What they said: Nick PriceMarch 11, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Toshiba Classic transcript archive
DAVE SENKO: Nick, congratulations. A couple of things. Your 11 under 60 matches the Champions Tour all-time scoring record which was set by Isao Aoki in '97 and 5 others including Tom Purtzer had a 60 here.
I know on the PGA TOUR I believe your low round was a 62. You have had some 63's on this Tour.
NICK PRICE: I shot a couple of 61s which were 11 under, which is basically the same what I shot today. 60 just sounds better to me. There was a flash through my mind when I eagled 15, I sort of thought to myself, if I birdie the last three holes I can break 60 which I've never done before.
I hit two really good shots on 15 and 16. Probably misread the speed of my putter a little bit.
And 17, I was in between clubs, and I went with an 8 iron which was the shorter one just to give myself an uphill putt, and I hit a pretty good putt, I just misread it.
And then 18, I miscued my second shot just a little bit and sort of got up in the wind and came up short. It was just one of those chips that I felt like I could make it. I couldn't get to it quick enough because the other guys were taking their time, they had tougher shots than I did. But when I hit it and pitched it on the green I knew it had a really good chance. I was very happy when it went in, trust me.
DAVE SENKO: How far was the chip in?
NICK PRICE: Probably about 35 feet. I think the pin was on 5, and I was about five yards short, maybe six yards short. Maybe six yards on and I was five yards short. 33, 35 feet.
Q. How about your other birdies??
NICK PRICE: I had a chance for birdie by on 1 from about 10 feet and missed it.
2, I hit a sand wedge in there about 8 feet behind the hole.
I hit a 2 iron on the green on 3. Pin high right probably 15, 16 feet and left it short in the mouth.
And then a 7 iron on No. 4 to about probably 20, 22 feet behind the hole. That was the best putt I made all day. It was downhill, left to right breaker.
And then three good saves on the next three holes. I missed the green on 5 to the right, chipped it about six feet by and holed it. I hit it just over the back of the green on 6. And putted it about five feet when I made that.
And then I hit in the bunker. I actually hit my 2 iron too far on No. 7 and it went under that tree and had to chip a little 9 iron from 110 yards, and I pulled it in the bunker and hit the bunker shot out to about a foot. Those were three really good pars that probably set up my round for me.
Then I hit a 5 iron on 8 to about four feet. That was my shot of the day. Well, maybe, one of them any way. I'm just trying to think. And then 10, I hit a pitching wedge to about probably 12, 15 feet behind the hole, made that.
Then the next one came on 12. I hit a pitching wedge again probably about 20 feet behind the hole.
The next hole, I hit a 7 iron to about 15 feet.
And then the shot of the day was at 15. I hit a 2 iron. I had 218 yards, I think it was, to the pin. The wind was right to left and I was in the middle of the fairway, left half of the fairway, and I turned this 2 iron and it pitched right in the face of the bank and the green, the tier of the green, popped up and ran down probably two feet, 18 inches, I don't know. And then I told you about the last three holes.
I made a few changes to my equipment. I switched irons at the beginning of the season, well, after Hawaii. And those have helped me an awful lot. They are pretty much the same as the other set but they are a little bit squarer which allow me to lineup a little bit a easier.
Probably the biggest difference is the putter. I went from using a mallet faced balanced putter with a big head to something that I've used back in the '98, '99, 2000, 2001 period, which is just sort of more like a blade, and I made a long shaft in there and put some lead tape on it to bring the weight up.
And since I put that in the bag two weeks ago. I practiced with it the week before Honda. Last week I putted very, very solid the whole week. And then today is one of the really true great putting rounds I've ever had. The putts that I did make just seemed to go in at dead pace and right in the middle. I putted so solid today. You have to, obviously, if you can shoot that number.
Q. Did I hear you put a new driver in the bag??
NICE PRICE: Yes, I've had is that for a month. I've had that for a month. It's been really solid as well. They are all sort of variations of a theme of what I've been using. You sort of tweak equipment. Eventually you get that you feel so comfortable with it, that you line up with it, and it feels like, even if you miscue a shot it's still going to end up in play, and I think that probably is a little bit, you know, the swing change.
I made a slight swing change after I came back from Hawaii because I didn't play well in the opener.
It's funny when you start playing well, it's not one particular thing. It's a combination of a lot of little things. The few times, three or four times that I've run into really good streaks in my career, that's what did it, is all of these little things. Your chipping just a little bit better. And your putting is just a little bit better and everything is just a little bit tighter.
