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FedEx St Jude Classic
TPC at Southwind
Memphis, Tennessee
30th July - 2nd August 1998

Par 71 Prize Money $1.8 million

Final Round Report

Price tops Sluman in playoff to win first victory this season

Associated Press

Memphis, Tennesee. 2nd August, 1998 - Nick Price won the FedEx St. Jude Classic with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff today with Jeff Sluman for his first PGA Tour victory this season and second since 1994.

Price had made up two strokes with three holes left by eagling the par-5 16th for the third time in four days.

"This turns my year around,'' he said. "I feel like I've gotten over a big hurdle this weekend.''

He had a chance to win in regulation, but missed a 7-foot birdie try at No. 18. It rolled around the right edge of the cup, but failed to drop.

"I couldn't believe it stayed out,'' Price said. "I didn't want to go to extra time. My nerves weren't too good at that point.''

Both players parred No. 18 -- the first playoff hole -- Price from a fairway bunker.

Sluman put his tee shot into the water right of the fairway on the second extra hole, the 375-yard, par-4 No. 12.

Sluman hit his third shot to about 12 feet, but never got to try his par putt because Price rolled in a 20-foot birdie try for his second St. Jude title. He also won in 1993.

"I had a feeling he was going to make that putt,'' Price said. "I read that one perfectly.''

It was the 11th second-place finish in Sluman's career. He has two victories.

"Anytime you're one off the lead and shoot 65, that's usually enough to win,'' Sluman said. "But Nick shot a great round. I did all I could. I didn't make a bogey and had six birdies. What can you do?''

In fact, Sluman did not make a bogey all weekend, shooting 66 on Saturday and the day's low round of 65 today.

Price finished with a final-round 66.

"I've played pretty solid all year but not done as well as I felt I should have,'' Price said. "It's been frustrating.''

Sluman, playing in the group ahead of Price in regulation, took the lead on No. 16, the 528-yard, par-5, with a birdie from about 2 feet to go 16-under.

Price trailed by two shots at that point. He made it up all at once with the eagle at 16, a hole he played in 7-under-par for the four rounds.

"That's the best I've ever done any week on any hole in my career,'' Price said.

Sluman parred the last three holes in regulation, coolly saving par on No. 18 from a front greenside bunker with Price's perfect tee shot sitting in the fairway behind him.

Price's approach on No. 18 in regulation was about 7 feet to the right of the hole. His putt to win rolled around the right edge and out as Price reacted with disbelief.

"At that point I was very happy to get back to No. 18,'' Sluman said. "I didn't think there was any chance Nick would miss that putt.''

Glen Day matched Sluman for the best round of the day with a 65, and held the lead when he came to the 18th tee. But he pulled his tee shot left into the lake and made bogey to finish alone in third place at 14-under 270 -- two shots back.

"That shot wasn't too good, but it didn't cost me the tournament,'' Day said. "I missed some putts today that cost me the tournament.''

Bob Estes began the day tied with Price for the lead at 11-under, and jumped into the lead with birdies on four of his first five holes. He was still in the hunt before bogeying the par-3 14th when he couldn't get up and down from the left rough.

Another bogey, on No. 17, ended his chances.

Estes finished with a 69 for a 271, alone in fourth place.

Tim Conley (69) was at 272, followed by Paul Goydos (67) at 10-under and Jay Haas (68) and Paul Azinger (72) at 9-under.

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Final Round Scores

Third Round

Second Round

First Round