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October 30, 2004

Vijay Singh


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We'd like to welcome the third round leader of the Chrysler Championship, Vijay Singh. Vijay, congratulations. You're also the winner of this week's Crestor Charity Challenge for I believe the sixth time. In your name on behalf of Crestor and the Chrysler Championship, Academy Prep here in Tampa will receive $50,000, and an additional $50,000 will be donated to a health-related charity of your choice, so congratulations on your sixth Crestor Charity Challenge.

VIJAY SINGH: Thank you.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You've got a one-shot lead going into tomorrow over Tommy Armour, and there's a lot of other players right around the lead. Start with some opening comments about your lead this week.

VIJAY SINGH: It's only one shot. The golf course is yielding a lot of birdies, but at the same time it's really tough, so if you mis-hit a shot, it can get you in a lot of troubles. It's fairways and greens, and if I'm having problems, everybody else is going to do the same thing, so I'll go out tomorrow, hit the fairways and greens, and my mindset is to shoot maybe 2- or 3-under and that could do it. Then again, last week, Ryan came out of the pack and shot a good number. This is a different kind of golf course, so I don't know on a Sunday here if there can be really low scores.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You started out with bogeys on 2 and 3 but rebounded with birdies on 4 and 5. That's kind of been the theme this year, that when you've struggled you've bounced back. Talk about the difference with that type of scoring this year.

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, the bogeys, the 2nd hole I hit two good shots, came up short and was too aggressive with my putt.

3rd, I mis-hit it on the wrong side of the green.

You can make early bogeys and you can always recover. I make a lot of birdies out there, and if you just keep your head and play to your game plan and just be patient, I think -- my first goal was to get it back to par and I did it immediately. Whenever I go over par, that's my first goal is to get it back to par. That's what I've been doing all year.

Q. How important is it for you to end this year on the roll that you have to get those ten wins?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know about the ten wins. I'm not really worried about the ten wins. I just want to play well until the end of the season. If I win this week, fine, then I have to do it again next week, and next week is a really difficult tournament to do. I haven't even won this week, I'm just leading. I just have to focus on what I'm doing, be in the present and stay in the present. That's my goal.

Tomorrow I'm going to do the same, go out there and play a good round of golf, and if I win, that's a bonus.

Q. Do you almost expect to be in this position now? I mean, whether you win or not, obviously there's a lot that can happen, but just to have a chance again, you have basically for every tournament for two months, I guess?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, you want to give yourself a chance on Sunday. You know, I've learned that a bad round one of the days, if you have one bad round, it doesn't mean it's the end of the tournament, unless it's a really bad one. I just try to keep in touch. If I shoot 2- or 3-under the first one, two or three days, I can keep in touch with the field. If scoring is low, then obviously you've got to shoot a little lower. A tough golf course like this you don't worry about the what the leads are, you just keep pace and keep your patience and see if you can get a chance on Sunday. Fortunately I've done better than that this year.

Q. Will you hit balls after this?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, my caddie is waiting for me.

Q. Is it because that's your routine, or do you feel like you have to work on something, or is it both?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I mean, I don't really have to work on anything. I just have to wind down. I always do that after a round of golf, just to leave the driving range on a positive note. Coming back tomorrow I'll have the good feel when I leave the driving range, unless I'm doing something wrong, which I don't think I'm doing it right now.

Q. Was there a point a year or two ago where if you started out with a couple quick bogeys it might have derailed your round?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, probably I'd get too aggressive the next few holes trying to get it back straight away. I've done that many a times, especially in the majors, where you try to get back shots, and if it's a tough golf course and you mis-hit it again, you're just going to go backwards. That's the key, I think. You've got to be patient if you make early bogeys. There's a lot of holes to recover.

Q. Is the golf course getting -- has it been getting a little bit harder have you noticed?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, it's getting fast. It's running into the roughs, and the roughs are not getting any thinner. I mean, it's really thick out there. You miss it on the wrong places in the rough, you can get yourself in a lot of trouble. The greens are really firming up, too. It's very grainy but pretty fast. If you miss it on the wrong side, getting down in two is a pretty good test.

Q. Were you caught in that backup back there with the rulings?

VIJAY SINGH: No, the thing was that pace of play was so good that we didn't really have to wait until that one hole. I don't know, we waited for ten minutes max.

Q. On the --

VIJAY SINGH: On 16 tee box. I mean, it was such a great pace that we didn't have to worry about anything.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Vijay, let's touch on your round and we'll take one or two final questions. Started out with bogeys on No. 2 and 3.

VIJAY SINGH: I hit a 5-wood, 7-iron about 20 feet, three-putted.

Hit a 6-iron left of the green, left it short and chipped it and made the putt for bogey.

4, birdie, hit a 6-iron about 20 feet, I think.

5, par 5, I hit driver, 3-wood just short of the green, chipped it about eight feet.

7, I hit 5-wood, wedge about 12 feet.

Then 11, I hit driver, 5-wood on the green, two-putted from about 30 feet.

14, I hit driver, 3-wood just left of the green, chipped it about four feet.

17, 4-iron about 20 feet.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Vijay Singh, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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