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September 28, 2008

Vijay Singh


DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Vijay Singh to the media center here at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. Not a big surprise as to why you're here. I know you've been waiting for this moment for a while. You played incredible in the playoffs, winning the first two events, and here you are as a result being the recipient of the second FedExCup title. Congratulations. Open up with a few comments.
VIJAY SINGH: I'm glad it's over. I made 72 holes and was reminded 1,000 times before I started this week, Make sure you finish 72 holes, sign your card, enough clubs, and gosh, everything else.
I'm glad it's over. I tried to make it very simple on my card today, no mistakes, and tried to make all 18 pars at this point.
But I'm glad it's over, and I played well. I'm glad this Cup is over. I know it's mine now, so it's a good feeling.

Q. Could you talk about -- you talked about it earlier this week -- but how weird it was to come to a tournament where your score didn't really matter as far as the FedExCup, and how it was a really different approach to a tournament and how you dealt with that this week?
VIJAY SINGH: It was really weird. You make a bogey, you get congratulated; you make a double, you get congratulated (laughter). It didn't really matter what I made.
But it took away the focus of playing this tournament. I tried really hard. When I left to come over here to play, I said, I'm going to keep focus. But that's as far as I got.
All my peers and friends and family and everybody kept on congratulating me, so it's good. It was all for a good feeling and a good cause, I guess.

Q. Could you float me a loan?
VIJAY SINGH: Get in line (laughter.)

Q. Seriously, last year the money went into a retirement plan. This year I believe most of it is cash. What will you do with the $10 million?
VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. Once I start spending it, give me your phone number and I'll let you know (laughter.)

Q. You don't own a jet, do you?

Q. Will you think maybe of upgrading or something like that?
VIJAY SINGH: I'm okay. At the moment I'm just fine. I'll find a million ways of spending it. There's a lot out there to do. I'll probably give some to charity and all that.

Q. When you were growing up in Fiji, wouldn't this have been mind boggling?
VIJAY SINGH: You don't really think about it. Nobody thinks about things like this. This is a new event, and you think about winning golf tournaments, big golf tournaments, never a FedExCup that's worth so much. I think everybody, every golfer, would feel the same way.
I met Ernie in the restaurant last night. He said, "I just want to see the check one time." So there you go.

Q. This means you will be staying over for the awards ceremony; is that right?
VIJAY SINGH: I guess. Hang around and see.

Q. There's been some talk that you might try and go and play more in Europe next year. Do you have your sights set on the $20 million prize over there? Would you like to be the first one to get the $10 million here and the $20 million there?
VIJAY SINGH: I don't know what I'm going to do. I've been asked to play there more, and I'll see how my schedule goes. It's a long ways out there, but, you know, who knows.
I come close to playing 10 every year, 11 every year anyway. I'm supposed to play nine, ten events. If it means that I have to play one or two more to get a chance of going to Dubai, then I will.

Q. As you said a few moments ago, this is a new event. You're a three-time major winner; you've won tournaments all over the world. Where do you rank this among your achievements?
VIJAY SINGH: I don't know how long -- hopefully for the TOUR's sake it's going to go on forever. If it does, then my name is on it. They can never take my name away from the Cup.
I mean, it's a year-long event; it's not an event that's just one week and it's done with. We think about it, we've talked about it for a whole year, and finally it's come to an end and I've won it, so that's a really, really good feeling to know I won that.

Q. We used to kind of measure players' seasons by the money title, and you've won that once before. You're the only guy who's kind of taken that away from Tiger now twice. What does that still mean to you as far as the kind of year you had this year?
VIJAY SINGH: I don't know, obviously Tiger would still be up there if he wasn't hurt. But I'm glad that I've won the money title. I don't think anyone can overtake me. Again, it's a good feat to have.
It's not easy to win the money title here in the States. I think it's the second time I've done it, so it's really amazing, I think.

Q. I gather you're done on the PGA TOUR this year, but what's your global schedule for the rest of the year?
VIJAY SINGH: I think the next one is Father and Son that I'm going to play. I'm not going to play any more after this and try and heal my body a little bit. I've been hurt a lot.
My arm still hurts and my back still hurts, so I'm going to take some time off and get myself in good shape physically and see if I can come out stronger. I think I'm going to two more events to the end of the year.

Q. What are they?
VIJAY SINGH: Target Challenge and Father and Son.

Q. Nothing overseas?

Q. I thought I saw you on the list for a couple of tournaments.
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I was entered for it, but I withdrew about two weeks ago.

Q. Do you feel like this validates the swing changes you've made over the last couple of years? I know you have been working hard.
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I think so. I mean, it feels good. It feels a lot better than it did last year. Last year was the time when I started changing it. I worked really hard towards the end of last season and beginning of this season to get the swing more comfortable, and now it feels really good.
I think it was a great move, and I'm glad I did it. I think the swing is stronger now than it's ever been, so I don't have to have that much effort to hit the ball and I'm hitting it longer. So I think it's a very good change (chuckling.)

