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April 18, 2009

Nick Price


PHIL STAMBAUGH: 66, 67. Birdied two of the last three holes, and you have a three-shot lead going into tomorrow's final round. First thing I noticed here on the sheet is the fact that you've only missed really three fairways in six holes. You're hitting it well and putting pretty good, so give us your thoughts on today.
NICK PRICE: You know, today I just basically, you know, when the wind is blowing the way it is and with the heat that we've got, I just knew the greens were going to get hot and fast. They firmed up and got a little quicker.
With some of the pin placements we had today you, had to be a little cautious as to which side you hit the ball on the green, because you could be faced with some really difficult putts.
You know, I hit a couple of loose shots. Second hole, my tee shot at one, the second shot on the second hole. You know, I kind of recovered nicely and just was patient. I wasn't trying to win the tournament today. I just tried to play a good, solid round.
If the best I could have done today was 1 or 2 under or par, I would have taken it. Basically, that's where I was all day.
A couple of loose shots when I made the turn. On 11 and then -- sorry, 10 and 12 I hit a couple loose shots, but got a little lucky on 12. Ball stayed up and I made birdie.
Then really coming, I only really hit one loose shot coming in back into the wind, which was on 14. I kind of shoved a 5-iron and chipped it up there about three, four feet and saved my par and then finished really strong.
So, you know, it was just one of those days where my patience was rewarded, I guess. Probably the best shot of the week so far on 17, I hit a 3-iron. I think I had 210 into the wind, and hit in there about eight feet behind the hole and made two. That was like a huge bonus.
I said to Vinny, you know, that our target, when we made the turn, we saw that McNulty and his partner were 21 under. I said, If we're gonna win this thing, we're going to have to get to about 18 or 19 coming in going into tomorrow.
So we set ourselves a target and finished 18. He's a lot of fun to play with. Very humble and very, very down-to-earth person. I just thoroughly enjoyed my two days with him. I really have. He's a quality, quality man.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Tell us about the birdies.
NICK PRICE: Sure, No. 8 I hit a really good driver, 8-iron to about probably 22 feet behind the hole, and I had a difficult downhill left to right. It was one of those holes you didn't want to get past the pin, and I did. I just hit a beautiful putt.
Then on 9, I holed about a 30-footer, maybe a little less than that, just short of the pin on the right. In fact, it was a perfect place to hit your second shot there. You had a little bit uphill right to left.
10, I hit a weak 3-wood off the tee and then pulled my 8-iron. The wind of blowing in left to right, and obviously the one thing I don't want to do there is go short right, and I kind of got over the top of an 8-iron and hit it left and chipped it on about 12 feet and missed it.
Then came right back and made birdie on 12 after pushing my second shot just right of the green and getting a good break by not going in the water. But I chipped up to about a foot and made that.
And then 16 and 17, you heard, so...
It was a good day. I'm very happy. Going to try and stay alive tomorrow.

Q. I overheard you make a comment coming in that this was fun. Going back to what you said yesterday, the fun part, it went like it was supposed to?
NICK PRICE: Yeah, as I said to you, you know, toward the middle of last year or roundabout maybe May last year, I felt my game starting to turn. I've been lucky, because I sort of -- I'm on that upward swing. Every now and then flatten off and maybe lose it a little bit, but it keeps getting better and better.
I honestly felt like down in down in Cap Canas two weeks ago I played really well. Ended up finishing 11 for some reason because I had a poor Saturday. But, you know, my game is coming. It's turning around.
I just got to go out and try and do the same thing tomorrow as I did the last two days. Hopefully I can do it and just play smart. The golf course is not yielding itself to low scores, so if you play conservatively and you play smart, you know, it's going to be hard for people to catch you. Someone is going to have to shoot a pretty low round. And I don't know if that's -- if the weather are the same.

Q. What was the most fun today?
NICK PRICE: You know, the ambience out there with those three guys I played with today was wonderful. Bernhard struggled a little bit. We just all enjoyed ourselves. We played at a nice pace.
To be honest, I wasn't really thinking too much about my game. I was just putting the ball on the fairway and trying to put it on the green. I didn't play as well today as I did yesterday. I think the conditions were a little harder today.
In the morning, there was still a little bit of moisture in the greens. Even though it was windy, you could stop the ball pretty quickly. In the afternoon now, it's very slippery out there. You know, the ball, with an 8-iron downwind, is releasing probably 10, 12 paces.
So that sort of shortens any of the areas that you're trying to hit into downwind. Realistically, the only way you can really get the ball close to the hole on some of the holes is when you're into the wind. The wind is going to soften the ball on the green.
So I think that's no surprise with the birdie I made on 16 and that 3-iron I hit on 17.
Sorry, I didn't really answer your question there. I think when you have fun in golf is when you don't have any surprise in your bag. You just play nicely and consistently.
Like I say, I don't feel like I'm playing great golf; I'm just playing smart golf. I've been hitting the ball generally where I'm aiming, which is a good thing (laughter.)

Q. Are you tired of people like us wondering why you haven't won out here?

Q. And how far will tomorrow go if you play well to get that off your back?
NICK PRICE: No, I'm not tired. I know why. You know, because my game hasn't been in good shape. But it's hard. You know, I mean, you want to win out here. Mark O'Meara and I came out the same time and neither of us -- we've both had a few close shaves, but we haven't won.
You know, if you look at us two, we're maybe a little different to some of other guys that have come out who are maybe more inspired, more driven to win.
We are, but maybe not the same as some of the other guys. You know, I still got a young family. I got to spend time with my kids. I feel guilty.
Even when you told them Wednesday when I was getting ready, You're not going away again, are you, Dad? I mean, that's not music to my ears.
It's hard telling them that I still got to pay for things. I don't think they believe me. (Laughter.)

Q. You mentioned that you didn't play to win the tournament today. Obviously you are tomorrow. How do you play tomorrow?
NICK PRICE: Same way as I played today, honestly. I'm going to try and go out there and not go at any of the pins unnecessarily. Someone starts playing well and I have to go at some pins, I will.
But, you know, I'm just going to try and play smart. Hopefully they'll put more water on the greens tomorrow and make them a little softer and get some scores going.

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