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


March 14, 2006

Vijay Singh

LEE PATTERSON: Vijay, welcome.
LEE PATTERSON: Thank you so much for joining us this morning. I know you're getting ready to go get busy and win another one down at Bay Hill. But as these ladies and gentlemen prepare to play Quail Hollow club today, what was your first impression of this club, and have you had to make any mental adjustments in how you go about playing this course?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I mean, every time I've play a golf course like that, you need to focus on every part of your game. What a great track, from tee to green, and the greens itself, just everything was just first class. I mean, the conditions are beautiful, and it's a very tough golf course. It requires a lot of attention on every shot.
You need to bring your game over there when you come to Wachovia, and fortunately I managed to do that.
LEE PATTERSON: I know we've talked about this between us, but you spend a lot of hours on the range; you hear about it all the time. But take us back to that point when you knew and you committed yourself to hard work, which is a lesson that a lot of young people are needing to learn today.
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I mean, I've always followed the old-timers, Ben Hogan and Gary Player, and they always thought that to get good, you've got to practice. That's the line that I took, and that's what I've always believed in. There's no way up but hard work, and it paid off. The more you do it, the more it pays off, the more important it is to practice. So that's what I did.
LEE PATTERSON: I'm going to turn over to them after one more from me. You have closed out championships very well during your career, excellent work on that, including the playoff here. Which is the more important element in doing that, the athletic skills or mental approach when you're closing out an event on Sunday?
VIJAY SINGH: I think it requires a little bit of both. But the important thing is to go out there and be aggressive. In the playoff you don't have to worry about where you're going to finish. Either you're going to win it or not going to win it; it's only you and your opponents. It becomes a match play. You just have to go out there and play the shots that you have to play and believe in yourself. I'd rather not go into a playoff, but when you do go in there, you just take on a little bit more than what you would do in a normal regulation play.
I'm always very aggressive and I take on shots and try not to make a mistake. That's the key, try to make the other guy win it and for you not to make a mistake, and that's how you approach it.
Q. Vijay, when you look back at last year, was there a moment last year in the final round that sort of keyed you or carried you? You obviously had to make up some ground. What was sort of the difference last year?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, the momentum. The guys behind me -- ahead of me, they were not doing too much, and I just kept on making birdies and kept on getting closer to them and looking up at the scoreboard and saying, hey, I'm getting closer every hole that goes by. I played really decent golf, too. I missed my opportunities coming down the track, but I just hung in there.
With a golf course like Wachovia you have to make sure you don't make a mistake. Coming down the last few holes it's just so difficult, 16, 17 and 18; especially 17 where you need to hit a pretty good shot.
I just told myself don't make a mistake, pick up a birdie here and there if you can and just get in the clubhouse and see what happens to the rest of the guys. One or two guys dropped out, and I was very fortunate to get in the playoff at the end.
Q. What is your approach to that 17th hole? Is it protect yourself, or can you be aggressive?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, that's a tough hole. When it gets firm, I mean, you just have to play to the fat side of the green and hope it stays on the green. Last year was really firm, and I hit a really, really good shot onto the right side of the green and just took my par and went away from there.
I know two years ago when I had a chance to -- either to win it or -- I was right in there, as well, and I hit a pull hook there into the water. I said, don't make that mistake. You can make par from the right side but you cannot make par from the water, so that was my key.
Q. How much more do players like yourself get keyed up for a tournament like this where you've got top-notch fields?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I think it's the golf course itself, although the hospitality is second-to-none; you guys look after us just unbelievable and we're all grateful for that. At the same time, the golf course is unbelievable. I mean, we go to a golf course where it makes you play good golf, and you can almost hit drivers on every par 4 out there. Unlike some of the golf courses where you take 2-irons and 3-woods, there you have to hit driver. You don't have to, but it's an advantage to hit driver.
If you come across golf courses like that where driving is a very important factor in your golf, guys like that, and guys like tough golf courses, fair golf courses but tough golf courses. You know, we strive for conditions like that.
Q. You've certainly defended plenty of tournaments in your career. How do you approach a tournament coming in where you've obviously been playing well at that course?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, hopefully I'll be -- you know, my game will be up to standard coming to Wachovia because there's a golf course where you need to bring your game. You know, I didn't have a great start to the season so far, but I think I'm picking up, doing a lot of good things right now, and I'm looking forward to the next few events. By the time Wachovia comes, hopefully my game is back to where it was last year or the year before last. I feel like you need to have a lot of good things happen to you at Wachovia.
You know, I like the golf course and I have great memories over there, so when I do come there, even if I am not playing well, the memories are going to lift my confidence up.
