Nick Price | Player Profiles | Nedbank Senior Challengeon October 6, 2011
Nick Price has 50 professional wins to his name, and will go down in history as one of golf’s greatest champions. That Price was inducted into golf’s Hall of Fame was no surprise, and on his current Champions Tour form, he will be fancied to add to his impressive list of accomplishments at Sun City on a golf course that he loves.
Still relatively unknown on the international stage, Price finished second to Tom Watson in the 1982 Open Championship – when Watson graciously said after the prize-giving ceremony that he had been “given” the claret jug by Price rather that winning the championship. The popular Zimbabwean had indeed held a two-stroke advantage with six holes to go, but despite this minor meltdown, the following year he led from start to finish in the World Series of Golf, beating none other than Jack Nicklaus. It seemed that the floodgates may open and that Price would win regularly, but it would be almost another eight years before price would win on the PGA Tour.
Price’s career peaked in early to mid-nineties, and in 1994 he won consecutive majors, the Open and the PGA Championship, and occupied the top spot on the Official World Rankings for 43 weeks. Of course Price’s record in the Nedbank Golf Challenge is quite astounding, as was his record-breaking performance in 1993, when he fired rounds of 67, 66, 66 and 65 to win by a dozen shots. His hat-trick of victories in the Nedbank Golf Challenge included a thrilling victory in a playoff against Tiger Woods in 1998.
The man who was awarded the Freedom of Sun City for his loyalty and contribution to the Nedbank Golf Challenge scaled down his schedule on the PGA Tour in the early 2000s, and for a time a time it seemed that he might choose to retire be lost to game. He might well have focused on his other passions – fishing and flying, but he entered a few Champions Tour events declaring that he was there to have some fun. His start among the over-50s began in 2007, and in 15 starts the best he could manage was a third place. The following year his competitive juices began flowing, and although winless, he recorded two second and third places, and earned more than a million Dollars. It was only a matter of time before Price, always a streaky putter, would collect another trophy to add to those from his 18 PGA Tour victories, and in 2009 he won the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, and since then he has won three more times bringing his career total of professional victories to a half-century.
In March this year Price posted a 17-under par to win the Toshiba Classic and besides leading from start to finish, his opening round of 60 was the lowest round in Champions Tour history. He finished as runner-up in the Legends of Golf a month later, and his season to date has yielded 9 top-10 finishes out of 15 events and more than $1 million in earnings. It is no secret that Price has played an important role in promoting the Nedbank Senior Challenge, and while he ensured that the event will feature world-class names, he will like nothing better than to beat these players on what he considers to be “his” course.
Earlier this month at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Price was awarded the Ambassador of Golf Award.