|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
August 25, 1999
JAMES CRAMER: We have Nick Price with us this morning. Nick, who scored the winning
point in the 1998 International -- for the International Team in the Presidents Cup, which
earned him a place here in the field. Nick, this is the place, Firestone Country Club,
where it got started for you here in the States. Could you comment on that?
NICK PRICE: 16 years ago, totally different. When I think back now to what I achieved
that week, it was really a significant milestone in my career. You know, coming in here,
obviously, I hadn't played well the British Open the year before and getting in the hunt
here, it was really important for me to finish it off. When you had Jack Nicklaus, Hale
Irwin, Aoki, and the others breathing down your neck on the back nine; it wasn't the
easiest back nine I've ever played, but I proved to myself I had a lot of game in me. And
it was just a question of getting all my ducks in a row and continue and go on from there.
But wonderful memories, every time I play this golf course. Even though it's changed
slightly over the years, with some of the new tees and some of the greens they have made,
it's still the same Firestone for me. Lots of wonderful memories. Especially amongst
people in the clubhouse, the staff, there were so many of them that were here then and are
still here now. They have memories with me about all the things that went on. I think I
holed an 8-iron on the third day on the 9th hole. The guys in the locker room were
throwing towels around. It was a great week for me. I always hope I come back here. I just
hope I can make that Presidents Cup for a few more years so I can keep coming back here.
Q. Which begs the question: In 2001 as currently planned, the tournament won't be here.
NICK PRICE: I don't know the politics of that, but it's hard to believe when you look
at the way the event is set up this week that it would change venues. I just think that
the whole golf course with the area around with the corporate hospitality, and the amount
of space there is here, and the tradition that we've had here over the years that it would
be hard to change this venue.
Q. If you had your druthers, would you have the 2001 event here?
NICK PRICE: Absolutely. Without a doubt. I don't think that's a dispute for me.
Q. But it could go to Johannesburg?
NICK PRICE: I think we've got the other ones. Andersen Consulting and the American
Express championship. I think those are the one that is should move around a little bit
more, or maybe bring one of those here. But I certainly think that one of the World
Champion Events should be here every year. How they figure that out, I don't know. But I
felt they were going to move the match play around a little more than this event. But I
haven't really studied the final intricacies of how Mr. Finchem set everything up.
Q. If it's not here in 2001, does it hurt Firestone at all?
NICK PRICE: I haven't even thought about that, to be honest with you. I guess like most
other guys, we just felt it's going to be here, or there will be one event for the world
Q. What's your perspective on the Ryder Cup?
NICK PRICE: Nothing like putting me on the spot. I think if you compare the two teams,
the American team is very, very strong. Maybe a little fragmented now with what's been
going on the last couple of weeks. I think they are going to have to work hard on pulling
themselves together, and remembering that they have got to try and win back the Ryder Cup.
I think that's priority No. 1 for them. Looking at the European side, with them being
fairly inexperienced and not having the likes of Faldo and Langer, and Woosnam in there
and Ballesteros, guys who have really been a huge part in the Ryder Cup success for the
European TOUR over the past decade or so, that does leave a question mark. But I believe
with all the young guys, their intensity and their morale has got to be very high. And I
think those young guys might rise to the occasion. There's pluses, pros and cons for both
sides. But the American team is beatable, as we showed in the Presidents Cup last year.
Q. Just a bit.
NICK PRICE: And 18-hole match play is anybody's game. I don't care what anyone says.
You know, you go play No. 1 in the world versus the guy who is 100th in the world, and if
the guy who is 100th in the world plays well for 10 or 11 holes, it's over. That's how it
is these days, particularly with match play. I think momentum is a big thing with Ryder
Cup or Presidents Cup. I think the momentum you get from the first day, if you're on the
under -- if you're on the receiving end of that momentum, you've got to try to change it
and swing it around, and that's sometimes very hard to do. But it's going to be
interesting. I'll probably watch a little bit on Friday and Saturday, and then sit down
and watch the singles matches on Sunday, because I always like watching the nitty-gritty
match coming down, Jay Haas and Milton Wallace, where guys are struggling to make
double-bogeys. Just like you guys. (Laughing.)
Q. Like Carnoustie?
NICK PRICE: If you like root canals and hemorrhoids, you would have loved it there.
Q. At this moment, the most written about and talked about players in the game are 23
and 19 years old. You were once 23 years old and trying to make a career for yourself. Is
it harder now than it was for you guys, for like you and Greg at a comparable age?
NICK PRICE: I think if they were 35, it would still be harder for them now, because of
the quantity of the media that we have and the amount of attention that these guys are
getting. I mean, Tiger has put golf into places that it hasn't been for a long time:
People Magazine, entertainment networks, TV. He's making news all over the place. So, I
think golf has taken off on a different -- I don't know what's the right way of putting
it. But it's certainly taken on a different light to ten years ago, 18 years ago. It's
certainly in a -- it's got this momentum going right now going amongst fans. It's got a
great image. It's got exactly what we needed to come along: Two youngsters who could
capture all the attention of the young people out there. At the PGA you could see all the
youngsters flocking around these guys. We've tried for a long time now to encourage more
and more youngsters to play. I think when the youngsters, first of all, see these heros in
Tiger and Garcia and the amount of money they are making, which is always a big thing: I
can go out there and play golf and be like Sergio and Tiger and get well-paid for it, I
think that makes a huge impact on their lives. So golf, in general, is just going through
this boom phase right now. I just hope we can maintain it, because I think everything in
life as we know is cyclical, and we're certainly riding that huge wave. And the big thing
to do is, I guess, not get ahead of yourself and forecast too many bright things when
you're at the peak of it. Just try and ride it out, and make sure in a when it bottoms
out, you're still in a strong position. I think when I see the combined efforts of the
TOURs, South African, Australasian, European and the Japanese TOURs, I think golf is in
very good hands right now.
NICK PRICE: I think the thing that's difficult for me is trying to get my game on a
roll now. I've said this before, but it's like a juggling act. When you've got kids and
when you're traveling and you've got business interests, and you're trying to play golf as
well, you want to just stop for a while and play golf for six or seven weeks and see how
good I am, if I can beat these guys. I think Greg feels the same way. I think a lot of the
guys feel the same way. Just can we devote as much time to practice and playing as they
do. That's the tough thing. Because whatever you give you up, you take away; or whatever
you take, you give up to someone else. That's why I feel the more time I practice, the
less time I spend with my family; so I feel guilty there. So I'm trying to find the
balance at the moment, which is a little tough.
End of FastScripts...