CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Vijay Singh withdrew from the Wells Fargo Championship on Wednesday morning, citing a back injury. The 2005 champion was replaced in the field by Andrew Svoboda.
Singh is the third player to withdraw this week. Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter withdrew on Tuesday, the former citing a wrist injury
To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here .
2013 PREVIEW: Vijay Singh turns 50 on Feb. 22 but don't expect him to head over to the Champions Tour just yet. The World Golf Hall of Famer hasn't won on TOUR since 2008, when he earned three titles, but with five top 10s last year, he knows he can still compete.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: Let's pick the Frys.com Open, which was Singh's 500th start on the PGA TOUR. He closed with three rounds in the 60s on the way to a tie for fourth -- his low of the year and his fourth top-10 in his last eight starts to send Singh to the offseason with momentum. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: Vijay is going to be eligible for the Champions Tour in 2013 but I think we'll see plenty of him on the PGA TOUR. Why not? Singh was in position to win several times including the PGA Championship. He had trouble closing out tournaments during the final round and has to improve on his putting. Singh ranked 170th in strokes gained-putting and is 150th in final-round scoring average. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: Since he'll turn 50 before the conclusion of the West Coast Swing, he sets up as one of the most intriguing possibilities of the year. Even if he shares time on the Champions Tour as expected, he'll be coming off a season in which he made 27 starts on the PGA TOUR, so that's a hit we can absorb. Recorded four top 10s in his last nine starts beginning with a T9 at the British Open. His putting is cause for concern, but he'll start the new year with an active streak of 12 consecutive cuts made. I also like his price tag of $1.586 million in salary games. Wouldn't be surprised if he can transfer success with the 50-and-older crowd into a boost of confidence. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finish||T-4th||Frys.com Open|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 23
Rounds played: 99
Top-10 finishes: 5
Money List rank: 51st
Driving distance: 47th
Driving accuracy: 90th
Greens in regulation: 69th
Strokes gained-putting: 170th
Scoring average: 28th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
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Vijay Singh nearly holes out from the fairway from 147 yards on the 10th hole on Thursday.
Jason Day nearly knocks in his approach from 158 yards on the 10th hole on Thursday.
Vijay Singh shot a second-straight 66 Friday at TPC Summerlin, where he’ll enter the weekend in contention at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and seeking his first win in four years.
Putting himself in contention hasn’t been a problem for Singh this season -- staying there has.
Singh ranks in the top 50 in scoring average before the cut. Fifteen times this year Singh has shot 68 or better in one or both of the first two rounds of a tournament. In the third round, however, his scoring average slips to 69th best on the PGA TOUR, while in the fourth-round he’s an abysmal 143rd.
He hopes to change that in Las Vegas, his first appearance there since 1999. Coming off a month off, Singh has been in good form lately -- he finished eighth at the BMW Championship for his third top 10 in his last six starts.
Singh has carried that momentum through the first two rounds at TPC Summerlin, where on Friday he had five birdies and an eagle. His only blemish was a double bogey on the final hole, where he three-putted.
“You can't make a mistake out there if you're in the lead or near the lead,” Singh said. “You got to keep improving your score. Nowadays par does not help. You got to make birdies. Especially on a golf course like this or a golf course where the scoring is low, you got to make birdies to go forward.”
Especially on the weekend.
CARMEL, Ind. – With a bogey at the par-4 14th, Vijay Singh now projects outside the top 30 in FedExCup points. It’s the first time all day that Singh – the 54-hole co-leader with Phil Mickelson – has projected outside the players who will advance to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
The player benefitting the most from Singh’s drop is Scott Piercy, who now projects to 30th.
Singh still has four holes to make up the ground, however. He’s currently at 16 under, four shots off the lead held by Rory McIlroy, who has birdied the par-5 15th to move to 20 under.
UPDATE (5:25 p.m. ET): Singh bogeyed the par-4 16th and is now at 15 under for the tournament. That puts Singh in solo eighth place. He’s now projected to 33 in points.
CARMEL, Ind. – Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh have held their fair share of 54-hole leads throughout their Hall of Fame careers, and they go into Sunday’s round at the BMW Championship tied for the lead at 16 under.
In fact, Sunday’s pairing will be the first time in at least 35 years that two current Hall of Famers have played together in the final group in the final round on the PGA TOUR.
A few more notes about the Singh-Mickelson pairing:
> Only one time in Mickelson’s career has he failed to finish inside the top four when holding a 54-hole lead. He tied for eighth at the 1993 Northern Telecom Open after shooting a final-round 75.
> Mickelson’s stroke average in the final round when holding the 54-hole lead is 69.63.
> Singh won 11 consecutive events from 2002-04 when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead.
> Singh has never finished lower than a tie for fifth when holding or sharing a 54-hole lead.
> Singh’s stroke average in the final round with the 54-hole lead is 69.81.
