March 3 2011
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Even with a bogey at the par-3 17 th hole and a lipped-out birdie try at No. 18, Nick Price finished tied for ninth after an even-par 70 Thursday.
Not bad for a 54-year-old playing in his first PGA TOUR event in three years.
“I am really happy,” Price said. “I would have liked to have finished under par, but it was a lot of fun. I had no expectations at all.”
Price, who won the Honda Classic in 1994, got into the field by taking his one-time exemption for being in the top-50 on the all-time money list. The long Champion Course doesn’t fit his game, but the Hall-of-Famer wanted to play because it’s just 20 minutes from his Jupiter Island home.
“I probably wore out the grooves on my long irons,” Price said. “I haven’t hit that many 3-irons or 4-irons the last year on the Champions Tour. But I’ve always fancied myself as a good wind player. It was all about being patient today.”
Price said his expectations haven’t changed much after the solid start. He will be among the first players off the tee for the second round, when the winds are supposed to continue to blow in the 20-mph range.
“I really want to make the cut, because I think that would be an achievement,” Price said. “It’s hard playing against these young guys. But I want to have the same approach as today. Just keep my head down and make pars.” -- Craig Dolch