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May 18 2012

8:54 PM

Pride puts himself in contention

Watch: Pride discusses second round

Dicky Pride talks with SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio after his second-round 67 on Friday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

IRVING, Texas -- It's only been five years since Dicky Pride last played the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

It seems longer to him.

"The last time I played here, it might've been with balata balls," he joked.

But Pride hasn't forgotten the last -- and only time -- he's won on the PGA TOUR. It came in 1994 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic when he rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to make a playoff, then beat Hal Sutton and Gene Sauers on the first extra hole with a 25-footer.

"You don't forget those," Pride said.

Eighteen years later, he'll enter the weekend at the HP Byron Nelson Championship with an opportunity to end that drought, thanks to a pair of 3-under 67s that leaves him at 6 under through the first two rounds. When he walked off the course Friday, he had a share of the clubhouse lead.

It's not a position he's been familiar with lately. The last time he held the share of a second-round lead at a PGA TOUR event came at the 2001 Bell Canadian Open. That was a year before he suffered an attack of gallstones and pancreatitis that sidelined him for four months. Not only did he have his gallbladder removed, but he was fed through a tube for 2-1/2 months.

But at age 42, the former University of Alabama star seems to have found his game this year. He tied for fifth at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, his first top-5 finish in three years. Then he followed with a tie for seventh at The Honda Classic -- the first time in his career with successive top-10 finishes.

And now he's in contention heading into the weekend.

"I'm playing solid," Pride said. "I can't get caught up with what's going on with the leaderboard ... Just put yourself in position and see what you can do."


HOW DID PRIDE GET IN THE FIELD?

Dicky Pride is in this week’s HP Byron Nelson Championship field thanks to his spot in the 31st category on the PGA TOUR’s All-Exempt Priority Rankings list. Click here for the complete list.

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