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January 8, 1999

Vijay Singh


LEE PATTERSON: Maybe just a couple thoughts about your round today, we'll entertain questions.

VIJAY SINGH: Played really nicely, surprisingly. I wasn't striking the ball like I normally do, coming over here. Started to find it yesterday afternoon a little bit. I played good today, drove it well, hit a lot of good iron shots, a lot of my birdie putts were tap-ins. I putted well. I made a few nice putts. The whole game was pretty good today.


Q. Had you ever played here before?

VIJAY SINGH: No. First time. Saw it a lot of times on TV.

Q. Good course for you, isn't it?

VIJAY SINGH: I think it's a good course for me. It's a long driver's golf course. If you drive it way down there, if you're driving the ball well, take a little bit more aggressive lines, you're going to hit a lot of short-iron shots to the greens. But it's a golf course where you need to know the grain and the green, the slopes. I think whoever putts well here is going to have a good chance of winning the weekend.

Q. What was the basic difference today you think for yourself first round, second round?

VIJAY SINGH: I hit the ball better today, hit closer shots to the green. You know, a lot of my birdies were very close in, but it was makeable birdies and I did make them. You can't make birdies from 20 feet out every hole. You may make one a round. But today a lot of shots were very close to the hole. Very good iron play, I think.

Q. Do you feel different coming into this year after having won the PGA Championship?

VIJAY SINGH: Not really. I think every year you've got to take it as its own. It's how you prepare for it. I've prepared for this year very well, you know, physically, and my mental side, obviously, I've got a lot of confidence coming in from finishing second on the Money List last year. I'm looking forward to this year. My goal is to go out there, play really solid in every golf tournament, don't go for wins before you even start. I feel if I can go out there and hit solid shots, play solid, the result's going to happen.

Q. Are you a guy that works out during the off-season, if there is actually an off-season? Are you somebody that works out to get ready to go out and play?

VIJAY SINGH: You know, we all work out. I work out even on the tournament site. I do a lot of work-out when I'm not on the golf course. But off-season, yeah, I think everybody works out. I do myself quite a bit.

Q. Did you find that maybe you were a little more focused coming into this year because there's a lot more emphasis this year, bigger purses, a lot more rewards for playing well?

VIJAY SINGH: The rewards are always good if you play well. This year, especially I just feel -- you know, winning last year made me focus a little bit more on this year. I think that's the way I put it. My playing is pretty much the same as last year. There's no change in my attitude on the golf course. I think the focus is a little bit more on what I'm doing.

Q. What have you been doing since The Presidents Cup?

VIJAY SINGH: Nothing much. It was Christmas holidays, New Year's break. I did a little work-out at home, practice a little bit towards the end of last week, got myself ready for this week.

Q. Did you have free days back in Ponte Vedra?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, always.

Q. That's about as long of a practice as you've had the whole year?

VIJAY SINGH: I think I'm going to have a pretty full season until August. After August, I'm going to take it easy, I think. I've always done that. I think after August, I've only played three or four events. That's pretty much what I'm going to do this year.

Q. How many tournaments will you play worldwide this year?

VIJAY SINGH: Close to 30, I think.

Q. Playing at Poipu in November, does that help you playing this course?

VIJAY SINGH: Playing Bermuda, every time you play you learn a little bit more. This is totally different. Breaks here that are not normally found in normal golf courses. There's a lot of grain. It's different. There's no wind. That's a lot of difference. At the Grand Slam, there's a lot of wind. They say it's coming (laughter).

Q. When you say last year's success makes you focus on this year, is that in a conscious attempt to follow up on last year or do you want to just play this year good?

VIJAY SINGH: I think it's just to play well this year. I think you've got to forget about what happened last year. It's gone. You've got to focus on the present, I think. My focus on every golf tournament is a little bit more this year. Last year, a few tournaments I was on at the beginning of the year, just tried to get through the first two rounds, see how you finish. But this year I'm more focused on what I'm doing, to play solid all four days. I think that's it.

Q. You feel winning the PGA Championship gives you a responsibility where you want to play well to show what you can do because you won that championship?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know about that. I mean, I just think it gives you a lot more confidence of what you can do, you know. Once you won a major, before I won, I just thought if I didn't win, it wouldn't make any difference. But it does make a lot of difference to your confidence. If you win a major, it boosts your confidence so much higher than before. That's what it's done to me. I think winning that, you can go out and win any golf tournament.

Q. With the new schedule of these events, does it mean anything in terms of how many you play, when you play?

VIJAY SINGH: There are events, you want to play them. Maybe you're going to take a week off that particular week. Now there's an event on that week, so you're going to play. I'm going to play a lot of tournaments. Probably going to play 10 out of the first 12 events. Miss two before I get to Jacksonville, which is the TPC. I'm going to play a lot. I feel like playing. I want to play. I feel fit to play.

Q. What is your schedule exactly?

VIJAY SINGH: I'm going to miss Bob Hope and Torrey Pines. Besides that, I'll be playing pretty much everything. It may change. Depends on how I feel. If I get tired, I'm going to take off.

Q. Anything overseas?

VIJAY SINGH: Right now, no.

Q. Does it come down to putting most of the time for you? Generally, you're a good ball striker.

VIJAY SINGH: If you don't putt, you can't play. It's as simple as that. You can't win golf tournaments having 32, 33 putts. You've got to have one or two rounds in the 20s. I've been playing well. I've work add lot on my putting. It seems like I'm beginning to get a lot more confident on my putting now. I putted great today. Putted nicely today, but nothing went in. I'll keep working on it. Maybe one day I'll learn how to putt. That's what they want to hear.

Q. Do you play with a regular partner at AT&T?

VIJAY SINGH: Yes. He's a good friend of mine. I enjoy playing with him.

Q. Is missing Torrey Pines a result of the Andersen?

VIJAY SINGH: No. I'm not very fond of playing two golf courses. I play AT&T because I have a guy to play with. That's why I'm not playing Bob Hope. Probably won't play Byron Nelson.

LEE PATTERSON: Real quick, the birdies.

VIJAY SINGH: Hit a 3-wood on 4, 9-iron, to about four feet. Par 5, I hit a driver, 3-iron, 2-putted from 30 feet. 6, I hit a driver, sand wedge, to about three feet. 9, I hit a driver, 3-iron to about three and a half feet, and missed it. Good opportunity gone there for eagle, so I made birdie. 11, I hit a 9-iron to about 20 feet, holed that. Then on 13, I hit a driver, sand wedge, to about five feet. 14, I hit a 3-iron, sand wedge, to about two feet. 18, I hit a driver, 3-wood, chipped it about a good 15 foot, and made it.


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