home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


December 6, 2004

Vijay Singh

THE MODERATOR: Good morning, everyone. This is James Cramer with the PGA TOUR, and I'd like to thank everyone for their patience. We were caught in a New York City traffic jam this morning on our way from the hotel, so again, I thank you for your patience. As you all are aware, earlier this morning we announced the PGA TOUR Player of the Year, and to no surprise Vijay Singh has earned that Jack Nicklaus trophy for Player of the Year. Vijay's had a career year this year with nine victories, including a third major championship, and earned nearly $11 million which earned him the Arnold Palmer award as the leading money winner, and he was, of course, the first player to surpass 10 million in a single season. So at this point, we are joined by Vijay. Good morning, Vijay.

VIJAY SINGH: Morning everybody.

Q. Vijay, a great year, you came very close to winning the putter of the year last year, maybe you can get us started before we get into questions, talking about what it means to have won it this year.

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I had something to prove this year coming on knowing last year it was so close, but the season started off pretty slow for me. You know, I didn't win for the first four or five events, then I started winning, and I won several leads and, just playing my conscience from there in. But been a big year, I never thought it was going to be this big, but it's so satisfying to know that it has come to this and this well, and I'm really excited, with all these awards and winning the money and Player of the Year just overwhelming.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Vijay. At this point I'd like to ask the AT&T operator to go ahead and open the line for questions.

Q. Yes. Vijay, you're 41, did you think that this kind of success would come in your career after age 40?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know, I mean, this career took a different route coming over here. It's at my early ages, I was, you know, 20, 21, 22, I didn't have a place to play, I was going around like a gypsy. So, finally, when I did establish myself in Europe, that's probably when I thought my career did start, and I was already in my 30s so ever since I started working out, working with Joey, working with trainers and my golf started getting better, I never thought about the age. The age thing was really a secondary thing, and people start talking about it, how long will you go, can you sustain it? I definitely think I can go on as long as I stay fit. You know, there's no age where you can say, I'm over the hill. As the saying goes, life starts at 40, that's true for me.

Q. Do you see extending this beyond your 50th year on the PGA TOUR?

VIJAY SINGH: You know, if I'm playing competitively, I would like to keep playing. I don't think when I turn 50 being competitive on the regular TOUR. I want to go on the TOUR, but that's another nine years away and I'm not really looking forward -- well, I'm not looking forward to 50 years anyway.

Q. Yeah, Vijay, glad to see you guys made it.

VIJAY SINGH: Thank you.

Q. What do you say -- well, obviously, everybody's going to say how do you top this or what do you do for an encore, which is almost a crazy notion, but I'm sure in the back of your mind you probably see some areas where you think you can improve. What are you going to work on in the, I guess, month of off season, I guess, that you've got left?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, it's not really what I need to work on. There's little bits and pieces I can always work on. My driving part, although I think I was driving pretty good, I can improve that part of it, but still working my physical, I think I can take it to the next level, and we've already started on it, like, two or three weeks ago, and you're kind of building up, you know, going through the first events of the season. I'll still be working out pretty hard, trying to get my body in a place where I don't have to really struggle going through the range, but my golf game is also a concern. I mean, you know, if I don't keep practicing and keep improving on little bits and pieces, that takes me back, so I'm still working on it. There's a difference here and there. I think I'm going to be driving -- I drove with a new driver this week and that worked out really good, so that's going to be a good thing next year if I, you know -- so pretty much hitting much longer than I did before, so that's going to be an adjustment and hopefully that works out, but any of it, putting that I want to improve, just fine tune the little things, bits and pieces that I need to duplicate.

Q. Vijay, congratulations and thank you. I wonder if you'd mind describing the best golf advice you've ever received and who gave it to you.

VIJAY SINGH: Golf advice. Gosh. That's a good one. You know, I've had a lot of advices, but probably the best is the simplest one that I can ever think of, you know, pretty much doing it yourself. The man in Jacksonville, Mike Flemming was the guy, and, you know, he worked with me a little bit, and he's an old timer, and he gave me a little advice, you know, you just have to go out there finding yourself, keep it simple, you know, you don't need to get your golf swing by going through video cameras and all that stuff like that. Just kind of go out there and finding yourself. The old saying goes finding it in the dirt. I think that works the best for me.

Q. Vijay, I note from the statistics that your driving accuracy is not the highest but your green's regulation are. Been trying to figure that out for a long time. What does that mean? You're not hitting the most fairways, but you are hitting the greens. Now, how do you explain that?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I do hit a lot of drives. I mean, if you -- I think if there was a stat of players hitting the most drives, I'd probably be at a one, two, or three every year because I do think a driver knows that most guys try to go in with a seven or a six iron, and I would rather go out and hit a driver especially in the fairway, I'd be hitting it (inaudible) and it's very, very easy to get -- not easy but easier to get to the green, you know, from a rough with a pitching wedge then going in with -- maybe missing the fairways on a normal hole and going in with a seven or six iron. So I have no problem hitting the green with a pitching wedge, I think that's the thing, but if I can kind of get that a little sort of down and not miss that many fairways -- I mean, I could go out there and hit two irons and hit a lot more fairways and get myself down to, you know, pretty much where the tough guys are, but I still choose to hit my driver. I have a lot of confidence in my driver and that's probably why. When the driver is really going good -- it's a kind of, yeah, you can take a two iron or three iron off the tee and hit the seven or six irons off the green, but can you consistently get it close to the holes? I think if you can get attack the flags a lot more, it's something.

