2008 FedExCup champion: Vijay Singh
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He altered his swing after the 2007 season, then suffered through tendinitis in his left arm and a balky putter for much of 2008. But somewhere near the end of a long year, Vijay Singh found something.
As a result, he became the second name on the FedExCup trophy next to inaugural winner Tiger Woods' name.
With the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup fast approaching, Singh found his confidence by breaking through with his first win of the year at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in August. He also found his putting stroke, which was never more evident than at the opening Playoffs event, The Barclays, when he rolled in a 26-foot birdie putt to extend a playoff in which he eventually won.
When he won next week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, the FedExCup was in his control. It was a much better feeling than the previous year when Singh started the 2007 Playoffs as the second seed but faded to 10th.
"I felt really comfortable and confident (in 2007), but obviously it didn't turn out at the end of the year," Singh said. "And this year was totally the other way around. I wasn't playing well and I hadn't won, and I was way down in the FedExCup points.
"But it shows that if you start winning -- obviously $10 million is a great jackpot to have. We all think about it. Every player out there must be thinking about it. We all want to win it. One way or the other, we all want to win it. I'm glad I won it once."
The key was that putting stroke. When the playoffs started, his putting average as 1.801 putts per hole, which ranked 125th on the PGA TOUR. But at The Barclays, he ranked a respectable 32nd with a 1.736 average. The next week at the Deutsche Bank, he was even better -- seventh with a 1.627 average.
For Singh, it was mind over matter. He convinced himself he was the best putter in the world.
"I think through the past weeks and months and years, with the media talking about my putting and writing about my putting and people talking about my putting and people want to help me, I must have had hundreds of letters and phone calls and all saying that they can fix my putting,'' Singh explained after his win at The Barclays. "You know, at the end of the day, it kind of gets to your head that you're not a good putter.
"So I made a point that I'm going to change that attitude, and I believed in myself that I'm the best putter, and I came out here with a different attitude, and I putted great."
To prove it, all he has to do now is point to the FedExCup trophy.