by Jeff Skinner
One of the nicest guys in golf finally got what he deserved. Nick Price had an up and down final round on the TPC Tampa course, but he rallied to win his first Champions Tour title. His Outback Pro-Am final round of 71 included three double bogeys, one bogey and seven birdies. Price had gone thirty-eight Champion Tour starts without a win. It certainly was too long a streak for a player of Price’s ability. The fact that it took Price this long to win proves that the Champions tour is no walk in the park and shows that this game can be quite fickle. Price definitely has the talent to be a multiple winner but sometimes the breaks don’t fall your way.
Nick Price is one of the good guys on tour. He is one of the really good guys. Price is a three time major winner. He won the 1992 PGA Championship and in 1994 won consecutive majors, the Open Championship and then the PGA. Price worked his way up to the number one player in the word in 1994 and had that ranking for 44 weeks. Price was voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003 and has received many prestigious awards.
Price’s skill on the course is well recognized, but it is his demeanor off the course that sets him apart from most golfers. His contemporaries acknowledge that Price is one of the most likable and respected players in the game. He was voted inaugural ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award, given to the player that cooperates and accommodates the media the most. Once a reporter that Price did not know too well asked him if he had time for a short interview. Priced asked him what he was doing for dinner and gave him the interview during the meal. He received the Payne Stewart Award that honors the player that displays respect for the traditions of the game and he is one of the most liked players on any tour.
Price attributes his accommodating nature to his family. “More of it comes from your family and your parents. That’s probably the biggest thing. My mom used to always say to me ‘Treat other people the way you want to be treated.’ It’s not that easy to do, but if you can adopt that attitude it certainly makes life a lot more pleasant.”
When Price was elected into the Hall of Fame, Davis Love III said,” I think players recognize what a great guy he is. People always ask who the nicest guy in golf is and Nick’s name always comes up in the top two or three.” He goes on to say,” Nick Price is the same every day. He says hello to everyone, he speaks to the locker room attendant, and he speaks to every marshal on every tee. He’s just a genuinely nice friendly guy who goes out of his way. It’s natural for him to be nice to them.”
Now that Nick has broken through for his first Champions win, let’s hope that more will follow. He’s too good a golfer for him not to win again, and it’s always good to see a nice guy finish first.