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July 8, 2006

Vijay Singh


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome our 54 hole leader Vijay Singh into the interview room. Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us.

First things first, we'd like to congratulate Vijay for being named this week's winner of the AstraZeneca Charity Challenge. In your name as well as in the name of the Cialis Western Open and AstraZeneca, $100,000 will be given to the ASGE, so congratulations on that.

3 under 68, your third straight round in the 60s, another solid day. Just comment on the round if you can.

VIJAY SINGH: It was a pretty difficult round, considering the scoring in the earlier part of the day was so low. The greens were I don't know if they were slow or my pace was all over the place. At the beginning of the round, the first five or six holes, I couldn't get the pace of the greens. I didn't make too many mistakes, just hung in there and took my chances when they presented themselves.

A little disappointed on the 9th, made a bogey from 100 yards away. Then I said to my caddie, let's go play the back nine and let's hit some solid shots and see what we can make out there.

I was surprised that the scores did not go lower than 9, and I was really surprised I had a two shot lead at 11 under, but I'll take it going into tomorrow.

Q. You've always played this course well. What is it when you first came here that you saw that you liked and obviously you still like? Is it something in particular or is it just your game fits?

VIJAY SINGH: I don't know, I think it's Chicago. It's one of those old designed golf courses where you need to drive the ball well, you need to play the tee shots you need to play smart out here, you cannot just go out there and free wheel it. You know unless conditions get really soft, you're not going to go very low. The golf course is playing firm, it's playing the greens are getting much firmer than when we started off on Thursday.

I guess it's just tough conditions. It's one of those old courses where you can hold a U.S. Open, so it's pretty nice.

Q. Is it possible the course played tougher in the afternoon? There were so many low scores in the morning.

VIJAY SINGH: I think they watered the greens overnight, and the early part of the day it's still pretty soft. Like I did yesterday, we were spinning the balls back no matter what we were hitting. But in the afternoon, unless you've got a sand wedge or an L wedge, it's going to take one big hop. I think that's where the golf course gets a little difficult is the greens get firmer and the wind starts to blow. It's going to be a tough day.

Q. Can you talk just a little bit about the way that the leaderboard is shaping up? Tiger is there, Furyk is there, some of the guys like Carl, some of the younger guys. It's a really nice looking leaderboard out there. What do you think you're going to have to do tomorrow?

VIJAY SINGH: Just have to stay ahead of everybody else, I guess (laughing). I've got to go out there and play my game. I don't think I have to worry about what the leaderboard is doing until probably the last few holes on the back nine. It's a golf course where if you drive the ball well and make some putts, you can score well. It was out there today. I think a few guys shot very low yesterday, so it's possible to go out there and shoot low. But come Sunday I think the pin placements are going to be a bit difficult, as well, so making birdies is not going to be as easy as the first two days.

I just have to be patient, take my chances, play solid, don't make too many mistakes out there and see what happens. There's no guarantees, but I just hope my driver just keeps doing what it's doing, and I think I'll be okay. If I drive the ball like I did today, I think I'll be fine.

Q. You won recently and now you're leading here. Are you back after a dry spell, after an uncharacteristic dry spell? Can you talk about what you did to get back in form, and how close are you to where you were?

VIJAY SINGH: I think I just changed another driver (laughing). In the last six months, every week was a new driver for me. I played a new driver in Westchester, played a new driver in the U.S. Open and played a new driver here, so that tells you that I've been searching.

I think I'm very comfortable with what I'm using now. I had two weeks off actually after the U.S. Open and practiced with this one particular driver, so I feel comfortable with it. It's doing what it's supposed to be doing so far anyway. I think that's the biggest part of the change in my play. I've been driving it so poorly, I think my stats will show that I was really, really bad. Even in greens in regulation, where I'm up there every year, that fell down because you cannot go for greens from the rough too many times. You cannot attack the flags, and once you don't do that, you can't be in contention. It just goes all through the game.

Q. Can you tell us what you're using now off the tee?

VIJAY SINGH: It's a Cleveland driver for sure (laughing). It's a 460 Comp. That's the driver that I used before, I think last year, and then I changed, and now I'm back to it again.

Q. I'm just wondering, you alluded to this before, you saw the early scores. When you weren't you thought somebody would go low. Did you feel like you were losing shots on the field when you didn't go low early or seeing what the rest of the guys were doing on the leaderboards?

VIJAY SINGH: I thought the back nine 10 was playing pretty short, 11 was obviously downwind. I thought guys were going to make birdies there, but not too many guys did make birdie.

When I made the turn I was at 8 under, I thought, well, I've got to get it to 11, 12 to be in touch. I thought the leading score would be at least 13, but to my surprise it was I'm the leader.

JOHN BUSH: Vijay, play well tomorrow.

End of FastScripts.

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