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July 31, 2004

Vijay Singh


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome our third round leader Vijay Singh. Vijay, as the 54 hole leader of the tournament, he is the winner of the CRESTOR Charity Challenge where $50,000 will be donated to a local charity, the St. John Hospital and Medical Center and $50,000 will be donated to a charity of Vijay's choice.

This is the second time that Vijay has won the CRESTOR Charity Challenge and we congratulate you on that.

And a great round today, 7 under par 65, bogey free. Just talk about your day.

VIJAY SINGH: I played obviously quite well. It was quite a tough day. The wind was blowing quite strong. I had not played that wind before.

It was fun playing with Carlos, as well. I enjoy playing with Carlos, and he's a good friend of mine. So, that kind of relaxed myself, my caddie and the whole atmosphere was quite nice. So we had a good day that way and I hit the ball really good. Made a lot of birdies on the par 5s, which I don't think I birdied a par 5 yesterday, but I birdied all of them today and that's four birdies right there. So apart from that, I hit two close shots and made two putts.

Q. You got started with the birdies at the first two holes and I know you heard roars throughout the golf course so you new it was going to be a birdie fest today.

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, there's so many birdie opportunities out there, if you hit the fairways, short irons, medium to short irons all the way around. Even the par 3s, if you hit the greens, you've got a good chance of making birdies. The greens are not very big here.

I knew my chances were going to come. The same holes they are playing, I've got to play, too. I just kept plodding along and I was very patient out there.

Q. When you start out birdie, birdie like that, can that get you going for the entire round when you get off to a start like that?

VIJAY SINGH: Sure, the first hole is a par 5 and you have trouble on left side so you try to avoid that off the tee. But I was happy to make a birdie there. I had a good bunker shot. Made a putt on 2. Once you do that, the pressure is a little gone, so you know you can go up and play a little bit more easily.

I was comfortable out there. I was not struggling with my game which is nice. I was pretty comfortable with the putter, so that's a big thing. I was happy to get on the greens and try it out, and I was looking forward to making putts out there, which is kind of new to me.

Q. You're leading by two, but there are a lot of guys close to you. Do you think Sunday will go down to the wire, type of golf tournament where three or four people will be on 18 shooting for the championship?

VIJAY SINGH: I think so. It really depends on how I play, as well. I know playing with John Daly tomorrow and Tiger is right behind me. Carlos is playing good golf, too. So it really depends on how I play. If I can go out there and keep pace with the rest of the guys, you know, then I won't have to worry about it. But if somebody goes out there, it's very capable of people going out there and shooting 8 , 9 under. This golf course is yielding a lot of birdies and has been all week.

I just have to play, go out and be patient and worry about my game. Coming down the stretch we'll see what the situation is.

Q. Playing with John Daly tomorrow, he said a few minutes ago, you guys had a little playful banter out on the driving range before today's round. Care to talk about that?

VIJAY SINGH: Oh, we're always joking. He's a good guy. I like John a lot and I think I'm going to have a bit of fun with him tomorrow. We played with Ireland just before coming over here, a charity match, so I'm looking forward to it. I told him he's got to play well to play with me today, so obviously he did. (Laughing).

Q. With so many big names atop the leaderboard, it's great for the fans, but do you embrace that as a player? Tiger was saying he'd rather not have so many big names up there; do you embrace that?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't really mind. I can't worry about them too much tomorrow. I have to you know it's good to have tough guys up there. It makes you play a little better, anyway. I can't go out there and think that I'm going to shoot 1 or 2 under and win the golf tournament. So, you know, I have to go out there and play well and hopefully be good enough.

Q. Did you ever think on a week when you're switching putters that you would be in this position when you're making that change?

VIJAY SINGH: No, not leading the golf tournament. I was really concerned. I wasn't worried, but I was concerned about coming out here and not being able to play a practice round on Tuesday. I wanted to have two days on the greens to be comfortable.

Thursday kind of really fired me up. I made a lot of putts on Thursday and I think that got me really settled down and I was very comfortable. But I still keep fiddling with it. I'm not really comfortable 100%. I still have to adjust myself. It's a good way to start with a new putter. It feels foreign to me, but then when I get on the greens and start focusing on the putts, I'm very comfortable with it.

Q. You've had some tournaments in the last couple of months where you've kind of faltered in the final round, some big final round scores. How important is it for you tomorrow; you have an opportunity where you can really distance yourself from the rest of the field.

VIJAY SINGH: Well, it really depends on how I play, obviously. You know, I've been having a lot of problems with my putting. It's a big switch for me, and I went back home after the British and really analyzed my golf swing and tried to figure out what was going wrong, why I wasn't scoring.

So the putting part was a big factor, and, you know, I'm putting well now. I'm feeling comfortable with a putter, which is really good for me. So tomorrow I can go out there and not worry about how I'm going to putt. I'm looking forward to making putts now.

So I mean, if I just play like I did today and have a good start tomorrow, I think I'll be okay.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Take us through your round, if you would, with a birdie there at 1.

We might also mention that you are a very good front runner. When it comes to 54 holes and you've held the lead, the last six times you've gone on to win the tournament that week. What is it about you in the lead after three days?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, you know, I guess whenever you're leading, you're playing well. I feel like whenever I've led a golf tournament, but once or twice, I have always been in good form. I think if you're in good form and leading a golf tournament, then you're not worried about going out there the next day and figuring out if you are going to play well.

I'm not worried about tomorrow. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, and that's a big thing. If I can just go out there and roll the ball like I did today, I think I'll take care of business.

JOE CHEMYCZ: You made a good birdie at 1 to open the day.

VIJAY SINGH: I was kind of worried about the left side, tried to go in the other fairway, but had a good 5 wood on to the bunker. Blasted out to about eight feet and made that.

Second hole was driver, wedge to about 15 foot.

7, hit driver, 3 wood on to the green and 2 putted from 20 feet maybe.

8, I hit 7 iron about 20 feet and I holed that.

10, I hit a driver, sand wedge about three foot.

15, I hit driver, 5 wood into the bunker. Blast out about eight foot and holed that.

16, I hit driver, 3 wood on the to green and 2 putted from about 50 foot.

JOE CHEMYCZ: We appreciate it. Again congratulations.

End of FastScripts.

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