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April 6, 2006

Vijay Singh


CRAIG HEATLEY: Ladies and gentlemen, it's a pleasure to welcome Vijay Singh. Well played today, a marvelous 67. Would you mind just going through your round with us and sharing a few thoughts about the clubs you used and some of the thoughts that you had through the round.

VIJAY SINGH: I played pretty decent today. I didn't make too many mistakes. I had a lot of chances earlier on and I putted very well, as well. So my first birdie came on the 7th hole. I hit a very good drive and a 7 iron to I would say 15 foot, maybe 20 feet above the hole, which is really, you know, was struggling to have a 2 putt from there. But I got the line really good and the ball went in. It was good to see the ball go in.

Then the next birdie came on 11, the hole that we all think about before we go out there. You hit a drive, just leaked it to the right, cut a 5 iron in to about ten feet and made that.

Then the 13th hole, I hit a driver, 6 iron just left of the green and chipped up five feet, four feet and made that.

Made a great birdie on 14. I made it from about probably 20 foot. Very difficult putt. I thought I was just trying to lag it and it went in.

Birdied 15. I hit driver, 4 iron just right of the green and chipped it about three feet, three and a half foot and made that and parred in.

I had a great up and down on 18. Hit a 5 iron long and putted close and made that.

Q. Was 18 the only par you really had to grind on, and did the holes that they made some of the more significant changes on give you any more difficulty than years in the past?

VIJAY SINGH: Not really. I think the conditions today favored us, not the holes they changed. The first hole played downwind, 4 played downwind, 7 kind of played also, there was no wind in play and 11 played downwind. If the wind changed around like yesterday, those holes were playing really, really long.

You know, really it was the conditions that dictated the difficulty of the hole, and today was perfect conditions, so we could get it out there.

Q. Was that the toughest par you had to worry about on 18? Was there any other one on the front?

VIJAY SINGH: No. The fifth hole I hit down in the swale and hit a long putt from about 50 foot I think and 2 putted that one.

But the next putt, I made a good I think 6 , 7 footer there for par, so that was the only other one.

Q. It seems like you've been struggling with your putting. What have you found for this week?

VIJAY SINGH: I think I've been putting pretty good for the last three months or two months. That's been the strongest part of my game since The Match Play at La Costa. The rest of my game I've been struggling with, but not my putter.

I feel very comfortable coming here. I putted very well at TPC and Bay Hill. So the putter has been working pretty good for me. So I have a lot of confidence with that right now.

Q. The 11th is playing on average about a half a shot over par, so how satisfying is it to make a birdie down there?

VIJAY SINGH: I had a pretty I had a difficult shot there. I was lucky to make a birdie after just going to the front right of the green and that's where the pin was. The shot just came out perfect. I wasn't on the fairway. I was in the right rough. But I could just carve it around that one tree they have there and pulled the shot off and looked up, it was going straight for the pin, pitched on the green and stops ten feet.

You don't really go for the flags there. They put the pins on the left side, closer to the water, we'd probably be playing to the middle or right edge of the green. So I was fortunate to make birdie there.

Q. How would you characterize this 67 compared to other rounds you've had here in terms of working hard, and is this the easiest that this course can play?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know if it was easier. I think the golf course was pretty tough from the get go. If you don't hit good shots, you're going to make a number out there.

And for the score, I played really good golf today, I didn't struggle with my game at all. I hit a lot of good iron shots.

You know, it wasn't difficult for me to shoot 67. I mean, I left a lot of shots out there if you look at it that way. But I made the putts that counted. You look back and say, well, I could have been 3 or 4 under, but I made some good putts, so it kind of evens out. This is probably one of the better rounds I've played here, yeah.

Q. How much wind is needed or how drastic could things change on, say, a hole like 17 or any of the holes they changed?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, yesterday was a harder day than today on the greens. Yesterday's greens were a lot firmer and faster and we were finding it very difficult to stop the ball as close to the hole as yesterday. They may have watered the greens overnight and it played a lot more easier this morning than it did yesterday afternoon when I played.

They can make it really difficult. They can dry it up and put the pins where it's hard to get to and we have to hit away from the pins. You know, it doesn't need too much. It's very warm right now and the ball is going a long ways. Better not say that too loud, maybe they will move it back 50 yards next year. (Laughter).

No, the conditions are perfect. When it's warm, the ball does go further, and it makes the golf hole a lot shorter. That's why the first hole, I hit a driver 9 iron on 1 and yesterday I hit a driver 5 iron, so that's the difference with the wind.

Q. In what way are you a better player than when you first won here?


Q. In what way are you a better player now than when you first won here?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know if I'm a better player. I think I manage my game a little bit better. My miss hits are a lot better and I know when to attack the pins and when not to. A hole like 13, I only had a 6 iron in my hand but I missed the green left, but that wasn't a bad shot. A few years ago, I probably would have gone straight for the pin and if you do miss it, you're going to hit it in the water. So those are the different things that I did differently.

Just playing away from trouble when you need to, don't take risks when it's not necessary. If you have a short iron in your hand, sand wedges, you can go at the flags, and those are the things that I do better now.

Q. Are you actually tinkering with your swing a little bit right now, trying some different things? I'm wondering how long it's been since you've monkeyed around with the basic root of what you're doing.

VIJAY SINGH: At TPC I saw a lot of bad things in my golf swing. (Laughing) I think I had nine calls, everybody and their friend started to tell me about my golf swing. It's just like my putting when I wasn't putting well. You know, everybody started telling me about my putting.

After TPC I saw my golf swing on video and I found out exactly what I was doing wrong and it was the same mistake that I've been doing forever. Worked really hard last week, tried to fix it and it's on the way I guess.

Q. Is there any responsibility just as a person that comes with winning The Masters or leading The Masters, being such a global event?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. I think the Masters itself is an event that is recognized globally. You don't have to be leading Masters or winning Masters to be recognized. I think just playing in the Masters itself is a big thing for us. You know, guys out there for the first time, I was talking to Thongchai Jaidee the other day. He just could not believe, he was in awe of the place. I think every player that is coming over here for the first time just can't believe how beautiful or perfect this place is.

Doesn't matter if you're leading or winning or won it, just the place itself blows our mind away. It's a global event anyway.

CRAIG HEATLEY: Vijay, thanks, well played today and good luck for the rest of the week.

End of FastScripts.

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