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April 21, 2005

Vijay Singh


TODD BUDNICK: We welcome defending champion Vijay Singh after an 8-under 64 in the first round of the Shell Houston Open. Vijay, bogey-free round today and actually looking back through last year's card you haven't made a bogey here in 56 holes.

VIJAY SINGH: Don't mention that (laughter).

TODD BUDNICK: Another good round. 64 is your best round here. T9 your first year, win last year. You seem to enjoy this course.

VIJAY SINGH: It sets up for longer hitters if you're hitting the ball straight. Today was a great example. I drove the ball pretty straight and pretty long. When you do that, you have a lot of looks at the holes for birdies.

I went in with pretty much short irons into every hole except for 1 and 2. I putted really well. I've been playing well but my putter has been letting me down. Today it kind of woke up.

Q. How did it wake up? What did you figure out?

VIJAY SINGH: It started going in.

I don't know, I was more careful with setting my line up. I think I'm aiming, but I was a little bit -- I discussed it with my caddie, a little bit more careful where my aim really was. Sometimes you miss the hole by a little bit.

I struck the ball really well today, had a very good feel of the greens and my speed was good, and when you do that you can make some birdies.

Q. Yesterday you mentioned you didn't hit it well but you figured out something on 18.

VIJAY SINGH: I really played well on Tuesday, as well, so yesterday it was a six-hour round, just a long day. It started going haywire, but I got on the range and went back to basics, things that I was working on, and it kind of corrected itself and came out this morning feeling good. I had a good practice session.

Q. How was it last night? Did you get a lot of phone calls, emails, different things about the announcement?

VIJAY SINGH: Most of them have been going home, but my cell phone had a lot of messages, so it was good. I knew this three weeks ago, but I think the rest of the public started knowing it yesterday.

Q. Anybody surprising that you got a voice mail from or a call from that just really --

VIJAY SINGH: I mean, it's mostly all my friends, a lot of my golfing friends, as well, called up. No, nobody in particular that I was surprised about.

Q. I just wondered if Byron Nelson called you or something?

VIJAY SINGH: I'll see him in three weeks.

Q. When you have something like that, do you wake up the next day and there's more bounce in your step and life seems even better, or is it just another day?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. I mean, things like that doesn't just sink in. It takes a while to kind of sink in. What do you do? I mean, it's like your birthday. You wake up, it's your birthday, and after a while what happens? It's no big deal at this particular moment. I mean, it's a great feeling to have, but I think the weeks and months from now, it's going to be a really big deal for me. People are going to look up to me. There are a few guys out there that are saying "Hall of Famer," but things like this are going to happen more and more, but at the moment it hasn't sunk in.

Q. Just wake up and go shoot 64?

VIJAY SINGH: That's it (laughter). You've got to have a focus on what you're doing. My focus this week is coming out here and playing the Shell Houston Open. This is my real focus. I knew about it three weeks ago, so yesterday was no surprise to me.

Q. Were you concerned that because of the stuff that would surround it, it might be a little bit harder to focus than a normal week?

VIJAY SINGH: No, I've had worse things than that happen to me (laughter).

Q. Did you notice a different reception from the gallery after yesterday's news?

VIJAY SINGH: Not really. There were more players coming up to me and congratulating me, and that was nice. Every player out there said something about it, so that was good.

Q. Do they now have to address you as "Mr. Hall of Famer" or anything like that?

VIJAY SINGH: I haven't thought about that, but I will print it out and put it in the locker room (laughter).

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through the card, the eight birdies starting with the par 5, No. 12.

VIJAY SINGH: I hit driver, 3-iron to about 30 feet, two-putted.

15, I hit a driver, 3-wood to about 30 feet, two-putted.

16, hit a driver, 8-iron to about feet.

17, I hit a driver, 8-iron about 16 feet.

2nd, I hit a driver, sand wedge about a foot.

6th hole, I hit a driver, sand wedge about four feet.

I hit driver, 6-iron about four feet.

Hit driver, 3-wood, pitched it about a foot.

Q. Vijay, did you leave any shots out on the course?

VIJAY SINGH: The only one I can think of was probably the 1st hole where I hit a driver, a pretty good 3-iron, just rolled over the green and made par.

Apart from that, there's a lot of chances out there, but I think I made my share today.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Vijay.

End of FastScripts.

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