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January 4, 2007

Vijay Singh


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Thanks for joining us. Nice round today under very tough conditions, 4-under of the, which is currently tied for the lead. Maybe some opening comments about today. You played well in the Mercedes-Benz Championship in the past, so there must be something you like about the golf course.
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I came prepared here. I don't like coming into a golf tournament trying to find my game. I had a good practise and felt good about my game. I know the golf course pretty well. But this wind was something else. I just went out there with a very positive vibe and said I've got to hit solid shots, and that was my objective today. Just go out there and pick a spot and hit it, and whatever the results it's going to be, it's going to be.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Maybe a couple comments about the inaugural FedExCup, which kicks off this week; a big season for a lot of PGA TOUR players.
VIJAY SINGH: Well, there's so much going on about FedExCup, I'm tired of listening to it, you know. (Laughter) it's nothing else but the FedExCup. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a good year and it's going to be -- there's still tournaments out there that we have to focus on and not focus on the FedExCup itself. I'm going to focus on trying to win this golf tournament this week, and whatever the points happen, it's eight months away. When it arrives near there, then I'm going to pay more attention to it.
Right now, my focus is going to be on winning golf tournaments.

Q. Does it feel any different playing in this FedExCup schedule so far, or is it just another golf tournament, same kind of thing?
VIJAY SINGH: I just answered that question, didn't I? I'm not worried about the FedExCup. It's a great thing for us to think of when the time comes to think about it.
Right now, it's the first event. It's like trying to pick a Presidents Cup team in the beginning of the year. You know, you've got to wait until you get right down to it.
If you play well, you don't have to worry about the FedExCup. That's the bottom line. I think all of the players know about that, and the objective for me is to go out there, play solid golf and be committed. My desire is to win golf tournaments, and that's what I'm trying to do.

Q. What did you do in the off-season? How much time did you take off, and how did he prepare for 2007?
VIJAY SINGH: I took enough time off. I wanted to work on my physical part quite a bit. I did a lot of practice. I did enough practice, you know, in all parts of my game. Got a new driver that I feel very comfortable with, and that was a big problem last year. It's a new generation HiBore and driving the hell out of the ball, so that's a good thing. I'm knocking it straight, and whenever I drive the ball straight, my whole demeanor changes on the golf course.
I feel good about that, and feel good about my physical side. I have little aches and pains but nothing more than anybody else has. I feel ready to go.

Q. First week with the new driver?
VIJAY SINGH: No, I had it last year, the last tournament, The TOUR Championship I used it. It was the first time I tried it there and put it straight in the bag. I was still fiddling around with the shafts, but I did enough practice with the driver for a month and a half, and then I got comfortable with it.

Q. Was there one hole on the course that played easier or harder than in years past that sticks out in your mind?
VIJAY SINGH: 18 probably played a little more easier because you can just whack it down there, whack it on the green, except I didn't do that. It did play easier than other times, but it played easier today. You struggle into the wind so much that it was a relief coming down 17, 18, just to feel like it was three holes you could play downwind.

Q. You said you came in here prepared, but have you ever gone into a tournament not prepared; is it any different?
VIJAY SINGH: No, just thinking that players like Ben Curtis, he said he only played three rounds of golf since the The TOUR Championship. And I said, "Wow, it showed today," you know. Not that he played badly but he was still rusty.
I've always come prepared to a golf tournament, and I think being professionals, you've got to do that.

Q. And if I could just follow that up. You're leading, K.J., who has the course record is leading. Do you think this is a course where some players just play well here for certain reasons, like experience, maybe?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, and I've played here quite a few times so I know pretty much where to hit it on the greens and which side to miss it, which are very fast putts. I'm sure K.J. prepared himself, too. K.J. has got a mentality that he goes out there and he works hard in the off-season. He just doesn't hang up his bags.
I guess everybody that's played well this week has come prepared. Bermudagreens plays an important role as well. A lot of guys play bentgreens and all that. But guys that are living in the warm climates do play on bermudagreens, and I've been playing on bermudagreens for a while, and TPC has them, and that's a great advantage to come out here and get used to the greens. We're still not used to the wind yet, though.

Q. You've had two seconds, a third, fourth and a fifth in the last five times you've played here. Do you feel like, "It owes me one; it's about time I win here?"
VIJAY SINGH: I hope so. You don't want to feel that. Golf doesn't owe you anything. If you start feeling that way, then you've got a problem.
I just feel like, you know, I've had great, great finishes over here. You can look at it that way. I know the golf course; I know where to hit it; I make great starts over here for the season, so that's a good way to look at it.
I'm very comfortable on the golf course. Obviously you're always comfortable when you're playing well. And I'm hitting the ball solid, and I hit it solid today so I'm looking forward to the next three days and see what happens.

Q. Davis has been coming here more than 20 years, and he said this is the worst he's ever seen the wind; do you agree with that?
VIJAY SINGH: I haven't been here 20 years, you know. I've only been here, I don't know, seven, eight times. This is probably the most gustiest it's ever been. I've played in winds strong as this, but when you get gusts like this, it's blowing about 35 to 40, and I've never seen that before.

Q. He said he wouldn't go out to play recreationally today in this sort of weather, even in a cart and shorts; if this were not a tournament, would you?
VIJAY SINGH: I was just telling Ben when I was coming up the ninth hole, I said, "If we had to play golf in this weather, I think I'll quit." There you go.

Q. Do you realise if you win this week, you'll have to come to the media party next year?
VIJAY SINGH: The what party?

Q. The media party.
VIJAY SINGH: Oh, do you have a media party? (Laughter) I'd love to join you guys, see what you're really made of.

Q. Do you feel you've found a driver you like and you could have another year this year maybe like your nine-win season?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I've love to. It would be unbelievable.
It wasn't just my driver; it was my whole game. I had some flaws in my golf swing that had creeped in there that I didn't realize until Disney and Tampa, and I was fixing my golf swing at that time and it started coming back. The results started to improve. I was always positive in the off-season and getting ready for this season.
So I knew what to work on, and it's good to know what you have to work on. If you finish the season and then you try to figure out what happened, then you've got a problem. I knew what was going on, and it was important for me to fix it.

Q. Can you explain it in a nutshell?
VIJAY SINGH: That's a secret.

Q. State secret?
VIJAY SINGH: (Laughing) it's nothing, really.

Q. Do you have any plans while you're in Maui? Is it all work or are you going to stick around?
VIJAY SINGH: I'm playing next week. So I'm going to be out of here on Sunday.

Q. When you have a flaw, how do you figure it out, because you don't work with a coach that often; who spots it or do you figure it out?
VIJAY SINGH: We hit enough bad shots where we don't want to hit it to figure out why we're doing it.
I have a whole lot of checkpoints to know why I'm pulling the shots, why I'm hitting it left. So you go through your checklist and see which one is the right one, and sooner or later, you're going to find one.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Vijay Singh, thanks.

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