Terry valuing priceless second chance

4/8/2013 11:27:00 AM
Terry Price   (Getty Images)
Terry Price (Getty Images)

For many players the European Senior Tour offers another shot at success, but for Terry Price that second chance is proving more valuable than most.

The Australian enjoyed a fruitful first season on the Senior Tour in 2012, winning the Pon Senior Open with a masterful performance in Germany.

He is now hoping to build on that promising rookie campaign in 2013 and make up for lost time after his European Tour career was cruelly curtailed by injury.

Just two years after he had recorded his best finish of 53rd on the European Tour Order of Merit in 2004, finishing runner up to Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez in the Open de Portugal, Price broke his leg in a freak accident at home when he tripped over a clotheshorse.

As a consequence, he missed all but two events of the 2006 season and then lost his European Tour card the following year as he struggled upon his return to action.

Now the 52 year old is determined to make the most of being back in the cut and thrust of the competitive game on the Senior Tour, having underlined his capabilities with a stunning six-shot win over Marc Farry and Barry Lane at Winston Golf in September.

“I really enjoyed last year,” said Price. “I feel like I have some unfinished business. When I broke my leg while I was on the main tour in 2006 it meant I didn’t really fade away and ride off into the sunset like some players do - the rug was savagely pulled out from beneath my feet.

“To spend a couple of years on crutches and not play the game that you enjoy playing has really fuelled the fires again. So the Senior Tour is a bit like a second chance for me. It wasn’t like my game was in a state where I had lost my way and I felt like I couldn’t compete on tour anymore. It was just gone because of injury, so it was a complete different set of circumstances compared to a lot of guys.”

Price, who won eight times on the PGA Tour of Australasia, finished 18th on the 2012 Senior Tour Order of Merit, also recording a top ten finish in the Fubon Senior Open in Taiwan. But it was that scintillating display in Germany, when he carded rounds of 67, 66 and 67 to hold off a field including former World Number One Bernhard Langer, that has given him cause for optimism heading into the
new season. 

“Apart from that one week when I played well and putted very well, I didn’t play all that well last year,” he admitted. “It was a frustrating test of patience at times, but that’s golf. Hopefully the new season will be different for me.

“I play like I did in Germany most weeks, but I just don’t putt any good. We aren’t all given everything. Putting has always been a bit of a bugbear for me, but I work hard at it so it is nice when it pays fruit a little.

“I’ve won a lot of golf tournaments, so I wasn’t surprised by winning. I knew that if I could get myself together on the putting green I would have half a chance. And that is what happened.

“It was probably a surprise to everyone else, except the players, that I played as well as I did in Germany. I tend to waste a few chances out there but when I get it right I’m fairly handy. Getting it right is the hard bit though, and I need to do that more often.

“I’m not setting any targets for the new season. I just want to go out there and continue to travel the world and have fun.”

Despite being a relative newcomer to the Senior Tour, Price is already a devote convert to what it has to offer.

“The Senior Tour is fantastic and think sponsors and promoters should look at this tour for the genuine camaraderie and what they can get out of it,” he said.

“We really go the extra yard to help people with their game as we’ve got time to do it and I think it’s something we hold close to our hearts.

“It’s a modus operandi for this tour – to be passing on our years of knowledge and experience. The guys on the Senior Tour have won a lot of golf tournaments and it’s a great opportunity for corporate guests to learn from the best. The younger guys are still consumed with their careers, and rightly so, but our future is behind us. We’ve got the opportunity now to help people and it is a lot of fun to do it.”