Q. If you look at the various aspects, skill aspects of a golfer, what do you think is the most important for a TOUR player?

VIJAY SINGH: Skill aspect. I think getting up and down, you know, getting out of situations where you just go to get to the greens, digging it out from the rocks and, really, the main thing is, when it comes to crunch time, are you able to go ahead and pull the shot off? And I think the tough guys up there all are able to do that, and I think you don't have a fear of what happens, what if you hit a bad shot. We have all this sense of, okay, let's hit this shot and this is where it's going to finish or how it's going to go, so that's a different thing.

Q. Hi, Vijay. If you wouldn't mind, just reflect a little bit on when you came to Pebble Beach and how that sort of jump started the year a little bit and how you enjoyed playing with Mr. Forceman and how that maybe if that set a tone for you this year?

VIJAY SINGH: I hope so. I mean, you know, I played with Teddy for, gosh, this will be the 12th or 13th year and we're going to play next season, and I don't have a problem playing with a player that tall. I think a lot of players do because of the six hour round, but I kind of get in a mode where, you know, I'm kind of relaxed, and, you know, I'm playing with a friend of mine, and we have a great time, but I'm also very focused and I'm over the ball. But it's at the golf course where I don't think anybody actually runs away with it and the golf course is a very -- we are very familiar with it. We played two tough golf courses, one not so tough, meaning Poppy Hills, but that does set you up. It's a big event. It's a big party. I love playing in Pebble. It's probably one of my favorite golf courses, so when you get there, you know, you look at the thing, and it sets you up on a very good tone, and I've always played well there. I've always played in the top ten or top five. You have a good feeling going in there, and when you pull that off, the rest of the season, you have already won atonement so the rest of the season you relax and go ahead and play your game.

Q. You looking forward to defending, also?

VIJAY SINGH: I am. I think it's a good event. You know, I love playing that and, hopefully, the weather is a little better. The greens are the way we like it and not really mushy, so we have to wait and see what happens there.

Q. Hey, Vij, congratulations. I wanted to go back to one thing that you kind of started your answers with when you said you had something to prove this year knowing it was so close last year. Did you kind of look at last year that, you know, Tiger won kind of because he was the incumbent, so maybe I need to come up with a year that's so good that there's no doubt about what the outcome would be? Was that kind of what you set out to do?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, well, I didn't think it was going to be this much difference as last year. Last year was very close, and it was three of us that could have won. But, you know, this year it was a kind of a landslide and all of us were asking, you know, one of the guys that, you know, what was the voting like? You know, how many guys took -- did anybody else vote for anybody else besides me and each player? So, you know, I was disappointed last year. I thought, winning the money, at least, was a consistency of the whole season, and you could win four or five or six events and not claim more than 16 or 18 events, even the money leads in the whole season. It's a long season, and I saw through it pretty good, but then again, if a guy plays that well, no, my thought this year was go out there and really play hard and play good for the whole season, and I did. So, that was a really fulfilling thing. I didn't really have to wait for the vote, and that was my thought.

Q. Yeah, hey, Vij, I've got one more for you. Obviously, you're going to have to defend nine times. How often do you see yourself playing? I think, what'd we figure, it was 29 times this year, somewhere in that neighborhood. Do you throttle that down a little bit or what, sort of in terms of the overview, looking like?

VIJAY SINGH: It really depends on how many times I'm going to go overseas, and I don't think I'm going to that many. I really want to focus and play here again and play well. I think next season will be even harder than this one. I think, you know, for me to go out there and all the attention is probably going to be on me or how I'm doing. I think I'll play 28 events. I still want to play. I like playing, and I get a lot of confidence playing a lot of events. So, it's going to be a hard season. I know it's going to be, they say it's really hard to get to the top, but to stay there is going to be the hardest thing, and I feel like -- telling my trainer, I feel like I'm in an open plane and there's no horizon. All you see is just the horizon. You see the plane and I feel like I'm running and everybody is chasing me, and how fast can I run and how long I can stay up there. I said, sooner or later I'm going to get tired and guys are going to catch me. So I want to stay there. I want to keep ahead of the pack as long as possible and that's the battle I'm going to face next year and maybe a few more years to come.

Q. Again, on these statistics and possibly what they mean, it seems among the best players it's more important for the players to hit the ball a long way than to hit it in the fairway all the time. Can you explain that a little bit to me?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I think it's not only hitting the fairway. I think if you hit it a long way, I don't think anybody in the top five, even in the top ten, are short hitters. I think it's a big, big advantage to stand on the tee and reach some of the par fives. Most of the par fives and par fours, but most of the par fives, you can reach them, too. I think you gain shots there. You know, the statistics show that if you look at the guys that score most of their birdies, most of them par fives and a long way to do that. I mean, I'd rather be chipping off the green and making it, hitting a pitching wedge to a par five, so I think it's so important. I think, in the future also the key will be to guys that are going to be taking the top spot will be the guys that are hitting a long way, and that is one of the skills that I think is so important in today's golf.

THE MODERATOR: Vijay, once again, thank you very much for making yourself available to take part in this conference call. I'd like to thank all the media for their patience on the front end of this. We originally were going to have our Champion's Tour Player of the Year, which was announced yesterday, Craig Stadler, on this call, but he got caught on the same New York City traffic as we did on the front end. So we'll be sending an advisory out as to when we will reschedule that, either later this afternoon or at some point tomorrow. Again, thank you very much and I appreciate it.

End of FastScripts...

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297