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August 26, 1998

Vijay Singh


Q. How does it feel to be the hottest golfer on tour right now?

VIJAY SINGH: It's different, I guess. I'm enjoying it. It's a good feeling, makes me play better and, you know, as you can see, I mean, I shot 600 today. Didn't really need to do that. Everybody was around and cheering me on. Everybody's just flowing.

Q. It's not like you've been playing bad over the years, but, I mean, especially these first last two weeks, I mean, what's the difference?

VIJAY SINGH: I kept saying it was -- it's been my putting, but the putting started to go, you know, get good. Once you start putting good, then the whole game falls in place. I've been totally playing really good. I'm finishing it off, too. If I hit it close, I'm -- I make the putt and, you know, occasional 20-, 30-footers. All of a sudden, you hit it up. It's a good score. That's the way it starts.

Q. These two weeks you've gained all kind of attention. Is it now for you -- is it different?

VIJAY SINGH: It's the same week this week. Just another golf tournament, I guess. You have to forget about last week and the week before that and just go on and playing what I'm doing this week. I don't think anybody out there -- any players kind of want to think about last week now. And, you just -- for me, it's a good confidence boost coming over the last three weeks, everything's flowing and I'm just excited to play.

Q. This streak started when you started putting cross; is that right?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah. Every since I started putting cross-handed, my score kind of gradually came down.

Q. How did that occur? Did you talk to someone about doing this or just on your own or what?

VIJAY SINGH: Pretty much myself. I've been trying to get my son to putt cross-handed as well. You know, my wife said, "Maybe you should try that, too." That's the way it started off.

Q. Why has it been so successful?

VIJAY SINGH: I have no idea. It just feels good and, you know, I'm not thinking about the stroke through the ball anymore. If I do convention -- if I do not go conventional on the putting green, I tend to want to think about what I'm doing on the through swing instead of just standing up and hitting it. Now, with the cross-handed, I'm feeling the stroke and feeling my line, just hitting it. Today was a good example. I putted really good today again, so...

Q. Vijay, your practice routine has gained a lot of acclaim. Can you talk about that and how you practice?

VIJAY SINGH: I used to practice a lot, you know. I've been asked this question so many times. You know, right now, I'm going to go out there and probably hit balls for an hour, putt for a half an hour and go home. I've been doing that for probably 3, 4 years now. But I used to practice a lot. It just kept on with everyone's mind that I'm one of the hardest workers. I work hard when I'm home. When I need to work, I do work. Like, now, I don't need to work on too many things. I'm feeling good. My game is good. I'm going to wind down and, if there's anything I need to fix, I will do that and that's it. If I want to go out there and hit 3, 4 hours of balls -- you know, unless I'm working on something, I don't do that.

Q. You've had good success here in the past. What is it about this course that enables you to do that?

VIJAY SINGH: I think it's long. You know, I like hitting drivers off the tees and this golf course, you want to hit drivers off the tees and it's a demanding golf course. A lot of emphasis on the iron shots here as well. You need to have the whole game over here to play well. For some reason, every time I came here, I played well. So, you know, my caddie was asking me that today. You know, "You haven't finished worse than 6th here" and I said, yeah, I just -- I feel comfortable on this golf course.

Q. Talk about how the fans have taken to you --


Q. Talk about how the fans have taken to you, especially since the PGA Championship.

VIJAY SINGH: I've got a lot more autographs to sign. I'm -- I'm not bothered about that. It's good to have fans kind of cheering you on. You know, it's -- it makes you feel good and you know, I'm taking it as they come. I'm not disappointed. I don't think anybody would be disappointed if you had that many fans following you around. Autographs are kind of getting a little bit on the hassle side, but, you know, you have to deal with it. It's okay.

Q. Seemed like you were almost surprised with the attention you got at the PGA. Seemed like you were almost surprised with the attention you got at the PGA the last day. Has that carried over?

VIJAY SINGH: I guess. PGA was a major event. Anybody who wins a major event is going to get a lot of attention, no matter who it is. I'm just accepting it and going on with it. You know, it's -- I can't get too excited about it. I just have to be careful not to be carried away with it. So, keep a level head.

Q. Vijay, is this the best you've ever played or have there been points in your career where you played better but didn't quite get the results?

VIJAY SINGH: Everything I'm doing right now is good, especially my putting. And I've played better golf in my career, but I don't think I've finished as well. I've been putting all four rounds together and I feel very comfortable right now. I think that's got a lot to do with the way I'm putting on the greens. Even when I'm in trouble, I'm thinking positive. I'm always thinking, if I get it anywhere around the green, I'm going to chip it up six feet and make the putt. If you start thinking that way, you can go ahead and do things with the shot that normally you wouldn't do. You know, beginning of this year, I was -- I wasn't putting very well, so it kind of -- the chipping part was very bad, too. You don't want to miss the green. So a lot of the greens from the tee wasn't there. Right now, I'm very aggressive from the tee. If I get it around the greens, I can chip it close. If you think about all that, yeah, this is the most comfortable I've ever felt. But I did play better golf in my career. I've played really good golf in Europe for a while, too.

