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August 1, 2008

Vijay Singh


CHRIS REIMER: Thanks for joining us. Second round leader here at the Bridgestone Invitational. Just talk about the first two days.
VIJAY SINGH: Two different days. Yesterday I drove the ball and couldn't miss a fairway, and today I couldn't find one, so that was a big difference. I felt very comfortable on the tee, just I don't know what happened. When I hit the ball it just didn't go straight today. So that was a big difference.
My iron play was the same. I struck them really well and putted decent.
CHRIS REIMER: Able to score today, was that just because of the difference in the rough? Last year would you have been able to do the same thing?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, the few fairways I missed I was just off, wouldn't have made that much difference. And I did take some chances today and it came off. I was playing for the bunkers more and trying to hit the greens. I knew I could get up and down from the bunkers, and when I had clear shots to the bunkers I went for it. In that way I played pretty smart.

Q. Assess your year so far. What have you done well, what have you done not as well? What's been sort of keeping you from doing this more often?
VIJAY SINGH: I putted really poorly. Earlier I just didn't putt -- I'm not a great putter, but I'm not a bad putter. I just putted below average. I worked a lot on my putting last week and a few weeks ago and decided I'm going to stick to a belly putter. I've been going back and forth and couldn't get any consistency out of it.
The British Open was a turning point where I just -- I played really well and putted really badly and decided, that's it, I'm not a good putter with a short putter. So that's why I've been playing with a belly. I putted really well last week on my practice for six, seven days, just practiced my belly putting, and it came, and I'm comfortable with it now. Probably that's been the main reason all year, I think. If you're not putting well, it kind of edges into the rest of the game, and it's been off.

Q. You tend to go back and forth between the belly putter and the short putter, it seems like. Sometimes you putt well with the short one, sometimes the longer one.
VIJAY SINGH: I'm always hoping that one of these days (laughter) it's going to catch on, but it doesn't. You know, Hartford was -- I played with a belly putter in Hartford with a short putter and I felt really comfortable over there, and I had a new thought in mind. But I took that thought to the belly putter and it worked. I think you won't see me with the short putter for a long, long time. I think I'm going to stick to the belly and I think that's the way to putt.
I'm always hoping that I'll go to the short putter and putt well, but it just doesn't happen.

Q. Did Greg's performance at the British Open give you hope that maybe in eight or nine years you can still be contending at the highest level, or do you see yourself lying on a beach back in Fiji by then (laughter)?
VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. I was pulling for him. It's one of those tournaments where you don't think how young, how old you are, you just kind of manage to get through those conditions. That's why he played that well.
You know, I was very unhappy to miss the cut, but seeing the weather on Saturday and Sunday, I thought I did a great move (laughter). So I can go back and just refocus on my own game and there's other tournaments to come.
I talked to a lot of senior golfers that were at TPC that week, and they were all excited about it. They said, you know, it gives all the guys hope that they can go out there and still do it. In that respect, yeah, I think it was good for all the Senior Tour players and obviously the older generation guys, myself, Kenny Perry and those guys, that you can still compete past 50, I guess.

Q. Nicklaus contended at 56 or something at The Masters. Maybe in some ways it's easier to contend there than regular tournaments when you get older?
VIJAY SINGH: Used to be at The Masters, not anymore. You need to hit the ball a long ways now.
I think that the majors bring the patience that the experienced players have. That's what you need, that's what the young guys need more. I guess as you get older, you tend to, I guess, call upon that experience you have if you're not playing well. They have more patience and if they get into trouble, they take their punishments, and the younger guys go for it more than they should.
You watch Norman play, when he did hit it in the rough, he just blasted out and took his punishment that way, instead of the younger guys going for it and making doubles and triples out there. That way you take your -- as you get older, you learn to do that. I guess that's why in the majors you need to do more of that.

Q. When you won all the, I guess, nine tournaments in '04, which way did you putt the most that year? I mean, do you ever think back to all that success --
VIJAY SINGH: It was half and half, I think. I started off with a belly putter and then I finished with a short putter. You know, it doesn't really matter how I play or how I putt. You know, if I'm putting well with either one of them, my whole game comes good. Right now I'm very comfortable with the putter I have, and I feel like I'm not thinking too much over the ball, I'm just making a stroke. And my iron play is really good right now, so that's driving me through.

Q. At Whistling Straits you went from long to short right before that tournament, right, when you won that?
VIJAY SINGH: Whistling Straits? I don't know how I putted there.

Q. You had a bunch of long ones with you, or belly putters with you, just in case you changed your mind.
VIJAY SINGH: I have a lot of short ones with me this week, too (laughter). That doesn't mean I'm going to putt with it.
I don't know, I think I've decided that I'm going to putt with the belly. If you see me with a short one, that means that something is wrong with me.

Q. When you practice putting, is it easier on your back with the belly or do you pretty much use the same stance?
VIJAY SINGH: Same stance, same length.

Q. Next week you'll probably stick with the belly putter?
VIJAY SINGH: I said if you see me with the short putter (laughter)....

Q. What do you think about Oakland Hills? We all know how difficult the greens are from looking at them, but how do you feel as a player?
VIJAY SINGH: It's two great weeks. This is a great week to warm up for that, but it's an incredible golf course. I don't know which one is harder, this or Oakland Hills. But Oakland Hills is a major next week, and you cannot get away with hitting bad shots and hitting it all over the map there. You have to play good golf and you have to hit good iron shots and you've got to putt well. So I think the key next week will be the whole game. I mean, it's not going to be putting well or hitting your irons good, I think you've got to bring the whole package next week.

Q. You're playing with Phil tomorrow. Thoughts on that? There's some water under the bridge there. Do you care? What's the status?
VIJAY SINGH: Not really. I mean, I'm going to go out there and play my heart out and try to shoot as low as I can and not really be concerned about what Phil does. He's going to be focused on his game. I just hope we both have a good day.
CHRIS REIMER: Thanks so much.

End of FastScripts

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