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June 6, 1999

Vijay Singh


LEE PATTERSON: Okay. Could we have a couple comments that you want to start with and then we'll open it up for questions.

VIJAY SINGH: (Laughing).

LEE PATTERSON: I know it's tough.

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know, I just thought it was a good day. I played the way I wanted to, you know, from the tee to the green was solid. One or two mistakes on 14 and tee shot on 18. But, you know, he played really good up-and-down today. If I putted decently, it might have been a different story.

LEE PATTERSON: Any questions?

Q. Vijay, what's it like trying to catch a guy who's making up-and-down par and birdies from everywhere?

VIJAY SINGH: Very tough. You know, he got up-and-down a lot of times but it looked good. I mean he -- it looked like he had control of the shots all the time. It didn't short side too many times. The one on -- the one he had, a lot of green to work with. On 2 was a good bunker shot, it was a long one with the water on the other side. He had a lot of good shots. He didn't make too many long putts but he was within 6, 8 feet all the time. His putter was working today, and it was good to watch him get up-and-down all this time. And it was kind of a little disappointing because when I did make a mistake, it cost me. You know, the only bad shot that I got away with was on 10, where I missed the green and got up-and-down. But it was a pretty simple chip shot. Apart from that, like on 14, I missed the green, missed the fairway, missed the green and made a bogey. Same thing on 18. So if I had one or two breaks, it would have been a different story.

Q. Is it discouraging to see him do that when you're trying to chase him, he's two shots at the start and you're trying to chase him all day. Does it get discouraging when he is able to keep that cushion?

VIJAY SINGH: I mean you try to play your own game. You know, at times when he missed the green you think that it's going to, you know, be difficult to make par. But it's also -- you can make par on a hole, par 4, you have 4 shots. If you hit one good, you're going to make par. That's what he kept doing. It was tough. I mean like on 14, it was the hardest thing. I was within one and then he chips in for par. That was kind of a little disappointing because I thought maybe we would both make bogey there. But, you know, what the hell. (Laughter.) He did what he had to do.

Q. Can you talk about your putting? Do you know what's going on, what's going wrong?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, it's not going in. That's what's going on. I felt better today than I did yesterday. I hit a lot more good putts, I didn't 3-putt today, which was a good thing. Had some chances, you know, he made good putts. If you don't read the green right, it's not going to go in. At times I did that. The one on 17 I thought I made, the ball went left. I just have to work on it. There's nothing else to it.

Q. How soon will you start working on it again?

VIJAY SINGH: (Laughing) I don't know. I'm going to go home and think about it and then prepare for the U.S. Open.

Q. I'm sorry, some second-place finishes are more difficult than others. It didn't seem like you gave this one away. Can you just in general talk about what it means to finish second in this tournament?

VIJAY SINGH: I'm very disappointed finishing second. I thought I was going to win. I played better golf than Tiger did today and he won. He scored when he needed to. So that tells you how the golf game is. You have to bring the whole package along with you, and, you know, I hit better shots from tee to green, but he was better on the greens. So that's the end of that, you know. There's nothing I can do, and, you know, it's always disappointing to finish second. I didn't tee up today to finish second. So... So that's all I can say about that.

Q. Vijay, back to 14. Can you tell me what you were thinking when you were in the bunker and also what you're thinking then after that shot when you're in the fringe and you watch him do what he does before you can do anything?

VIJAY SINGH: I didn't know his lie on the first shot. I knew it was a difficult shot. But the way he was getting up-and-down, I thought he was going to knock it in there close anyway. I had a very difficult bunker shot, it was a very close call. If I didn't hit it perfectly, it was going to go in the water. I almost hit it perfectly, maybe another foot forward it would have probably been close. But I end up where I did with my third shot, he did what he did, you can't do anything about that. You just have to go on and play your shot and go on to the next hole. I mean it was -- I thought we both probably would make bogey there.

Q. You said you thought he was going to make his first shot or his second shot out of the rough?

VIJAY SINGH: No, when I said make it, I thought he was going to knock it in there, inside 6, 7 feet.

Q. I see.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else?

Q. Is there a tendency to overlook what he does around the greens because of people yelling all the time about how far he hits the ball, all that kind of stuff?

VIJAY SINGH: I told my caddie today, I said every time he missed the green, I said you have to take it and he's going to get up-and-down. You just have to go out there and make birdies. He's missing the green, he's not going to chip in every time for birdie. So he'll probably hit it close and make the putts. I can catch him. So I wasn't -- I wasn't, you know I didn't really think that when he did miss the green he was going to make a bogey. He has a great shot game. He has a great up-and-down and he's got a lot of skill and courage to do what he does, so... He's a hell of a putter. He knocks it inside 6, 8 feet and makes it most of the time.

Q. Are you taking next week off to prepare for the Open?

VIJAY SINGH: Yes. Try to figure out how to score a little bit and think about what I need to do for the U.S. Open. What kind of greens, and if you do miss the greens, get up-and-down in Pinehurst. So kind of prepare for that kind of golf.

Q. Have you been there to practice?

VIJAY SINGH: I've been there 20 years ago, so...

Q. Might be a little different.

VIJAY SINGH: I assume so, yeah. But I'm just going to go out there -- maybe spend a week at home, and go out there probably Sunday night, three days of looking at the golf course should be enough.

Q. When will you pick up a club again after today?

VIJAY SINGH: I'm going to play Tom Watson's Pro-Am in Kansas City on Tuesday, so I'll probably do it on Tuesday morning.

Q. All day tomorrow no clubs?

VIJAY SINGH: I'll be travelling more or less. Leave tomorrow morning some time around ten. So I arrive there, I don't know when.

Q. Vijay, what did you hit off the tee on 14?

VIJAY SINGH: I hit a 3-iron, tried to hit it to the right side a little bit and had the wind bring it in and pushed it a little bit. Funny thing, I missed two fairways today and both were iron shots, one on 18 and one on 14. Maybe I should have hit a driver.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go over those birdies for us real quick.

VIJAY SINGH: Where did I make birdies -- 5, I hit 3-wood, 2-iron in the bunker, blast out about 4 feet. 7, I hit driver 2-iron, 2-putted from 40 feet. 11, I hit a driver 2-iron about 15 feet to putt. 8-iron about 8 feet, 5, 6 feet on the next one. 15, I hit two 3-woods, chipped it about 6 feet I guess. Then two bogeys, 14 and 18.

LEE PATTERSON: All right. Anything else?

Q. How many birdie putts today would you have considered makeable that you didn't make?

VIJAY SINGH: That's a good one. I guess the one on 3 I had a good chance, it was about 10 feet. The one on 4 was about the same distance. One on 9 was close. My eagle putt on 11 was, you know, was makeable. Then I guess birdie putt on 17 was very makeable.

LEE PATTERSON: How far was that?

VIJAY SINGH: About 7, 8 feet. Then I had a lot of chances from 15, 20, 25. You know, I think you go through the whole tournament thinking that you're going to make one from at least 20, 25, 30 feet. If you look back at what I've done, I don't think I remember making one that far. Just a week of disappointing putting I guess. But to finish second the way I did I guess is not too bad.

Q. You said yesterday how you needed to score on the front nine because there's more opportunities out there to make birdie. Were you disappointed at the tournament when you hadn't made any ground up on him?

VIJAY SINGH: I didn't miss a green on the front nine, so I played the way I thought I was supposed to play, just didn't make the putts. So if more putts had dropped, it would have been a different story. All right? Thanks.


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