October 25, 1996
LEE PATTERSON: Share your thoughts about today and heading into the weekend.
VIJAY SINGH: I'm in a good position, except for Tom. I'm playing pretty good. I'm hitting the ball pretty decent; as long as I don't make too many mistakes out there, I think I'll be fine. It really depends on Tom. He's playing really good. He's hitting the ball extremely well, the best I've seen him hit. If he keeps doing what he's doing he's going to be a hard man to catch.
Q. Talk about the conditions today as compared to yesterday.
VIJAY SINGH: The wind was a lot stronger than yesterday. And the greens were getting a little bit faster, crustier, but it's still fairly damp, so you can still stop your ball as soon as it lands on the green. But the wind is the one that's very gusty; one minute it's going to be blowing 15, and the next 30. So if you can deal with that, you can do all right. But I don't think anyone can really deal with that. If you get lucky with a few shots, standing over the shot -- for instance, my putter on the 8th hole, I hit that putt and a gust of wind came up and the ball took off 8, 10 feet by the hole. Things like that, if you can avoid doing that, and if you can know when to back off, you do all right.
Q. Kind of whenever the gusts come up?
VIJAY SINGH: Whenever the gusts come up, yeah.
Q. Can you walk us through what happened on No. 8, on the double bogey.
VIJAY SINGH: I hit a pretty good 2-iron; I just wanted to stay below the hole, which I did. If you give me another 20 balls from there, I'd probably get up-and-down. I tried to putt through the Bermuda and think it was going to jump a little bit and come up short. It didn't. It carried all that Bermuda and took off. And it went a good six feet by the hole. And I actually hit a very good second putt. And the dust came up and I missed the next one coming back.
Q. Looked like you had an added spectator there at 18. Did you want to wake that guy up?
VIJAY SINGH: I don't know what happened to him. I think he had one too many to drink, but he looked pretty calm. I thought my ball had hit him, but it wasn't. The guy was checking his pulse. He was calm and looked like he was having a good nap.
Q. Vijay, did you play against Tom over in Wentworth?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I did.
Q. And the outcome?
VIJAY SINGH: Played the semifinals, I beat him on the 37th hole. We both played pretty good. He played -- it was a close match; he 3-putted the last hole to let me in, and had the extra holes.
Q. Today did you get into matchplay mentality at all?
VIJAY SINGH: No, it's too long for that yet. If it comes down to on Sunday, maybe yeah. But there's too many people out there, too many golfers within striking distance. And anybody within five, six, seven shots of Tom has still got a chance of winning. That's a long way to go.
Q. Vijay, how close was your ball to the guy that was asleep on 18, and did he ever wake up at any time while you were there?
VIJAY SINGH: No, I think he's still sleeping there. It was a good five, six yards short of him.
Q. Vijay, you were the only player in the field to birdie No. 14. Talk about why that hole played so tough today and what your shot on that hole was.
VIJAY SINGH: I think the pin placements were pretty tough. It was almost on a slope. And it was the narrowest part of the green with the bunkers come into play on the left side. The wind was blowing from right to left, so club selection was really difficult. Tom hit a really good 4-iron in. I went out and hit a 4-iron; I hit it about 8 feet. He hit a good shot, 10 feet. He gave me a good read. All the par 3's are playing pretty tough, except for that 11th hole which is going in with an 8 or 7-iron; it's sort of a break to hit an 8-iron on a par 3. But the rest of the holes it's playing its length.
Q. Did you reach 13 today? Was that reachable?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I hit a driver 5-iron there, so I hit a pretty decent drive there. I needed it, Tom was on fire then.
Q. What about the par 5 on the front, is that --
VIJAY SINGH: I had a chance of getting on. I had like 250 to the pin in front. And I just tried to play to the front edge of the green.
Q. Vijay, this evening what will you work on from today's round?
VIJAY SINGH: There's not much to work on. Your bad shot comes because of the wind. So I'm just going to try to hit some shots, just wind down a little bit and putt a little bit. The putt I missed on 17 was a good chance of getting within two or three of Tom. And it was no more than a four-footer, and I hit a bad putt, hit something as well, but I should have made that. And then the one on 18 was again a makeable putt. I didn't putt as good as yesterday. I'll work on my putt more than anything else.
Q. Vijay, on the course this difficult does a four stroke lead seem bigger than at some other events?
VIJAY SINGH: Yes and no. It really -- Tom is playing so well right now, so with a four shot lead, he must be feeling very comfortable. Then again, if he doesn't hit the ball as good tomorrow then he may want to protect it some. So that's not a very good thing to do on this golf course. But four shot -- I don't think any amount of shot is enough for this golf course. It really depends on how Tom plays. If he plays like he did today, I think we're all in for a big, tough weekend.
Q. Talked about Tom catching fire early on the back 9, was there any sense of urgency on your part to really get something going there?
VIJAY SINGH: He made four birdies -- actually he made five birdies in six holes. And I made three. Still I lost by two shots there. So he was hitting so good, he was driving the ball perfect, he was hitting his iron shots really close. If a guy does that, there's not much you can do about it, you just go on and try to play your own game and not let him go too far ahead. But if he does that tomorrow and the day after it's going to be tough. You have to try to keep playing our own game and not let that bother us. I was just trying not to lose too many shots, not give away too many shots. And I played pretty solid. Except for 18, it was kind of sad I made bogey there.
LEE PATTERSON: No. 7.
VIJAY SINGH: 7, I hit a driver -- sorry, 2-iron, 6-iron, about was a good 15, 18 feet.
LEE PATTERSON: And 11.
VIJAY SINGH: 11, I hit an 8-iron to about 5 feet short of the hole. 13, I had a 5 iron and two-putted. 14, I hit a 4-iron to about 8, 10 feet in.
End of FastScripts....