Just finish, baby.
Admittedly, that's not a lot to ask for a veteran professional golfer like Vijay Singh, who is famous for his work ethic. But that's all the 45-year-old from Fiji needs to do at this week's Tour Championship to walk away with the FedEx Cup championship and the $10 million prize that comes with it.
No doubt, it's a bit of an odd situation for everyone involved in the final PGA Tour playoff event, which runs Thursday through Sunday at Atlanta's East Lake Golf Club.
"It's nice, really, to know that all you need to do is finish the round," Singh told reporters Wednesday. "I've been told the last four weeks, maybe 100 times, three weeks, 100 times, don't run too much and make sure you run on a flat surface and don't over-exercise."
Singh built a commanding lead in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs by winning the first two events with titles at The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship. Even after tying for 44th in the BMW Championship, Singh all but locked up the event.
His lead is so commanding that Singh wouldn't even need to finish the four rounds to win the FedEx Cup over 27 of his 29 opponents in the 30-player field. And the only two players with a mathematical chance to catch Singh should he somehow not complete the event, would need to be victorious themselves to do it.
Still, Singh insists he doesn't want to win by coming out and merely just going through the motions.
"I'm here fresh and practiced pretty good, and I've come to win this golf tournament now," Singh said. "I want to finish really strong, and this will be probably my last event for this season over here, so I want to come out (strong) here.
"I like the golf course from what I saw. I think it's much tougher than what it was last year, so I have good feelings this week."
The Tour Championship, presented by Coca-Cola, features eight players who have won a total of 14 major championships. The 30-man field has also recorded 21 victories this season and a total of 192 career titles.
There are five former Tour Championship winners in the field this week, including Billy Mayfair (1995), Phil Mickelson (2000), Mike Weir (2001), Singh (2002) and Chad Champbell (2003). However, only Mickelson and Singh claimed their titles at East Lake, site of this week's event.
Camilo Villegas, the BMW Championship winner three weeks ago in St. Louis, is second in the FedEx Cup standings, followed by Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk and Mike Weir. Second place in the points race is worth $3 million, while the third-place finisher receives a $2 million prize.
Villegas said he'd love to finish off the playoffs with another victory.
"Having a chance to just put yourself in contention against 30 guys that have had a great year is a lot of fun, so I'm really looking forward in terms of FedEx Cup," Villegas told reporters. "I wish I could have had a chance to catch Vijay, but Vijay won the first two, and that's what happens when you have a good year, and then you go on and win the first two."
Singh has closed with a flourish this year, winning three times and recording 13 top-25 finishes, including eight top 10s, in 22 events. The No. 3 player in the world rankings behind Mickelson and Tiger Woods, Singh has more than $6.4 million in earnings this year — his most since topping the $8 million mark in 2005.
Now, Singh is just 72 holes away from eclipsing that figure in just one tournament.
"It is mind-boggling to know that you have to play 72 holes," Singh said. "This is not my first time to play 72 holes. I've done it forever, so I'm not worried about that at all.
"Again, I'm going to go out there and not even worry about the FedEx Cup. I'm going to worry about winning this golf tournament."
• SCHEDULE: Thursday-Sunday
• SITE: Atlanta
• COURSE: East Lake Golf Club (7,304 yards, par 70)
• PURSE: $7 million (Winner's share: $1.26 million)
• TV: Golf Channel (Thursday, 1-6 p.m., 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. EDT; Friday, 6-8 a.m., 1-6 p.m., 10:30 a.m.-1:30 a.m. EDT; Saturday, 6-8 a.m., 10 a.m.-noon EDT; Sunday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT) and NBC (Saturday, noon-3:30 p.m. EDT; Sunday, 1:30-6 p.m. EDT).
September 25, 2008
Davis Love III, who played the final 57 holes of the Children's Miracle Network Classic without a bogey, finished at 25-under 263 in the season-ending event played at the Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Florida. It has been a long road back for Love, who severely sprained his ankle late last year. After tearing ligaments, he needed surgery, and he's spent much of this year rehabilitating the injury.
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