October 31, 1998
LEE PATTERSON: All right, just a couple thoughts about today, we'll entertain questions.
VIJAY SINGH: It was very up-and-down round. I didn't play very good. Very patchy. I started off bad, got my game back, lost it again. Probably one of the worst driving rounds I've had for a while. Just couldn't get my rhythm with the driver. I made it a good day to finish even par. I had a chance on -- a few times I had chances that I didn't convert like the first day I did. The score was even.
Q. You said after the 63 that you now needed three solid rounds to go through to the tournament. How do you feel after having played some erratic and brilliant shots?
VIJAY SINGH: Yesterday was a good round, I thought. Yesterday was a good round for me to get back in the game. Today was a struggle. I just stayed very steady. I didn't make a mistake, I just went on and played the shot the best I could. Got up-and-down a few times very well. On the whole, it was a very so-so round. I'm kind of disappointed the way I played, but quite happy with the way I scored though.
Q. What happened on 16? Someone step on your ball? What was the shape of your ball when you got to it?
VIJAY SINGH: It was down, like any other ones you hit in the rough. You know, I had a good drop. Had a good chip. I thought it was more uphill than it looked. A good chip, a good putt, didn't go in. It was a tough hole today. I thought I hit the wrong club off the tee. I should have hit a driver. I hit a 3-wood. I paid the penalty.
Q. What do you expect out of tomorrow? Can something around even par still win?
VIJAY SINGH: You know, I just hope I go out there tomorrow and play a little better than I did today. If I can do that, I think I have a good chance of playing well. Especially off the tee. I think I need a good start. Again today I had a very shaky start, although I didn't drop a shot until I got to 5. I could have dropped a shot on 1 and 2 as easily, because I missed the green both times. You know, Hal is playing well. Furyk, obviously, is playing well. Parnevik has popped up, too. Anybody who shoots a good number tomorrow - I think the winning score isn't going to be 7; I think it's probably going to be 8 or 9. I'll have that in mind, keep the leaderboard in my sight.
Q. That stretch there when I believe Furyk birdied 9 to take the lead, made a few bogeys in that one stretch, that was pretty pivotal there. It shows how quickly things can turn when you're not playing that much differently.
VIJAY SINGH: That's right. I mean, we both made -- walking down 6 today I told my caddie, "We cannot win the golf tournament today, so why are we forcing ourselves? Just play like you did the first two days." I said, "If you force it, you're -- it's not going to work." That's probably what happened to Furyk there. I mean, he made two good birdies, then he got ahead. If you just miss-hit one shot in the rough, it's not going to happen. I got away on 10. I had kind of a bad tee shot, but I had a good lie in the rough. I got a way of making par there. You cannot get away every time you miss the fairway over here. It's so hard to hit the fairways now because it's drying out, and it's running into the rough. Like my ball did on 17. Tomorrow, obviously, they're not going to put the pins in a nice spot. It's going to be all tucked away. I think the key tomorrow is to hit solid shots and make sure you place your second shot below the holes as much as you can.
Q. Given your position, do you have to go out and play aggressive or conservative tomorrow?
VIJAY SINGH: You know, I haven't changed my game plan. I think I got the same clubs off the tee on every hole I plan to hit. I'm just going to go and do that tomorrow. All I need to do tomorrow is hit a little better than I did today, I'll be okay. I need to play well tomorrow. I cannot go out there and struggle and hopefully shoot even par and win. That's not the way I plan to play. I don't think I can win doing that tomorrow. I have to go out there and play good to win.
Q. You said you didn't drive the ball particularly well. How many fairways did you miss?
VIJAY SINGH: How many fairways did I hit should be the question (laughter)? I don't know. I don't know what the stats are.
LEE PATTERSON: I don't have them. We can get them in there.
VIJAY SINGH: I probably missed six or seven fairways, you know. I missed 1, 4, 5, 9. Missed 10, 12. And then I missed 16 and 17. How many is that, I don't know?
Q. Too many.
VIJAY SINGH: That's exactly right. I mean, I managed to get out of roughs. Like the ball on 17 was almost impossible to play out of. But, you know, I don't know how I got that ball on the green. It's half luck and half strength, I guess, you know.
Q. That shot on 12 you hit out of the bunker, what did you hit out of there?
VIJAY SINGH: It was an 8-iron.
