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October 30, 1998

Vijay Singh


LEE PATTERSON: Just a couple thoughts about today, then we'll entertain questions.

VIJAY SINGH: Awesome start (laughter). Yeah, it was -- kind of caught me by surprise, too. Didn't play very bad. I hit a bad drive on 1, made bogey. 3rd hole, I just -- I don't know what happened there. I guess I don't want to think about that anymore. Then I 3-putted 4. Apart from that, I played really decent. My iron shots weren't as good as I did yesterday. I got it back towards the end and it kept me in the game.


Q. Jim just said it's quite remarkable to have a comeback like that, a terrible start, then to be able to get it back and get going. Is that something that's one of your strong points, being able to put something like No. 3 out of your head, get on with what's in front of you? Is that something you do very well?

VIJAY SINGH: It's not something I do very well. It's something I did very well today. I was playing pretty good. I mean, I shot a good number yesterday. I can't go out there and just -- the golf swing just cannot go south in one day. I was playing good. I had a lot of confidence. I just said, "Let's go out there and start again from No. 4." I hit a good shot, good second shot, I made a 3-putt. Again, "Let's go and start again from No. 5." Every hole was a start for me. I think the key turnaround was the birdie on 6, a good par putt on 7 that kept me in the game. Then I started to play well again, except for No. 10 where I hit a poor second shot. But, you know, I really hit it good coming down the stretch, which I was really happy to see me doing that.

Q. How was your lie on 16? That's a hell of a birdie out there.

VIJAY SINGH: It was lying down a little bit, but I was only going in with an 8-iron. It was 180 or 190 to the front. It was going to come out a little bit. I hit it pretty hard (laughter). You know, you can say it could have gone left, it could have gone right, but it went straight. It was one of those shots that could have gone anywhere, but it came out in my favor.

Q. Have you had a day like this that was such a big contrast, the way you started and the way you finished?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I don't know. I have to think back about that. Maybe Sahalee, wasn't it? The third day I started off kind of so-so and got it back. But, you know, it was -- I was driving the ball pretty good yesterday, and I was driving the ball pretty good today on the range. You know, after driving the first two holes, the 1st and the 3rd, doesn't mean I was driving bad for the whole day. You know, I had enough confidence to go out there and take a driver and hit it again. I didn't change my game plan; I didn't change the clubs that I was supposed to hit. I just went on and played. You know, I was just playing hole-by-hole, doing what I'm supposed to do to get it back. My putts held up, you know. My putter worked really good today, which kept me in the game. It was a tough day. I mean, I could have gone on and shot 80 if I lost it. In talking to my caddie a little bit, he says, "Come on, we can do it." My first goal was to get back to par. I saw the putt go in on 16, I said, "I've done it finally." Had a chance to go under par on 17, but that was an opportunity I didn't take.

Q. Has the confidence in your putting gotten to the point where you can tell yourself, "I might not be the greatest ball striker in the world, but I'm going to save myself with the putter"?

VIJAY SINGH: I wasn't thinking that way, you know. Although you get on the green and you try to make the putt, you don't think that you're putting great. You know, your mind is set to make a putt. You just leave the stroke alone, and don't think that you're -- you know, your putting well is going to help you stay in the game. I just -- every time I hit a ball on the green, you know, we lined up the putt, tried to hit it, tried to make it. Today it worked out really good.

Q. You talked about Dave helping you out today, when you're down, getting you back on your feet a little bit. Is he good in that way for you?

VIJAY SINGH: Walking down the 2nd hole, I told him, "Come on, smile, I just made a bogey." I told him that. Later on after the 3rd hole, walking down to the 4th, he said, "You better start smiling now, you made a triple." It was that kind of day. Kind of cheered ourselves up. We talked about not golf, not what we're supposed to do, but talked about other things that takes your mind away from the immediate problem you're in. Then the official came up on 4th hole and said, "We are slow playing." That kind of hurried things up, as well. That wasn't the right time for him to come up, as well. Everything kind of happened at the wrong moment out there.

Q. That was on 4?


Q. At that stage, after the bad start, are you disappointed, frustrated, mad? What do you do to get things turned around at that stage?

VIJAY SINGH: What do you think (laughter)? I mean, you go out there, and I was so prepared to play a good round today, mentally I was ready, the game was looking good, and then you go out and make a triple on one hole, doesn't mean you're going to end the day. Although I made a triple, walking down the 4th, I was still in the lead, you know. I was 3-under, and nobody was 4-under at that point. I was still the leader. I wasn't off the leaderboard or anything like that. Almost got off the leaderboard on 4, but I got it back. I was always up around the lead. When I'm at the lead or when I'm close to the lead, my concentration is very, very strong. I don't let myself have negative thoughts when I'm up there. It's always very positive. That way, it helped me a lot.

Q. What do you think was a bigger accomplishment, yesterday's round or being able to overcome that bad start and get back under today?

