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May 27, 2004

Vijay Singh


SCOTT CROCKETT: Vijay, many thanks, as always, for coming in. A flawless opening round of 66. You said in your TV interview, you came over for some different competition. You must have enjoyed the first round of that.

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I did. I played pretty solid. I didn't make too many mistakes. When I did make a mistake, it was like the sixth hole, I saved par from 15 feet. Things like that kind of gets you going on a round.

And then, it was a different golf course today. I was surprised, with the overnight rain yesterday, that it would soften the golf course. That's why you are seeing so many low scores. I'm very pleased with my round and I'll take that tomorrow and come out firing.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Dinner will taste better with those two birdies, since you never glimpsed the tee from the fairway on either of them.

VIJAY SINGH: I could not seed the shot on 18. I was telling my caddie, I did not visualize the shot on 18; I just hit a terrible tee shot. I've been practicing those 70 , 60 yard shots last week and it's paying off.

SCOTT CROCKETT: The details of your birdies, Vijay.

VIJAY SINGH: 7, I hit a 5 wood, 9 iron to about 15 foot.

8, I hit 5 wood, 9 iron to about the same distance.

12, I hit driver, 6 iron about 15, 20 feet and 2 putted.

15, I hit driver, 7 iron about 20 foot.

The last two, I hit driver, 5 wood, and chipped it about three foot.

18, I hit driver in the bunker, hit a 5 iron and sand wedge to three feet.

Q. Are you excited to see Ernie there when you went out or were you thinking, here we go again?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I wasn't excited to see him. I'm eight shots back just starting the tournament. But he's playing well obviously and he knows the golf course well. I wasn't expecting less.

But I wasn't worried about him when I went out there. I just thought, you know, if I start chasing him, then I'm probably going to have a miserable day. But just wanted to go out and play a solid round of golf, which I did. My goal was to shoot 3 , 4 under, 5 under, just stay in there, and I'm really pleased with the way I finished.

Q. Your position in the World Rankings, is it more satisfying that you are truly a world golfer, a world traveling golfer? Those guys have been up there in that kind of position who rarely play outside the States, do you think it's almost more valid?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. It's hard to say. It's difficult to travel all over the world. I mean, the guy has been traveling, he's been traveling all over the world, except Phil who doesn't play outside, it seems like, of America. Tiger has been traveling as well.

I guess it justifies my ranking up there, as well as the other guys. That's why it's called the world ranking, otherwise it would be called the U.S. ranking. I feel like I've been playing well for the last two or three years to be where I am right now.

Q. The alternative might be to stay in the States where the ranking value is higher typically.

VIJAY SINGH: Well, in the points over here this week, it's almost as big as anywhere else, maybe bigger than the States in some tournaments.

I could just stay back there and play, like you said, but I like the challenge of travelling and playing different golf courses. That's why I'm here.

Q. The 5 iron from the bunker on the 18th, how long and how difficult a shot was it?

VIJAY SINGH: It was a pretty simple shot. It was further back than it seemed like. I didn't even worry about the lip. I must have hit it about 180 yards, 190 yards.

Q. How difficult is it not to think about what Ernie had shot, knowing that before you teed off, how difficult is it to keep out?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, it's there in front of you every hole you go, there's a leaderboard; Ernie, he's leading.

One good thing about this tournament, or any tournament for that matter, you cannot win on the first day. You have to take that into account, and there's three other rounds to go. So, if you try to focus too much on what's on the leaderboard on the first day, then it can throw you off. So I played long enough to know that you just stay in there until you really your turn is going to come. I can shoot a low number in the next three days. So I just go out there and try to shoot a decent number and see what happens.

Q. Was there a particular shot that pleased you?

VIJAY SINGH: I think the putt on No. 6 hole. I think I hit the wrong club off the tee, so instead of laying up short of the bunker, I laid up in the bunker. Then hit it in on the next bunker, pitched out about 15 feet. It was off the green, too. I made that one.

Q. Momentum?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah. And birdied the next two. So there you go. That's how you kind of start a round. I think that was the one that kept me going there.

End of FastScripts.

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