May 3, 2006
Champion Singh sets sights on straight driving at Wachovia
ATLANTA (Reuters) - Desperate to end a nine-month victory
drought, holder Vijay Singh has targeted an improvement in his
driving accuracy at this week's Wachovia Championship in
Charlotte, North Carolina.
Fijian Singh, who clinched last year's title in a three-way
playoff with Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk, has not triumphed on
the PGA Tour since the Buick Open last July.
"I'm coming back with not having won for I don't know how
many tournaments, but just looking forward to playing here
again," the world number four told reporters at Quail Hollow
Club on Wednesday.
"I've worked really hard in the last month to get some
kinks out of my golf swing. I thought I was pretty close to it
in Houston but obviously I wasn't."
Singh tied for 36th at the Houston Open two weeks ago,
fading over the weekend after moving into early contention with
an opening 69.
"I worked really hard last week and I felt good (in
practice) yesterday," the 43-year-old added. "For the first
time, I felt like I was getting very close to where I want to
The hottest player in the game for a two-year spell ending
midway through last season, Singh has failed to rejoin the
winner's circle despite seven top-10 finishes on the 2006 PGA
His putting, so often his Achilles' heel, has been
impressive but he has been down by his driving accuracy.
"The guy that will win here needs to hit his driver well,"
said the three-times major winner, who languishes 136th in the
Tour's driving accuracy charts with an average percentage of
"Driving is the key to the whole golf course. If you set up
your drives well, you're going to shoot a good number.
"It's a pretty tight golf course with not too much room out
there. There's always a little dogleg to the left or right, so
you've got to think our way round.
"You can get away with hitting half-decent iron shots but
you can't get away with hitting bad drives. That's what I need
to do this week, try to improve on my driving."
Recognized as the PGA Tour's hardest-working player, Singh
boasts an impressive track record at Quail Hollow Club.
He tied for second at the inaugural Wachovia Championship
in 2003, shared 10th place in 2004 and came from six shots
behind after three rounds to triumph last year.
"I have a lot of good memories here," said the Fijian.
"I played well last year and I love the golf course. It's a
ball-striking golf course and one of the best we're going to
play all year.
"Quail Hollow plays very much like any major championship
golf course. I'm really looking forward to it."
Singh will launch his title defense in the company of
Americans Chris DiMarco and Sean O'Hair in Thursday's opening
(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles)