March 22, 2001
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: We'd like to thank Vijay Singh for joining us today. Why don't you talk about your round, and we'll go into a couple of questions.
VIJAY SINGH: I played pretty good. I hit the ball really good off the tee. I think that was the key for the round. I don't think I missed a fairway today. I did hit a bad drive on 9. It hit the tee and came back on the fairway. That was a lucky break there. You know, if you drive the fairways here, drive the ball in the fairways, you've got a lot of chances to make good approaches to the green. I did that and didn't miss it on the wrong side, either. Played conservative in the beginning; but when I had my chances, I took it. I'm really excited about it.
Q. In the last month, you haven't played poorly, but the first couple of rounds is where you might have had some chances maybe you didn't take advantage of. Do you think you had a lot of opportunities and cashed them in today?
VIJAY SINGH: I think so. Again, I played really good today. From tee-to-green, I was really solid. And when you do that, you're supposed to play a good round. I made a few putts. I hit two par 5s in 2. It was a round where I could not have played any worse. I didn't leave any out there, but you know, whenever I hit it close, I made putts. That was the key for the round, I guess.
Q. Can you take us through 8 and 9 and what kind of momentum finishing those holes the way you did gives you for tomorrow?
VIJAY SINGH: I hit probably the best shot of the day on No. 8. I hit a 4-iron the way I wanted to play; it just came out perfect. Hit it to about eight feet and holed the putt there. 9, I was feeling really comfortable because I had not missed a drive all day. So I was going to go and hit my big one and kind of pulled it. Hit a tree and came out on the fairway, and then I hit one of the best 3-woods of the day, as well. So I left myself about 70 yards. Hit a good pitch shot, and it was kind of on a downslope, so I had to play it a little to the right of the pin and made a good putt. Again, I made the putts when I needed to make it. Left one or two out there, but it was long distance. The short ones I made.
VIJAY SINGH: A long ways. I flew that 260. It was further than I wanted to hit it.
Q. You talked in the practice days about how your putting is getting better and better. Did it have that sort of extra quality that you were talking about today?
VIJAY SINGH: You know, I made a really -- I had probably five really long putts from about 40 feet, and I made one and left the next three like, you know, tap-in distance. So if you are rolling the ball and have good speed on the green, then you are at ease with the shorter putts. I know these greens fairly well, and I know the speed of them, so I was very comfortable out there on the greens, and I didn't feel threatened by the greens at all.
Q. Do you think some of your success is because you are one of the few people who predicted that there would actually be some low rounds? Everybody yesterday was saying that they thought it was going to be a high-scoring affair.
VIJAY SINGH: Probably they all thought that it was going to be very windy, as well. It was not windy at all. I was surprised when I woke up this morning and the wind was calm. When the fairways are wet here, the fairways become a lot more wider; and if you drive the ball well, you are going to have low round. I just drove the ball extremely well. This is the best driving round I've had all year. If you do that, you're supposed to shoot a good number.
Q. How far do you live from the course?
VIJAY SINGH: About five miles.
Q. Do you play it over here like a your own -- (inaudible) country club?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I show up here almost every day. I use the range a lot. I don't go out on the golf course as much as I should, but when I'm at home, I'm here almost every day.
Q. Overall, you talked about the wind and everything, but did the course play a little easier than you thought or about the way you thought?
VIJAY SINGH: About the way I thought. It was not easy. The pins were tucked in some nasty spots there, and there are a few new pins, as well -- pins that have not been on those spots as well. So kind of a little bit surprised about that. Normally you know exactly where they are going to put the pins.
Q. Is 2 an example of that? I can't remember the pin being there.
VIJAY SINGH: No. 2 has always been there, but forward a little more right than where we normally have it. 6, I've never seen the pin in back on 6 right, on the first day anyway. 12, again -- 12 is a brand new pin. If you play -- if you hit the right spots on the greens, you're able to get good chances.
Q. If you had your choice, would you play this course as a member every day, or would you rather play another type of golf course?
VIJAY SINGH: This is the best golf course for me in the world. Fred would know that. (Laughs). I love this golf course. I think it is challenging. You need to drive the ball well. It keeps you on your toes. It's small greens, so you can work on your irons pretty good, as well.
Q. Since you live so close here, presumably you stay in your own house and have more of your same routines. Does that put you in a comfort zone? Does that in any way help in situations like this?
VIJAY SINGH: You have the last two winners on TOUR: Parnevik, and Tiger stayed at home last week, as well. You can go home. Eat your own food. That's very important. If you have a family at home, you're very comfortable in your own environment, so I think that helps a lot.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Let's go ahead and finish out the round on your bogies and birdies.
VIJAY SINGH: 13th hole, I hit a 6-iron right rough. Didn't get in the bunker, a pretty difficult shot. Pitched it about ten feet and missed it. 16, I hit a driver, 5-iron about 30 feet and 2-putted. 18, I hit a driver, 7-iron about six feet. 2, I hit driver, 5-wood short of the green and chipped it about three feet. 3 was the bomb I made. I hit a 6-iron about 35 foot and holed that.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Vijay.
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