Price is right for home comforts in Wales

8/28/2013 4:26:44 PM
Phillip Price   (Getty Images)
Phillip Price (Getty Images)
Phillip Price will be hoping that home comforts can spur him on at The Celtic Manor Resort this week as he bids to become the first home winner of the ISPS Handa Wales Open.

The former Ryder Cup player arrives at his home course on the back of a poor run of form, having missed the cut in his last eight events.

However, the 46 year old believes he is close to turning things around and hopes that a return to his home town of Newport will give him just the boost he needs to return to the kind of form that has seen him triumph three times on The European Tour. 

“It’s lovely to be here,” said the Welshman. “I'm a member here so it’s really nice to be back for a tournament.

“I have never seen the course this good. We’ve had a few wet Wales Opens unfortunately, which sometimes stops the crowds coming out, but this year we’ve got good weather and the course is in superb condition.

“I've been struggling badly this year. I haven’t made a cut since May. I probably haven’t been playing terribly, but if you play average on this tour you just don’t make the cut.

“I was expecting to turn it around last week at Gleneagles, but missed the cut, so I've had a little chat with my coach and we’ve changed the game-plan a little. He came out with me last week which he hadn’t been doing. 

“It appears that when I get to tournaments my game changes a little and there were a few things we hadn’t spotted, so I think we’ve identified some problems now, and hopefully we can work things out this week.” 

Price was wholesome in his praise for the condition of the host venue this week and said he believes it is in the best shape he has ever seen it, but he does not think he is at much of an advantage over the other players despite his local knowledge of the course.

“The greens are really quick and the fairways are running nicely which I like personally,” explained Price. “I wouldn’t think I have much of an advantage here though, as I rarely play off the tees that we’re playing from this week and I don’t play here that often really.

“The whole week here is just really good. When I leave the complex and go home it’s just really nice. It’s quite busy up here because I have so many friends and acquaintances here, I don’t want to be rude but it’s still an important tournament and when I come up here I want to focus on my golf, so it’s tricky.”

Price is one of 11 Welshman looking to ride the wave of home support at Celtic Manor this week, with the likes of European Tour winners Rhys Davies and Stephen Dodd also looking to rediscover their best form. They will also be joined by three amateurs, David Boote, Richard James and Matthew Moseley.