Mickelson and Singh tee off at 1:45 p.m. ET. Click here to follow their pairing on Shot Tracker
ON THE MARK ARCHIVE: Tips from Mark Immelman
By Mark Immelman, Special to PGATOUR.COM
In week three of the FedExCup Playoffs, the top 70 players congregated at Crooked Stick Golf Club for the BMW Championship.
Play was frenetic from the first hole on Thursday morning. Birdies were the order of the day and the star-studded leaderboard sported a blend of current Hall-of-Famers and a few players who may well earn nomination to the hallowed halls in St. Augustine later in their careers.
One of those Hall-of-Famers, a three-time major champion and past world No. 1 Vijay Singh, topped proceedings. At 49 years young the affable Fijian has not only been, and indeed still is, a great champion, he has always been an effervescent source of advice and counsel to many a young professional. You more than likely will not be able to bend Singh’s ear but you can still learn a thing or two about top-flight golf from watching him and his performance in Indianapolis.
Practice, practice, practice (but with a purpose): I firmly believe that no great endeavor or achievement comes without a great and concerted sacrifice. Singh is the embodiment of that belief. He practices as hard as, and if not harder than, anyone in the world’s game. The beauty about Singh’s practice though is that he never ever hits a practice shot (or putt) without specifically addressing a certain issue in his technique.
Watch Singh on the range and you will always see him making very deliberate practice swings as he attempts to groove whatever swing fundamental he is working on. Further, you will always see him practicing with alignment aids and shafts or umbrellas set in position as aids. (These serve as guides and force him to make the correct body motion and swing shape.) In other words, Singh never just gets out there and beats balls – his work and practice is always directed and focused and the way I see it, if a Hall-of-Fame talent sees the need to do it that way, there is no reason whatsoever that all other golfers should not do so too.
Don’t be afraid to experiment: Perennially a marvelous ball-striker, Singh has battled a balky putter throughout his career and his travails have been well-documented. Over the recent stretch of events, and this week especially, Singh has begun to find some form with the flat-stick though. (Through two rounds Singh took only 47 putts and was second in the field in Strokes Gained-Putting.) In my opinion, aside from his phenomenal work ethic, Singh’s ability to bounce back from putting slumps is his open-mind and the fact that he is prepared to challenge tradition and try anything (within reason) to find success.
Over his career, Singh has used a myriad of short putters, long putters, grip variations and putter styles in an effort to make more putts. So just like Singh has, do not be afraid or resistant to experimentation. That secret that you are looking for may be right around the corner if you are just prepared to look with a different perspective. So keep an open mind and practice with a purpose. Singh does so and it has proved beneficial over a long and healthy career.
Mark Immelman, the brother of PGA TOUR professional Trevor Immelman, is a well-respected golf instructor and head coach of the Columbus State University (Ga.) golf team. For more information about Mark and his instruction, visit his web site, markimmelman.com or follow him on Twitter @mark_immelman or “Like” Mark Immelman Golf Instruction on Facebook. He also has a golf instruction e-book called “Consistently Straight Shots – The Simple Solution” available on iTunes/iBooks.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
CARMEL, Ind. -- It was a good news, bad news kind of day for Vijay Singh. Or, as he put it, a "mixed plate."
He made seven birdies, but he also had four bogeys, including three in his last five holes. Even so, Singh starts the final round of the BMW Championship tied for the lead at 16 under with Phil Mickelson, so he couldn't be too disappointed.
"I'm striking the ball well and I'm putting well, which kept me going," Singh said. "A round like this, I'm still in there and gives me a chance tomorrow."
Singh, who turns 50 in February, will be looking to win for the 35th time in his World Golf Hall of Fame career -- and the first time in four years. He also happened to win the FedExCup that season, capturing the first two Playoffs events in 2008.
The Fijian has had a total of 13 top-10s since his last win, including two in his last five starts. Last month at the PGA, he even had his eyes set on adding a fourth major to his haul when he took a share of the lead into the weekend at Kiawah Island but ended up tied for 36th after rounds of 74-77.
"I've got to be careful not to force myself," Singh said. "There's a lot of chances out there, and if I don't win tomorrow, I'll still have a lot of chances until the end of the year and next year, as well. ... I'm going to go out there and play my game and see what happens."
Singh, who is one of 12 players to break 70 in the first three rounds, is encouraged by the way he responded on Saturday. He never relinquished the lead and when the disappointing bogeys started coming, he answered the first two with birdies to keep pace with Mickelson.
"Today's round could have got away from me, but I really dug deep and really focused hard on that," Singh said. "We'll see what I can do. I'm going to be aggressive, and I have a chance to win the tournament."
Singh also has the opportunity to move on to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola at East Lake, where Singh has 12 top-10s. including one win, in 16 appearances. He entered the week ranked 49th in the FedExCup and needs to finish fourth or better to move on.
His sights are clearly set higher, though.
"I'm really not worried about it," Singh said. "I'm worried about trying to go out there and finish this tournament."