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March 16, 2000

Vijay Singh


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: We have Vijay here with us, finishing at 4-under 68. Let's quickly go over your birdies and bogies.

VIJAY SINGH: I bogeyed 1. I hit it straight right into the trap and I hit it over the green. And blasted over the green again, so -- and then chipped it about four feet and made it. So that was a good bogey and I hit the front trap on the next. Blasted out about 15 feet and 2-putted. Next on, hit it in the trap off the tee, laid up short of the green hit it about eight feet by and holed that. Next, I hit a driver, 9-iron about six feet. No. 12, then hit a driver, 2-iron just missed the green on the right and chipped it about a foot, foot and a half. 16, I hit a driver, 3-wood on the green about 25 feet and 2-putted. 18, I hit driver 9-iron about five feet.

Q. Can you describe the conditions out there today? It seemed like the wind was making it interesting?

VIJAY SINGH: It's swirling around quite a bit. It's a little different than if you played it yesterday. Yesterday was a little bit more across on one today it was straight downwind. But I don't know if it rained yesterday or they watered the greens. The greens were more receptive to the golf shot today than it was yesterday; so I think that evened it out with the strong winds and the softer greens than we played yesterday. But it was pretty hard. Different conditions. Got a lot of cross-winds out there; so a lot of left-to-right shots.

Q. What's it like to be 2-over right a way in a day when the wind is coming up on this golf course? You've got to think it's going to be tough to get those shots back?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, but I've played this course so many times. I'm pretty familiar with the conditions out there. I knew we had a par 5 coming up straightaway; so even though I made two bogeys, I was looking forward to the par 5, which was downwind. But I've played long enough not to get frustrated so early in the rounds. But I kept my head and I hit a lot of good shots, a lot of fairways and greens and made some nice putts.

Q. Do you have any preference as far as whether you hope it stays windy or calms down?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. I mean, to me, I guess, you know, if it's like this, it's fine. I guess conditions will be for everybody the same, but I'm pretty familiar -- I've played here many times, and most of the times, it's blowing over here. So I don't think it's going to get any calmer than it is today. But the greens were really firm, like I said, yesterday, and if they did today -- what they did today to the golf course, then I think it's more playable. Some of the greens yesterday you couldn't stop the ball even if you hit wedges on them. Today, you could hit 5-, 6-irons and stop it; so that's a big change there. It really depends how firm the greens get, and if it gets, firm then you don't want too much wind.

Q. What do you consider a successful season now, compared to what has been a successful season in your mind, say, five years ago before the PGA Championship?

VIJAY SINGH: I guess win one or two tournaments and play consistent. To me, to have a successful season, you've got to have a pretty consistent year. You know, last year, I didn't play as good, but I had a very consistent period in the middle of the year. That's why my money ranking is way up there. But if I don't win, then it's a disappointing season for me. I like to win, and have won many tournaments here. So I'm always looking forward to winning golf tournament. So if I don't win, it's a disappointing season.

Q. Has that changed in any way over the last five years or has it always been that way?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I'm gearing up more towards the majors now. But every tournament, you'd like to go out there and win every time you tee it up. But it's not possible. For me, right now, I'd like to win a golf tournament. I haven't won for a year and I'm eager to win again. That's my next goal right now is to win a golf tournament.

Q. You always seem to play well here. Is it the golf course? Is it the time of year? Can you put your finger on it?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. I haven't figured that one out. I guess it's close to home and the conditions are always good. It's warm over here. I don't know, a lot of people have asked me the same question. I can't really put my finger on it. I like the golf course.

Q. Is the mentality different for the guys playing knowing that Tiger Woods is in this tournament? Is it different than last three weeks? Do you have to take a different mind set knowing that Woods is in the tournament? Do you guys feel like you have to notch up your game a little bit knowing that he's in the field?

VIJAY SINGH: You know, before the tournament starts, you kind of look at the list and see who is playing and who is not and how strong the field is. Once we tee it up, we don't worry about who is playing. We just kind of worry about our own game. Before the tournament starts, we kind of look around and know who's playing. There's quite a few Europeans playing this week. I didn't know Montgomerie was playing until last night. It's good to know who is playing in the field. You know it makes you kind of, I don't know, just fight a little bit harder, I guess, out there.

Q. I would guess you thought you had a pretty good chance at Pebble Beach this year?


Q. The final round, how would you describe what happened?

VIJAY SINGH: You know, it was -- I thought I had no chance of winning, and I played 12 holes and I was, 13-under, something like that, and the leader was -- the leader was 17, you know, or I was after nine holes, I guess I was 10-, 11-under. I didn't think he had played all the hard holes. I didn't think he was going to mess up, but he came back to the field and I made one or two bogeys and Tiger made a bunch of birdies going in. So I had a good chance, if I kept playing, you know. I kind of gave up there a little bit when I bogeyed 14, but it shouldn't have shopped. You know, that's frustrating. That's the way it's been for the last year. I get frustrated very early and make a mistake, but I'm kind of changing the attitude a little bit and trying to not let any mistakes bother me.

Q. How high on your priority list is the Presidents Cup?

VIJAY SINGH: We kind of look at the list and see who is in it and who is not and who we'd like to be in the tournament. Right now, it's so far away, I'm not really concerned about it. I know we're going to have a strong team come end of the year. It's a good tournament to play. Get some of the players together, the international players and we kind of talk to each other a little bit about it, but not as intensely as I guess the Ryder Cup. But it's in the back of the mind. I think come July, August we're going to thinking a little bit more about it. But right now, I think it's, you know, more into this tournament and the next ones.

Q. Do you have a feeling one way or the other on where The PLAYERS Championship comes on the schedule, two weeks before the Masters? There's been a lot of discussion that maybe it should be moved to may; it would prosper more as a major event?

VIJAY SINGH: I think it's a good time, before the Masters, to have a big tournament like that. The conditions of the golf course in this time of the year is probably the best we're going to find it. It's going to play harder. I think it's a good time to have it. If we don't play any tournaments, any majors since the last PGA which is a long way, long break until the Masters. I think it's a major, to me, playing a big tournament like that before the Masters, I think it's a good thing. It sharpens you up, have a week off and then go play the Masters. So I have no problem with that.

End of FastScripts….

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