Q. You've won two weeks in a row at this level. Have you even permitted yourself to think if you could win three weeks in a row?

VIJAY SINGH: If the tournament started today, I'd have a good chance. Tomorrow it starts and we have to -- I'm playing well, I'm really very positive in my thoughts and my game and we'll have to see when it starts tomorrow how I do. I'm not saying I'm going to go out there and shoot 64, 65. But I don't think a winning score is going to be that low over here. I'll just keep in the game and see what it turns out to be. But, yeah, I mean, if -- if I can do it twice, why not three times? It's out there.

Q. You talked about how it meant to win a major and it was a goal of yours. Did you always feel that you would eventually or was there any part of you that, you know, "Will I ever be able to do this"?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, you know, I always said, I'm going to give my 100 percent in every major event. If I win, it's great. If I don't win, as long as I've done my best, that's fine. I kept saying, through my career, if I hadn't won a major event, I wouldn't be too disappointed as long as I did my best because those are the hardest tournaments to win. Right now, I've won one and it's a full feeling that I've done -- that you've achieved what you always thought you could do.

Q. What have the last couple of weeks been like, just general?

VIJAY SINGH: It's been great. I mean, I've been traveling with my family and I've been keeping to myself, mostly, after golf. I'm -- you know, the best thing is, I'm playing good golf, which is doing everybody a lot of good. My caddie, my wife, everybody is happy around me, you know. I'm just going with -- you know, with the way I'm playing. I guess if I play badly this week, everything is going to calm down by next week. Right now, I'm feeling good and just enjoying it. It's been a great feeling. I've never won two tournaments in a row here. To do that, it's a big achievement for me and I'm just enjoying it.

Q. You keep such an even keel mostly when you're playing. Correct me if I am wrong on this, but I was watching you at Sahalee, for a second when you finished on 18 on the last day, it was as if you almost didn't realize that you have just won. There was a moment of hesitation after you made that final putt before you raised your putter.

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. I knew I had won on 17. When I teed it up on 18, I knew if I made par, I'd win the golf tournament. Even a 3-putt was going to win me the tournament. But I don't know. I mean, I was excited. I knew I won. It was always there. I was just surprised my boy didn't come to me earlier, he and my wife running to me. I don't know. I guess -- you know, I can't answer that question. I mean, I thought I was pretty normal.

Q. So there is no pumping celebration in your repertoire?

VIJAY SINGH: No. I'm getting too old for that.

Q. What is it going to take to win this tournament, Vijay?

VIJAY SINGH: Although you've had a lot of rain here, the golf course is playing really good. I thought it would be really wet, but I don't know where the water went to. It's -- you know, it's the best condition I've ever seen the golf course in. The greens are really beautiful. I mean, you can putt on some of the tees, they're that good. So, you know, everybody's -- everybody I've talked to are really looking forward to playing this event, especially since it's the last time we're going to have this in a WORLD SERIES. I would guess with the conditions and if it doesn't rain anymore, about 10-, 12-under is going to win the tournament.

Q. Do you talk much with your wife? How did you meet her?

VIJAY SINGH: All right. That's personal. I met her on the golf course a long time ago, about 1981. I was teaching golf and we just went on from there.

Q. Where was it, in Fiji?

VIJAY SINGH: In Fiji, yeah.

Q. How did you get -- (Inaudible).

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I guess we fell in love and we got married, you know. I mean, it's -- we'd been going out for ten years before we got married. So, you know, and finally we said we're going to get married and that was it, you know. (Laughs).

Q. Talk about your wife. Does she advise your putting or something?

VIJAY SINGH: She has been following me every since we've been together. You know, she caddied for me a few times in Europe when I played. Actually, I won one time when she was on the bag. So, you know, she knows my golf from the very -- very start and, you know, since I turned pro and, you know, we talk to each other when I get back to the room and I talk about the round, talk about how I feel. If I'm playing bad, she'll throw me a few ideas, going to work with those things and we've been doing that for years.

Q. (Inaudible).

VIJAY SINGH: I used to, but my boy's going to go to school next week. That starts -- she has to go back and look after him, I guess, so that would be the end of their traveling.

Q. Do you have any superstitions that have carried through this hot streak?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, not really. I mean, you know, we start off with the ball, like, Sahalee was -- Dave came up -- that's my caddie -- and said, We'll start off with the number one ball on the first day and 1, 2 and 3 and 4. You know, started off with 1, 2 was fine, and 3, I started making a few bogies. I said, let's stop having that one and go back to something else. So, as long as it works, it's fine. But if it doesn't work, I change it. I guess everybody does that.

Q. Has there been anything that's worked so well that you've continued to do it?

VIJAY SINGH: Not really. I mean, you know, if I start off marking with a coin on the first day, I probably do that the whole week and, you know, then change coins, I guess. But that's what I do. If it doesn't work the first day, I change coins and do something else. It hasn't been a consistent thing.

Q. Is Dave caddying for you this week, too?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah. Thanks.

End of FastScripts....

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