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September 5, 2002

Vijay Singh


MODERATOR: Thank you, Vijay, for spending a few minutes with us. Good round today of 5-under par, 67. You're one of the first players to finish today. Why don't you talk about the conditions of the course, then we'll go into questions.

VIJAY SINGH: Golf course played a lot easier than yesterday because the wind wasn't that strong. The pin placements, they must have heard us, because it wasn't so easy, they put it on difficult spots.

Lucky enough I went off early, could attack the pins a little bit, not worry about the ball bouncing too far off the pins.

I played quite decent. I hit the ball really good. Hit a lot of greens, made some putts. 67, pretty happy with it.

MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. (Inaudible)?

VIJAY SINGH: One or two greens were softer than the rest of them. Like the 1st hole was a lot softer. You could fly to the pin and stop it. I think the afternoon is going to be a lot different than that. The wind's coming up a little bit.

The pins are on limit of being a little bit impossible of getting up and down if you're on the wrong side of the hole. But they're very fair. If you hit it on the correct side of the green, you get a decent putt at it. You just don't want to miss it on the wrong side.

Q. (Inaudible) mean something to you or is that something we write and say?

VIJAY SINGH: Doesn't matter. Everybody playing this golf tournament is capable of winning. I just feel like I've got a better chance of winning right now at this stage of my career because I'm playing really good. I think I'm playing better now than I've ever done. I feel very, very good about my golf swing. My putting is coming around finally.

You know, even if the field would have been a lot stronger than what it is now, it wouldn't have mattered because I feel like I'm playing good enough to contend now.

I'm looking forward to the week. It really doesn't give me any pressure at all, no.

Q. (Inaudible) trying to get The Presidents Cup in 2007. What was your impression of the golf course and whether it can hold a Matchplay event like that?

VIJAY SINGH: The golf course is really good. The clubhouse is unbelievable. That's probably the best clubhouse I've ever been to. That doesn't make the golf course a good golf course. You know, I would like to see them narrow the golf course up a little bit.

Every player over here has been saying about this golf course being wide. You know, that's twice as wide as this, if that's anything to go by.

I spoke to the pro and said, "It's a great place to have a tournament. The facilities are really good. You need to do something about the golf course, make it a lot more narrow." Even though it's The Presidents Cup, a Matchplay event, you still want the golf course to be a little bit more harder to hit fairways. Out there, you can just go out and whack it, wherever you want to hit it. That's a little bit too easy of a golf course, I thought. That's the best I can describe it (laughter).

Q. (Inaudible)?

VIJAY SINGH: Unbelievable. You should go see it.

Q. Slightly different topic. The NCWO is considering talking to PGA TOUR players to try to get their assistance in their cause with respect to getting women's members into Augusta. As a former Masters champion, what would your response be if that organization approaches you?

VIJAY SINGH: It's really not up to me. I'm just a bystander. I'm not going to comment on anything about that. Whatever Hootie is doing is for the interest of the golf course and the golf club. I have no say in that. I would rather not comment on that issue.

Q. Do you think over the next six months, whether you want to comment or not, you're going to get beleaguered by questions wherever you go. Whether you want to talk about it now or not, you must have some personal feelings about this kind of issue as a human being. You can choose to keep them private or not private, but that won't stop people asking you about it over the next six months.

VIJAY SINGH: There are clubs all over America that are men only, so why should you single out Augusta just because they hold the Masters? You know, shouldn't be the case. If it's for one golf course, it should be for the rest of them.

My comment will be "no comment," and that's it. They can ask me today, they can ask me six months from now, it's going to be "no comment."

MODERATOR: Could we go over your card.

VIJAY SINGH: Thank you (laughter).

2nd hole, I hit 8-iron about 15 feet, made it.

9th hole, I hit a driver, 3-wood, about 40 feet, 2-putted.

What was the other one?


VIJAY SINGH: 10th, I hit a 5-wood, 9-iron, about eight feet.


VIJAY SINGH: What was 14?


VIJAY SINGH: Driver, 5-wood in the bunker, blasted that about three feet.

14, hit driver, 9-iron, about 20 feet, holed that.

