June 15, 2003
OLYMPIA FIELDS, ILLINOIS
NICK PRICE: I got behind the 8-ball early, being three over for four holes, then I brought it back a little bit, but every time I made a little bit of headway I got kicked back down again. I made a couple of birdies on 13 and 15 and I really felt good because I had come back from what was potentially a really disastrous day, and to finish bogey-bogey that's kind of what I've been doing this year. I'm happy with the way I played. I would have obviously liked to have played a little more consistently, the back nine yesterday and the front nine today, but other than that I played a really good championship.
Q. The course played today like the USGA wants it to play?
NICK PRICE: This is what we've seen in Chicago over a year. This is a Western Open day, probably not quite as hot, but this breeze and the blue skies and the golf course is dried out, and the greens are very tricky. If we had had this kind of weather early on in the week, it would have been very difficult, this golf course, as we've seen today.
Q. Can you comment on Jim Furyk breaking through to win a major championship?
NICK PRICE: I said to Jimmy Roberts, it's his time. He's 33, they're expecting their second child, he's got one child. It seems like all of those things seem to contribute, and he's won seven, eight times on the Tour. He's paid his dues and he's won on some tough golf courses. I'm just really happy for him because this is a great golf course to when a championship on.
Q. The first six holes have typically been the scoring holes. Did you feel any pressure to jump and get a few birdies in there?
NICK PRICE: Yeah. I came out of the box and bogeyed the first hole, so I'm going for damage control now and trying to get -- play smart and not play too aggressively. Even if you're not playing that great, you should be even par coming through 6, and I was two over after 6. You still have a chance to throw three birdies, maybe four birdies up there, and I came become and bogeyed 7. That's the story of my day. If you had said to me would I take fifth at the start of the week I would have said yes, but right now my backside is burning a little bit.
Q. Seems like you and Vijay shared a little humor after 15?
NICK PRICE: We both had to start laughing. I've never seen him play that bad. It was like -- we just couldn't do anything right out there. He kept hitting good putts and misreading them and slipping them by the hole. It was a weird day for us. It was probably one of the hardest days I've ever had at a major championship.
Q. Overall was it an encouraging week for you or discouraging?
NICK PRICE: A bit of both. To be honest I don't know how many opportunities I'm going to have after -- what was it, after 63 holes yesterday I'm in the lead of the U.S. Open with 27 holes to go. What was it, 54 -- 45 holes, I beg your pardon, I'm blown, but after 45 holes of the U.S. Open I'm in the lead. You know, my entire career when I poked my nose in front, I always had a really good chance to win, so it's disappointing, but like I said, my nerves at 46 aren't what they used to be, and these greens kind of accentuate a little bit of twitchiness that you have with your short game. I'll live to fight another day.
Q. How do you like this course compared to last year?
NICK PRICE: I loved Bethpage, I just didn't think they set it up as well. If they had done this to Bethpage we would have had the best U.S. Open ever. This one and Baltusrol have been my two favorite U.S. Opens ever.
Q. Do you think Jim Furyk has a chance to win future majors after today?
NICK PRICE: Sure. Augusta is a question because he doesn't hit it 300 yards. Mike Weir won, he's not exactly a short hitter, but Jim Furyk is a great player. He's going to win multiple majors, there's no doubt. He's 33 so he's got another at least eight years of playing great golf left in him. It's nice to see a player like Jim Furyk, who is an absolute artist. He's a wonderful strategist. He's a complete golfer as far as I'm concerned. He's very smart, very diligent, he works hard, and I don't think he would have had a chance to win last year and he'll be the first one to tell you that. It's great to see a player of his caliber and his type of player win here.
Q. You're not scared that they may set up more courses like Bethpage in the future?
NICK PRICE: They can. I'll be on the Champions Tour. I don't care.
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