Vijay Singh Press Conference Transcript
Q. When is the last time you double-crossed a drive like that? That's highly unusual.
VIJAY SINGH: The last time? Today. (Laughs). It was just a straight pull. You don't practice those things; it just happens. You know, I was feeling very comfortable on the tee and just wanted to move it left-to-right, and came right over it and crossed it. It's caused by a little too quick of a swing. You know, too aggressive and too anxious, I guess. But that's about it I guess.
Q. A competition like this where you are right in it with Tiger, yet you've made one mistake. Does this help prepare you for your defense at the Masters where you might face a similar situation?
VIJAY SINGH: I hope I don't face that similar shot out there. The Masters is totally different. I'm not going to -- I'm going to start thinking about it after I leave here. Tomorrow I'm going to come back here and start preparing for the Masters. But every time you are in contention, you learn something. It's always a learning thing. I mean, the way you play, you've always got that little bit of experience playing in conditions like that, and you always learn. I just hope I have learned something from that shot today. Under the gun, you know that you cannot make mistakes. That's the bottom line.
Q. You did really put that thing away after that shot? You had a great rebound and went birdie, par, eagle, birdie, par to end it.
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I talked to my caddy a little bit, and I said, 'Well, we've got to birdie the last four.' I hit a great putt on 15, and it didn't go in. Then I said, 'Well, let's eagle, birdie, birdie finish. See what happens.' I came close to it. I hit my 5-iron just a little bit -- didn't hit it hard enough on 18. I thought I had plenty of club going in there, and just came off it. Playing the last three holes over here, anything can happen; it's all over water. 17 has always had some drama, and 18, as well. But being two shots back from Tiger, he's not going to make any mistakes. He's too good of a player to do that.
VIJAY SINGH: You know, sand wedge was probably not the right club, because the rough was so high that you can almost double-hit it if you get on top of the ball. So I was taking a little bit of a precaution there. I practiced that in the practice round, and I guess it worked this time.
Q. You have not shot over par this year. How do you feel about your game?
VIJAY SINGH: I'm really happy. I'm really comfortable with what I'm doing with my golf swing. I think the important part is my putting. I'm putting well. I'm making a lot of those 6- or 8-footers, where I used to have a 50/50 chance of making them. That works into my game, as well. If you are chipping from off the green, you don't feel like you have to hit it inside a foot to make a putt. You can be 6 foot or 5 foot and still make it. It gives you a little bit more freedom to chip, and your short game, and that's helped.
Q. That shot with the toe of the putter, do you practice that?
VIJAY SINGH: I remember playing at Southern Hills one year with Freddie Couples, and he was on the sixth hole, I think, fifth or sixth hole, the par 5. It's almost an impossible shot. He played that and made it. When I was playing that, I told my caddy, I said, 'You know, this is the only way to go.' And I could always think, you know, what Freddie did and made it. So it was always a good feeling when I was over there. I knew I could not mess up if I hit it that way. If I had gone with a sand wedge, that would have been a different story.
Q. Do you recall the last time you played with the toe of the putter?
VIJAY SINGH: I'm messing around all the time.
Q. In a tournament?
VIJAY SINGH: Not in a tournament.
Q. Is that the first?
VIJAY SINGH: Probably the first one, yeah.
Q. You did not give up after that triple bogey. What went through your mind; and secondly, this has got to put you in a good mental set of confidence for what is coming up.
VIJAY SINGH: I said, 'There's four holes to go,' and you know, 'three of them are over water too.' I told my caddy, 'Let's birdie the last four. I've done it before. Let's go and do it.' I came close to doing it. I eagled 16, and I birdied 17. I tried to make the putt on 18, but I guess I hit it -- didn't read it good enough.
Q. Did you re-tee on 14, and can you take us through the rest of that hole?
VIJAY SINGH: I hit it in the water, dropped it in front of the tee. Hit a 3-wood, and then I had a bad yardage. I was in between clubs. It was a very, very hard 7-iron, or a nice, soft, 6-iron. And I hit a 6-iron, kind of leaked it right, and came in a very awkward spot again. Hit my putt too hard, and missed an 8-footer coming back.
Q. What did you hit on 17?
VIJAY SINGH: I hit a 9-iron.
Q. Will you stay here and practice the rest of this week and then go to Augusta?
VIJAY SINGH: Yeah, I'll probably take a day or so off and then come back and prepare myself. It's a different mindset when you are going to Augusta than playing over here. So you've got to focus on what you need to do at Augusta, and then make sure they keep the greens as fast as they are on the practice range.
