Price leads the way for Welshman at the Celtic Manor
9:01am Friday 30th August 2013 in Sport
NEWPORT’S Phillip Price was a satisfied man despite another over par round at the start of yesterday’s ISPS Handa Wales Open, writes Michael Pearlman.
The former Ryder Cup star is in grave danger of losing his European Tour card this term after a disastrous run that has seen him miss eight successive cuts.
However, Price’s 72 yesterday, just one over par, gives him more than a chance of arresting that slump and remaining around for the weekend.
Price’s round in fact, was the best by a Welshman on a day where the golfing slump in the Principality was underlined.
Price is the only full member of the European Tour from this side of the Severn Bridge to compete this week and he was happy enough with his 72 that began with an eagle on 11 but was undermined by a triple bogey on the brutal 14th.
“I started with an eagle which was lovely and then had a very difficult time on 14,” he told the Argus.
“I could have lost the plot after that so I was happy with one over in the end. The 14th is brutal, trouble everywhere and it’s one of the hardest holes in the world now I think.
“The course is comfortably the best it’s ever been, it’s a really good test of golf and it could be a really exciting weekend.”
Price has been tinkering with his swing and is content with the outcome.
“I’ve been happier with the swing, I’ve become a bit quick and handsy and hopefully it pays off in a time of the year I usually do well in.
“I’m up for it and I’m on it, I’m really up against it to keep my card. But I’m really fired up; I just need to play a little better.
“But probably from where I am the cut is not a bad option, if I play a little better hopefully I’ll be ok. There are birdies here, and eagles, but there is carnage in between!”
Gwent duo Richard Dinsdale and Liam Bond also enjoyed decent starts. Parc pro Dinsdale shot a not catastrophic 75 and Bond, in the last group out on the day, was only one over at the turn, a superb effort with the afternoon conditions far tougher.
Rhys Enoch shot 73, Gareth Wright and Stephen Dodd had 74s, with all three Welsh amateurs, Matthew Moseley, David Boote and Richard James were at six over followings 77s.
Rhys Davies was another victim of the 14th where he endured an eight and he’ll be despondent with a round of 78. It was even worse for Sion Bebb after a horrific 13-over 84.
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