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January 19, 2006

Vijay Singh


SCOTT CROCKETT: Vijay, thanks as always for coming in. A 68, a solid start to the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. Just sum of the morning for yourself.

VIJAY SINGH: Pretty tough out there the wind conditions. Started off wasn't as windy, but as we got along, it got really windy and dry.

It was tough. I was really pleased with the score I had, and I had a lot of opportunities out there to even better it, but, you know, I'll take a 68 today.

SCOTT CROCKETT: One of the few rounds without a bogey in it; that's another pleasing aspect.

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I never got into any trouble, and when I did, I got out of it quite well. I think the early part of my round on the back nine, I missed two greens. But I got up and down pretty well, the fact that I draw the ball well, hit a lot of good iron shots, played okay.

SCOTT CROCKETT: You started with a birdie on the 10th.

VIJAY SINGH: I pulled my drive and hit into the trap, blasted out to 15 foot and holed it.

4, I hit a 7 iron to about eight feet.

7, I hit a 4 iron to about six feet probably and holed that one.

Q. What did you play for your second on the 8th when you were in the sand?

VIJAY SINGH: 3 wood. You kind of hit and hope in the sand over here. If you go out early, they have raked the sand, you can get pretty decent lies. I had a perfect lie, almost as good as being in the fairway.

Q. And your second shot on the last?

VIJAY SINGH: I hit a 6 iron.

Q. Would you say it was a one club wind or a two club wind?

VIJAY SINGH: It was very gusty. You could have a one club wind and you could have a three club wind. It really didn't like on the last hole I was over the ball and the wind died just enough for me to stand over the ball and hit a decent shot. If it gusted up, I probably couldn't have reached. It was really, really gusty out there.

Q. Going back to the 7th, your 16th, the 4 iron, was the wind directly in your face?

VIJAY SINGH: It was left to right into, yes.

Q. Had there been no wind what club would you have played?

VIJAY SINGH: Yardage was 190, so it would have been a 6 iron.

Q. What is the main difficulty the course present?

VIJAY SINGH: The wind, it's real rough out there and it can affect the shots. There's still long shots out there, long holes out there, like on the front nine, the fifth or sixth hole, the long par 4. Those holes, if you do miss the fairway, you've got to hope for a good lie. Otherwise it would be hard to get up on to the green.

Apart from that, it just, you know, hitting the fairways and make sure you hit the greens; the ninth hole, one or two others, but if you hit decent shots, you can avoid it.

Q. What was your second club on the fifth?

VIJAY SINGH: I missed the tee shot there. I got a decent lie and I hit a 5 wood on to the green.

Q. How often do you hit a 5 wood on a par 4?

VIJAY SINGH: Not too often.

Q. Had you hit your drive, you wouldn't have needed that then?

VIJAY SINGH: No, if I hit a decent drive, probably 4 iron maybe, 5 iron.

Q. Was the wind tougher coming in?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, but it calms down a little bit at times and then it blows right up. You've got to be lucky with the wind here as well. It was very dry, extremely dry.

Q. Did you leave a few more shots out there?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I had chances. I had quite a few chances to make birdie. I birdied the second hole with a decent drive; that's almost a given birdie there. On the third hole I was on front of the green and did not get up and down. I had a chance on 8 and 9, as well, from eight feet out. But you've got to take what you get.

Q. How were the greens?

VIJAY SINGH: Okay. Hard to read them. The grain, you've got to watch the grain a lot. The slopes are very subtle. It's very difficult to know which way they break. You have to observe the players very well to know what's going on around the hole.

Q. How do you feel?

VIJAY SINGH: I'm okay. I was really tired yesterday, extremely, extremely tired, but I feel okay today. I had a good night's sleep and ready to go.

Q. What did you make of the galleries today?

VIJAY SINGH: There was quite a few. I think playing with Colin and Sergio playing together, that helped, and Daly playing behind us. I was surprised, there was a lot more crowd than I thought there would be. It was good to see them.

Q. On the course you are designing in Dubai, do you feel that you should put in features that are indigenous to Dubai to make it look as though the course was designed for the area?

VIJAY SINGH: It's called a water golf course, water course. They have got a wind, and they want a lot of water on the golf course, so we've got to put a lot of water on the golf course. It's really what they dictate. But I'm going to try to make it as playable as possible and as tough as possible but playable.

Q. Did you have a feeling when you were out there today that you could actually have been on a course in, say, Palm Springs or Florida? Was there anything that you found particularly Middle Eastern out there?

VIJAY SINGH: A lot of palm trees.

Q. There are palm trees in Florida.

VIJAY SINGH: Different kind of palm trees. They are more like date trees I think. The grass is a little different, I think they have bent and bermuda over here. But the sand, there's a lot of sand if you miss the fairways, you have a little bit of rough and a lot of sand. So that tells you that you're over here.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Thank you, Vijay.

End of FastScripts.

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