Q. Will it be a different mindset for you going in as defending champion?
VIJAY SINGH: I think so. You know, finishing second here is disappointing, but at the same time, it's a boost to the confidence, you know, going into the last -- going into the first major. So, I feel really good about it going in there. Although, I'm pretty disappointed not doing well here, but I'm looking forward to next week now. I'm done with this week, and I'm going to go home and refocus and do something crazy there again. (Laughter.)
Q. You mentioned a few times about talking with your caddy. How big of a help is that having Paul, somebody who has been through the PGA TOUR in the past, having him as a confidant? Anything in particular that he helps you with?
VIJAY SINGH: We work on the golf swing a lot. He has worked with me ever since I've been working on my golf swing, and he's worked closely with my coach, as well. You know, I really like him on the bag. I think he is a good balance for me. Although, he gets a little bit -- he has not been in a situation like that, so he's a little bit edgy the last three holes. But he's a good guy, and I think we are going to go a long ways together.
Q. Have you been to Augusta recently?
VIJAY SINGH: I was there last week. I played there last Sunday -- two Sundays ago.
Q. There's a chance you could go into Augusta ranked 2. Does that have any meaning to you?
VIJAY SINGH: Absolutely nothing. Before coming over here, I finished no worse than fourth in my last five events and I have not jumped a spot, so, I don't know. There's something wrong there, isn't it?
Q. Sometimes you talk about, well, 'I practice here and I play here, but it's entirely different during THE PLAYERS Championship.' When you go into play Augusta ahead of time or drop in every once in a while, is it pretty much like it would be during the tournament?
VIJAY SINGH: It's totally different. You stand up on the hole, you see 18, you see 9, you see everything. During the tournament, there's just so many people; it's like a hurricane went by and took all of the trees away or something. Everything is missing. There's only a green and a tee. So, it doesn't seem like Augusta, as we know it, because by the time we turn up, there's a million people around. When we go out there -- just a practice round, there's hardly anybody out there. It's not the same atmosphere as when we play it. I'd rather be there when the tournament is on, and then you get the same --.
Q. They rebuilt the 10th green , did you notice that?
VIJAY SINGH: They did it so perfectly that you don't even realize they have done anything or made any change. All I noticed was they widened the ninth hole like they did the first year. They have taken the rough away on the bottom right, and also on the 10th hole. There was too many complaints about, 'We're running out of fairway.'
Q. Is it mostly the putting on this streak that you are on, this finishing in the top 4, or is it anything else?
VIJAY SINGH: I think I'm playing pretty good right now. I think my whole game is coming around. I'm hitting a lot of good shots off the tees, fairways, and putting well. I think the whole game is in tune right now, and I just need to not make dumb mistakes like I did today.
Full Coverage of the Players Championship
Maguire's storied Duke career comes to an end
STILLWATER, Okla. – After losing in the quarterfinals here at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Duke coach Dan Brooks gathered his team and walked back toward the 18th hole. He wanted to get away and deliver a parting speech to senior Leona Maguire, one of the most important players in program history.
“I feel like I didn’t say enough, and I feel like I didn’t say it right,” he said afterward. “I guess that’s inevitable when dealing with a player who has meant so much.”
Maguire’s heralded Duke career came to an end Tuesday when she and her teammates dropped their quarterfinal match to Southern Cal, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2. Maguire did her part, winning, 1 up, against USC’s Jennifer Chang, but it still wasn’t enough.
Maguire will go down as one of the best players not just in Duke’s storied history, but all time in college golf. She’s a two-time Player of the Year. She finished with the best scoring average (70.93) in Division I women’s golf history. She had a record 32 competitive rounds in the 60s. She spent 135 weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, another record.
The 23-year-old from Ireland is the rare collegian who turned down guaranteed LPGA status to return to school to earn her degree and try to win a NCAA title with twin sister Lisa, the team’s No. 5 player. Ultimately, they never reached the championship match.
“I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said softly outside the clubhouse. “The experiences, the memories, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Maguire said that she’s turning pro soon and has a full schedule upcoming. She’ll play the ShopRite LPGA Classic and then try to capitalize on her full status on the developmental Symetra circuit.
Asked about her potential at the next level, Brooks said that Maguire can be a future Hall of Famer.
“She’s the hardest worker and the smartest player I’ve ever coached,” he said. “I’m really going to miss her.”
Notes: Ogilvy moving family to Australia
Geoff Ogilvy's immediate future involves fewer golf tournament and longer flights.