I'm really excited about my golf. I said to someone last week at the Honda, I said, if anyone had asked me when I was 34 if I was going to be having this much fun playing golf at 54, I would have called him a liar. It's very special out here and it's great fun to compete with these guys
Q. Weeks like last week, and a round like this, do you think maybe I should play in a couple of more tournaments on the other TOUR??
NICK PRICE: I think last week was a different beast. Last week was, you know, tiptoeing through a mine field, because it was really, really hard for me anyway, and for a lot of the other guys.
A lot of long irons, a long golf course, very, very strong winds. Maybe that tightened my game up for me for this week.
But I think more than anything else, having played last week and played for four rounds and not having had two weeks off like most of the other guys have had, that's helped.
Certainly at the beginning of the year, one of reasons I took my Top 50 (exemption) was because I wanted to have a little more continuity in my schedule. And I think that certainly played dividends this week.
Q. Also the fact what you did last week, John Cook was there in Mexico, Fred (Couples) almost won in LA, how much does this Tour help you when you do play in tournaments like that? Do you think there is a carryover?
NICK PRICE: One of the things that happens when you get into your late 40's, well certainly it happened to me, I won't speak for everyone, is that I felt like when I was 48, 49, which was '05, '06, I felt like I was treading water, and I just trying to keep from drowning. It was very hard.
Suddenly when you get to 50, things change. Your hole mindset changes, and all of a sudden you feel like you can compete again because you're not playing on golf courses that are 7400 yards, and you are out here with the guys who you've basically started off on TOUR with, so there is that familiarity, that settles you a little bit.
But I played so poorly my first year out here in '07, then it started coming back. It's taken me a good three years to get to the state that I am now. But it is a different mindset.
It's sort of like I went in last week just hoping to make the cut and put in a good solid finish. And I ended up finishing 50th, which is not what John Cook did at Mayakoba, or what Fred did at LA, but I think the conditions for me were a lot harder than maybe what they had.
And it wasn't the optimum golf course for me to choose and go back and have my first tournament on the PGA TOUR for a while.
But the mindset is different. It really is. Everything I do out there, if I go back on that TOUR is going to be a bonus. It's not like I'm hanging on by the skin of my teeth to stay out there.
Q. Were the conditions such that playing in the pro ams you knew people could go low??
NICK PRICE: Here? I've never really putted poa annua greens very well, which gives me an awful lot of what's the word I'm looking for a lot of hope, I suppose. West coast, if you look at my career, I have had sporadic Top 3 finishes. I've had a couple of chances to win Pebble Beach, AT&T. Riviera I think I finished Top 4 twice all of the years I played.
So poa annua greens and I never really got on well. But I putted well here last year in the last round.
And I think if you hit a good putt, and you are putting well and you are stroking the ball well and you are hitting the ball solid, you can putt on anything.
Corey Pavin and all of the other great putters on our Tour have proven that. I just try and do all of the same things I did today, tomorrow. I'm not expecting to shoot 60. I would like to put in next 2 solid rounds the next two days and see how it goes.
Q. Is this a course on conditions like this, do you become a lot more aggressive than you otherwise would be if it's a little bit dryer out there??
NICK PRICE: The golf course is in perfect shape. The fairways have a little bit of roll on them. The greens are not as hard as I have seen them in the years gone by, which does allow you to be a little more aggressive.
But I drove the ball so well today, I had so many short irons in where I put a lot of spin on the ball, and I felt like I could be aggressive.
Maybe from last week, maybe being a bit frustrated where I was aiming away from a lot of the pins, and aiming away from the water trying not to make double bogey, it was a relief to come out here and actually take dead aim on a couple.
I just look at last week and this week almost opposites, you know.
Q. Getting back to the tour schedule, what are you looking to play on the regular TOUR??
NICK PRICE: My priority is to play this Tour. I probably won't skip any of our events to play the PGA TOUR. I will fill in the weeks that I'm not playing on this Tour where I think it's relevant.
But at this stage, there may be two or three more that I'll look at, and I really don't want to say anything about which ones I will play in, but there is two or three which I have an option to play in, which might make my schedule pretty busy.
If you are playing well, you got to keep going. That's one thing that I'm aware of. You can't back off and take two weeks off when you're playing well like next week. I got two weeks off coming up and I sort of feel like I'm peaking with my game. It's a bit frustrating. I think I will be too tired to play The Transitions next week because the Honda took a lot out of me.
DAVE SENKO: Thank you.