VIJAY SINGH: You know, they're totally different. Yesterday's round was a free-flowing round. You're already under par, you're just going ahead and trying to make as many birdies as can you. Today was sort of, you know, you trying to crawl out of the hole you've dug for yourself. You know, I was pretty deep down there (laughter). It's totally different. Going back today, I'm very satisfied that I got it back, and I'm still in the lead. I'm going out tomorrow with a lot more confidence. I know I'm not going to have that bad of a start tomorrow again, hopefully not (laughter). I know it's going to be okay tomorrow, you know, whatever happens. It's not going to be as bad as today.

Q. Did you play as well the last seven holes today as you did yesterday?

VIJAY SINGH: Pretty much. I hit a lot of fairways, except for 16 where I thought I hit a good drive. Bounced left into the rough. But I hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens. Although I was four over -- five over after four holes, on the whole, I must have missed about four or five greens only, so that wasn't that bad of a day. It was just one or two holes that really messed me up.

Q. When is the last time you made a triple before today? Do you remember?

VIJAY SINGH: Oh, boy (laughter). I don't know. It's been a while. I don't know. I can't think. It's been a while.

Q. Any this year?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't think so.

LEE PATTERSON: I don't think so.

VIJAY SINGH: I don't think so.

Q. Could you give us a short version of what happened there?

LEE PATTERSON: Just a short version of what happened.

VIJAY SINGH: I hit a pretty decent drive. I hit it a little left. It caught the bunker. I was pretty happy to see the ball go in the bunker. But the brake job wasn't very good. There was a big lump on the right of the ball. I tried to punch it. It was only 130 yard shot. It wasn't a difficult shot to get to the green. I squatted the ball to the right to another bunker. It was a long bunker shot. I tried to get a little too cute. I sculled it over the green. I tried to bump it through the rough, stayed in the rough. Had a good pitch to about five feet, missed the putt. If you add them up, comes to seven.

Q. I have to know, after a great round yesterday and the way you came back today, your confidence level has just got to be super high. I wonder about your thoughts on that?

VIJAY SINGH: You know, after I made that putt on 16, I told my caddie, I said, "You know, we're back to where we started." I was feeling really, really good. That showed on my next tee shot. I was thinking about hitting a 3-wood off the tee on 17. I said, "No, I'm feeling so good, let me go ahead and hit a driver." I hit probably the best driver shot and best iron shot of the day, too. Right below the hole. I didn't make the putt, but I was feeling really comfortable. The tee shot on 18 was the same thing. So I'm feeling really good right now. A good night's rest, positive thoughts tomorrow, will be really good.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else?

Q. Does a day like this take a lot more out of you mentally?

VIJAY SINGH: Very much so, yeah. Fighting back all the way, I thought I was coming back really good, and then that bogey on 10 really dropped me, you know, further back. It was always a battle, you know. You're trying to make a birdie. At the same time you're trying not to mess up again. It was always -- if you're not in a good position off the tee, you're always trying to go for the middle of the green, instead of making a bogey. It's very, very tiring when you do this. You kind of get exhausted when you're finished.

Q. Too exhausted to go to the range?

VIJAY SINGH: You know, I'm not hitting my irons as good as I did yesterday. I know what I'm doing wrong. I just want to mentally go and hit a bucket of balls to get that away, wind down and go home.

Q. You sound a little stuffed up. Are you sick or have a cold?

VIJAY SINGH: No, I'm fine. I'm great.

LEE PATTERSON: You don't have to go over 1 and 3.

VIJAY SINGH: I can go over 1 and 3, I don't mind (laughter).

LEE PATTERSON: We've got that.

VIJAY SINGH: 4, I made a -- made a good drive. Hit a pitching wedge on the second shot. Hit about 15 feet left of the pin, rolled the first one about five feet by and missed it. Birdied the 6th hole. I hit a 7-iron to about a good 15 feet from the hole. 9th hole, hit a driver, 6-iron, front edge, 2-putted from, oh, it was ten yards, so 30 feet. 10th hole, I hit a very good 3-wood. I was going with an 8-iron, pulled it left, over the green, chipped it about 20 feet, 2-putted. 12th hole I hit a 2-iron, wedge, to about eight feet left, made it. 13, I hit a 3-wood, sand wedge, to about eight feet, made it. 14, what did I do on 14? I made par on 14.

LEE PATTERSON: 15 and 16?

VIJAY SINGH: 15, I hit driver -- 3-wood, 5-iron in left bunker. Hit a good bunker shot, about three feet, holed that, maybe a little less. 16, I got away with that one. I hit a 3-wood just in the rough. Hit a great 8-iron to about 15 feet, 12 feet behind the hole, holed that, and parred the last two.

Q. What about 7, you said that was key?

VIJAY SINGH: I pulled the drive left. I had to pitch out onto the fairway and hit a sand wedge to about six feet to make that.

LEE PATTERSON: Thank you. Appreciate your patience.

VIJAY SINGH: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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