But I think I'll be ready. I like the golf course, which is a big, big plus, and I enjoy playing there and the people are great. I don't think that there will be any bad when I come there. I'm looking forward to it.
Q. Next year this tournament moves to the week before -- actually the TPC moves to the week after the tournament. Is that a good thing from a player's standpoint, to have this the week before the TPC?
VIJAY SINGH: I think so. It's a golf course where guys -- you know, it's the wrong thing to say, but it'll be a setup to the TPC. Bay Hill is a setup to this tournament where Bay Hill is a tough golf course. I think the field will be as good or even better going to Wachovia next year because it's a great golf course, and TPC is also a big event. I think two weeks in a row guys are going to be preparing for it. I think it's going to be a good thing.
I'm happy it's before the TPC and not after it because if you play a golf tournament like that after TPC, which is almost like a major, it takes a lot of air out of you. A lot of guys would have taken weeks off. But before the TPC, I think it's a great, great time.
Q. What are your feelings about Charlotte?
VIJAY SINGH: The people are great, and I love -- what do you call, the Carolina guys, I guess. I don't know what you call them, but I've had a great time there; everybody treated me beautifully. I have not seen the city of Charlotte but I'd like to. Hopefully I can come there a little earlier and have a sightseeing tour. But the time I spend on the golf course doesn't leave me time to do anything else.
I've enjoyed myself there. The people are great, the restaurants are really incredible. If there was any other place to go and live, I'd say Charlotte would be another one.
LEE PATTERSON: You mentioned a few minutes ago about bringing your "A" game here. You're not only the leading money winner in our short history, but three Top 10s including last year's victory. What is it about each year that you come here that you've been so successful, and even building up to the victory last year?
VIJAY SINGH: I think it's the food, Lee (laughter).
I don't know, I cannot explain that. The golf course sets everybody up, I guess, and I love to play that kind of golf course. Driving is very important there, and for some reason when I did come to Wachovia, I drove the ball beautifully, so that's important, as well.
I think the timing has been perfect, and hopefully this year will be the same and next year it will be the same as last year, I guess.
Q. There seems to have been another part of evolution in golf with Bubba Watson and others this year. What do you see from them, and are they in their own way changing the game right now?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, it's making a lot of noise, put it this way. Bubba Watson and J. B. Holmes, a few other young guys out there that just hit it forever, and I consider myself a decently long hitter, but standing in front of them makes me look like -- gosh, I feel like I've gone back in time, you know.
You still have to hit the ball straight, and the golf courses are not made to just bomb your drivers 340 yards. You have to keep it in the short stuff. Golf is a great equalizer. You can make up with iron shots and you can make up with putting and chipping, as well.
It's a big plus to have guys hit it a long way, but at the same time you have to have the whole package. You can play well three or four times a year and probably win golf tournaments, but to be consistently good, you've got to hit the ball straight, as well. That's why golf is such a beautiful game.
Q. I've always been curious, after 2004, Player of the Year, top money title, nine wins, why you made the switch at that point from the belly model to the conventional putter and whether subsequently you've had any thoughts of going back to the belly model.
VIJAY SINGH: Well, in 2004 I think I won two events with the belly and seven without, so half the year I played with a short putter and played very, very well. You know, the belly probably helped me putt well, and then towards the end of last year and beginning of this year, I was not doing things that I was doing so well two years ago, a year and a half ago.
But I found out last week in Doral what I was doing wrong. I'm back to putting well again. I don't see myself going back to the belly putter in the near future, but if it needs to be, I will go back and try it again. Each time you go out on the putting green at a golf tournament, you're trying to look for things that we've done good in the past.
I found out that I was standing just a little too far away from the ball and it made me reach out and gives me too much room for movement. I moved the ball up closer to myself and my eyes are right over the ball, and I began putting really well, and I had one of the best putting rounds in Doral. I'm excited about that; I just hope my long game comes together, and we'll probably start off a great season from here on.
Q. Besides obviously today, when do you actually start thinking about the course and this tournament and going through it in your mind? Is that not until you actually get here, or does it start kind of creeping in in the weeks leading up?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, probably a week or so before, and also, when you're not playing well, you look back and see which tournaments did you really play well and what you did good. I try to go back in my mind and see what great tournaments I played and what I did good in those tournaments.
In normal circumstances you probably wait a week before, or if you have a week off you think about what's the tournament you have to go play and what you've got to do good. Wachovia is a tournament where you just need to play good golf. You need to bring your "A" game, like Lee said, to the tournament, and that's what we prepare for. We go out and practice and make sure we're ready when we get there.
LEE PATTERSON: Vijay, on behalf of all of us, thank you for getting up this morning and being a part of this. We look forward to seeing you very soon, 48 days.
VIJAY SINGH: Thank you very much, guys. Have a good day. Hit it straight, and like they say, keep it in the short grass (laughter).

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