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January 11, 2006

Vijay Singh


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us for a few minutes at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Defending champion, and you got off to a great start this year in Maui, and you've had a chance to play this afternoon and see the course. Just talk about the weekend and how you're feeling.

VIJAY SINGH: It's good. Golf is a lot different than last week. Wind is not as strong today. I think it was a lot stronger yesterday as well. I'm playing well, I'm feeling good and looking forward to the event. Hopefully I can do what I did last year.

Q. There's a new TV contract with PGA TOUR, you're probably aware of it, with CBS, NBC, and The Golf channel is the exclusive cable company for the next 15 years. Do you have any thoughts on the contract being done and what you perceive going forward, how it's going to be for fans?

VIJAY SINGH: I wish I was a lot younger, to last 15 more years. (Laughter). But that shows how big golf is right now. Golf is growing and it's grown to I think one of the major sports in the world, not only in America. It's going to be bring a lot of people, young kids playing golf now and looking forward to a great career I think.

I hope this is going to produce a lot more kids coming out of colleges and not one or two a year, maybe five, six, ten a year. I think the TOUR is really happy. It shows how good the TOUR is doing, and it's a big enterprise now and I'm just happy to be a part of it.

Q. Are you happy, sad, or otherwise about your start last week?

VIJAY SINGH: If you had given me a 66 before the start of the day, I would have been really happy. But then the way it finished out, I was pretty disappointed. Nobody likes losing in a playoff. I was probably more disappointed last week than I would have been if I was one or two shots back and finished second.

But the way I played the last day, the amount of shots that I wasted throughout the week, and then not making birdie on the playoff hole was disappointing. It kind of stayed with me all night and then I forgot about it the next morning. So I'm okay now.

Q. How many balls did you lose last week? I know you lost the one on 5, the first day.

VIJAY SINGH: Two balls.

Q. When was the second?

VIJAY SINGH: On the third hole on Saturday. It wasn't a very good shot.

Q. Yesterday you talked about working harder in the off season, you talked about last year you didn't like the way you ended, missing two cuts in a row, did you do anything different or that you added to your routine?

VIJAY SINGH: Just intensified a little bit more. Worked a lot more on my golf swing as well. Started to do things that I had not done with my golf swing that I was doing some, five, six, seven years ago. One reason was injuries, gone ahead and done something and didn't worry about it and went ahead and did it. Hence I got a lot more aches and pains here and there. But you play through it. I'm feeling good, a lot stronger now and I think I'm hitting the ball further. With the new driver that I got, it's a great combination. Hitting it straighter, which is a big thing. So probably we'll see maybe a little further hitting off the tees now. I love the driver I'm hitting. It's going the way I want it to go and it tested good, so I'm happy with it.

Q. Was it a late decision to play the Sony this year?

VIJAY SINGH: Not really. I was always going to come here. Just didn't commit to it until quite late. But I'm here.

Q. You always play here, is there a feeling involved in that?

VIJAY SINGH: I love Hawaii, I love the weather. I don't know why so many other guys don't come and play here. It's one of the great ways to start the year. It's cold back home, cold everywhere in America, so this is paradise. I'm just surprised that the field is not as strong as it should be. I just love playing here.

Q. Are you buying a home here?

VIJAY SINGH: Not right now.

Q. Somebody said that you were looking at some property on Maui or the Big Island?

VIJAY SINGH: I've got property in the Big Island, yes, in Hilo. I did that two years ago.

Q. Will you build there eventually?

VIJAY SINGH: Eventually. Right now I haven't really decided yet.

Q. Whereabouts it?


Q. You didn't do much traveling in the off season?

VIJAY SINGH: No. The Father/Son was the tournament that I played. Straight off THE TOUR Championship, I went to China for a week, came back and played the Grand Slam and then the father and son and that was it.

Q. Apart from what you're doing with Joey, is that a conscious effort to recharge?

VIJAY SINGH: Pretty much. I needed to play a little better than what I finished last year and it seems like everybody has taken a step back, to get back to the way I was playing the beginning of the year and two years ago, I needed to work a lot harder. I think being 42, almost 43, you have to work twice as hard to keep up. There are guys half my age out on TOUR.

Q. It's hard for us to listen to you say "work harder" because it's almost sort of inconceivable; does that mean 440 instead of 450?

VIJAY SINGH: There's different ways of working hard, different things that you can work hard on. You can go on the range and hit balls for six hours and not get anything out of it.

I've done a different kind of routine where I've been hitting the ball a lot harder, almost as hard as I can hit it to gain the next step. The par 5s when you stand up, you can change gear and hit it 20 yards further. I used to be able to do that and I lost that, so I'm trying to regain that. I think I've found half of it. Still looking for the other half. (Laughing).

Q. How would you characterize your year last year on the whole?

VIJAY SINGH: It was quite good. On paper it looked really good, but I was disappointed. I thought I played a lot better than I scored. I scored poorly. Towards the end of last year, I think was one of most disappointing things that I've done in a long time is missing two cuts in a row in tournaments that I've won and finished second in previous years, so I didn't want to do any of that anymore. We'll see what happens.

Q. Regarding your course in Fiji that you either designed and I think you opened last year, is there any affiliation that you will have this year and coming years with that course that has your name on it?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I'm designing it. It hasn't even started yet, so I don't know where you got your

Q. Didn't you go for a dedication, ground breaking?

VIJAY SINGH: No. I went to design the golf course. It was nobody has done anything on it. It was just a piece of lands, so I went out with the architect and was looking at the golf course.

Q. Do you have any plans as far as special affiliation you would have since that's going to be one of your signature courses?

VIJAY SINGH: Probably in the end once it's complete, I'll probably do something with it. Probably open a golf school there and do something with junior golf in Fiji. So I think when it's finished, it's going to be one good golf course. The property is beautiful and it's right on the ocean. So it's going to be one hell of a golf course.

Q. What year do you expect it to be finished?

VIJAY SINGH: Oh, that's something I cannot really say right now. I don't know, a year, two years. It's Fiji, remember; it's a little slower.

Q. You mentioned the Father/Son, does your son want to be a PGA TOUR player? Is that something you guys talk about at all?

VIJAY SINGH: You talk to him, he's interested in it. You know, he's got the golf swing, he's got the physique to be able to play really good golf. He swings the club better than I did when I was his age, and he's stronger and he's got a lot more knowledge about the game of golf, but he doesn't want it. And right now, he thinks about wanting it but I don't think he really wants it right now.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Vijay.

End of FastScripts.

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