Vijay Continues Dominance


PGA TourPALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Vijay Singh scaled the mountain two months ago when he beat Tiger Woods in a final-round duel outside Boston to become No. 1 in the world.
Vijay SinghTurns out that was only the start.
In his most dominant performance of an incredible year, Singh birdied the first two holes and never let anyone get within two shots of him the rest of the day. He closed with a 6-under 65 to set the tournament record at the Chrysler Championship and win by five shots, the largest margin of his nine PGA Tour victories this year.
That's right -- nine victories.
'The wins keeps coming, and I'm enjoying every bit of it,' Singh said.
He became only the sixth player with that many victories, joining a list of legends and one contemporary -- Paul Runyan, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Woods.
And he claimed one spot all for himself -- the first $10 million man in golf.
'I'm not one for stats. I'm not one to keep records,' Singh said. 'I just know it's been an incredible year for me. I haven't really sat down and thought about it, what I've done. I'll only enjoy it when the season is over.'
Singh was introduced as a $10 million man, sweet words for a guy who once made $10 a lesson as the resident club pro in the rain forests of Borneo.
'That's a new one,' Singh said. 'It's a good one, though.'
It was another great performance, his sixth victory in his last eight starts on the PGA Tour.
With a one-shot lead over Tommy Armour III, Singh got up-and-down for a birdie on the par-5 opening hole, then rolled in an 8-footer for birdie on No. 2. With his lead down to two as he was approaching the turn, Singh fired a sand wedge into 10 feet for a birdie on the ninth hole, then stuffed another one to 3 feet on the 10th.
He finished in style with a birdie from the fairway bunker on No. 18, putting him at 18-under 266. That broke by one the tournament record set by K.J. Choi in 2002.
Singh earned $900,000, finishing five shots ahead of Armour (69) and Jesper Parnevik (68). Joe Durant had the best round Sunday with a 63 to finish fourth, one shot ahead of Kirk Triplett (70).
Armour was asked what was so impressive about the Fijian.
'He's inside of you on every hole,' he said. 'You're going to have to take it from him. He's not going to give it to you. That's what happened.'
Armour unknowingly was in the giving mood.
His three-putt from 30 feet -- the par putt was only 3 feet -- dropped him into a two-way tie for second. That was the difference of $100,000, enough to allow Parnevik to finish No. 40 on the money list and qualify for the Masters.
The Chrysler Championship was the final full-field tournament of the year, the last chance for players to finish in the top 30 on the money list to qualify for the Tour Championship; the top 40 to get into the Masters; the top 125 to secure tour cards for next year; and the top 150 to get a pass to final stage of Q-school.
The other winners:
--Kenny Perry shot 67 to move up two spots to No. 29 and go to East Lake next week.
--Parnevik nudged out Joey Sindelar, who missed the cut, by $13,254.
--Tag Ridings made seven birdies on the last 10 holes for a 64 to finish No. 125.
--Jeff Brehaut made a birdie putt on the last hole that moved him up two spots to No. 149.
Reflection for Singh will have to wait. He has another event next week -- the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake -- and another chance to win.
'I'm not going to show up there and feel relaxed,' Singh said. 'I'm going to be just as intense as I've ever been. I'm looking to go there and play well in the golf tournament. If it happens, that's another story.'
No, it will be the same story.
Singh has $10,725,166, more than $5 million ahead of Phil Mickelson. The Tour Championship gives him a chance to make it a 10-10 season with his 10th victory.
Only Byron Nelson (18 wins in 1945), Ben Hogan (13 in 1946, 10 in 1948) and Sam Snead (11 in 1951) have won that often on the PGA Tour.
And keep this in mind: Singh won at East Lake in 2002, the start of his great run. He played in the final pairing with Woods in 2000, and he lost in a playoff to Hal Sutton in 1998.
Woods will be playing for the first time since he got married, but he has become a distant memory in dominance. The last two years have been about Singh, who at 41 shows no signs of slowing.
If there was a turning point in his amazing run, it might have been last year when he won the money title but narrowly lost out on PGA Tour player of the year.
'I thought I had a chance of winning it last year, so to come back this year ... that's incredible,' Singh said. 'The money list two years in a row is a big achievement, as well.'
The list of achievements is getting long. Singh has one week remaining in his PGA Tour season. Then, he might finally have time to appreciate everything he has done.
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