home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 3, 2006

Vijay Singh


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Vijay, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the Wachovia Championship, a place that you're very comfortable with. You have three Top 10s here and defending champion. This is your third opportunity this year to defend. Just talk about coming back and the week ahead a little bit.

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I'm coming back with not having won for I don't know how many tournaments, but just looking forward to playing here again. I have a lot of good memories over here. I played well last year, obviously in the few years before that, and I love the golf course. I think it's a ball-striking golf course.

I played the golf course yesterday. It's in great condition. I think it's one of the best courses we're going to play all year. I'm just looking forward to it.

Q. Are you rested?

VIJAY SINGH: I think so. I've worked really hard in the last four weeks to get some kinks out of my golf swing, and every time -- I thought I was pretty close to it in Houston, and obviously I wasn't. I worked really hard last week and felt good yesterday. For the first time I felt like I was getting very close to where I want to be.

Q. What do you envision the schedule being like at this time next year with this date preceding THE PLAYERS Championship? Do you think that will help this event or hurt this event? It doesn't seem like it could get much better.

VIJAY SINGH: Well, it won't get any worse. It's a good golf course before THE PLAYERS Championship. Bay Hill always was a great golf course until the greens got really hard and a lot of guys were pulling out of it. A golf course of this nature, I think it's going to help, even if it's before the U.S. Open because everybody wants to come here and really try it out.

The field here is as good as it can get, so I think it's going to help. I think there will be a stronger field next year.

Q. As defending champion do you get chauffeured around in one of those Maybachs this week?

VIJAY SINGH: No, I just got a regular car. Normally my coach Joey, he drives me around, and he just didn't want to be a chauffeur in that one (laughter).

Q. A little intimidating?

VIJAY SINGH: There was a few guys that were going to play tricks on him and put a cap and gloves in the front seat (laughter). He didn't go for that.

Q. Have you seen Winged Foot since '97?

VIJAY SINGH: No, I haven't. I know they've lengthened it. I don't think it's going to play any harder. We are hitting the ball a lot longer now than we did when we last played it there. I just think they're going to narrow it up a little bit and grow the roughs because it's a great tree line and the greens are small. It's just always going to be a tough test; it's going to be a U.S. Open.

Q. I imagine that '97 PGA was your first time seeing that.


Q. Do you think that it sort of belies what it's going to be like this week? Playing in August it was a pretty soft week, as well. It's going to be a lot different than June in U.S. Open conditions. How much of a different golf course do you think it will be just condition-wise?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't think it's going to be any different than we played it. Playing in June and playing in August, obviously the rough is not going to be as thick. It's going to be long but not as thick. During the summertime it can get really thick. But then it's going to be narrow because the U.S. Open has two or three yards more narrow fairways than they do at the PGA. But this is a great test of golf here. This is playing very much like any major championship golf course. This is incredible.

I mean, I spoke to Ernie in the gym yesterday, and he just said, "Wow, what a great golf course." I don't know if he's played here before, but I just wish we played golf courses like this every week. It's great for the game.

Q. Does the rough feel longer this week than it did a year ago?

VIJAY SINGH: It's thicker. It's no longer than it was. Last year it was longer but it wasn't as thick I don't think. But this year you can see the ball just doesn't come out as good. And around the greens it's not as long as it used to be, but it's very, very thick, so if the ball sits down you have to really be aggressive with the shot, and the greens being as fast as they are, you kind of -- you're very hesitant to hit it that hard, so it becomes very tough.

Q. Vijay, some of the golfers said this could be one of the toughest Wachovia Championships yet. What kind of numbers do you expect to see? Somebody said maybe even in the single digits this year.

VIJAY SINGH: It really depends on the weather. As tough as it's playing right now, it's playing really fast. So if somebody gets hot with the driver and starts hitting a lot of drives down the middle of the fairway, they can get it going pretty low because the greens are quite big here and you can actually hit it and let it release and know where to land the ball to get to the hole. But if it stays this firm, and the greens are as hard as I've ever seen them, it's going to play tough. Depending on the wind, and I don't know what the weather is going to be like all week, but hopefully it stays dry. If it rains then it's going to be a lot easier.

Q. What was your Trump experience like last week?

VIJAY SINGH: It was pretty good. I enjoyed it. It was cold. Trump is a nice guy, you know. I get along very well with him, and he's a good friend of mine. I'm looking forward to the next one (laughing).

Q. Quick recap, did you get to fire anybody or what did y'all do?

VIJAY SINGH: No, it's a joke. He does all the firing and hiring (laughter).

Q. How is it that you know him? How long have you known him?

VIJAY SINGH: I met him two years ago at AT & T, just talking, and we became friends. He's a pretty easy-going guy.

Q. Are you going to design any courses for him?


Q. Who gives who tips when you're together?

VIJAY SINGH: I give the golfing tips (laughter), and he does the rest.

Q. This was the Jersey course that you were at?


Q. What were your impressions there?


Q. He has great ambitions for that course.

VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, he could hold anything he wants to. It's really good, a lot of room, and it's a good test, as well. It's a very tough golf course. I was impressed with it.

Q. Back to this course, you were talking about how much thicker the rough is. Is it like a Bermuda rough that you're going to need an extra club out of? Are you thinking to yourself when it's sitting down you're going to need that, or are you going to hit what you usually hit?

VIJAY SINGH: You just have to see the line. There's a lot of trees around here, too, so if you go into the rough and you just don't have a clear shot, you've got to dodge around the trees. It's a pretty tight golf course. There's not too much room out there. There's always a little dogleg to the left or right, so you've got to think around the golf course here.

Q. There's quite a bit of talk this morning about the nature of 17. Can you talk about 17 and just kind of that finishing stretch, those three holes that have produced obviously a couple of playoffs and what kind of golf you have to play from there?

VIJAY SINGH: You know, I was surprised how good shots we hit last year in the playoff. 17 itself, yesterday I hit a 6-iron and pitched it to the front of the green and it rolled almost all the way to the back. That's me hitting a 6-iron. There's guys hitting 4-irons and 5-irons. I just think they need to water that 17 already, otherwise there's going to be a lot of pissed off golfers (laughter).

It's just a tough hole. The water is on the left side, the water is in front of it, and if you miss it to the right of the pin, it's a very difficult up-and-down because they have those -- they have the first cut and the grass is kind of leaning towards you, so it's a very difficult chip to deal with. That will be one of the harder par 3s I've played in forever, I think. 6 is just a long par 3, but 17, it's short, it's tough, and it's got the water on the left side, and it's the 17th hole. If you're leading by one -- I'd rather have a two- or three-shot lead going into 17 and take my bogey. If you hit a decent shot onto the green there's no telling if it stays on the green or not.

Q. Do you ever play at that left pin, or is that just nuts?

VIJAY SINGH: If it's soft. If the greens are soft and holding, then you would probably play to the middle and hopefully pull it straight at the pin. You don't really attack it. It really is not worth attacking the pin unless you're one back or two back and you need to make two birdies to finish with; otherwise you just play to the safe side.

Q. With your win last year, is there one thing that you would change about your week leading -- obviously Sunday was what you wanted, getting the victory, but is there anything you would have changed about the way you played last year?

VIJAY SINGH: No, I'd just like to have the same result when I finish this year (laughter).

I don't think so. I think it's a different golf course. I think it's a much narrower golf course. They've narrowed up the fairways a little bit. I think the guy that needs to win over here needs to hit his driver -- I think driving is the key to the whole golf course here. If you set up your drives well, you're going to shoot a good number. And you need to putt well, too.

You can get away with hitting half decent iron shots, but you can't get away with hitting bad drives. That's what I would do, try to improve on my driving.

Q. As a follow-up to that, if you can't pick yourself, who would you think is the favorite this week, not including yourself?

VIJAY SINGH: That's a hard one. There's so many tough guys out here. There's nine other Top 10 guys playing here. Sindelar won out of nowhere two years ago. It's whoever drives the ball straight. I'd look for a guy that is driving the ball really good right now, so whoever is driving the ball -- I played with Jason Gore yesterday, and he drove it long and straight. He's a good contender right there, too.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thanks, Vijay.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297