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May 16, 2003

Vijay Singh


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you Vijay for joining us a few minutes. A pair of 65's to start out the tournament, a great round today. Let's talk about the conditions and your play and we will go into questions.

VIJAY SINGH: Thank you. I think the golf course is much tougher that side when the wind blows than the hard golf course. Every hole is left to right wind or into the wind or crosswind. I really hit the ball well. I drove it well, made two bogeys and still shot that number. I'm really happy the way I'm playing. I'm excited about the weekend.


Q. You have been swinging pretty well for quite a while, can you pinpoint when you had gotten in this latest groove and what got you on to it?

VIJAY SINGH: I guess all of the hours on the range helped. But when I started the year I was swinging, swinging very well. And I had that injury and didn't play very well for -- when I came back, two weeks, three weeks. Then after The Masters, I was playing well. During The Masters I played well.

Q. There wasn't like any alteration you made that got you going?

VIJAY SINGH: No, even though I was hurt, I was still doing physical exercises, and my stamina is still pretty well up there. But I think the golf swing has just come around. It's been a while and I feel strong about my golf swing and it's kind of going where I am aiming.

Q. Can you talk about 18, the way you played it, certainly not the textbook way of playing it, but you wound up making par?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know about that hole. I don't really. It doesn't suit my eye, that hole. I thought about a driver then I thought about a 3-wood then I hit a 4-iron and still missed the fairway. I think I misjudged the wind a little built. I tried to aim to the right thinking it would take it, but it kind of went the other way. I chipped out, and I thought I had a good sand wedge and pulled up short. I made a good putt. That was a new putter that I had today too. I'm excited about the way I am putting. It's going to be an exciting weekend.

Q. You used a new putter?


Q. After shooting 65 yesterday?

VIJAY SINGH: Yes. If I would have used the putter I shot yesterday, I probably would have shot a 60. I missed a lot of chances yesterday. That's why I changed it.

Q. Do you consider this an extra special round considering the way the wind was?

VIJAY SINGH: Yes, I think so. I was even through 10 and made 4 straight birdies from 11 onward. And then birdied the 16th hole, you know. I was very patient out there. I knew the score is not going to go that low like it did yesterday, so I just had to be around the leaders and I am surprised that I'm leading where I finished.

Q. What putter did you switch from?

VIJAY SINGH: From a Cameron to a Cameron, different models.

Q. You probably tried as many putting styles and different putters as anybody, what have you learned that doesn't work for you? What have you found that does work for you that you are always looking for?

VIJAY SINGH: I have been using this putter that looks like an old Ping. And I have been using it for the last two years now and I needed to get something different. Scotty made me this putter last week. It didn't work out and he made me a new one, same style. I almost took it out yesterday. And I said I would give my old trusty one a go. I didn't putt badly, I just didn't make the putts that was out there. Today I practiced with it last night and it felt really good. It's the best I felt with a putter for a long, long time. Just a different shape, a different look to it. It makes a lot of difference.

Q. Given the controversy swirling around you the beginning of the week, does that make this anymore special?

VIJAY SINGH: No, I'm very focused. I'm came here to win the golf tournament. It's a great event. It's Byron's tournament, and I am just looking forward to playing it. My mind is totally on this golf game and that's it.


Q. Vijay, did you know Mark McCormick died today?

VIJAY SINGH: She just told me. I'm kind of shocked about it. I knew he was in a coma for a long, long time. But it still hadn't sunk in. It's a sad day for golf. He was a great man.

Q. Talk about how important he was.

VIJAY SINGH: He was our MG. He has been in the forefront of golf forever. He started managing, you know, Nicklaus, Palmer, and all of those great golfers. Everybody down the line that was No. 1 in the world. He managed. It's a great loss to golf, I think.

Q. Vijay, Tim Petrovic was just in here and someone asked him when did he start feeling comfortable on TOUR. He mentioned the round he played with you at Pebble Beach last year and that he felt like -- Phoenix. I'm wondering if you recall that round.

VIJAY SINGH: I know I was in Phoenix.

Q. Were you aware of making him feel comfortable?

VIJAY SINGH: I know I played with him a few times. He is a really good ball striker. I didn't know I had an influence on him. He is a good player. He is due to win. Hopefully, not this week because I want to win. What can I say? I wish him luck for the weekend.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Vijay for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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