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April 25, 2010
DAVE SENKO: Well, Mark and Nick, congratulations. I know, Mark, it's probably special because it's your first win. I know you've been close a few times, so maybe get us started, talk about your day and then we'll get some comments from Nick and go on from there.
MARK O'MEARA: Thanks, Dave. It's very special to finally get back in the winner's circle, but the opportunity to play alongside Nick Price when he asked me four years ago, I felt pretty lucky because I know Nick's game. You know, he's very consistent; he hits the ball in the fairway, a tremendous iron player.
You know, sometimes he might struggle on the greens. I think he talks about that more than he needs to because I think he's a hell of a putter my own self. I mean you don't win the tournaments that he's won around the world not being a good putter.
But we both played -- Nick played consistently well throughout the three rounds. I had some little flips and hiccups, but not too bad. I felt like there was times where I helped him, and today we just -- you know, the weather conditions were a little more trying and especially towards the end. The wind came up and the golf course played pretty demanding, and certainly we're fortunate because John had a great opportunity in the first go-around on the last hole. And John and I are obviously very close friends, too. We go back way from junior golf, and I expected him to make it because I just figured he would, and unfortunately it didn't go in.
But I was making some nice putts, so I figured maybe this is going to be the time it's going to come through. So I just love playing with Nick and look forward to coming back and defending next year.
NICK PRICE: You know, the last couple years I felt like we weren't firing on all cylinders when we were out here. Every now and then we'd catch and we'd make a good run and we'd make a make a few birdies. And then last week we played together in the Outback on Friday and Saturday, and he played beautifully the Back 9 both days and was making birdies all over the place. And I was trying to get sucked in along with him, and I made some birdies on Friday to finish.
But I felt like the timing was right because we were both playing pretty well, and coming into this week, you know, you gotta make putts. That's the big thing in this format, and it's a team thing. You can't have one guy doing all the work, and it just seems this week that when I played well -- when Mark made a few errors, I played well and then when I made a few errors, he was there. And yesterday's finish, I struggled a little bit coming in yesterday, and Mark just, you know, that chip-in on 15 and then the putt on 16 and 18, they were beautiful.
So yeah, I'm just really happy for Mark and I'm happy because it's been over a year since I've won, and I felt like I've played really well a few times last year and again this year.
MARK O'MEARA: Well, I think the credit -- like Nick said, the guys out here on the Champions Tour, and this is into my fourth year, they play so well. I've had nine seconds. I've come close. I played well last year, but we have the utmost respect for the way the guys can play out here, and it was evident today. Still difficult conditions, John and Joey shooting 11-under, Nick and I shooting 10-under. You still gotta hit the shots and still gotta make the putts. These guys can still execute.
And you know, you got good brand recognition out here on the Champions Tour, which I think is great. We've got great sponsors and great fans, and we're lucky at this stage of our life to still be very competitive and still playing a game that we dearly love.
NICK PRICE: And having fun.
MARK O'MEARA: And having fun. It's even better when we win.
DAVE SENKO: The win, obviously Nick, you've played at Hualalai, but it gets you an extra two years at Hualalai, and Mark, you're exempt through 2011, 2012.
MARK O'MEARA: Great.
DAVE SENKO: The Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. Questions?
Q. Just talk about how tough that 18th played as the playoff hole?
NICK PRICE: It was tough.
MARK O'MEARA: For a final hole it was tough.
NICK PRICE: It was probably playing 500 yards today. It was 460 I think it measured. Well, the pin was backed up today, so it was at least 20 yards of wind with each shot, and it was two clubs. And you know, that green it's just so hard to keep the ball on that green.
Plus, the other thing is, you know, it's very difficult to read that green, as John Cook and I did the first time around in the playoff. You know, I under-read my putt and John hit his thinking it was going to break and that wind on the top edge, but that was a brutal playoff hole. It really was.
Q. And one birdie today?
NICK PRICE: One birdie.
MARK O'MEARA: I was surprised.
Q. Who made that?
MARK O'MEARA: Hale Irwin.
MARK O'MEARA: He was right in front of us.
Q. Mark, after last week, coming so close, I believe you actually tied -- did you tie Bernhard for the lead on Sunday?
MARK O'MEARA: I chipped in right on the first hole.
Q. To have so close disappointment, did you have a sense the next week you would come right back?
MARK O'MEARA: No. I really felt my game was starting to come around, and I'd been practicing so hard, and I hit the ball well on the range. And certainly golf is a lot about confidence and believing as well.
But having Nick alongside today, and even though I'm trying to play well for Mark and win, you know, I don't want to let my partner down. And that adds that extra pressure, but on the other hand, having a player like Nick's caliber, who I know if I do mess up a little bit, more than likely he's going to be there for me. And fortunately for me today, when he didn't do as well as he normally does, I was able to come through for him, so I felt very positive about that.
To be honest I was nervous, but I was pretty relaxed out there. It's a nice win. You know, I know it's a team event, which isn't an official one, but yet it's time for me to step up and win one individually, too. So this will just be a stepping stone hopefully in the right direction.
Q. I know there's no such thing as a gimme. But what was going through your mind when you thought you got another lease on life when John Cook missed that one there on 18 on that first playoff hole?
