October 24, 1996
LEE PATTERSON: Share your thoughts with us about the round today.
VIJAY SINGH: I played nicely. I think I putted good for a change. The first 8 holes I think I only had ten putts. And, you know, when I did miss a green, I got up-and-down, I've been working on my short game a little bit and it paid off this week. Besides that, I played pretty solid. I hit a lot of good drives, a lot of good approach shots to the green and putted nicely. And if I can keep that going, it's going to be tough, but if I keep it going, I'm in for a good shot.
Q. Did your putter, when you switched that, when you went back to the short putter and what model that is and how it's gone?
VIJAY SINGH: I think it's a Scotty Cameron, and changed during Las Vegas two weeks ago, three weeks ago.
Q. Is this a temporary thing or did you have to get away from the long putter?
VIJAY SINGH: I've always putted with a short one when I was at home. When I was playing on TOUR with a long one, every time I went out and played at home I always played with a short one, so I never really got away from it. And I decided to go back to a short one. I wasn't making enough with the long ones. And I think from outside 8 feet, 10 feet I started to lag putts, so all my long putts were kind of lagging near the hole. I never really made any long ones. And with the short one I have a chance of running at the hole, and that's what I've been doing. And I putted nicely.
Q. What do you think of the golf course?
VIJAY SINGH: It's tough. It's a golf course where you've got to drive your ball straight. If you're in position to go for the green, then -- you cannot hit the greens from the trees over here, very seldom you can. And I think I drove the ball into the trees once and I got lucky, I had a good lie. But besides that, I drove the ball on the fairways and the greens are small, a lot of undulation on them, so you've got to hit it in the right spot. The course is playing -- it's not going to play any easier. It's always going to play -- it's always going to play tough. And if it dries out this week, it's going to play a lot harder. I don't think the fairways are going to play any harder because they're so wet right now. If you hit a good shot in the fairway, it's going to stay on the fairway. The greens, they've already had signs of drying out. With this wind, it's going to dry out even more.
Q. Is that the best you've driven the ball all year? Have you been picking up on the drives recently?
VIJAY SINGH: I've been driving the ball nicely. Last week at the World Matchplay I drove the ball beautifully all week. And in Vegas I drove the ball good. If you drive the ball in play, I think you're in a position to make a lot of birdies. And I think that's for everybody, I don't care how long or how short you hit it. If you hit it on the fairway, you're going to have a lot of chances for birdies. And that's what I've been doing nicely.
Q. How long have you used the long putter before switching back to the short one?
VIJAY SINGH: Almost a year. I started the second week this year in Phoenix and in Calloway Gardens. That's almost going through the whole year. I putted nicely some weeks, but had a lot of average weeks with it. Should have changed earlier, the way I putted today, it's kind of exciting to be out there hitting putts that you know you're going to make and couldn't wait to get on the greens.
Q. How tough is it to bounce back from the World Matchplay, it's a long week, 36 hole matches, is it tough physically or mentally?
VIJAY SINGH: I got here Monday night. I had three or four nights of sleep to get over that. I think I'm okay now. The problem was playing 36 holes every day was a hard thing. You played four rounds of 36 holes, and it kind of eats you up a little bit. But I feel fine. Especially --
Q. Of course you only had to play 27 that one day?
VIJAY SINGH: I think that was a bonus. I say that slowly, Steve Jones is still around. (Laughter.)
Q. Gear up for this tournament at all, is this tournament big for you this week?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, it's big for me, because I haven't won all year. And I thought I had a good chance last week to do it. And I've given myself a good chance this week already. I've started off nicely, so although there's three long days to go, I would like to finish up with a win. And in that sense it's big for me. Also it's the ending tournament of the year, the last tournament of the year. And the prize money is pretty big. Plus if you do well you're going to jump up in the money list. I'd like to finish a lot higher in the money list than where I am now. I think it's a big tournament, not only for me, for everybody.
Q. Are you a fan of strategic golf courses like this? You usually play well on them. I'm thinking of Westchester and some of those places?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I like golf courses like this, you need to play golf over here, you can't hit it everywhere and get away with it. The only problem with this golf course it's got a lot of right to left holes. And I've got to pull out my 3-wood and hit those. But it's a good -- it's a pleasure to play golf courses like this. I think coming back here in 2001 for the U.S. Open, and that's going to be really tough because middle of the year and I hate to play that golf course then. But it's fun playing golf courses like this. We don't play too many. There's a lot of golf courses in the country that are like this. I think we should play them more, but obviously we can't.
Q. How would you sum up your year?
VIJAY SINGH: Pretty average, I think. Part of my year was making all the cuts. I haven't won. When you don't win it's always a disappointment, you know. But I'm not that disappointed, even if I don't win, I've had a solid year, I've got a lot of improvement to do and I few more years for me to kind of get going.
Q. Vijay, are you surprised Tiger has taken this tour by storm so quickly?
VIJAY SINGH: He's a good player, hits the ball a long ways and straight. Who knows what he's going to do in the future? He's already proven he can win. It may be interesting to see what he does next year.
LEE PATTERSON: Go over your birdies for me quick, 6 and 7.
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, 6, I hit a nice 7-iron about 15 feet right at the hole and rolled it in. And 7 I hit a 2-iron off the tee, hit a very little 6-iron about ten feet, made that. And 11 I hit a beautiful 7-iron there, about 8, 10 feet behind the hole and made that one. On 13 I hit a driver, 4-iron about 15 feet, 20 feet, 2-putted that one. 14, I hit a 3-iron, I think it was about 20 feet, bogeyed the next one. Actually I hit a pretty good drive, a really good 7-iron, just straight over the flag and straight over the green, so I had no shot from there, I played about 20 feet and 2-putted.
Q. What was your second shot at par 5, what did you have left there, 4-iron?
VIJAY SINGH: I had 213.
Q. Most of the guys reaching that green today?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah. It's playing downwind. Only thing is hitting on the slope the ball doesn't run at all. I kind of flew, I must have got a good bounce, it went way up.
Q. How about the other par 5?
VIJAY SINGH: That's playing like a par 6 right now. I hit -- I didn't hit a very good drive and I had to layup with a 9-iron and hit a 7-iron on. If you hit a decent drive you can get close to the green, the wind is left to right, and you hit it over the trees, so you are left to take a pretty good lie.
Q. Have you reached that green previously?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah. Last year it was playing dry. I think we all --
Q. Everybody running it up there?
VIJAY SINGH: You could actually -- I think I flew it up there last year.
End of FastScripts....