Vijay Singh's putter - the very same club that has plagued him at several different times throughout his career - might just have sucked all the drama right out of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs.
Singh put on a remarkable putting display Monday to overcome a three-shot deficit and run away with the Deutsche Bank Championship on a Labor Day finish at TPC Boston. The winningest international player in tour history captured his second straight victory with an 8-under-par 63 by five shots over 54-hole leader Mike Weir.
Eight days after winning The Barclays - the first FedEx Cup playoff event - in a playoff, Singh set records with his final score (22-under 262) and margin of victory. Playing in windy and dry conditions at Norton, Mass., Singh produced the low round of the day by two shots, won the $1.26 million first prize and all but locked up the $10 million jackpot that goes to the FedEx Cup champion.
"Obviously I feel incredible right now," Singh told reporters. "It was a tough day. I showed up here and the wind was kind of blowing again, so that was a good thing. I knew the greens were going to be firm. The leaders don't normally run away with it with the greens this firm."
Singh started fast, chipping in from 30 feet for an eagle at No. 2 before adding birdies at nos. 6 and 7. After a birdie at No. 11, Singh went on a rampage.
First, Singh holed a 37-foot birdie putt at No. 13 and then he sank a 60-footer at No. 14.
Initially disappointed by leaving his 9-iron approach so far from the hole, Singh said he tried to stay positive, telling caddie Chad Reynolds, "I'm the best putter in the world."
"And he said, 'Damn right you are, now go ahead and knock it in,' and I made it," Singh said. "That's just a good attitude. Instead of standing there and hoping you're going to get up and down in two, I was trying to make those putts."
After a bogey at No. 15, Singh made yet another bomb, this time holing a 37-foot birdie putt. He then finished in style, hitting his tee shot to within 19 feet on the par-4 18th hole where he two-putted for birdie.
"For a change, it's good to see my ball going in," Singh said. "I've been watching everybody else's go in. It's nice to actually stand over the putts and make putts like that."
Sergio Garcia, who finished tied for fifth at 13 under and played in the same group as Singh, said he was just happy to have an up-close view of Singh's remarkable final round.
"That was awesome to watch," Garcia told reporters. "Vijay made a lot of putts, but to shoot 8 under today under in these conditions, with the wind and as firm as the greens were, it's just impressive."
Almost as impressive as the $10 million prize that Singh is in prime position to clinch, possibly before even the final playoff event - the Tour Championship - arrives. Just 24 players have a mathematical chance to catch Singh, if he were to finish last in the final two playoff events. Even then, several of those players would need to win each of the last two events to have a chance.
"I just want to win the FedEx Cup," Singh said. "After that, whatever happens, happens. But right now my focus is going to be next week and see if I can wrap it up next week."
The field will be cut to 70 for the BMW Championship in the next playoff event at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis and then be trimmed to 30 for the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Despite his massive lead in the FedEx Cup chase, Singh said he won't alter his approach.
"I don't know how to play safe," Singh said. "I'm going to go out there and play the best I can play. I'm going to have a game plan and I'm going to stick to it. I'm going to go out there and try to win, put it this way."
September 2, 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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