NICK PRICE: We dodged a bullet, because he played probably the best out of all four of us today. He really hit a lot of beautiful iron shots and was in the fairway most of the time, and his putting was rock solid, and I don't think either one of us expected him to miss that. But --
MARK O'MEARA: These things happen.
NICK PRICE: They do.
MARK O'MEARA: We've been on the other side of that, too, so we understand. We can relate.
NICK PRICE: We just -- as soon as he missed the putt, you know, we felt let's go back and focus on the next hole, you know. It was a hard hole today.
MARK O'MEARA: Yeah. Very hard.
Q. Silver Seniors we can identify a bit with you, what do you think of Savannah as a city of hospitality everybody seems to rave about?
MARK O'MEARA: Fantastic. It's a perfect venue for this event. We have so many Hall-of-Famers playing here this week, and Savannah, having the history that it has, and certainly a lot of tourism. And the golf course is a good test out there, plus having the hotel right here and the river right -- it's just a win-win situation for all of us, very much so.
NICK PRICE: It's a very -- you know, it's just catered for the tournament. It's such a great -- wonderful restaurants over there, and the hotel is very, very nice and everything is close by, and I think everyone enjoys that. So you get to see a lot of Liberty Mutual, all the clients in the hotel and guys you play with in the Pro Am and the functions that they have. So I hope it never moves from here, not in my time.
Q. I don't know if we need to do hole by hole, but did you guys have an eagle out there today?
MARK O'MEARA: Yes. Nick made eagle on No. 7.
Q. Take us through that one again, please.
NICK PRICE: Mark hit a beautiful drive off the tee, and I knew he was close to being able to get to the green. And I said to my caddie when I got up there, I said, do you think I should give a little bit extra to this one? And I just hit probably one of the best tee shots I hit today.
And Mark hit a good 3-wood just short of the green, maybe five, six yards, and I had -- I can't remember the exact yardage, about 222 to the front or 223 to the front, and I hit with my utility club, it's actually a 2-iron and ran it up there about maybe 35, 40 feet short of the hole.
MARK O'MEARA: We seemed to make a lot of those putts this week. We made a lot of nice longer putts, not early in the first round, but certainly the last two rounds.
NICK PRICE: And we had to. I think we probably made three a day from over 20 feet, which is -- that's what it takes to win out here, unless you're hitting the ball extremely well.
Q. Nick, on the first playoff hole, you played before John. And about how long was your putt?
NICK PRICE: Probably about 10 feet, 10 or 11 feet, and I hit it left edge. And what was hard there was the wind was gusting. And it's one thing hitting the ball into the wind, but when you're on the green and you're getting gusts of it, I felt like the wind was going to hold the ball up a little bit and I may have sort of pushed it off my line, but it did break more than I thought. It was probably a ball outside the hole and I was playing it left edge.
And when I saw John hit his putt, I thought he made it. Even though we were standing on the angle, it looked like he had started on line, which I would have probably hit that putt left edge as well, but didn't even budge. He may have got a gust of wind that kept the ball out of the hole. His putt was probably, what, six feet?
MARK O'MEARA: Yeah, five, six feet.
Q. I was going to ask Dave if you're going to do the hole-by-hole in a second here.
DAVE SENKO: Yeah, can we get your birdies?
NICK PRICE: 11, I had a drive and a 3-iron to about 40 feet.
DAVE SENKO: And then putted?
MARK O'MEARA: 12, we both hit the green and must have been about 60 feet, 55, 60 feet and I made it. Nick two-putted and I made mine.
DAVE SENKO: How far was yours, Mark?
MARK O'MEARA: 60.
DAVE SENKO: And then 14.
MARK O'MEARA: 14 I made it from about 12 feet. 16, I made it from about 22 feet.
DAVE SENKO: And the eagle we got, No. 6.
NICK PRICE: I made probably about a 25-footer.
DAVE SENKO: Okay. And 1 and 10.
MARK O'MEARA: 1, I made about a 16-footer.
NICK PRICE: Mine was about 35 feet on the next hole.
MARK O'MEARA: And then I two-putted the par-5 for birdie. Front edge, tap-in from a foot.
DAVE SENKO: And the putt on the second playoff hole for par.
NICK PRICE: Seven, eight feet.
MARK O'MEARA: Maybe a little more. That was pretty nice. I probably had about 11. You were about 3 feet further, about eight feet.
Q. Thank you for getting us out of the rain.
MARK O'MEARA: Well, you know, the first go-around I hit a poor drive, but I mean in regulation I hit a good drive and a rescue club and just nuked a low one on the green. And then I know Nick hit a rescue club the first time around.
NICK PRICE: 2-iron.
MARK O'MEARA: Beautiful shot, but it went over. And the second time around I hit a rescue and I think you hit 3-iron.
NICK PRICE: I hit 3-iron, yeah. I was a bit gun shy hitting it over that green because that green's not good.
MARK O'MEARA: The 190 on the front was playing minimum of 20 yards of wind.
NICK PRICE: I had 209. It was 20 yards of wind, for some reason that thing went over the green twice.
MARK O'MEARA: Why did you do that?
DAVE SENKO: Thanks, guys.
End of FastScripts