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July 30, 2005

Vijay Singh


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome our third round leader, Vijay Singh, to the interview area after a great round today, again as the 54 hole leader, and Vijay is for the eighth time in the CRESTOR Charity Challenge the CRESTOR Charity Challenge winner. That the Buick Open will donate $50,000 to the Genesis Regional Medical Center here in Grand Blanc, and $50,000 will go to Vijay's health care related charity, as well. Vijay was the CRESTOR Charity Challenge winner here a year ago, and again, this is the eighth time in his career that he's won that.

Vijay, a great round for you today. You got off to a fantastic start with birdies on five of your first six holes. Just talk about that.

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, it was incredible. Putter started working. It woke up finally. You know, I was very confident out there. I wasn't worried about the crowd as much as I would, or anybody. I was very focused on what I was doing. I just went out there and played golf, and that's what I told myself today, go out and hit the shots and try to roll some putts in. They started going in.

JOE CHEMYCZ: 29 on the front nine, obviously everything was working well for you. Anything that you did differently on the back nine; some putts didn't drop for you?

VIJAY SINGH: You can't always play two nine holes of golf like I did the front nine. Otherwise, you'd be shooting 56s and 57s. Although I had a chance to shoot a really low one today, missed three short ones, one of them was on 16 where I could have made a birdie as well, the par 5. You just go out there and be patient and play each hole at a time, and you're not going to be perfect for a whole 18 holes. That's why it's such a difficult game.

Q. Tiger said that number was about the highest you could have shot today; if it had not been for a couple of short missed putts, who knows how low you could have gotten. Do you think about those missed ones, the short ones you missed at all?

VIJAY SINGH: I'm going to go back and say, damn, I missed those two short ones, and I made nine long ones, or good ones. Yeah, you go back and say, you know, what could have been, but then again, you've got to take what they give you. If you go out there and try to think about all of what you've missed, you've got to think about the positives. I'm thinking about how good I've played and how many good putts I've made.

Q. I guess the point I was trying to get to, if you had made those three, you would have been close to 58 or 59.

VIJAY SINGH: The thing is, you don't go out there and think about that. I had a run going and I birdied, you know once I had the short one on 14, maybe I would have started thinking about it but I kept my focus. It could have been a low one, but, hey, we're going to try again tomorrow .

Q. If you're finishing on top, you could be only the second time back to back winner of the Buick Open, what are your thoughts about that?

VIJAY SINGH: Wow, ask me this tomorrow. I don't know, it would be great if I could win it, but I've still got a hard 18 holes of golf to go. It's a golf course where I have to go out there and make birdies as well. I cannot go out there and sit back and wait for the guys to catch me. I have to increase my lead if I can. It's a course where everybody is going to be shooting for birdies.

You know, I cannot think ahead. Just come here tomorrow and play to play the game that I did today and hopefully pull it off. Then you can ask me the question.

Q. So with a five shot lead, you don't approach it any differently than if you're tied, a shot behind, a shot ahead, just play the same game?

VIJAY SINGH: You try to. There is some pressure but not as much if I was one shot ahead. I'm still able to make one or two mistakes out there tomorrow, but at the same time, if I can make a few birdies, I'll be fine. I'm going to be aggressive, but smart aggressive.

Q. Your work ethic is legendary out there on the Tour and at the stops that you make, what now after three rounds, as well as you've played, what now will you concentrate on either tonight or tomorrow morning?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I'm going to go out there and wind down, hit a few iron shots, a few drivers and go out and try to hit a few putts. Nothing unusual. Don't change anything that's working. See if the feel is still there, maintain the feel, and leave.

Q. I know you've played with Tiger enough and you've been in situations in big tournaments and everything, but, you know, so much commotion goes with it and the whole fervor, do you remain unfazed by that, all that surrounds playing in a group with Tiger on a Saturday afternoon or in a big tournament?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I mean, you try not to listen to a lot of them. You know, I was really focused. The good thing is we're inside the ropes and the noise is coming from outside, so you try to block out of that out.

It's not easy. I mean, you've got to listen to it at some times and just let it go over your head. You cannot take it in. It was noisy out there, but they have kind of quieted down after two holes, three holes. They are all excited at the beginning of the round, and toward the end, drinks kicked in, they kind of got loud again. (Laughter).

