April 14, 2001
HILTON HEAD, SOUTH CAROLINA
LEE PATTERSON: Very good round today. Excellent finish. Maybe just a couple thoughts about today and how you feel as we head into tomorrow.
VIJAY SINGH: I am quite happy with the way I hit the ball. I think it's the best ball striking round I have had in the last three rounds. I was very patient out there. I missed quite a few putts early on and didn't get ahead of myself. I kept hitting it close, and thought, it is going to start falling. That is what happened. Apart from that, I played well and hopefully I can do that tomorrow. I am going to be really focused on the golf course like this. You have got to be, and I told my caddie when we teed off today, I said: Let's focus on every hole 100% and don't let any bad shots kind of distract us. We did well.
Q. No officials to hold you up today?
VIJAY SINGH: (Laughs) No, they come out and push guys in front of us. No, it was okay, everything was fine. I don't really think, you know, anyone was to blame over here. Just some guys are slow, and some guys are slow getting there and that is just the way it is.
LEE PATTERSON: The officials are doing their job.
VIJAY SINGH: Trying to do their job. (Laughs).
Q. Are you playing as good as you are now than when you won in Singapore earlier this year?
VIJAY SINGH: Today I did. Yesterday and the day before I didn't play as well, but I managed really good. But today I played really solid. I don't think I -- I hit one bad drive on the second hole and should have made a birdie there, but I didn't hit too many loose shots, and hit a lot of good iron shots and hit a lot of good putts. I felt really comfortable out there.
Q. Didn't you miss a couple of short putts right there around the turn?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I missed - I think I missed the 4-footer on No. 2 for birdie. And on 7 and 9, I missed about the same, same distance, about 5-footers.
Q. Anything -- I mean, did you make any adjustment from that point or --
VIJAY SINGH: No, you have got to trust your line. That is the best you can do. You can pick your line and hit it. If it goes in that is fine. The pace of the putts on No. 2 and No. 9 was a little bit too hard, so it didn't break in. But the rest of them were fine. There is nothing you can do out there but pick a good line and hit it. If it goes in, that is fine. That is my attitude anyway.
Q. Having been so close this year, a few times not having won, how important is it for you to win tomorrow, being up by a couple of shots going into tomorrow?
VIJAY SINGH: It is pretty important. I think I'd like to win. I am putting a lot of pressure on myself finishing well in quite a few events and not winning. It kind of takes a toll after a while. You want to get -- the longer it takes, the harder it is to win. I'd like to go out there and just finish the job tomorrow if I can. I am not taking anything for granted. There is a lot of guys behind me and it is a golf course where guys can get hot and shoot low numbers. So I have got to be very patient and play my game and not worry about winning as much as, you know, just going out there and playing good golf.
Q. With as well as you have been playing week-to-week to week, is it difficult to temper that kind of confidence that you bring into a round? Is there a balance that you have to strike when you enter a final round like this?
VIJAY SINGH: I think, yeah, a little bit. You have got to be very patient. When you are playing well and you can make a few early bogeys you cannot go out there and start forcing yourself to make birdies. You have got to be very, very patient. I think this golf course requires that. Like today I was 2-under early then missed some short putts. I could have just lost it, but I kept my cool and kept grinding and the birdies came towards the end. You cannot be too confident yet you have to be strong enough to be able to go out there and shoot a good number in your mind.
Q. How well do you know Jose Coceres?
VIJAY SINGH: Pretty good. I have played with him in Europe. He is a pretty good competitor. He is no slouch. He has won before and he knows how to win and he is a good player. I think it's going to be a good battle tomorrow.
Q. You have got the possibility of rain tomorrow; maybe some thunderstorms. Do you gear differently for that? Does that concern you at all?
VIJAY SINGH: If it only rains on me. I don't have worry about it, it is for everybody. I am just going to take it as it comes.
Q. How much important -- you have won a couple of times (inaudible) since The Masters last year, how much -- is it more important to win here on the U.S. tour than --
VIJAY SINGH: I think so. I'd like to win here as much as possible. It is harder to win here and the competition is so much harder, so you know, winning over here means a lot to me than winning anywhere else. I am grinding. I will be grinding out there tomorrow to win.
Q. There is a lot of celebrating that goes on in Fiji if you win?
VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. I do not think -- I don't think they know too much about the MCI tournament over there.
LEE PATTERSON: Maybe Ponte Vedra.
VIJAY SINGH: Maybe Ponte Vedra, yeah, but not in Fiji.
Q. Getting back to Jose a little bit, are you surprised -- this is only his third tournament on the PGA TOUR. Are you surprised that he has been able to adjust this quickly to the courses?
VIJAY SINGH: They have already started the Tour in Europe, so they are in the competitive mode already. He played in The Masters and I think he is very comfortable. Like I said, he is a good player and he is used to travelling a lot. In Europe we travel a great distance every week, now they play in Argentina and Brazil and Morocco so they are used to travel. So I don't think it affects him as much as when we travel from here.
Q. Are there tree-lined fairways on the courses he plays on and the grasses --
VIJAY SINGH: I don't know where he practices, but I know golf courses in Europe are pretty tough and like I said, he is a good player. You will watch him tomorrow.
Q. What do you remember about the first time you were in contention on this Tour, the thing that he might be feeling tomorrow?
VIJAY SINGH: I know there is a lot of pressure. No matter where you play if you are in the lead you get some sort of pressure. The good thing about it is how you handle it. I like to feed off it and try to psych myself up to know that I am leading. Guys have to catch me. I don't have to do anything. They have to catch me. If I play well, they still have to catch me. That is my attitude towards when I am leading a golf tournament.
Q. As far as things that he might be experiencing for the first time tomorrow, if you can remember when you were in that position?
VIJAY SINGH: Just you want to play well and yet you don't want to, you know, mess it up. I think that is, I think the thing that maybe is going through his mind, if it is. It goes through my mind, if I am leading or I am in contention I want to go out there and play solid and not, you know, not blow it. I just hope, you know, he goes out there and plays well, but not as well as me though.
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