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April 12, 2001

Vijay Singh


LEE PATTERSON: Thank you for coming over here to visit with us. Nice 65 to start the week off. Maybe just a couple of thoughts about that, then we will open it up for questions.

VIJAY SINGH: Pretty -- how can I say, it was a working man's 65. I started off pretty good. Birdied 11 and 12, I don't know what happened just lost my rhythm from 14 onwards. Didn't hit it good, but played the next four holes really badly, but came off with pars. I had a good chance on 15. 16, hit it left in the bunker, hit it over the green, chipped in for par. The momentum was still there. 18, hit it too long into the ditch. It dropped in on the green, actually hit it off the green, putted in for par. Those two kind of kept me going. Front nine I played pretty decent. I was really happy to finish with a 6-under par.

Q. How many putts did you end up with?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. I wasn't counting out there. I didn't make enough obviously. But I putted nicely. The greens are rolling where you can actually give it a good stroke and not worry about the next putt. Wherever you are on the green, it is a birdie opportunity because the greens are not very big. I had a lot of chances out there, but made my share.

Q. Were you surprised at the number of people -- how tightly bunched it is?

VIJAY SINGH: The greens are so perfect right now over here that if you are inside 6, 8 feet you have a very good chance of making every one of them. If you get the right line there, you know all you need to do is hit it on line and it is going to go in. I think it is going to be a low-scoring week. I think unless the wind picks up, I think it is going to be a low-scoring week.

Q. For a whole stretch you made this game look pretty easy, under par or better every round. Does it feel that way right now? I know it's never easy but you make it look like it is.

VIJAY SINGH: I am hitting a lot of good shots. I am playing 14, 15, 16 great holes and one or two kind of pops up there, so if I can do away with those bad -- two bad holes, I will be in good shape. But today I played decent, but for those three, four holes where I hit bad drives, I got away with pars so that made the scoring where I am now. So I could have been easily 2 or more over, could have been easily 4-under instead of 6. Holing out a chip shot and making a good putt for par doesn't always come around.

Q. Since the beginning of the year, following up on that last question, only one round in 33 rounds over par, Vijay, is it every time you put a club in your hand you feel that it is the right club, I am going to put it where I want it?

VIJAY SINGH: Kind of, you know, whatever we are doing on the golf course I am working with my caddie. He is going to be scrutinizing every shot I am taking, and if I hit it just left he is going to tell me you did this, so we are always working towards a better golf swing and I think that is pretty much what it boils down to. I am hitting a lot of good shots and making a lot of putts too. Like today I made a few putts that normally I don't make. 15 -, 8-, 10-footers I was making those. When you start making those you are going to shoot low scores.

Q. When did you really start having confidence with your belly huggin' putter?

VIJAY SINGH: Towards the end of last year, I think. I used it the second half of the year last and I was comfortable but I wasn't making enough putts. I was rolling it good, but since last -- end of last year, beginning of this year, I have been lining up the putt according to the line and hitting the ball on line which is a good help. I thought I was a bad putter. I was actually a great reader of the greens, but I could never start the ball on line. I was always, you know, adjusting myself when I was over the putt, overreading it when towards the last minute of the putt. Now once I place my ball down and line up where I think it is supposed to go, I am just over the putt and hitting it. That has helped a lot. I am trusting where I am leading the putt and hitting it on line. Starting the ball where you read it is the key to good putting.

Q. The eye surgery, has that been a part of this ability to get it lined up better?

VIJAY SINGH: I could see pretty good with my glasses, just makes it so much easier with nothing on, I am able to see a little bit more subtle breaks that I may have been missing with the glasses on. I think bottomline, I think I can see better without the glasses. I had dark glasses on, so I think the coloring was also a little difficult on the lining up.

Q. Last week we were asking Rocco about the long putter. The fact that you, DiMarco, bunch of those guys who, as we say, use "Unconventional putters," were all in the Top five, six putters on the Tour this year. It is strictly once you make a few of those maybe it doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you get your confidence and you believe you are going to make them? How big a factor is confidence?

VIJAY SINGH: With the longer putter, I think you don't really think about technique anymore. With me, it is anchored in my belly, I am not worried about if I am going to push it or pull it. I am just taking it back and hitting through the ball. Same with Rocco, I mean, Bernhard today, he putted great with a long putter. I think technique you throw technique out the window when you are putting with longer putters. The shorter putters you kind of always worry that you are going to push and pull it. So long putters is the way to go, I think.

Q. Any idea how many putters you have got, old putters you have got in your garage?

VIJAY SINGH: I have a few. I have too many, I think.

Q. Yard sale coming up?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know about that.

End of FastScripts....

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