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August 24, 2008

Vijay Singh


LAURA HILL: Vijay, congratulations, your fourth Barclays title, this one in very interesting fashion. Just give us a reaction on how things went out there.
VIJAY SINGH: Well, it was pretty close all day, and nobody had a two-shot lead at any point. It was either 7-under or 8-under or 6-under.
It was a tough day. It wasn't easy to get close to the hole, so birdie was difficult to come by. It was drying out really, really a lot, and you've got to play almost conservative on some holes, like the ones on 15, I thought I hit a great shot there and one hop and went over the green. Lucky I made that putt.
It was a tough day, but it was a great playoff, though. I enjoyed that.

Q. Could you talk about that putt on 18 first, your thought process after Sergio made his, and how you read it? From our vantage point it seemed to break three or four different ways.
VIJAY SINGH: It was going over just a little slope, and I had a putt in regulation from the other side and almost broke left. I was surprised that it broke almost the other way.
And Sergio's ball kind of hugged the line the other way and almost missed left. At first I had it lined up going right-to-left, but I almost played it very straight and hit it, and it rolled very true and went in. I was just happy to see it go in.

Q. With this win, how important is that now with the FedExCup standings that you're kind of the head runner now with a couple more tournaments to go?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I'm just going to go out there and play hard for the next week and week after that. I know we've got some nice, good golf courses to come to. Bellerive is a great golf course, and next week, as well.
I've had good outings in Boston; I've won there and finished second once. I know the golf course pretty well, so I'm looking forward to that. Bellerive obviously is a good golf course. So just go out there and play hard and see what happens.

Q. Is there any correlation between your win today and your previous three wins in this tournament, seeing how this is a completely different venue?
VIJAY SINGH: Not really. I mean, it's a great golf course. Westchester was a good golf course. This tops Westchester. Every single player out there absolutely enjoyed this golf course. Tee-to-green, it's great, and on the greens.
My trainer walked on Wednesday and he came across that fifth green and said, "I thought it was a tee box." That's how small it was. It doesn't have to be a long haul to make it difficult, and this golf course has all of those characteristics.

Q. Talk about your mindset after Sergio makes the putt; what are you thinking as you get ready, trying to regroup to make that putt?
VIJAY SINGH: There's no real mindset. You just say, man -- you almost have to focus on your putt, and that's what I did. It was just almost the same as if you had a putt to win or to tie. Just give it your all, and I did. I lined it up and I just said, put the best stroke you know. You putted well all week, and this is one of those putts. And I hit it and it went in.

Q. Is this your favorite tournament?
VIJAY SINGH: My favorite tournament?

Q. You've won it four times now.
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I love this -- I love New York. What else can I say? It's a great place, great tournament, and hopefully I can top it again next year.

Q. Bob Diamond had said when he spoke to you how much you enjoyed this golf course. What's your feeling about the fact that you're not going to come back here next year?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, we don't really know what the golf course next year is like, so I know it's kind of like a links-style golf course. We just have to go where they take us. We have no say in that. I mean, we can bark about it all the time, but we can say this is the venue where we would like to play, but the sponsors and the TOUR has their own obligations.
We just hope -- I think it's in the rotation. I think it's going to come back in two years, so we'll be able to look forward to that.

Q. Can you talk about your arm? They were talking about tendonitis on CBS, and also, the last few weeks, you've either won, or you've missed the cut. It's kind of been feast or famine for you.
VIJAY SINGH: Why is everyone talking about me missing the cut?

