Singh Gears Up to Finish With 10 Wins


04 Chrysler ChampionshipPALM HARBOR, Fla. - Vijay Singh does not recall the PGA Tour being this strong, with a record five rookies winning this year. One of them, Ryan Palmer, held off the No. 1 player in the world last week at Disney.
'Everybody playing out here this week is capable of winning, no matter if it's a rookie or a veteran,' Singh said. 'There's no one winner anymore.'
Then he paused, realizing the scales are tipped heavily in his favor.
'OK, I've won a lot this year,' he said. 'But apart from me, everybody has had a share of it.'
That's the way golf has gone this year. There's Singh, and there's everyone else.
Singh already has won eight times going into the Chrysler Championship at Innisbrook Resort. Ernie Els has won three times, and no one else has won more than twice. Tiger Woods, around whom the PGA Tour revolved during his five years of dominance, only has one victory.
Singh is on such a roll that despite finishing second at Disney by three shots, he said his game was 'coming back' and he's 'getting in that mood again.'
Focus shouldn't be a problem at Innisbrook.
Singh wants to finish the season with 10 victories, meaning he would have to win the Chrysler Championship and the season-ending Tour Championship. He also wants to become the first man to earn $10 million in a year, and that shouldn't be nearly as difficult.
He already has earned over $9.8 million, and considering that last-place money in the Tour Championship is close to $100,000, the 41-year-old Fijian doesn't need a Herculean effort.
'I just have to play decent to get that mark,' he said. 'But right now, my focus is trying to win this golf tournament. The way I'm playing, I give myself a very good chance.'
Last week, Singh was the only player in the top 10 in the world ranking.
That won't be the case at Innisbrook. Retief Goosen is the defending champion, playing in the United States for the first time since he captured his second U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.
Masters champion Phil Mickelson is playing for only the second time since the Ryder Cup, along with Davis Love III, Mike Weir and Stewart Cink. That's six players in the top 10.
Still, Singh is the player to beat.
He has won five times in his last seven starts, including the PGA Championship. He replaced Woods at No. 1 in the world ranking two months ago, and has shown no signs of stopping.
Woods, Arnold Palmer and Johnny Miller are the only other players to have won at least eight times since 1960.
What kind of year is that?
'It's Tiger Woods without the charisma,' Paul Azinger said. 'I never in my lifetime thought I'd see guys winning more than three or four times. It just blows me away.'
Several guys would do anything to win just once ' especially this week.
The field is strong, but the focus is on the guys who are struggling just to give themselves a chance for next year.
The final full-field event of the year, the Chrysler Championship becomes a numbers game Sunday:
  • The top 30 on the money list get into the $6 million Tour Championship next week at East Lake.
  • The top 40 get invited to the Masters.
  • The top 70 get into all the invitationals, such as Bay Hill and the Memorial.
  • The top 125 keep their PGA Tour cards for next year.
  • The top 150 have limited status, meaning players can ask for exemptions or enter only tournaments that have room for them, usually spots like Tucson, Reno and the John Deere Classic.
    Anyone outside the top 150 has to go back to Q-school, unless they have some other safety net.
    Kenny Perry is $12,482 behind Rod Pampling in his bid to get into the top 30 and go to the Tour Championship. Behind him are guys like Jonathan Kaye, Charles Howell III and Tim Herron. Justin Leonard, who has never missed a Tour Championship in his 10 years, is No. 41 and probably needs a third-place finish to continue his streak.
    Still, the real pressure comes on those trying to secure their card.
    Craig Barlow is No. 126, trailing Olin Browne by $1,214.
    'It definitely doesn't feel good being (No.) 126,' Barlow said. 'The way I'm looking at this week, it's just another golf tournament. If you want to think about that it's the last tournament of the year, and I'm 126th on the money list, you're going to drive yourself crazy.'
    Glen Day is No. 136 and risks losing his card for the first time since he joined the PGA Tour in 1994. The season ends Sunday for all but the top 30 on the money list.
    'It's like the last week of school,' Day said. 'You just can't wait to get out, no matter what bubble you're on. You'd like to go home happy.'
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