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October 13, 2004

Vijay Singh


GORDON SIMPSON: Vijay, sorry we could not lay on the weather for you this week, but welcome back to the HSBC World Match Play. I see you've had two finals, both with Ernie, won one, lost one, and do you think it could be a possibility again this year?

VIJAY SINGH: I hope so. I think it will be good for everybody if I can do that. But my first order of business is to take care of whoever I'm playing with tomorrow. I'm playing with Bernhard tomorrow, and Bernhard knows the golf course better than he knows his backyard I think; he's played here so many times. And he's a tough competitor. But although on paper it looks like it's an easy pair, but I think it's going to be one of the harder matches that I have to face and I have to be on my game to beat him and that's my first initial hurdle.

No, I'm looking forward to it. I'm playing well. I like this golf course. It's longer, it favors longer hitters. So I'm just looking forward to tomorrow and seeing what I can do for the rest of the week.

You know, the weather is one thing to worry about, but I had one week of experience in Scotland, so I'm kind of getting used to it.

GORDON SIMPSON: I'm sure the weather wasn't as bad as Florida a few weeks ago?

VIJAY SINGH: But it's colder here. Scottish was colder than here. I'm more comfortable here than I was last week. I don't mind it. I'm just looking forward to getting it started. I've been here all week and just can't wait to get there on the first tee tomorrow.

Q. Do you have any awareness of the situation with Ernie in regards to releases from the U.S. tour to play in Europe? They are trying to get him to play more than the minimum required. Do you have a view about that?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know, I mean, I haven't heard of that before. I know a few guys are having some problems with that. But I was fortunate that the European was my home tour when I first went to America. In my country, there's not a tour; so I had a residence over here and this was my home tour.

I don't know, I'm not in a position to comment on that right now.

Q. At least the flow of play will be better?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, six-hour rounds are pretty long, especially when it's cold, windy and wet. But we knew what we were in for last week. I had a great time with my partner. I enjoyed the game, but it just took forever to play. When it's not flowing it's always difficult to keep a score going.

But this week, it's fun. Although you're playing against your opponent, you're still playing the golf course and it's going to be flowing. I mean, the Tour is going to be out there and they will make sure the pace of play is going according to what they want, and I don't think we'll have a problem. I've played here many a times and there never is a problem.

Q. Are you lured by he amount of money ?

VIJAY SINGH: It's there, it's probably one of the biggest purses in the world right now dollar-wise. I don't know what it is, 1.7 or 1.8 million. It would be a good chunk of cash to take home at the end of the day. But the only problem is you've got to beat four guys to get there. You know, it's 36 holes each day in each match-play, so you're never going to be on your game. The guys that are playing over here are no pushovers. Every one of them can play.

Q. Will physical fitness be a factor this week?

VIJAY SINGH: Usually the adrenaline that you have playing match-play will take you through that, and probably when you finish at the end of the day, you feel like you're falling over and it's not working out. You wake up the next day and you've got to go through it.

I feel like towards the end, maybe coming Sunday or late Saturday afternoon, that's when fitness will show up. I mean, you need to be, if you're down you need to pump yourself up; and if you're physically not there, you can't do that. I feel everybody that's playing out here is physically quite fit. They are all prepared. There's nobody out there that's not ready to play this golf tournament. I've got the next three weeks after this, yes, and I'm quite prepared for that as well.

Q. Inaudible

VIJAY SINGH: It was a hard week to really focus. My plan was to play well and possibly be in contention come Sunday, but it's difficult to get yourself really pumped up on a tournament like that. The golf course, you could hit it anywhere and get around it. You need to hit go shots to get close to the pins, so a bad drive did not penalize too many guys out there.

I'm really focused on this week right now. If I don't win, the next three weeks are important for me in the States. Even if I don't win, it won't count to the tournaments won in the States. So, you know, my focus obviously is here this week, but I'm also looking forward to going out there and playing the next three weeks, and I like the golf courses I'm playing at and I've had success in those tournaments.

Q. Is ten tournaments this year still a goal?

VIJAY SINGH: It's in the back of my mind, yeah, but I've just got to see if I can win another one for starters, and that's the first thing that I'm going to do when I get to Disney is try to focus on that week. You always want to win golf tournaments. At the start of the season, you want to win one. And then if you fin won, you want to win another one. I just suddenly went into a run where everything was working for me. I mean, it's, you know, I was driving the ball great, putting unbelievably, the breaks go your way and your opponents kind of fall off.

So everything was going my way, and you know hopefully it has not stopped yet. Last week, I don't consider that as a disappointment. But it was a tournament where I wasn't 100% in it. I was -- it was definitely to get totally into that tournament. It was cold, windy, and, you know, at some points, I was talking to myself, what the hell am I doing here. But that's the way it goes.

