GOLF legend Nick Price believes that like the biblical prophet, he has not been honoured in his home country.
The trailblazing Price thinks Zimbabwe has not given him the legendary status he deserves, but instead he is getting kudos elsewhere.
This comes as Price prepares to lead the International team against the US team in the Ryder Cup-style Presidents Cup which tees off at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio today.
The former world number one golfer and a winner of three Majors in the 1990s said he was saddened that he has received more recognition in the US than his native Zimbabwe.
“Honestly, I sometimes get recognised more often here than I do in my own home country, which is kind of sad,” said Price, who now lives in Florida with wife Sue and three children in an interview with CNN.
“I had more awards and everything given to me in this country than I did in my own country, which hurts a lot.
“What has happened in the country in the last 33 years is not what we all expected.”
Price was born in South Africa to English parents who moved the family to Rhodesia when Price was very young. Price would become a citizen of Zimbabwe, and it was here where he was introduced golf by his brother Tim, who passed away three years ago.
As a junior golfer and a student at Prince Edward High School in Harare, Price dominated tournaments on the local scene.
At age 17, Price travelled to San Diego in the US where he won the Junior World Championship.
This would prove to be a turning point in his career as he turned pro three years later at the age of 20 in 1977.
From there he catapulted to stardom — winning three major titles and claiming 15 PGA wins during an illustrious career which saw him stay at No 1 in the world in 1994 for 43 consecutive weeks.
Price, who will captain the International team, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003.
And yet now, at the age of 56, he remains philosophical about his life — one in which he emerged to become one of the greatest to have ever played the game of golf.
“I’m so grateful to my family for instilling values since an early age,” said Price. “I’ve carried them throughout this time.
“I lost my father when I was 10 and sometimes that has an adverse effect on the family, but for us it brought us closer together. “When you think of how I started playing golf I still have to pinch myself every now and then.”
However, as Price prepares to lead the International team against the Americans he will be well aware that history is not on his team’s side.
The US has dominated the competition, losing just once and being held once in the previous nine editions.
“All of us who’ve been involved in the Presidents Cup know how important this one is,” he said during a news conference at Muirfield Village Golf Club on Tuesday where both teams were practising.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a must-win. That’s a hard thing to put on anyone. But this one needs to be competitive.
“More important than anything else, this Presidents Cup needs to be very competitive because the last four . . . I honestly believe they have not been that competitive.”
Price represented the Internationals in the first five Presidents Cups, including 1998 in Melbourne when the US were beaten and 2003 in South Africa when the trophy was shared.
“When we started out with the Presidents Cup, the initial guys, myself and Greg (Norman) and Ernie (Els), we so enjoyed watching the Ryder Cup and so wanted to be a part of the Ryder Cup-type format,” said former world number one Price.
The tournament which pitches a US team of 12 against a team of non-Europeans has been held every two years since 1994 and includes two rounds of foursomes, two rounds of four balls and a singles finale.
Price and his opposite number, US captain Fred Couples were last night expected to announce their pairings for today’s fourball matches.
Nick Price Profile
Date of birth: Jan. 28, 1957
Nickname: Called “Nicky” by his friends
PGA Tour: 18
European Tour: 7
Champions Tour: 4
Major Championships: 3
British Open: 1994
PGA Championship: 1992, 1994
Awards and Honours:
Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
PGA Tour money leader, 1993, 1994
PGA Tour Vardon Trophy (scoring) winner, 1993, 1997
PGA Tour Player of the Year, 1993, 1994
5-time member, International team, Presidents Cup