Even at 45 years of age, Vijay Singh claims he never worries that his last victory will be his final one.
Singh overcame a few shaky moments with his putter down the stretch Sunday to shoot a 2-under-par 68 and post a one-stroke victory over Stuart Appleby and Lee Westwood in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. It was the first WGC victory for Singh, who also broke a 16-month winless drought on U.S. soil. Singh, who finished at 10-under 270, took home a first-place check for $1.35 million.
The last time Singh found himself in the winner's circle was in March of 2007 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Still, he claims he never doubted he'd be returning to his winning ways.
"I just feel comfortable right now," Singh told reporters. "I am not worried about being 40 or 45, or even next year for that matter.
"I have a great trainer who's taken me to the next level and I think he's done wonders for me. I've got to give all the kudos to him. I think he really took me through a difficult program and it's showing up now."
It seems that older players putting together impressive performances is becoming a bit of a trend. At the British Open, the 53-year-old Greg Norman took a two-shot lead into the final round and had a chance to become the oldest major champion before faltering to finish tied for third.
"That shows that if you're physically fit, you can play as long as you want to play," Singh said. "Look what Greg Norman did. He looks pretty much the same as he did when he was playing the Tour. He's as fit as he ever was."
Singh said winning at Firestone Country Club's South Course made him feel young again.
"I always feel 10 years younger," Singh said. "Now I feel like 20 years younger."
Singh said he's pleased to be playing well heading into this week's PGA Championship and should have plenty of momentum.
"It gives me a lot of confidence," said Singh, a two-time PGA Championship winner. "I struck the ball really well, especially with my irons. Except for the second day, my driver was really good all week, but it puts me in a really good frame of mind going into next week and the rest of the season."
Singh said he wasn't discouraged by not having won so far this year. He came to Akron, Ohio, with five top-10 finishes this year.
"I was really confident, and although I hadn't won, I was confident I was going to win," Singh said. "I told everybody that knows me that it's just a matter of time, it's going to come, so I'm glad that it's happened so quickly."
Winning, however, didn't come easy. Having already had a difficult time with his putter — Singh was 8-of-18 in the tournament on putts between four and eight feet — the native of Fiji left himself a four-foot par putt to win the tournament, which he made.
A miss and Singh would've fallen into a playoff with Appleby (68) and Westwood (69), who both finished at 9-under 271. First-round leader Retief Goosen (67) and Phil Mickelson (70) tied for fourth at 8-under 272.
Mickelson actually had a one-stroke lead with four holes to play, but couldn't hold on. The world's No. 2-ranked player couldn't stay out of the bunkers and suffered three bogeys in his final four holes, including Nos. 17 and 18.
"It wasn't a good finish for me, but I played really well today," Mickelson told reporters. "[For] 14 holes I hit a lot of good shots [and] a lot of good putts, but I'm turning 63s and 4s into 70s, and that's kind of what happened today.
With Michelle Wie long gone after missing the cut on Friday, Parker McLachlin struggled to shoot a 2-over 74 on Sunday at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open to finish at 18-under-par 270 and win by seven strokes over Brian Davis (75) and John Rollins (71) at Montreux Golf and Country Club.
McLachlin's win marked the second-largest winning margin on the PGA Tour this season, trailing only Tiger Woods' eight-shot win at the Buick Invitational. Prior to that, the largest margin of victory at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open was Steve Flesch's five-stroke win in 2007.
Wie, who was trying for the eighth time to make the cut in a PGA Tour event, appeared to have a chance, carding a 1-over-par 73 on Friday. However, she shot 80 in Friday's second round and finished tied for 119.
August 4, 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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