With only one event remaining in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs, everyone involved already knows who will be celebrating the most after the final round of the Tour Championship.
Boasting an insurmountable lead, Vijay Singh needs only to complete the tournament to officially claim the $10 million prize as the playoff champion. A winner in three of his last six starts, including playoff victories in The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship, Singh will now enjoy a couple of weeks off before completing the formality Sept. 25-28 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Admittedly, Singh will be in a somewhat strange position at the Tour Championship, where there's really no extra incentive for him to win.
"It's an exciting thing to know that you really have won a FedEx Cup that everybody has been talking about from the beginning of the year, and even that I've been thinking about it from the beginning of the year in my own way," Singh told reporters during a teleconference. "That's just pretty much why I didn't play as good last week was I was trying to figure out, 'Hey, who's going to win and what would it take for me not to really do anything in Atlanta to win the Cup.'"
After back-to-back playoff wins to all but eliminate the drama from the event, Singh finished tied for 44th at last week's BMW Championship in St. Louis while playing for a sixth consecutive week. Now, with two weeks off to prepare - the PGA Tour is dark this week and Singh isn't participating in the Ryder Cup Matches or the Tour's Viking Classic - the veteran from Fiji said he'll be there to compete at the Tour Championship.
"I want to make a point that I'm going to go out there and try to win the tournament," Singh said. "I love Atlanta. I love East Lake. I've had great success there. I know they've changed the golf course a little bit, but I'm going to be practicing next week and getting ready for the tournament.
"I want to go out there and win it and make a point that I can win three out of four weeks."
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said Singh's hard work has made him a worthy FedEx Cup champion. Already known for tireless training, Singh has successfully made swing changes and shored up his inconsistent putting stroke in 2008.
"Anytime Vijay wins a tournament, you say that he is truly deserving of it because we see how hard he works," Finchem told reporters. "But to see him come back from some adversity the last year and a half, some illness, and to work even harder to get to this point and then to play as hard as he did on top of it is very special indeed."
This has been a banner year for Singh, who has made 17 of 22 cuts. He has three victories, eight top-10 finishes and 13 top-25 performances, earning more than $6.4 million and rising to No. 3 in the world golf rankings.
Singh said this year has indeed meant a lot to him. He added that it wouldn't have been possible without his support staff and his new-found confidence on the greens with his putter.
"If I hadn't fixed that part of it, maybe who knows, this could have been the end of it," Singh said. "But to believe in it and go out there and do it and come out ahead, I think that was probably the most satisfying part of the whole postseason."
Singh said he was unfairly criticized in an Associated Press article reporting that he blew off interview requests from NBC TV following the final round of the BMW Championship last Sunday. Singh said he declined to talk because Jim Furyk was still in contention for the FedEx Cup when he walked off the course.
"It was wide open," Singh said. "There's no way to celebrate something that I have not won, so I think that was a very unfair comment that [the Associated Press] put out there, and I think that was very unfair to even do that."
As a neutral observer, Singh said he thinks next week's Ryder Cup Matches at Valhalla Golf Club will be a great competition. With U.S. Captain Paul Azinger and European Captain Nick Faldo working together on the same TV commentating crew most of the year, Singh said he expects a friendlier Ryder Cup atmosphere between the two squads.
"I don't know who the favorite this time is," Singh said. "I think it'll be the home crowd. I think the Americans have got a great side. They're younger than before, and I think they're all ready to play. I think the Americans are going to bring the Cup back."
In the past, Singh said he thought the Europeans have been so successful in the Ryder Cup Matches because they want to win it more. The U.S. team's last victory came in 1999, and the last two victories for Europe, in 2006 and 2004, have been routs by identical 18.5-9.5 scores.
"They love to beat the Americans," Singh said of the European squad. "They are more into beating Americans than the Americans are into beating them, so I think that has to change."
September 12, 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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