Vijay Back in Fiji After Nine Year Absence

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NATADOLA HARBOUR, Fiji -- Vijay Singh made his first visit to his native Fiji in nine years Wednesday, saying he wants to help end ethnic tensions and build a world-class golf course.
 
Singh accepted a Fiji government request to become a national goodwill ambassador and is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase during the trip.
 
Its good to be back, said Singh, who lives in Florida.
 
Natadola Bay, the future site of a new golf course Singh will help develop, features a white sandy crescent beach and a backdrop of sugarcane farms on what many consider one of Fijis most picturesque locations.
 
But communal distrust between indigenous Fijians and the descendants of immigrants from India has sparked three coups in Fiji since 1987.
 
Singh spent several hours walking through the planned course.
 
It is going to be a hell of a course, a very challenging one, because of the terrain, the prevailing trade winds and heat, he said. There will be spectacular views of the South Pacific Ocean.
 
Work on the course, which Singh said will be of PGA standard, will start later this year and is expected to be completed by 2007.
 
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