Price Optimistic at Reno-Tahoe

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PGA Tour (75x100)RENO, Nev. -- Once arguably the best golfer in the world, Nick Price's priority these days is spending time with his family.
 
Nonetheless, the man with 18 victories and more than $20 million in career earnings on the PGA TOUR said he's optimistic his first trip to the Reno-Tahoe Open will bring out the best in his game as he readies to join the Champions Tour in January.
 
'The best way to describe it is I'm treading water, waiting for the Champions Tour, which is coming around in about four months time,' he said before Wednesday's pro-am. 'I really feel I can crank it up a notch or two and be competitive.'
 
Price, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003, turns 50 on Jan. 28.
 
Four past champions -- John Cook, Kirk Triplett, Chris Riley and Notah Begay III -- are among those playing this week at the 7,472-yard Montreux Golf and Country Club that winds through ponderosa pines and mountain streams on the edge of the Sierra Nevada.
 
Jesper Parnevik, Fredrik Jacobsen, Steve Elkington, Shigeki Maruyama, Alex Ceja, Graeme McDowell and Jason Day are among the other international players entered. Others in the field for Thursday's opening round include PGA Championship runner-up Shaun Micheel, Mark Brooks, Rich Beem, Woody Austin and Jonathan Kaye.
 
Kaye finished second at Reno in 2002 and 2005, most recently to two-time defending champ Vaughn Taylor, who is playing this week at the World Golf Championship along with the top 75 golfers in the world. David Duval planned to play in Reno but withdrew Wednesday without an explanation.
 
Price tied for 16th at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in May, but has missed seven of 11 cuts this year, including last week at the PGA, where he was 4 over par after two rounds. That was the first time he had played a competitive round after a six-week vacation in the Bahamas and Mexico with his wife, Sue, and three children.
 
'They are growing up so fast. My son is 15 so the way I figure it I've probably only got another two years with him coming on family vacations with us,' said Price, whose daughters are 13 and 10. 'I've had a great career and I'm not saying it's over, but my priorities have certainly shifted.
 
'Throughout my life I've dragged our kids to British Opens and U.S. Opens during their summer vacation. I just feel guilty playing golf when it is their summer vacation,' said Price, whose 2002 win at the MasterCard Colonial is his only tour victory in eight years.
 
It's a big change from when he led the tour in earnings from 1993-94 and won six tournaments in `94, including the British Open and the PGA Championship.
 
'I still love playing the game. I love being competitive. (But) when you are not competitive, you have to take a review of things and step back and look outside in,' Price said.
 
'You kind of have a little bit of a fatalistic, I suppose is the right word, approach to the game where you say, `Well, I'm going to go out there, I'm going to do my best and if I don't play well, I'm not going to get upset about and I'm not going to panic.''
 
Price said the game has changed the past eight to 10 years with the ball traveling farther and the courses stretched longer.
 
'On certain golf courses I feel I can still compete,' he said. 'But those are few and far between now. Unfortunately, I just haven't worked as hard as my contemporaries, like Jay Haas, Fred Funk. I'm at a part of my life where the more time I spend on the golf course, the more time I'm away from my kids.'
 
Related Links:
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