Par 5, I hit driver, 3-wood, right of the green, chipped it about eight feet.

I bogeyed the par 3. I hit a 5-iron on the green about 40 feet and 3-putted.

Q. You mentioned your putting is coming around. Can you go through your evolution as a putter, why you turned your back on the conventional style, and what your belly putting does for you?

VIJAY SINGH: I was putting pretty ordinary with a normal putter. I won the Masters, won a lot of tournaments putting conventional, but it wasn't consistent enough.

The belly putter is pretty much the same way of putting, it's just that it's anchored in my belly. If you cut off the extension, it's just a normal putter, which is 35 inches long. All I'm doing is anchoring it in my stomach.

It's an easier way of putting. I'm releasing the putter very comfortably without thinking about the stroke so much. Just a good way of putting. You all should try it (laughter).

Q. (Inaudible)?

VIJAY SINGH: It sticks in my belly button perfectly, so it doesn't change (laughter), unless my weight changes. Hasn't changed in about two years, so...

Q. When you get to feeling this good about your game, do you practice less?

VIJAY SINGH: I would go out and just go through my bag. I probably spend less time on the range. I spend more time on the putting green. That's why I'm putting good. Maybe I should change the way I practice (laughter).

You know, like yesterday I was hitting it pretty good. I just went out there, went through the bag, 40 minutes on the range, did my short game, went back home.

Q. When you get on a little roll like you're on, in your mind is it just a matter of time that you're going to win?

VIJAY SINGH: In all those events, I really never had a chance of winning. I had great last rounds. The PGA was the same thing. I think the best chance for me to win was in Sahalee where I was in contention. I played a 2-over last round, which wasn't very good. Vancouver last week I left it to late. I was six shots back. You can't really make up that many shots unless you play a good Front 9.

This week I started off good. Hopefully I can maintain that and take that on to Sunday. I'm playing well enough. If I just keep doing what I done today, I'll be right there on Sunday.

Q. (Inaudible)?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. The guys are really good out there. They're all playing incredible golf. They're not scared of winning. A lot of guys coming from the BUY.COM.TOUR have won tournaments from there. Sooner other later, they're going to come out and play well. Each year you see every player out there is going to have a good week. Some of them pull through and win, some of them finish way up there. That's how they maintain their card.

This year everybody's playing well. I don't know. I just think the quality of the game is getting better, the equipment is getting better, guys are hitting longer. Guys haven't hit balls this long before. If you give them equipment where they can gain 10, 15 yards, they're capable of winning any golf tournament. Distance doesn't matter anymore on TOUR.

Q. Given the current economic climate, some of the problems that PGA TOUR is having with sponsors right now, would you support a rule where players were required to play every tournament every three or four years to help out sponsors?

VIJAY SINGH: I mean, I'm doing that (laughter). I mean, over the last three, four years, I've played 25 events. It really is up to the top guys. If you talk to the guys that are 1, 2, 3, 4 on the Money List, world ranking, those are the guys you should be talking to.

But, you know, scheduling is really difficult. I mean, you cannot play every single week. I've played 25 events. This is my sixth week in a row. I feel like I can't go on. If you get guys to play that many events, you're not going to see results like the guys are doing.

Q. Maybe five tournaments a year would be different that you don't normally play. The tournament could say, "This guy is playing here once every two years."

VIJAY SINGH: The way we do our scheduling is totally different than the TOUR events. First of all, we pick the events that are around the majors, then we go to the golf course we like, the places we like to go to. It's totally different.

I mean, you cannot schedule a TOUR event for every player. We have to schedule it according to a schedule. That's very hard.

Q. (Inaudible)?

VIJAY SINGH: Week off, I play Dunhill, then I have another week off, I play the World Match Play, another week off, I play TOUR Championship. All in Europe mostly from now on except THE TOUR Championship.

Q. (Inaudible)?

VIJAY SINGH: I'm not playing that.

Q. (Inaudible)?

VIJAY SINGH: I have one in Singapore that I play with Sergio, Retief and Harrington. That's after the whole thing. That's just a holiday.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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