Ogilvy has been contemplating in the last few years moving back home to Australia, and after discussing it with his Texas-born wife, Juli, they plan to return to Melbourne shortly after Christmas.
Their daughter, Phoebe, turns 12 in October and will be starting the seventh grade in Australia. They have two sons, Jasper (10) and Harvey (8). The Ogilvys figured that waiting much longer to decide where to live would make it tougher on the children.
''We just talked about it, for lots of reasons, and we kept making pros and cons. Juli was strong on it,'' Ogilvy said. ''We're excited. I'm at the point where I'm not going to play 27 times a year. It's going to be brutal to play from there. But you've got to choose life.''
Ogilvy won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and he counts three World Golf Championships among his eight PGA Tour victories. He also has won the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship and has reached No. 3 in the world.
His last victory was in 2014, and Ogilvy has slipped to No. 416 in the world.
He has been dividing some of his time with a golf course design business with projects that include Shady Oaks in Fort Worth, Texas, (including a ''Little Nine'' course that opened last year), a renovation in China and a 36-hole course called Peninsula Kingwood in Melbourne.
Ogilvy, who grew up at Victoria Golf Club, still has a home on the 14th hole of the West Course at Royal Melbourne. If he didn't move back home, Ogilvy figured he would be spending six months in Melbourne and six months in Scottsdale, Arizona.
''It's a feeling more than anything,'' he said. ''Scottsdale is dreamy. We live a great existence. I know what I'm getting there. If we didn't move back, we'd be a six-and-six family. The kids get out of school, and they're bounced back and forth. It's not good for continuity.''
As for golf?
Ogilvy narrowly kept his full PGA Tour card last year and this season has been a struggle. He hasn't sorted out what kind of schedule he would keep, understanding it would involve long trips from Sydney to Dallas.
The immediate goal would be to play a heavy fall schedule and miss most of the West Coast swing to get acclimated to the move.
''And then we'll start working it out,'' he said.
US OPEN QUALIFYING: The U.S. Open likes to consider its championship the most democratic of the majors, and it has it just about right again this year. With the addition of 23 players who became exempt by being in the top 60 in the world ranking, 77 players in the 156-man field are exempt from qualifying. That number could go up slightly with another cutoff for the top 60 the Sunday before U.S. Open week.
The U.S. Open is the only American major that does not offer automatic exemptions to PGA Tour winners. Five such winners from this season still face qualifying, including Patton Kizzire, who has won twice (OHL Classic at Mayakoba and Sony Open). The others are Austin Cook, Ted Potter Jr., Andrew Landry and Aaron Wise.
Kizzire is at No. 63 in the world, followed by Wise (66) and Landry (69). All have three weeks to crack the top 60.
Until 2011, the U.S. Open offered exemptions to multiple PGA Tour winners since the previous Open. It leans heavily on the world ranking, as do the other majors. It also awards recent major champions and top finishers from the previous U.S. Open, along with the Tour Championship field from the previous year, to reward a consistently strong season.
''All of the tours around the world have bought into the official world golf ranking rankings,'' said Jeff Hall, the USGA's managing director of rules and open championships. ''And this provides just the right place for us to be with exemptions. We don't have to get into the weighting of one tour over another, this championship versus that event, a week-to-week event. We focus on the official world golf rankings and it seems to get us the right players for our championship.''
FICKLE GAME: Careers can change quickly in golf. No one can attest to that as well as Michael Arnaud.
The 36-year-old Arnaud had never finished better than a tie for fifth in his 49 starts on the Web.com Tour, and that was three years ago. His career earnings were just over $130,000. He had only made it into one previous event this year, and he wasn't in the field at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina last week until Kent Bulle withdrew on the eve of the event.
Arnaud tied the course record with a 60 in the second round. He closed with a 63 and won by five shots.
He won $126,000 and moved to No. 13 on the money list, giving him a reasonable chance to reach the PGA Tour if he finishes the season in the top 25.
''A lot of people kept pushing me when I wanted to step away from it,'' Arnaud said. ''My wife was one of those that told me to take the chance and go. Low and behold it really paid off.''
SHINNECOCK SAVANT: Rory McIlroy is excited to get back to Shinnecock Hills for the U.S. Open, a course he already has played a few times.
Equally excited is his manager, Sean O'Flaherty, who knows the course on New York's Long Island better than McIlroy.
O'Flaherty spent two summers as a caddie at Shinnecock Hills.
He went to college at Trinity in Dublin, had friends in the Hamptons and came over during the summer months in 2002 and 2003 to work as a caddie.
