57-year-old Zimbabwean Nick Price has added a touch of experience to the inaugural Fiji International.
The winner of 50 Professional tournaments worldwide including three Major championships, Price is the oldest player teeing it up this week however is sure to be one of the biggest drawcards behind Vijay Singh.
“I’m just happy to come along, support Vijay’s role a little bit and maybe get a little more global interest for the tournament,” said Price.
“Fiji is a place I’ve always wanted to come to and obviously being friends with Vijay as long as I have, we’ve often spoken about it.”
These days Price plays a limited schedule preferring to stay close to home rather than travel overseas.
However the beauty of Fiji and family encouragement had Price convinced this was one tournament he couldn’t miss.
“This is the first time I’ve played overseas since 2010, but when my family found out I’d been invited they put a lot of pressure on me to come,” added Price.
“It’s really one of the prettiest places I’ve been to and this golf course; it’s an absolute gem, all these beautiful views that you have over the ocean. I think the most incredible thing to me is how friendly everyone is,” said Price.
“I hope I can come back maybe without my golf clubs one day and enjoy the fishing and the other parts of the islands.”
While his family are enjoying the sights of Fiji, Price will be concentrating on his game but in a testament to his gracious character he hopes the nation’s hero and his friend takes out the title.
“Vijay being here; this is the first time he’s played a tournament in this country for a long time so that’s huge. He’s the one all eyes are on this week and I’d love to see him win it, I really would.”
“I’d love to win it but let’s put it this way; I’ve got a great future behind me. My game is not what it used to be. I’ll be happy if I make the cut and play well this week”
The Captain of the International Presidents Cup team, Price is highly regarded in the international golf scene and is pleased to see golf expanding in Fiji.
“It’s pretty fascinating such a small island nation could produce a golfer like Vijay. I think it’s great for golf that Fiji finally has an event here because golf is growing.
“Over the last two, three, four years there’s been a bit of a recession but here in the Pacific and Asia golf’s huge so I think it’s great that Fiji have got this tournament together.”
Price tees off in the Fiji International tomorrow, Thursday 14th August at 12.05pm alongside Australian young gun Matthew Griffin and one of New Zealand’s leading Professionals Mark Brown.
The Fiji International will be played at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course from 14-17 August and will be Fiji’s first internationally broadcast golf tournament.
Being played for a US$1 million prize purse the Fiji International will be co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia.
Proudly supported by the Fijian Government, the Fiji International is expected to produce a multi-million dollar boost for the Fijian economy, in addition to flow on benefits including the growth of the game in the region.
Designed by Singh, the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course is renowned for its sparkling backdrop of coral reefs and the Pacific Ocean that line 15 out of the 18 championship holes.
Tickets for the Fiji International are now on sale through selected Total Service Stations and RC Manubhai stores.
Total Service Stations selling tickets include: The Total Tavua, Total Ba, Total Lautoka, Total Navutu, Total Namaka, Total Corner Pt, Total Town end (Nadi), Total Sigatoka. Suva areas: Total Lami, Total Hibiscus, Total Flagstaff, Total Laucala, Total Makoi and Total Nausori.
Thanks to the support of the Fijian Government, tickets are available to Fijian residents at a reduced rate when proof of residence is shown.
The cost of a ticket includes a free shuttle bus from the corner of Maro Road and Queens Road junction in Natadola, and 10 per cent discount on bus travel with Sunbeam to the junction (normal bus timetable to apply.)
Children 16 years and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.
For further information visit www.fijiinternational.com.