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December 21, 2008

Vijay Singh


DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome the 2008 Chevron World Challenge champion Vijay Singh. Congratulations, Vijay, back-to-back 67s yesterday and today is good enough to pretty easily get the done job. Not a lot of low scores all week. Just a couple comments on the round today and the week in general.
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I played pretty decent. I had a new driver, so it's always a risky thing to do when you're starting a tournament. But I played really well. I hit the ball very good off the tee, and I think the key for this golf course is keeping the ball in play. There's a lot of trouble around if you don't hit a good shot off the tee.
You know, it was so wet out there, a lot of mud balls. You've got to know how to control the mud balls. I think everybody was complaining about it, all the players. You just had to manage yourself around the golf course. I think that's what I did very well, and made key putts.
Those first three days I made a lot of mistakes, a lot of errors, a lot of silly mistakes that probably not playing for three months, that crept in there. But I managed very well today and made some putts coming in, which was pretty good.

Q. You shot 32 on the back nine two days in a row. What was the -- you just liked the back nine better?
VIJAY SINGH: It's got three par-5s, which you can -- par-5s are pretty much birdies for us if you get a good drive off the tee on the fairway. I've played here so many times, I just know the shots. I know where to land the ball and all the slopes on the greens. At the end of the day, you've got to make the putts.
You know, the 15th, for instance, that's one of the hardest holes to judge the club over here. I hit it in the water on Friday. But getting through those holes without making mistakes, I think that's the key. There are a few holes on the back nine where you can go through them without making mistakes, then you can attack the rest of the holes, and that's what I did.

Q. Three wins, FedExCup, leading money winner, then you finish it off with this. Age 45, you just seem to be getting better.
VIJAY SINGH: You know, I didn't know what to expect when I came here. The first tournament I played after Atlanta was the Father & Son last week. I took a month off to rest my arm and I literally didn't hit a ball, and I haven't done that in forever (laughter).
I just tried to repair my body a little bit. So much happened through the whole of this season, back injury, ankle injury, arm injury, so just got myself together and then played the Father & Son, prepared for that week, and that kind of prepared me for this week, as well.
I didn't know what to expect. Once you get into the middle of things, you know, you kind of know where you stand. I felt very comfortable in the middle of the heat. So that's probably what I needed. If I didn't have a good first round and second round, I probably would have been way out. But once I kept playing -- kept shooting a decent number and keeping myself in the tournament, that kind of helped me focus and get me more into where I was supposed to be.

Q. You have such an amazing workout regimen; when it is going to get to the point where you say I need to slow down a little bit just for the longevity purposes?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, I don't hit that many balls anymore. I mean, I used to -- if I go out to TPC, which is where I live, and hit balls for two hours, that's quite a lot for me now. But I work out. You've got to keep your body fit and healthy. The kids out here, they're strong, they're getting better every year. So for me to keep up with them, I just need to be physically fit. I think my golf game is good enough to hold out. If I just keep strong and keep fit, I think I can still hold up against them.

Q. Can you talk about your West Coast schedule coming up? Are you going to be playing Riviera?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I play the two in Hawai'i and then three weeks' break and then I play AT&T and Riviera. I love Riviera, I think it's a great track, great golf course. I wish I could just play a little better there. My record is not very good there, so we'll see what happens next season.

Q. Your typical daily routine when you're at home, what would it consist of?
VIJAY SINGH: I try to warm up in the morning and work out in the morning if possible. If my trainer is around, I'll work out in the mornings and then go out to the golf course and wait for my son to get there. I'm working with my son a lot now. He's beginning to play golf. He wants to play golf, so I work with him now.
You know, the season is going to start in another 10, 12 days, so I've got to get back to work. So if I get home, work out in the morning, go out to the golf course and hit balls, I'll probably stay there for four hours and then come back and stretch and do whatever.

Q. You said you were going to hit balls on Christmas. Are you still going to hit some balls on Christmas?
VIJAY SINGH: It's the best time to hit balls. There's nobody on the golf course (laughter). You know, you'd be surprised. When you go to TPC the amount of golfers, players. It's one of the hot spots for all the TOUR players, the new TOUR players, the Nationwide guys that are coming on and the new rookies that are going to get on TOUR. There's a bunch of guys that hit balls, and we just go out there and just spend the day.

