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Singh the Swing still dominating

Posted: Friday, September 24, 2004

 

  AP Photo/Keith Srakocic Vijay Singh watches the flight of his tee shot during the first round of the 84 Lumber Classic in Farmington, Pa., on Thursday. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic Vijay Singh watches the flight of his tee shot during the first round of the 84 Lumber Classic in Farmington, Pa., on Thursday.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

FARMINGTON, Pa. Just when Vijay Singh thinks he can't play better, he does. Just when it seems he can't do much more during his Tiger Woods-like season, he does that, too.

Singh is first on the money list, first in the world rankings and, again, first on the PGA Tour leaderboard. Singh, turning the post-majors schedule into a weekly highlights show, shot an 8-under 64 Thursday for a three-shot lead in the first round of the 84 Lumber Classic.

Good thing the $4.2 million tournament is sponsored by lumber billionaire Joe Hardy, since it looks like Singh will be cashing another big check Sunday. Singh can surpass Woods' season money record of $9.1 million in 2000 by winning, and it's evident the very competitive Singh knows it.

With seven tournament victories, Singh is closing in on Woods' best season of nine wins. Don't think he doesn't know that, too.

The way Singh is playing, with four rounds of 65 or lower in his last five tournaments, he agrees it would almost be impossible to play much better.

''I'm driving the ball the way I want it,'' Singh said after a bogey-free round that included an eagle and six birdies. ''I don't know if I can hit it any better. My playing is pretty good. I'm doing the same thing over and over again.''

If he means winning, he's right. He is going for his fifth victory in six tournaments, including the PGA Championship, and his third this month. He won the Deutsche Bank Championship and Canadian Open on consecutive weekends before sitting out last week.

Perfection? Almost.

''Today I was pretty close,'' he said. ''You can't really say that because you know, each day is different. I'm swinging the club as good as I think I can.''

To those chasing him every week, that's about as good as it gets. Singh leads Richard S. Johnson, Pat Perez, Cameron Beckman, Ben Curtis and Robert Allenby by three shots, with Kevin Na three back through No. 15 when play was stopped by darkness.

''He sure looks like he is on a roll like Tiger was a few years back,'' said Billy Andrade, who shot a 3-under 69. ''I think if you polled all the players and say would anybody get to the level that Tiger Woods was back at a couple of years ago, probably everybody would have said, 'How can you get better than this?' ... And now Vijay seems to be on a run like that.''

Singh didn't take long to get into the red numbers on the 7,471-yard Mystic Rock course, which underwent extensive upgrading after it proved little challenge to a below-average field last year. J.L. Lewis shot 22 under a year ago to win, rallying from seven shots down with a final-round 62; on Thursday, he was dead last at 7-over 79.

LPGA Tour

AUBURN, Calif. Christina Kim shot a 7-under 64 and held a one-stroke lead over Rachel Teske after the first round of the LPGA Longs Drugs Challenge.

Kim didn't have a bogey on an almost windless day at The Ridge Golf Club, a 6,235-yard layout that is a new venue for the 9-year-old tournament.

Teske, an eight-time winner on the LPGA Tour, had four birdies and an eagle in her second nine and is one stroke ahead of Juli Inkster, a two-time winner of this tournament, Beth Bauer, Miriam Nagl and Michelle Estill.

Singh the Swing still dominating

By The Associated Press

FARMINGTON, Pa. Just when Vijay Singh thinks he can't play better, he does. Just when it seems he can't do much more during his Tiger Woods-like season, he does that, too.

Singh is first on the money list, first in the world rankings and, again, first on the PGA Tour leaderboard. Singh, turning the post-majors schedule into a weekly highlights show, shot an 8-under 64 Thursday for a three-shot lead in the first round of the 84 Lumber Classic.

Good thing the $4.2 million tournament is sponsored by lumber billionaire Joe Hardy, since it looks like Singh will be cashing another big check Sunday. Singh can surpass Woods' season money record of $9.1 million in 2000 by winning, and it's evident the very competitive Singh knows it.

With seven tournament victories, Singh is closing in on Woods' best season of nine wins. Don't think he doesn't know that, too.

The way Singh is playing, with four rounds of 65 or lower in his last five tournaments, he agrees it would almost be impossible to play much better.

''I'm driving the ball the way I want it,'' Singh said after a bogey-free round that included an eagle and six birdies. ''I don't know if I can hit it any better. My playing is pretty good. I'm doing the same thing over and over again.''

If he means winning, he's right. He is going for his fifth victory in six tournaments, including the PGA Championship, and his third this month. He won the Deutsche Bank Championship and Canadian Open on consecutive weekends before sitting out last week.

Perfection? Almost.

''Today I was pretty close,'' he said. ''You can't really say that because you know, each day is different. I'm swinging the club as good as I think I can.''

To those chasing him every week, that's about as good as it gets. Singh leads Richard S. Johnson, Pat Perez, Cameron Beckman, Ben Curtis and Robert Allenby by three shots, with Kevin Na three back through No. 15 when play was stopped by darkness.

''He sure looks like he is on a roll like Tiger was a few years back,'' said Billy Andrade, who shot a 3-under 69. ''I think if you polled all the players and say would anybody get to the level that Tiger Woods was back at a couple of years ago, probably everybody would have said, 'How can you get better than this?' ... And now Vijay seems to be on a run like that.''

Singh didn't take long to get into the red numbers on the 7,471-yard Mystic Rock course, which underwent extensive upgrading after it proved little challenge to a below-average field last year. J.L. Lewis shot 22 under a year ago to win, rallying from seven shots down with a final-round 62; on Thursday, he was dead last at 7-over 79.

LPGA Tour

AUBURN, Calif. Christina Kim shot a 7-under 64 and held a one-stroke lead over Rachel Teske after the first round of the LPGA Longs Drugs Challenge.

Kim didn't have a bogey on an almost windless day at The Ridge Golf Club, a 6,235-yard layout that is a new venue for the 9-year-old tournament.

Teske, an eight-time winner on the LPGA Tour, had four birdies and an eagle in her second nine and is one stroke ahead of Juli Inkster, a two-time winner of this tournament, Beth Bauer, Miriam Nagl and Michelle Estill.



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