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November 8, 2007

Vijay Singh


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thank you for coming to join us. Vijay, thanks for coming in. 5-under par 67, you must be very pleased with your opening to the tournament.
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I mean, I didn't think the golf course when I played a practise round was going to be yielding so many birdies and low scoring, but you look at Niclas Fasth and Kevin Stadler, they played really well. I'm just happy to be up there.
SCOTT CROCKETT: I suppose birdies at any time are good, Vijay, but it's always nice to finish strongly, four in the last six.
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I played really well today, not only the last few holes. I left a lot of short ones out there. But I had made a good putt on the last hole, that was the key one. I wanted to finish with a birdie on the last, so that was nice.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Some questions for Vijay.

Q. As a very experienced player and at this point of time, most of the players already finished their first round, and it seems that you are a very experienced player; are you surprised by the scores of all of the players, and is there one you would point out?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, obviously the two 8-unders are very surprising. That's good scoring. Especially with the rough so high, and you know, it's not playing easy at all.
But obviously they played well, and the rest of the scores, there's so many scores under par, it's just amazing. Yesterday when we went out there, making birdies was not easy. But today, obviously, it wasn't that difficult.

Q. Obviously it's an international tournament here in China, but there's strong support for an Asian winner. Would you be happy if you were co-opted into that?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I am Asian. I just play in America. (Laughing).
I just think there are good Asians; Thongchai Jaidee and the rest of the guys are pretty good. It's just a matter of time when they are going to start winning.
We need a lot more events like this in Asia where you can have Asian players feeling more and more comfortable playing with a field like this. But, you know, I'd like to pull it off and give the Asian world a little boost.

Q. The local media understand that you've been in China a few times and some purposes for designing a golf courses, and you played here in 2005, three years ago. So due to your past experience for the China market and China golf courses, do you think that's an advantage to you in playing today and also in this week's tournament?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I don't know. My trips over here did not mean much in regards to this tournament, except coming here three years ago. I've played here before, so that's probably the only advantage I've got. But the guys that have been playing here for the last two, three years, they have the same kind of advantage.
I feel very comfortable here. Obviously I like the food and if the weather stays like this, I'll be okay, and if it gets any colder I'm not going to be come for tab. I love playing in Asia, and I feel like I am an Asian, so I have the support of the crowd, as well, so that's probably the advantage I have.

Q. Besides the weather, what do you think the changes are compared with two years ago?
VIJAY SINGH: Obviously the rough is a lot longer. And the fairways, they have a lot of sand on the fairways. So it's not as easy hitting crisp shots on the fairway. But they are the best greens I've putted on in Asia for a long, long time. So the rough and the greens, the condition of the greens are the big changes.

Q. Mr. Mickelson brought his whole family this time, so besides coming here for business reasons and also playing golf events, golf tournaments, did you do any sight seeing or traveling locally here in the China market?
VIJAY SINGH: No, I did not. Going straight back from here back to America. I've been here already for almost a week and a half, so ready to go back.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Vijay, thanks, as always, good luck tomorrow.

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