But you just have to I mean, it's not the first time that this has happened. We've played in tournaments like Phoenix and a lot of other tournaments where it's really rowdy and you deal with it the best you can. You can't get upset; if you get upset, it's going to affect your game. If there's noise around, you back off and start all over again.

Q. Obviously, you and Tiger paired up, everybody is expecting it to be a great duel, were you surprised when on the fifth tee you were suddenly seven shots ahead of him?

VIJAY SINGH: A little bit. It's very unusual for a player of Tiger's caliber to go out there and bogey three holes in a row three in a row, yeah. I guess he was off. It would have been great if we both played well. He didn't play badly, just made a few mistakes early and came back strong. That's the way it goes, you know. It's very hard to see sometimes, two guys go out there battling and playing well.

Q. No. 13 you rolled a ball to a little boy standing along the tee or sitting along the tee. When you do something like that, do you think about what that means to the boy or do you immediately put it out of your mind?

VIJAY SINGH: I didn't get the first part.

Q. You rolled a ball, I think you had a birdie on 12, you rolled the ball to a little boy sitting along the tee on No. 13.


Q. And he grabbed the ball. Do you think about what that means to the boy when you're standing over the tee? Does that fuel your game? Does that give you incentive or do you just immediately forget about is it?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. I just gave a ball to a boy. I do that all the time, so you don't really think about it. Maybe, you know, he's going to be thinking about it for a long time ago, but it's just a spur of the moment thing. We cannot think of all the things you do on the golf course. We have to focus on what we're doing there, so that's probably why it was just a spur of the moment thing.

Q. Speaking of focus, it seems that whether you miss a 3 footer or a birdie or make a 24 footer for birdie, you have the same reaction when you walk off the green. Is that what's also going through your mind that you're just calm or is that just how you look on the outside?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know, I mean, I don't get excited out there. I'm really, really intense with what I'm doing, and unless it was a putt for a win where it goes over hills and knock it in, then you know, I do show some emotions. But it was a hard day out there. I needed to keep my focus as much as possible and there was a lot of commotion in the crowd and there was a lot of people. And it was only the third day.

So I don't really show too much emotion. I'm pretty calm. I just try to keep a very level head out there and maintain my balance and that's very important.

Q. You broke the 54 hole tournament record and you have a chance at the 72 hole record, does that mean anything to you, those types of things?

VIJAY SINGH: Not really. My whole deal right now is to go out there and try to win the golf tournament. If I break the record, that would be great, but if I don't, I don't care if I win by a shot or I win in a playoff, I just want to win the golf tournament. That's my main, you know, focus right now, my main incentive is to go out there and try to win the golf tournament. That's what I'm focused on right now.

Q. Tiger said he just didn't feel right warming up, as opposed to the British where he had such a great warm up on Sunday. Can you ever sense when you're warming up, getting ready for a round how you're going to play? Could you sense you made seven birdies on the first nine holes, probably should have been eight, can you sense that happening at the start?

VIJAY SINGH: Not really. That's a good point, I cannot sense what other guys are doing. But there have been many times where I've been to the range and really did not feel comfortable or hit my irons good and hit my driver terrible, something like that. You know, you can turn that around and use it to your advantage. You can focus a little bit more on the tee box and things like that.

But to go out there and shoot what I did the first nine holes, you don't really think about that's going to happen. It just happens, you know. The momentum that keeps you going, you make one, I make four, I say, wow, this could be a good day, so let's be a little more aggressive. It's just a feel that you get.

Q. We talked about it earlier in the week that last year's Buick Open started that amazing run you had. Do you at all feel the same way that, you know, to say that the same run is possible, but that you feel as good as you did at this point last year and went on that tear?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know, man, last year I didn't know it was going to be that way. This year, you kind of think about it, it's just like going out there and trying to shoot a low number when you already shot 7 under on the front side. You're not really thinking about what the rest of the season is going to be.

I'm a week to week player. I just show up in the golf tournament, I'm not thinking about this tournament, me playing well this tournament is a great warm up for the PGA. I'm not thinking about it. I'm really focused on trying to win this particular golf tournament. I'm in the present and that's the way I think all the time.

End of FastScripts.

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