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The Price Wasn't Right

Nick Price came out Sunday and played like the guy who won two PGA Championships this decade. He had five birdies over the first 11 holes and moved to 11 under and within four strokes of leader Tiger Woods. Then he faded.

Price had two straight bogeys and then a double bogey on No. 16 to finish four shots back, in a tie for fifth.

"Sixteen was just a bad tee shot and I tried to force something out of a bad tee shot," Price said.

Price admitted he was watching the leaderboard to see if he could catch up.

"I figured 13 under was going to win. When I got 11 under, I wasn't trying to stay back, I was trying to play more aggressively," he said.

Price, 42, said veteran golfers often have as many problems mentally as they do physically.

"The biggest thing for the older guys is the question of whether you have the desire to do it," he said.

"Most guys have been out playing 25-plus years and it's hard to look at the suitcase every week. That's the tough thing."

NOT THIS TIME: Winners of the other three majors this year didn't fare well in the PGA Championship. Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal missed the cut. British Open winner Paul Lawrie was 3 over and finished 14 shots behind winner Tiger Woods. And U.S. Open champion Payne Stewart had a 7-over 295, 18 shots back.

NOTHING TO SING ABOUT: Vijay Singh shot a final-round 72 at the PGA Championship to finish at 5-over 293, a disappointing showing for the defending champion.

Was he worn out from all the hoopla that surrounds a returning champion? Nope.

"I was very comfortable with all that," Singh said. "I have no complaints. I have no excuses. I just played badly. I took two weeks off before the tournament, and I didn't feel tired. Bad golf makes you look tired."

OH, BABY: Andrew Coltart has something more important on his mind than the Ryder Cup. Coltart's wife, Emma, is expecting their first child on Sept. 13.

"I'm thinking about my wife and how she's doing," he said Sunday. "I'm much more worried about that than the Ryder Cup."

So far, his wife is feeling fine, Coltart said. The couple doesn't know if it is having a boy or a girl.

"We're looking forward to it," he said.

Coltart was in 10th place in the European Ryder Cup standings, but teen-age phenom Sergio Garcia, who was 12th, moved past him this week with the runner-up finish at the PGA Championship. Coltart hopes to pick up points in next weekend's BMW International Open, the last tournament before the European team is announced.

Coltart shot a 71 Sunday his best round of the week to finish at 9-over 297.

CUBS FAN: Titleist. Callaway. Nike. Dunlop. The Chicago Cubs.

The Chicago Cubs? Yep, while most golfers wear caps or visors with their sponsors' names, Rich Beem and his caddie were sporting Cubs' hats this week at the PGA Championship.

"Last year, when I started playing really well on Sunday, I started wearing the Cubbies' caps," he said. "It's lucky for me."

Beem has worn Titleist caps most of the season, but the equipment maker let him out their deal after he won the Kemper Open. He's got a new deal with Callaway, but it hasn't started yet.

"I didn't have anybody this week," he said. "I suppose I could have worn Callaway, but I thought the Cubs. I'm in Chicago and I love this town."

Though Beem was born in Phoenix, went to New Mexico State and plays out of El Paso, Texas, he has a thing for Chicago. When he was here for the Western Open last month, he met a local resident, Jack Salerno, who showed him all around the city. Salerno's been acting as tour guide again this week, taking him to the John Hancock Building and other sites downtown.

Beem and his caddie, Steve Duplantis, also took in the Cubs game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.

"It's a nice place, a neat city," Beem said. "I can't wait to come back again."

OTHER PRIORITIES: Club pro Bruce Zabriski hasn't been playing as much golf as he'd like this summer. The Donald's got him doing other things.

Zabriski, the lone club pro to make the cut at this year's PGA Championship, is helping build a $40 million golf course for Donald Trump in West Palm Beach, Fla. The course, Trump International Golf Course, opens Nov. 1.

"The worst thing is, I'm not in shape," he said. "That hurt me more than anything."

Zabriski made the cut with a 3-over 145, but he shot a 4-over 76 Sunday and finished at 298.

"There are so many good playing club pros.

  • But our jobs have become more time-consuming,"
  • Zabriski said. "So our time is short to play and compete."

    RAIN CHECKS: The rain left Medinah after the first two rounds of the PGA Championship. Maybe those in the merchandising tent wish it had stayed around for a couple of days. Thursday's downpour during the first round sent fans looking for protection.

    "We sold 475 umbrellas in two hours and another 600 a few hours later," said Susan Brinkman who runs the merchandise tent at all Ryder Cup and PGA Championship events.

    The umbrellas, like most golf appael, weren't cheap, selling for between $29 and $36. Other items attracting interest Sunday were a small radio that broadcast the tournament for $12 and a periscope for seeing over the gallery that went with case for $58. The merchandise tent features 2,000 items and takes 14 moving vans to transport from event to event.

    DIVOTS: Joey Sindelar was unable to finish the final round Sunday. He withdrew after completing 11 holes on a rough day. Sindelar, playing in his 13th PGA, was 9 over for the round and pulled out because of a sore back.

  • Hale Irwin, who stayed among the leaders after the first two days with rounds of 70 and 69, shot a 75 Sunday to finish at 4-over 292. Irwin, the oldest player in the tournament at age 54, faltered Saturday with a 78.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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