Q. Pretty delicate shot there, too.
VIJAY SINGH: There was a lot of green behind the hole. It could take a little bit more club in this, go ahead and hit it. I was surprised it stopped so quickly, because I did thin it a little bit.
LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go over a couple details there on 5 and 8.
VIJAY SINGH: 5, I blocked the tee shot again, third time in a row. Got away. Pretty much against the fence there. Pitched out, hit a sand wedge to about 20 feet, 2-putted. I made a birdie on 8. I hit a 4-iron, 9-iron to about 15 foot. 14, I birdied? I hit a driver. Got the fairway this time (laughter). I hit a driver, 9-iron. That was one of the better holes I played. I hit 9-iron about four feet, holed that. I bogeyed 16. Hit 3-wood in the bunker. Hit a 3-iron out. Missed the green. Chipped it about ten feet and missed that one. Parred the last two.
Q. What did the marshal at 16 say about your ball?
VIJAY SINGH: He just said he stood on it, he stepped on it.
Q. Is that understandable, considering?
VIJAY SINGH: I mean, he couldn't find it. Saw them on the fairway trying to look at it. Can't be very good, the three of them, they can't find it. They spotted it. Walked over to get a flag to put the marker down. Lost it again (laughter).
Q. Do you feel fortunate you're still in the lead after the way you played?
VIJAY SINGH: A little bit. Especially today. Today's round. I played really -- I scored really good to finish even par today. I didn't play good enough to shoot even par, but I scored well. I guess I got a lot luckier today than a lot of other guys missing the fairways, because I had some nice lies from the fairway -- from the rough when I didn't miss it. In that sense, I got away with it. Got some nice ups and downs, incredible up-and-down on 1 and 2. 4, I had a good up-and-down on 4. Those things kept me in the game today. I'm really fortunate to be leading, I think.
Q. Can you just confirm, if you should win tomorrow, would that be your biggest check tomorrow?
VIJAY SINGH: I guess, yeah.
Q. How much of a score board watcher were you the last round when you were in contention?
VIJAY SINGH: You know, I watch the board even if it's a ProAm (laughter). I just watch the ball and see what guys are shooting. Tomorrow especially. I mean, it's out there for us to see. Years ago when Sam Snead had that 8 on the US Open, you know, he didn't know what he had to do to finish the round -- finish the hole. If he had a leaderboard out there, he would have played conservatively. You know, it's to our advantage that there's leader boards on every hole. You've got to watch it. If you don't see it, it's to your disadvantage if you don't look at the board.
Q. Does that impact at all how you play, if you're going along around par and nobody is in front of you, do you play a little differently than you would otherwise?
VIJAY SINGH: Not necessarily. I mean, the board, it will tell you where you are, what position you are in, how the rest of the guys are doing. I just like to know how everybody else is doing when I'm playing well. I mean, it's important to know what you need to do out there. Coming down 17, there's no leaderboard, if you're three shots ahead, you wouldn't know what you're doing. I think it really is to our advantage. We have to watch it. Any player out there not looking at the board is crazy, I think.
Q. I just want your feeling now going into this final round with a one-shot lead. Having won the PGA Championship under very similar conditions, you have a lot more confidence now facing the final round when you're in the lead?
VIJAY SINGH: That's true. I mean, I know I've been there before. In Castle Pines and the PGA, I was in the lead during the last day. Again, it comes down to how I'm playing. If I'm playing well, if I'm confident enough, I go out there and be aggressive, I know I'm going to play well. If I'm not swinging very good, I'm going to be a little bit edgy all way around. That's why I need to go to the range and work it out, whatever I'm doing wrong. It's very close, but it's messing me up. I'll hit three or four good shots, then all of a sudden three or four bad ones. It's around there somewhere; I just need to go and sort it out. That's very important when you're going out on the final day, to be at peace with your golf swing and know if you're going to hit the ball, you know where it's going to go to. Starting off today, I missed three or four fairways. Standing on the tee, it's edgy to know you have to do this, aim it a little further left, not to miss right, all of a sudden you pull one, it's going to go left. It's not a good feeling to be out there not knowing which way the ball is going. I got it back. Towards the end, I started hitting some decent shots. I need to do that tomorrow.
LEE PATTERSON: Go get on the range. We appreciate it.
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