Q. Well, with two wins --
VIJAY SINGH: I know. No, it's not like that. I hated to putt on Oakland Hills. I thought that was one of the worst greens I've ever putted on. If you have a mindset on seeded greens that big and that ugly, we should never play -- it really is. I don't think any player -- I'm sure Padraig loves the greens, but he played well.
You should never be rewarded for bad shots, and those greens were kind of like that. If you miss it on the wrong side of the green, you can catch one of those big slopes, and you're nowhere near the hole. From tee-to-green, I think it's an incredible golf course, but the greens are not the best, I don't think so. I didn't think Donald Ross wanted that.
You know, last week, I just didn't feel good out there. I played really well, and just nothing happened. So again, the greens were huge, so it was a putting event there and every hole had OBs left and right, and I don't like that. (Chuckling).
This golf course is incredible. I mean, what can I say? Firestone is an incredible golf course. This is an incredible golf course. I don't think anyone said Oakland Hills was a great golf course, did they, coming out of there, or last week. So that should tell you something.
We players love to play on good golf courses, fair golf courses, and this was one of them.

Q. And the arm?
VIJAY SINGH: I don't know what happened. It's been coming along, it's been two weeks. It's tendons and tendonitis and I haven't been hitting that many balls and it still hurts, so maybe I should go back to hitting a lot of balls. It just hurts, and wrap it up, it just takes away the pressure. It helps when I wrap it up.

Q. So it doesn't hurt while you're playing?
VIJAY SINGH: No, it doesn't hurt when I hit it.

Q. You have a pretty long resumé, but what would winning the FedExCup mean to you?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I'm going to answer that question when I win it. (Laughing).
It would be nice to win it, I've got a great start, and I just have to go ahead and play hard for the next three other events. The guys behind me, the way the system works now, the next guy that wins can just overtake you. It's going to be tough. But I'm ahead and I've got a head start, so I just have to go out there and play consistent, solid golf and hopefully win at the end.

Q. Is it something you covet, is it something that you want?
VIJAY SINGH: Oh, yeah, definitely everybody that's playing the FedExCup wants to win. I mean, I want to win as much as anybody else. But that doesn't prove that I'm going to win it. I have to go out there and do it. That's what I'm looking forward to.

Q. We saw the high-fives. Did you say anything to each other after the first playoff hole when you rolled those putts in?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I think he was surprised to make his, and I was surprised to see it go in, and he was even more surprised to see mine go in. I think we were both surprised. I think we were both happy, as well.

Q. Do you think rolling in yours on top of his might have taken a little air out of his balloon?
VIJAY SINGH: I'm sure it did. Yes and no. We still had another hole to go. We had not lost -- or he had not lost the event. Yeah, he may have. I don't know how his feelings were, maybe should you ask him, but I was glad to see mine go in, I know that.

Q. After your second shot on 17 in the playoff, you held your head as if you weren't happy; did you think it was too long or something?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I wanted to land it short of the green and came out higher and it landed really hard and I just said, it's going to pitch on the green and go long, and lucky for me it went short. I was three yards closer to the hole than in regulation, and I hit this one a little harder. I think the wind switched a little bit and we could not see the flags on the right side where we were, but as I was walking up, I could kind of see the flags coming up to me a little bit, so that probably helped.

Q. What was the best part of your game this week? What made the difference for you?
VIJAY SINGH: I think my putting. I think in my head, I convinced myself that I'm the best putter. I think through the past weeks and months and years, with the media talking about my putting and writing about my putting and people talking about my putting and people want to help me, I must have had hundreds of letters and phone calls and all saying that they can fix my putting. You know, at the end of the day, it kind of gets to your head that you're not a good putter.
So I made a point after last week that, you know, I'm going to change that attitude, and I believed in myself that I'm the best putter, and I came out here with a different attitude, and I putted great this week. If I keep doing this, I'm going to win a lot more golf tournaments.

Q. With all of the drama that surrounds the tie-break when you see Sergio behind the tree, were you more disappointed it ended that way or were you breathing a sigh of relief?
VIJAY SINGH: I wasn't really concerned about him. I just wanted to know why he got a drop, there was obviously a mole there and he was burrowing at that moment, you could see him popping out. (Laughter).
I was just playing, and I was really focused on what I was doing and he actually hit a great third shot. We were wondering from it was going to roll up to the hole.
You know, it's hard. He's a good friend of mine. It's hard to see him -- it's hard to see your friend not win, especially if he's playing against you. But somebody has to win.
LAURA HILL: Vijay, congrats. Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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