''I got to know a lot of members,'' O'Flaherty said. ''I can't wait. To me, it's the best course in the world.''
DIVOTS: Justin Thomas won the Honda Classic on Feb. 25 at No. 4 in the world. No one from the top 10 in the world has won a PGA Tour event since then, a stretch of 12 tournaments. ... Guy Kinnings is leaving IMG after nearly 30 years to become the deputy CEO and Ryder Cup director of the European Tour. He will report directly to European Tour chief Keith Pelley. ... The LPGA tour will play in China during its fall Asia swing at the Buick LPGA Shanghai at Qizhong Garden Golf Club. The tournament will be Oct. 18-21, one week before the men play the HSBC Champions at Sheshan International in Shanghai. ... Alice Chen of Furman has been selected for the Dinah Shore Trophy, awarded to top college women who excel in golf, academics and work off the golf course. ... The Irish Open is going to Lahinch Golf Club in 2019, with former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley serving as the tournament host.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Matt Kuchar, Peter Uihlein and Jhonattan Vegas are the only players to compete in all five Texas events on the PGA Tour this year.
FINAL WORD: ''The sum of his shots seems to add up to slightly less than the sum of the shots from another guy.'' - Geoff Ogilvy on Jordan Spieth.
Arizona's run continues, knocks off top seed to reach semis
STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 1 seed in match play has still never won the women’s NCAA Championship.
That dubious distinction continued Tuesday at Karsten Creek when Arizona knocked out top-seeded UCLA on the final hole of the final match.
With the matches tied at 2 apiece, the anchor match between Arizona junior Bianca Pagdanganan and UCLA freshman Patty Tavatanakit was tied on the 18th hole, a par 5 that’s reachable in two shots by many.
Tavatanakit was just short of the green in two and Pagdanganan, the Wildcats’ hero from Monday when she made eagle on the last hole to give her team a shot at match play, blasted her second shot onto the green. Tavatanakit failed to get up and down – missing a 4-footer for birdie – and Pagdanganan two-putted for birdie to give Arizona the victory.
“We’re lucky to be in match play,” Arizona coach Laura Ianello said. “Let’s ride the highs. Why not?”
Arizona will now face Stanford in the semifinals. The Cardinal, the 2015 champion and 2016 runner up, has qualified for match play in each of the past four seasons. They beat Northwestern, 3-2, in the quarterfinals to advance.
USC will face Alabama in the other semifinal, meaning three Pac-12 teams have advanced to the Final Four. The Crimson Tide had an easy go of it in their quarterfinal match against Kent State, winning 4-1. The decisive victory gave Alabama extra rest for its afternoon match.
USC beat Duke, 3-1-1, in the other quarterfinal, pitting teams that have combined to win nine NCAA titles in the past 20 years. But neither team has had much success in the past four years since the championship turned to match play. Not only has neither team won, neither has even reached the championship match.
Duke’s Leona Maguire won the first match and the second match was halved, but USC swept the last three matches with Gabriela Ruffels, Alyaa Abdulghany and Amelia Garvey all winning to propel the Trojans into the semifinals.
Alabama (2) vs. USC (3)
2:30PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (A) vs. Jennifer Chang (USC)
2:40PM ET: Kristen Gillman (A) vs. Amelia Garvey (USC)
2:50PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (A) vs. Allisen Corpuz (USC)
3:00PM ET: Lakareber Abe (A) vs. Alyaa Abdulghany (USC)
3:10PM ET: Angelica Moresco (A) Gabriela Ruffels (USC)
Stanford (5) vs. Arizona (8)
3:20PM ET: Emily Wang (S) vs. Gigi Stoll (A)
3:30PM ET: Shannon Aubert (S) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (A)
3:40PM ET: Mika Liu (S) vs. Haley Moore (A)
3:50PM ET: Albane Valenzuela (S) vs. Sandra Nordaas (A)
4:00PM ET: Andrea Lee (S) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (A)
NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times
The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.
After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals were contested Tuesday morning with semifinals in the afternoon. The finals are being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.
- Semifinals: Alabama vs. USC
- Semifinals: Arizona vs. Stanford
- Quarterfinals: Alabama def. Kent State, 4-1
- Quartefinals: USC def. Duke, 3.5-1.5
- Quarterfinals: Arizona def. UCLA, 3-2
- Quarterfinals: Stanford def. Northwestern, 3-2
- Individual stroke play
TV Times (all times ET):
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals (Click here to watch live)