Q. Do you feel an extra spring in your step now that you are number one?

VIJAY SINGH: I should actually. But you have more people watching you now, and you have everybody trying to figure out what you are shooting. You have a lot more tension on your score and yourself, when I go out there I want to perform well and I don't want to be a disappointment to anybody. Maybe extra pressure for myself, but I think I've handled it okay sense I since I became No. 1. I'm enjoying it. I really am enjoying the fact that I'm up there and I'm playing well. I mean, if I wasn't playing well, then it would be a different story. But right now I'm playing well, I'm feeling good and I just want to go out there and show people that, you know, I'm the No. 1 player.

Q. Were you disappointed not getting Player of the Year last year and did that inspire you to play well this year?

VIJAY SINGH: I was a little disappointed I didn't get it, I don't know how far I was behind Tiger, he won more tournaments than me, but I won the Money List. But it didn't really inspire me to play well this year. I mean, that was last year and I never thought about it after the season was over. I lot of people said, you should be No. 1 or you should have got the Player of the Year award.

You know, once the vote's done, you just cannot drool over it. You just forget it and get on with it. I thought I did that pretty good. I made a point this year that nobody is going to make a mistake there.

Q. Do you reward yourself after a win?

VIJAY SINGH: It's a good question because people are going to say when are you going to stop and enjoy what you've actually achieved. It's very difficult, there's a lot more attention now, and a lot more of my time is taken away than when I was six weeks or seven weeks ago when I wasn't No. 1.

So yes you want to enjoy it, but at the same time you don't want to lose that spring that you have. You want to keep going and you've got to work twice as hard to stay up there now. I feel like the work has just started. I need to work harder to stay up there and if I take time off, what's going to happen if I come back, lose that feel.

But there's a lot of things that goes behind all that and right now I'm just taking it week by week. And I have the Grand Slam week where I'm going to go there a week early and just try to chill out in Hawaii, and that's the one week that I planned where I'm just going to take it easy and enjoy it with my family.

Q. Will you make any changes to your physical regimen?

VIJAY SINGH: I have a trainer that he just climbed two mountains in Switzerland, so I think he has something under his sleeve. But I'm looking forward to working out, as well. I've missed three weeks of really serious work out and I'm looking forward to going home and catching on with where I left off.

Hopefully, you know, end of the season is coming, it's not going to be a long end of the season, but it's going to be something that I'm looking forward to working hard and starting off in good form next year.

Q. How hard is it to change from stroke-play to match-play?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, it really is not hard. We're so used playing it, I play a lot of rounds on Tuesdays where I play against opponents where we play match-play events. Obviously we play for something, but it's always hole-by-hole games. It doesn't really affect us at all. We already know when we come here it's a match-play event. When we enter the tournament, we know it's a match-play event. Just we are in that mode. We just go ahead and play, and you're playing against your opponent and that's the bottom line. Although you've got to go out and play your own game and play the golf course, but you know he's there and you just have to beat him and that's the way we just do it.


VIJAY SINGH: We probably could. We played a totally different game than when you are up. When I'm three or four down I don't see anything else but the flagstick and you're more aggressive off the tees. You take risks where sometimes you would never do that. It's a different approach aggressive-wise. If your opponent is hitting into a ditch or into trees, just play it safe. He probably would not do that in a stroke-play, but there's probably a lot more other people involved.

Tomorrow I just have to beat Langer, and that's my whole goal is to go out there and beat my opponent and whatever it takes, and that's what you do.

Q. Being No. 1 in the world, do you feel an obligation to play more around the world?

VIJAY SINGH: Not really. Not for me, anyway. I'm going to keep to my own schedule next year, and end of this year, as well. I'm not doing anything that I have not planned to do. My obligation is to fulfill my schedule and that's what I'm doing. It's a full schedule already. I've already planned to play so many and I have to check with my manager to figure that one out.

Q. Do you know what it is to be idle?

VIJAY SINGH: I've done that many a times. It's just that, you know, I haven't done it long enough. When I have a week off, I probably take two days at home and do nothing. I always work out. I mean, it doesn't matter if it's a day off or no, I work out.

I've taken a lot of times where I don't do much at all, but two days, three days max, and then you have to get back and start practicing again.

Q. Do you get anxious when you're doing nothing?

VIJAY SINGH: After two days I do, yes.

Q. What do you think of possibly playing Ernie in the final match on Sunday?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, you know, I don't know -- I was talking to my wife, it would be a great, great thing to play Ernie in the finals. But I don't know if we are going to make it to the final, that's the thing. Everybody wishes to see Ernie and myself play the final, and I think it would be a great match, especially after last year.

I just hope that happens. If it doesn't, you know, so be it.

End of FastScripts.

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