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September 3, 2006

Vijay Singh


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Current leader in the clubhouse, Vijay Singh. Thank you for joining us. Well, you set the course record with a 61 today and also a personal best on the PGA TOUR. Maybe just some opening comments on what a great day it was for you?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, all the hard work actually paid off. I kept tell myself and everybody that is associated with me said, you're playing well, just go out there and enjoy and it's going to happen.

And it was really difficult to go out there and keep practicing and not seeing the results. And finally it showed up. And I did it in a great way too. I played well, I hit the ball really solid today, and didn't feel like it was difficult to do the way I played. And I was, it was a good way to do it.

Q. What was the catalyst for your round? Can you point to one? Was it that eagle on 2?

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I started off really well. Sometimes you go out there and play and shoot a good number, but you scramble around and make good pars and in some cases some long putts for birdies.

But today was a day that I went out there, except for the 6th hole where I mishit my tee shot, I drove the ball great, made a lot of good iron shots and didn't make that many long putts, but I just hit it really solid. And I started, birdied one, eagled 2 and birdied 4 and 5. And that made me play real free golf and settled me down.

Q. Is there any way of explaining on how a day like this you could get it to 10 under?

VIJAY SINGH: Hit a lot of good shots and a lot of good iron shots and make a lot of putts. And I don't know, I wasn't expecting to shoot a 61 when I started today, but I just went out there and played hole by hole and each time I made a birdie I got even more calmer for the next hole. And I just had a great time out there. I hit a lot of great shots and just tried to play hole by hole and never look ahead. And that was the way I thought.

Q. Basically you ignored the weather?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, it was miserable. There was no doubt about that. This is one of the worst conditions you want to play golf in, because it gets everything wet. But I just had a good guy on the bag and he just kept all my clubs dry and I just kept on plod did I think along just hole by hole. Thank God it wasn't any heavier than what it was, otherwise it would have been really difficult.

Q. In '98 at Sahalee you won in the rain at the PGA Championship, I don't remember how hard it was raining. Was it like this?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't even remember that long ago.

Q. Obviously the rain was a big factor today, but was it easier playing in this than it was yesterday with the wind gusts?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, it was, both was pretty difficult. I thought the wind conditions were much harder to deal with. There was very little wind out there. And if you picked the right club you knew that you were going to hit the distance. But yesterday with the wind gusting it was difficult. I think today it was a much easier day than yesterday.

Q. It looked like your chip shots were really kind of sticking on the green today. I'm wondering actually if the rain worked to your advantage by just making things a bit softer and easier to hit it in there without a lot of roll.

VIJAY SINGH: Well, yeah, every time the green's wet, you just fly it right to the flag. And the greens are accepting the ball really well. They were not spinning as much when it's wet, it was just sticking in there and not really spinning off. So you could actually fly it right to the flag and know it's not going to spin off. Except the 17th where I hit it past the pin and it caught the slope and backed off there. But it was very, the greens were really just perfect. They were not, you know, the conditions like this, you think the greens would get really slow, but they still had some speed and you could actually still stroke the putts.

Q. You've been accustomed to winning multiple times out here in a year, how frustrating has the year been for you since it's been kind of a search for you?

VIJAY SINGH: Oh, I was just telling Andy out there, I said it's been, the whole year's been a struggle. And in the middle I got a win, I don't know where that came from, but it was everything fell together in one week. Hopefully this is not going to happen. I feel like my, I worked so hard in the last few months to get my swing to where I feel comfortable and this is the first time where I went out there this week and felt very much at ease. Although yesterday and day before I didn't show it, but I really did hit the ball really well. So it's good. It's fun coming out here and hitting the ball and knowing where it's going to go.

Q. Do you have a new caddie as well?

VIJAY SINGH: For the week, yeah.

Q. For the week?


Q. Spell his name?

VIJAY SINGH: Scott Brady. No relation to your quarterback.


Q. The adjustments, did you make any major swung adjustments coming into this because of the way your year has been?

VIJAY SINGH: Not really. I think it was more to do with my confidence and once you don't have confidence, I think the whole swing goes haywire if you lose it. You see a lot of things wrong with your golf swing when in actual fact there's nothing. But I did not feel very comfortable on the tee box. And I think that my game, if I'm not driving the ball the way I want to drive it, then I don't enjoy playing the game. And funny, I've been putting so well in the last few months, but I've been striking the ball so poorly it never showed up. It didn't matter how good you putt if you're not on the greens you're making pars rather than birdies. So today different things showed up and it was nice.

Q. How does this compare to two years ago in terms of perspective fourth round.

VIJAY SINGH: Well, it seems so far away two years ago, the way I was playing then and now. But it felt good. I think this golf course has played it brings back great memories and hopefully it's the start of another great run. We're going to find out tomorrow.

