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February 27, 2008

Vijay Singh


RODDY WILLIAMS: Vijay, thank you very much indeed for coming in and joining us and welcome to the 2008 Johnnie Walker Classic. If you could start us off with your thoughts on the course out there today, and the prospects for the week.
VIJAY SINGH: The golf course is in good condition, very tricky with so many holes where you've got to really understand where you're going to hit the shot. 9, you have to be careful, otherwise you could have a very high number there very quickly.
Also you can get really good lies and really impossible lies, so you have to control your ball off the tees and be in the fairways and on the correct side of the greens. Very undulating greens, very tricky greens, so you have to be very careful where you take your shots.
RODDY WILLIAMS: And you're obviously playing well, not a bad week last week.
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, almost, that's what they all say. I'm playing pretty decent. I'm looking forward to a good week. I don't know how I'm going to perform, but my expectations are to go up there and be in contention on Sunday.
RODDY WILLIAMS: You've had experience in playing in India a number of times before, I think you've won a few tournaments here, haven't you. What's your take on having an event of this stature here?
VIJAY SINGH: I think it's good. I think it's good for golf in Asia. In India they had one a few weeks ago, and really, it lives up to expectations and younger players coming up here how to play and what they need to play; how good you have to play to beat the guys coming in.
You need more tournaments like this to actually give an opportunity for the young golfers to see how golf really is. You know, who you have to play against to make a living. And week-in, week-out, we have tournaments like this all over the world, so we need to get more over here in India so they can see what golf is all about.

Q. I'd like to ask you, what is it that really needs to be done with the golf infrastructure here for it to grow?
VIJAY SINGH: First of all, you need a lot more golf courses, not only, you know, private golf courses; you need golf courses where normal guys can go out and play, pay and play, if he wants to. That's very important. I don't think the amount of people you have here playing golf, you just don't have enough golf courses, and that's one of the things that needs to be done.
And you know, you have golf courses and you've got to have academies where young kids can go and learn how to play. It starts off from building more golf courses in the country, and that's the key.

Q. What changes have you seen in India over the years?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, this is a new golf course. I came here and played the Skins Game. Really, the infrastructure around the golf course itself is unbelievable. They didn't have small buildings when I came here then.
Overall I think golf-wise, there's a lot more golfers playing now, a lot more young professionals that are playing. There is quite a few Indian golfers that are pretty good, so that's changed a lot. You had a new winner here a few weeks ago, so that's good for golf here in India, for a young guy to go out there and win, with the competition we have, it's really, real incredible.
Those are the biggest changes we've seen. Again, to emphasize the key changes in golf, we need to see golf courses coming up and to get a lot more young kids going out there playing golf, you need more academies and things like that.

Q. You had a chance to see players like Arjun, Jeev and Jyoti, but have you had a chance to look at the newer crop of players? Have you had a chance to look at the next generation of golfers?
VIJAY SINGH: I've seen them briefly on the Asian Tour events that I've played in. I played in Singapore and I saw a few of those guys there, and I'm sure I'll see quite a few this week. Apart from that, I have not. I can't say that I have. I've watched GOLF CHANNEL and they have the tours over here sometimes, and I see Indian golfers.
You know, I played with the guys you mentioned, Jyoti, Jeev, and Arjun, and also Daniel Chopra, so they are pretty good players. It's going to help a lot of local players, seeing those guys playing abroad, that's going to help the local players over here get fired up. That's the key; we need more guys like that.

Q. Do you have any plans to design a golf course in India?
VIJAY SINGH: There's one already in plan in Goa. I think they should be up and going very soon, that's my first one in India.
You know, hopefully I can get a lot more opportunities to design golf courses here. I'm doing a few more in the Asian region but every here in India, that's the first one and probably after that, we'll see if we can get more.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Vijay, thanks very much for coming in and good luck.

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