Q. Have you looked at the courses -- do you look ahead to see what's happening in your major run next year?
VIJAY SINGH: All I know is the Masters and where the U.S. Open are going to be. I mean, that's two really hard golf courses.

Q. Turnberry --
VIJAY SINGH: Turnberry, obviously I haven't played there for a long, long time, so obviously depending on what the conditions is, you cannot predict what's going to happen in the UK. Where is the PGA this year?

Q. Hazeltine.
VIJAY SINGH: There you go, that's another good golf course. I think they've made it longer, right? Yeah, so it's going to be a hard grind. Whenever you get to a major, you just have to peak at the right time. I don't know how Tiger peaks every time in a major. I'll have to ask him what's the secret.
You know, majors are very hard to win. Everybody prepares very differently and everybody is ready to play, and the golf courses are not easy. To win majors you just have to bring your game and play well at the right time.

Q. You've been coming to this tournament a long time, come close once or twice, but finally broke through today and won. How does it feel to finally break through and end up in the winner's circle and get the big check?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I mean, you come over here and if you're not winning you feel very dejected. Every player out there, I think if they cannot win, they just try to maintain their score and leave. But everybody wants to win. I think all 16 players that come here, the one thing on their mind is to win the golf tournament. I think I feel the same way every time. If I'm three, four, five shots back, you just try to get it back as soon as possible when you tee off, try to narrow the margin. But if you don't do it on the front nine, then you just finish the round and get out of here, you know? (Laughter.)
Everybody wants to win, that's the key. When you come here, it's a shootout. You want to win the tournament.

Q. How far do you go back with Steve Stricker? I know the '98 PGA obviously, but how far do you go back with him, and was that a comfortable pairing for you?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, that's the second time I played with him this week. He's a nice guy; I get along very well. He's very calm. He doesn't lose his head or there's no change in temperament. He's very level-headed, and I get along well with him. I think he's a great guy to play with.

Q. What did you hit into 18?
VIJAY SINGH: I hit a 6-iron second shot to eight feet.

Q. Where does that fact that you've won more tournaments than any other player over the age of 40 stand in your career achievements?
VIJAY SINGH: It's great. I've never thought of it that way until people started mentioning it. I think it shows that you don't quit after you turn 40. I think times when Seve and Faldo and Lyle, when they were all playing in Europe, when I was playing with them, the peak was 35. After you reached 35, at 36, 37, you'd kind of slow down. But nowadays with equipment, with the ball going so far, and with us working out very hard, we know how to work out now. I think there's no limit to what age you should quit.
I'm a great example. Look at Kenny Perry and Fred Funk won TPC when he was 48. There's no age limit I don't think. Winning this many tournaments doesn't mean it's a miracle; I think there will be guys out there that are going to do the same thing. It's just how many they're going to win. Right now I'm the leader and I'm not quitting yet (laughing).

Q. Does it give you more satisfaction, I know in Tiger's absence there's been a lot of talk about the new generation, guys like Anthony Kim and Camilo. Does that give you more satisfaction to win the Playoffs and to come out here and win, as well?
VIJAY SINGH: Well, yeah. There will be other young guys coming up, too. I mean, Anthony and Camilo, and Adam Scott is young. There's quite a few guys, and they're not going to stop. The new wave of players will be stronger and better. I don't know if I can keep doing this for another four, five, six years, but I'm going to try. I mean, I'm going to try until I'm 50, and once I cannot -- I told everybody, when I show up and I know I can't win the golf tournament, I'm going to quit. But as long as I show up and know that I can win, I'm going to keep playing.

Q. Will you go to the Champions Tour?
VIJAY SINGH: That's another story. I don't know. Champions Tour is four years away, five years away. I'm not looking forward to it at the moment. I'm quite happy with what I'm doing right now.
DOUG MILNE: Vijay, congratulations.

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