Price receives Payne Stewart Award

ATLANTA -- Nick Price was honored with the Payne Stewart
Award on Wednesday, presented to players who shared the ideals of
the two-time U.S. Open champion who died in a plane crash three
years ago.

Price, considered one of the nicest men on the PGA Tour, has won
a British Open and two PGA Championships.

''Nick Price has earned this honor because of the way he has
represented himself and the game throughout his career,'' PGA Tour
commissioner Tim Finchem said. ''He doesn't just talk about
integrity, sportsmanship and giving back to others less fortunate.
He applies those values in his own life.''

Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus were recipients of
the inaugural award in 2000, while Ben Crenshaw was honored last

Price competed against Stewart throughout most of his career,
and he noted during the ceremony at East Lake Golf Club that he was
born one day before Stewart.

Stewart also won three majors, including the 1999 U.S. Open at
Pinehurst No. 2, just four months before his private plane flew
uncontrolled across the country before crashing in a South Dakota

''He loved the limelight,'' Price said. ''We miss him a lot.
There's a big hole in our tour.''

Price is a major supporter of the Harare Shelter for Destitutes
in his native Zimbabwe, a program for 150 children who have lost
parents to AIDS, or whose parents are blind. He also has
established ''Hearts and Hope'' in West Palm Beach, Fla., a program
that helps children who have lost a parent.

History lesson

Phil Mickelson has a new sponsorship deal with
Ford, and he's proud to represent an American icon.

''Henry Ford was the first inventor of the automobile,'' he
said. ''Ford has become an American institution itself.''

Mickelson was told that Ford didn't invent the automobile, but
the assembly line.

''You're right,'' Lefty said. ''That you for helping me catch

The reporter told Mickelson he learned that fact covering auto

''I learned that in history,'' Mickelson said. ''And I forgot
it, obviously.''

Soggy East Lake

For the third consecutive week on the PGA
Tour, players might be allowed to lift, clean and place in the

The Atlanta area has received 15 inches of rain since
mid-September, and East Lake was pounded by storms late Monday.
Some of the fairways were so darkened by mud that players walked
into the rough during the pro-am Tuesday to limit the damage.

PGA Tour officials won't decide until Thursday whether to allow
players to touch balls in the fairway, one of the reasons scores
have been so low the last three weeks.

''It's going to be amazing to see if they can actually get this
course playable so we don't have to play lift, clean and cheat,''
Tiger Woods said, coining a phrase first said by U.S. Golf
Association rules official Tom Meeks.

Mickelson won at East Lake in 2000 with a 13-under 267. In 1998,
Hal Sutton won in a playoff over Vijay Singh after both finished at
6-under 274 in dry, blustery conditions.

Mickelson predicts a record score this week.

''You have to look at about 3 under being par, and realistically
about 5 or 6 under par being what you should expect to shoot,'' he
said. ''That would put the winning total around 20 under.''

Language barrier

Sergio Garcia is the latest European player
to move to the United States, buying Ernie Els' old house at Lake
Nona in Orlando, Fla.

Asked if he has become Americanized, the 22-year-old Spaniard
said, ''There's no doubt. My accent has already changed.''

If anything, Garcia said he has started to struggle with his
native tongue, although he attributes that to playing on a
primarily English-speaking tour on both sides of the Atlantic.

''The last six years I've pretty much been talking English
everywhere, even Spain,'' he said. ''When you play a tournament,
you're playing with European guys, and you usually speak English to
them, unless they're Spanish.

''It got to a point where sometimes I know a word in English,
and I can't get it in Spanish,'' he said. ''I just freeze.''