October 29, 1998
LEE PATTERSON: Very, very impressive day.
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah.
LEE PATTERSON: Just a couple thoughts about your round, then we'll entertain questions.
VIJAY SINGH: Well, unbelievable. I shot the ball probably the best I did all year. From tee to green was really solid. I think I missed one tee shot. I missed one fairway with a driver. That is very much unlike me. You know, drove it really good, hit a lot of good iron shots to the green. Putted nicely. When you do all those things, I guess, you know, you're in for a good, low score.
Q. Yesterday you weren't real happy with the rough or real complimentary of the rough. Did you just avoid it today?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I'm still pretty worried about that. We still have three more days to go. I know I'm going to hit it in there sooner or later. It's still very hard. I played with Tiger today. He didn't strike the ball that well. It's a good work out trying to hit out of there, for anybody. You know, it's very dangerous as well. If you're going for a big hit, you can hurt yourself.
Q. Were you in there much today at all?
VIJAY SINGH: Twice. You know, I had a -- I laid up on 9 with an 8-iron. I think on 12, I had a wedge to the green, so it wasn't really deep. It was just about a foot in.
Q. Talk all week has been that even par, barely get to double digits, maybe by the end of the weekend. A lot of guys are surprised to see you do so well today. Mayfair said if you put it on the fairway, put it on the green, you can make the birdies. Right spots. That is what happened for you?
VIJAY SINGH: Like I said, I drove the ball really long and straight. I was going in with short-iron to middle irons. Longest iron I hit today was a 6-iron, I think onto the 16th hole. If you're doing that, if you feel under par, you can really go at the flags. That's what I did. I hit a lot of shots close, made some nice putts.
Q. You said you were hitting the ball probably the best you hit all year, did you say that?
VIJAY SINGH: Uh-huh.
Q. Better than Sahalee.
VIJAY SINGH: From the tee to green, this is the best I've hit, yeah. You know, the ball came out of the cup really solid, too. Every drive I hit was down the middle, except for one. Iron shots, I was so confident hitting onto the greens. I think the rhythm today was so good, it just felt comfortable all day.
Q. Feel easy out there?
VIJAY SINGH: It wasn't easy. I mean, all the putts, you have to be very careful with the putts. If you're wrong side of the hole, you can very easily hit it six, eight feet by. Really, the greens, you have to be really careful out here. You've got to watch where you put the balls.
Q. Are you battling a cold?
VIJAY SINGH: A little bit. Doesn't bother much at all, though.
Q. Nothing major?
VIJAY SINGH: No.
Q. 63 is the lowest that Bobby Jones ever shot out here. I don't know if you thought about that. Is that comparable at all?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, that's the first I've heard, so. I just hope he played roughs this big (laughter). But I don't know. I was never expecting to shoot anything like it. Going out there today, I just said, you know, "Make sure you just play solid, shoot a good number, don't shoot yourself out." Turned out really good for me.
Q. Saw on television you didn't feel so good on the range.
VIJAY SINGH: I wasn't comfortable. I was hitting -- wasn't really comfortable hitting. That's what happens. I played a lot of rounds where I've been very uncomfortable in the practice range, kind of you have to concentrate a little more harder on the golf course. Probably that happened a bit.
Q. When we talked earlier in the week, I looked at the course, knowing you and your game, the way you're playing nowadays, I said, "This just looks like the kind of course for you." Does it set up that well for you, or was today just an exceptional round, do you think?
VIJAY SINGH: Today was an exceptional round, I think for anybody to shoot 63 around here. You know, again, I have to emphasize my tee ball, put it on the fairways. If you put the ball on the fairway, you're not going to shoot that high of a number. Every hole out here, I was going in with, you know, 8-iron, 9-iron, wedges. If you do that, you've hit enough shots with 8-, 9-irons to put it close to the hole. If I was missing the fairway, once you miss the fairway, you can't even get to the green, leave aside hitting the green. That's where the bogeys come in.