Q. Where does this season rank amongst your accomplishments considering what you've had to overcome this year, your swing changes, you've had physical problems, you had putting issues for a while, and yet you came back and had a phenomenal year at the end? I mean, you've had some other great years, too, but where does this rank?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I think it's up there amongst one of the best, because I was totally out of it for a long, long time. Before the Bridgestone event I was not even on the same page as a lot of the guys.
It tells you if you finish strong, if you have a few wins, it propels you all the way up to the top.
I think it's -- it's self-satisfying to know that I never gave up, kept at it, hurt, not hurt, pain, it didn't matter. I was out there practicing and believing in myself and doing it.
At the end of the day I came out up front, and that shows that all the hard work has paid off. I'd rank this one of my best seasons, I think, considering what I went through.

Q. Commissioner Finchem talked on Tuesday about the state of the economy right now and how it relates to the TOUR. There's so many banks and financial institutions that could be in real trouble. Have the players thought anything about how purses could be affected next year, the TOUR itself, even possibly sponsorship of an individual tournament could be affected next year?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, we all talk about it amongst ourselves in the locker room. We all have a keen eye on what's going on, but you kind of leave those decisions to the TOUR. They have a great staff, and I'm sure they are on top of what's going on.
Hopefully it'll settle down and we can still go forward in what we're doing. It's been a great TOUR for us, and hopefully the economy will pick up and we won't have to worry about all those things. But it is hard times, and we're all aware of that.

Q. You and Trevor Immelman raised a few chuckles with your FedExCup advert earlier in the year. Just wondering if you're pushing to do a repeat for next year.
VIJAY SINGH: I haven't really talked to him about that (smiling), but I don't know what to say. That's a good one. We'll see what we can make of it.

Q. Do you recall what your first impressions were when you first heard about the FedExCup playoff system, and is that any different from what your view of it is now two years later?
VIJAY SINGH: Last year when it first came on I was very confident that -- we all up there were confident that we were going to win it. The way I was playing last year at the beginning of the year, I felt really comfortable and confident, but obviously it didn't turn out at the end of the year.
And this year was totally the other way around. I wasn't playing well and I hadn't won, and I was way down in the FedExCup points. But it shows that if you start winning -- obviously $10 million is a great jackpot to have. We all think about it. Every player out there must be thinking about it. We all want to win it. One way or the other, we all want to win it. I'm glad I won it once.

Q. You first didn't think, Boy, what kind of a crazy format is this? Any thoughts on the actual format?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, we still really -- you don't really understand what's going on with the points system. I mean, once we play the tournament, figure out how many points we got, then you realize, oh, this is how it works.
When they started the FedExCup this year, the playoffs, I had no idea what the system was going to be, but I'm glad it turned out to be in my favor (laughter.)
I'm sure that there will be some tweaking done for next year, but it's very hard to tweak it to a point where you make the last tournament as exciting as everyone wants it to be. I mean, no matter how you tweak it, if somebody goes out there and wins two or three events, it's all over no matter how much you tweak it. It's a very odd situation, unless everybody starts off even.

Q. In your 40s you have been more successful than anybody ever in this game, knocking down age barriers and so forth. How long can you keep winning in your 50s, 60s? What do you think you can accomplish given your practice regimen and your fitness regimen?
VIJAY SINGH: I don't know. It's something that I have to -- we all have to just wait and see. I mean, I'm not going to slow down. I'm going to take a lot of time off this season and prepare for next year. I've got my hands full trying to keep up with what I've done this year.
But I think I'm going to be ready for next year and a few more years to come. I don't know what's going to happen when I turn 50. A lot of guys think they can play on, but 50 is a strange number. If it that happens, we'll just have to figure out what's going to happen (laughter.) I'm not going to -- I'm not looking forward to it. I'm not excited to get to 50 yet (laughter.)

Q. When you look back on it now, theoretically that putt you made at the playoff on the Barclays was a $7 million putt.
VIJAY SINGH: That's true.

Q. When you look back at your performance during these playoffs, is that the single one thing you'll remember most?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, it's strange that you brought that up. If I hadn't made that putt, you know, was I going to be more focused for this week? You know, Bellerive would have been a different story, as well, probably.
When you win the first two and everybody starts talking about that you've won it, all you have to do is show up, it kind of puts you in a very good odd situation when you go out there and play. You don't have that much fire left.
I tried. I tried to play as hard as I can, but for some reason it wasn't there. The intensity that I played golf with at Barclays and at the Deutsche Bank, it wasn't there for BMW and this week. I cannot answer that question. It was a great putt. I mean, I was surprised it went in, but I'm glad I made it (laughter.) I really am glad I made it.
DOUG MILNE: Vijay, on behalf of all the media and the PGA TOUR, congratulations.

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