May 25, 2006

Battling Price finds form at Southwind

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - After a torrid start to the 2006
PGA Tour, twice champion Nick Price was delighted to move into
early contention at the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tennessee
on Thursday.

The former world number one fired a two-under-par 68 at the
TPC at Southwind, ending a hot day four strokes behind the
pacesetting American Chris Smith.

Price, whose last PGA Tour victory came at the 2002
Colonial tournament, mixed three birdies with a solitary bogey
to post his lowest score of the season on his eighth start.

"It's been a change for the way I've been playing of late,"
the 49-year-old Zimbabwean told reporters. "I've been working
pretty hard on my game and actually surprised the last couple
of weeks.

"I had a bit of a back problem at (the) Wachovia
(Championship) and missed the cut there. The week after that,
at Byron Nelson, I actually started the week playing really
well and ended up missing the cut there."

An 18-times winner on the PGA Tour, Price has missed five
out of seven cuts this season. His best finish was joint 27th,
achieved at the Players Championship and also at the Heritage

"I've kind of hung in there and the last couple of weeks I
started to putt a lot better," he added.


"That's made a big difference. I've been putting pretty
poorly and put a lot of pressure my long game."

Price relishes being back at the TPC at Southwind, where he
won the St. Jude Classic in 1993 and 1998.

"This is the kind of course I really enjoy, although it's
totally different to the course I won on," the three-times
major champion said.

"It's got a little bit of extra length but the fairways are
groomed, the ball is rolling and these greens are just really,
really good. I'm amazed."

Price has set his sights on three productive weeks on the
PGA Tour before taking his annual summer break with his family.

"I'm doing well and the workout program has been helping,"
he said. "It hasn't helped my golf a whole lot until today but
I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks.

"After this week, I've got the Memorial and the U.S. Open
and then a break for the summer with the kids.

"I'd like to put three good tournaments under my belt
before I have to break."

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles)