Singh Finds Number 1 a Nice Place To Be

RSS

Vijay Singh begins the 2005 with a big red target square in the middle of his back. He hasnt been in this position before, of course.
 
Hes the No. 1 player in the world. He is, of course, the No. 1 player on the PGA Tour. He won nine times on tour last year. Number 1 is a new feeling to him.
 
I mean, I haven't started the season ever before being No. 1, he said, realizing that one Eldrick Woods has been the worlds top player since Singh could remember.
 
But, you know, I guess I played, probably, what - seven eight tournaments at the end of the season being No. 1? So you kind of get used to it. You don't really focus on that so much. Even though it's a great feeling to know that you're the best player in the field day-in, day-out, that's playing, it gives you a lot more confidence, a lot more boost to your, I guess - ego, I guess.
 
Vijay was trying to say its a much different feeling when youre THAT guy, instead of one of the pursuers. And he is still getting used to it.

It just lifts you up a little bit more and saying, Hey, I'm going to take charge, I'm the best player here. Kind of that attitude, you know, he explained.
 
It's not a cocky attitude, but it's a very - how can I say - it just makes you feel so much better. You've got to kind of start talking to yourself to the point that, hey, there's nobody here that's going to beat you - kind of that attitude.
 
But, you know starting next season, I know everybody is going to be starting level. World ranking does not matter at all. So you've just got to go out there and just play and get in front as quick as possible and see if you can stay there. That's the way I've always thought, and hopefully I'm going to start that way again.
 
Singh didnt really plan for this eventuality ' to be Number 1. He had hoped, of course. But he didnt know, honestly, if Woods would ever give it up. But give it up Tiger did. And now that Vijay is sitting on top, Singh isnt sure if he can keep it.
 
I don't really set goals, but it's going to be a hard one for next season, he conceded.
 
Vijay knows that there are only so many chances to win tournaments, and he normally will play about 28 times a year. He played in 29 last year, and that means there were 20 that he didnt win. But he won almost one-third of the events he entered, and that, partner, is extremely difficult to do.
 
Singh himself is a bit overwhelmed. Starting the New Year in Hawaii at the Mercedes Championships this week, he isnt putting himself in a straitjacket by insisting his goal is to win more than nine. Hes going to play his best and see what happens.
 
I just want to go out there and see if I can play like I did last year, not really focus on so much winning golf tournaments or the money list or my position in the World Ranking, he said. I just want to go out there and play aggressively and play strong.
 
I'm looking forward to it. I'm really excited that it's almost there now, and I just want to go out and want to play well and not force anything onto myself and see what happens. Obviously, the majors are one of my real focus points. I'll see if I can focus more on the majors and see if I can prepare a little more intensely for those ones.
 
The truth is, he may actually play better than last year and still not reach nine wins. If Mister Woods isnt just whistling Dixie, he is going to win a few more than one ' his last seasons output. Padraig Harrington is going to play a lot more on the PGA Tour and he will probably win once or twice. Ernie Els may win more than the three he collected last year. The bottom line is, the 29 tournaments that Singh played last year may be divided up much more than last season.
 
But not if Vijay can help it. Number 1 in the world is such a high honor. He would like to experience it a little bit longer, at least. Hes almost 42, so hes been working towards it for so long. Vijay Singh has found that being top doggie is pretty comfortable.
 
Email your thoughts to George White