Q. He was wondering, do you feel like you're still defending champion? You didn't come last year, how did you hurt your back playing ping pong?

VIJAY SINGH: Took a wrong step I guess. Tried to smash my little boy. That's what happens.


I don't know. No, I don't feel like I'm defending. I feel like I've come here, the last time I played here I won, so the memories are good, the feelings are good. So I feel like I'm coming to a golf course where I won the last time I played. Which is true. So no, I don't feel I'm defending, but in my own mind I feel like I'm coming back to golf course where I had a great win. So it makes me a lot, probably that brought me a lot more confidence in my whole demeanor. Arriving on the first tee, feeling good vibes about the golf course.

Q. Getting back to two years ago, you ended Tiger's consecutive streak of weeks at No. 1 two years ago, you got a chance going head to head tomorrow with him to end his streak of wins. Does something like that motivate you?

VIJAY SINGH: I haven't thought about that. It would be good. I'm not going to be thinking about his streak or beating him, I'm just going to go out there and try to play my game. I've been playing long enough to know that you don't go out there and worry about the guys who are playing with you, you worry about your on game and see what happens. If I play well and it comes down to the last few holes then obviously you look and see where you stand. But right now hopefully I'll play with him. I haven't played with him for awhile and it would be good.

Q. Realistically did you expect to get this far into the lead or were you just hoping to get into contention when you started out today five back.

VIJAY SINGH: I just wanted to get close to the leaders. I never thought that with the conditions like this, you know, you never think that you're going to go out there and shoot as low as I did today. But it was out there look I said, the greens were stopping really well and if you were hitting and I'm capable of playing really good golf and it showed up today. And if you do that and putt well, you're going to shoot low numbers. So if you roll the ball well, which is very, that's the key to this golf course is driving the ball in play and there's a lot of short irons here and I took advantage of them.

Q. I was wondering if you could just describe what it's like playing in the rain with wet conditions. Wet grass and wet grips.

VIJAY SINGH: Well, it's just enough to manage. I think if the rain had got a little stronger it did get pretty strong a few holes, eight, nine and ten, but it was manageable. If it had gone a little stronger, then obviously it would have been difficult and I probably would have probably we would have had a rain delay. But it never was hard enough to flood the greens, but it was just annoying. Every time you get there you have to, you don't really know if you need the umbrella or not. If you don't, then you get wet. And you put it on and you feel like you're not getting wet and you don't really need it. But it was just annoying rain, all day. It was just annoying. And enough to get your ball wet enough to hit some squirters all over the place. And you just needed to manage it. And it was manageable today.

Q. You keep an incredibly busy schedule, like 28, 29 events a year, how will this one shape up when it's over and how long do you think you can keep doing this being 42 now?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I'm actually 43. Well, the TOUR has helped me out there a little bit with next year's schedule. We're finishing early and I'm going to play probably two or three more in the fall. Maybe more. But really depends on how I feel. But I don't know how many tournaments I played this year, but I have a schedule and I'm just, I just stick to it. And at the end of the year you find out how you feel. And if you feel like you want to play some more it really depend on how one feels. And so far I have felt pretty good. I feel strong, I feel energetic about my game. I'm not tired. So I don't care how much I play, as long as I feel okay.

Q. Let's touch on the round you birdied the first hole and eagled the second hole.

VIJAY SINGH: Yup, I did.


I hit a 5 wood, no I hit a 3 wood, sand wedge, to about four feet.

I hit driver, 3 wood about 15 foot and made that.

Four, I hit a 3 wood, sand wedge, to about three feet.

Hit driver 8 iron to about two feet.

Q. Only bogey of the day on No. 6.

VIJAY SINGH: I hit driver left. I laid up just left, right of the green and chipped it about eight feet and missed it.

Q. Came back with a birdie on 7.

VIJAY SINGH: 7, I hit driver, 3 wood, chipped it to about four feet.

12, I hit driver, 6 iron about gosh, 25 foot. Made that.

13, I hit a driver, 7 iron, about 20 feet again.

16, I hit a 3 iron about, I don't know, 15 foot.

17, I hit a driver, pitching wedge, about three feet.

18, I hit driver, 6 iron, laid up, hit sand wedge about 12 feet probably.

Q. Is a performance like this particularly satisfying, exciting or is it just another day at the office for you?

VIJAY SINGH: To me it's almost unbelievable, the way I've been playing and just not really happy with the way I've been scoring and all of a sudden this shows up, I think it just fills me up with so much confidence going out into tomorrow and just brings a lot of good vibes back. I think this is the best thing that could have happened to me. And even if I had shot if I have five, six under, that would have been incredible. But 10 under is just unbelievable.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Vijay Singh. Thank you.

VIJAY SINGH: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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