence than I've had recently.
The great thing about playing team events is that you kid of feed of each other. If one guy gets a little jittery out there you have a chat to the guy.
Hopefully this will be good for us.
JEFF SLUMAN: If I can comment on Nick's play, I was in a little bit of a similar form coming out on the Champions Tour. Felt my game was at a low point and confidence level and all that. Nick's been a great help, and I was fortunate enough to win a couple this year.
But there's nobody on TOUR that everybody else wants to see win more than this guy. We're dying to see him win. He played so well at so many events. The one we all especially remember was Austin. Some little stinking wind caught him, and that's really the only reason. He hit a quality shot, and I know he was heartbroken about that, and there was about 76 other guys -- except for the guy that won -- that was as heartbroken as Nick that he didn't win.
So we'd love seeing Nick out there. Wouldn't surprise me to see him win, four, five, six events next year.
JOHN BUSH: Okay, I think that's got it. That's for coming by.

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