Q. How does this round compare with some of your best ever?
VIJAY SINGH: You know, I've had a lot of good rounds, a lot of good rounds made up by good putts. You at least make three or four 15-footers, 20-footers. Today I think the longest putt I had was on 9, which was 18 foot, it was back edge of the green. You know, I think four or five of them were almost give me's. If you start doing that. I think it's probably one of the best rounds I've had ever from tee to green.
Q. Did you hear the cell phone on your backswing on 18?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I did. I was about to stop, but I didn't. I just went on and hit it (laughter).
Q. In the last four or five months, there's been a lot of improvement in your putting. Do you just attribute that to the change in technique?
VIJAY SINGH: Very much so. Yeah, just going cross-handed, I feel very comfortable. I've had a few bad putting rounds. From six, eight feet in, I'm feeling very comfortable over the ball. That's probably why I shot a good number today. This is the best greens I've ever putted, bent greens, ever. So if you put the ball in the right position, stroke feels good, you're going to shoot low.
Q. The greens are a little more softer today than Tuesday?
VIJAY SINGH: Tuesday was really fast. I thought Tuesday's green were the fastest ever I putted on. It got pretty quick today as well. Just the same as yesterday. You know, I was comfortable with the pace.
Q. Do you know much about Bobby Jones? Do you study history or have you looked around the clubhouse?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah. I have all his books, his tapes that he made. This was going back probably eight years that I started collecting books. I stopped doing that now. Started collecting too many of them. Yeah, you know, I know his history. I've looked at his tapes. I liked the way he swung the club and his rhythm.
Q. Walking off the 18th green with a bogey shooting 63 any different than walking off 18 with a birdie shooting 63?
VIJAY SINGH: Very much so. It was a good round, it was a 62 in my mind. I hit that putt, what five feet by. It was a tough putt. It's always disappointing leaving 18 with a bogey. It's sad that a good round -- it's still a good round, but it could have been one less, if I just 2-putted. You know, you can't go that way. You look back and say how many eight-footers you made all day. It kind of evens out.
Q. Have things settled down for you since the PGA and the Sprint or is your phone still going off the hook?
VIJAY SINGH: No.
Q. Back to normal?
VIJAY SINGH: I have no problems with that. The week after the PGA and Sprint, I was back to normal. I mean, it didn't really bother me. The players have been really boosting my confidence. They're coming up to me, approaching me, saying good things about my game. A lot more autographs. Apart from that, it's been pretty normal. My wife is handling all the phone calls, by the way.
LEE PATTERSON: Real quick go over the birdies for us. Starting with 1.
VIJAY SINGH: I hit a driver, 9-iron, to about six feet. 3rd hole, I hit a driver, sand wedge, to about a foot. 5th hole, I hit a driver, 9-iron, to about eight feet. 8th hole, I hit a 3-iron, pitching wedge to about a foot. 9TH, I hit a driver, 8-iron, laid up, hit a sand wedge about 15, 18 foot. What was the next one?
LEE PATTERSON: 11.
VIJAY SINGH: I hit a 7-iron to about six feet, eight feet.
LEE PATTERSON: 13.
VIJAY SINGH: 13, I hit a 3-wood, sand wedge, to about a foot.
LEE PATTERSON: 15.
VIJAY SINGH: 15, I hit a 3-wood in the bunker, hit a 4-iron on the green, and 2-putted from about 25 foot. Second putt was about a foot and a half. Bogeyed the last hole. I hit 2-iron, it was a good 40-footer, 3-putted it.
Q. Any tough saves out there today?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah. On 10, I hit a pretty good drive, hit the top of the flag with my second shot, bounced off of the green. That was a pretty unfortunate break. I had a good lie in the rough, chipped it down about six foot and made it. Then on 12, I just missed the fairway with my 2-iron, hit in the bunker. Had a good bunker shot to about another five foot. Those were the two good saves I had.
LEE PATTERSON: Thank you. We appreciate your time.
VIJAY SINGH: Thank you, very much.
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