Nick Price to make Senior Open debut

7/19/2011 2:34:10 PM
Nick Price (photo by Phil Inglis)  (Getty Images)
Nick Price (photo by Phil Inglis) (Getty Images)

Former World Number One Nick Price will attempt to join an elite group of players who have won both The Open Championship and Senior Open Championship when he makes his debut in the latter at Walton Heath Golf Club this week.

The Zimbabwean won the Claret Jug at Turnberry in 1994, underlining his status as the best player on the planet when he won back-to-back Majors at the US PGA Championship later that year.

Now the 54 year old, who also won the US PGA Championship in 1992, is hoping to add to his collection of Major victories when he plays in his first Senior Open Championship.

Price is a regularly on the senior circuit but family commitments have prevented him from making his debut in the flagship event to date. Having played in several European Opens at Walton Heath, in Surrey, England, Price is looking forward to returning to the course and attempting to join Gary Player, Bob Charles and Tom Watson as the only players to win both The Open and Senior Open Championships.

“Walton Heath is truly one of the most beautiful heathland courses in England,” he said. “I really enjoy playing it and it is a course that you really have to drive the ball straight on.  I feel bad that I’ve not had the chance to play the Senior Open so far as it is the one Senior Major that you really want to win. It’s not The Open Championship but it is the next best thing for us guys.

“We usually take the kids on holiday during the summer but they are getting older now and my mother lives in England so we thought we’d visit her first then I can play at Walton Heath. I will be great having the kids there to support me too. As they’ve got older they have got to appreciate what I did in my career.”

Price has already won once this year on the US Champions Tour and although he believes the competition will be tough on his Senior Open debut, he feels he has a chance of succeeding his friend Bernhard Langer as champion.

“I spoke to Bernhard after he won at Carnoustie last year and he was thrilled to win a Senior Open Championship. I’m not sure how well he is over his recent thumb injury but he is always a threat. Tom Lehman is in good form and the guys like him and Tom Watson who played in The Open Championship last week might have an edge. Although sometimes if you play in adverse conditions it can also affect your game.

“It should be a really exciting championship though and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve only won once this year but I should have won more really. I’ve had a couple of seconds and thirds so I’m very happy with my form.”