2005: Newsmakers - Hall-of-Famer Singh won’t rest
At an April 20 news conference announcing his election into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Vijay Singh made it clear that this was no time to rest on his laurels. He left the question-and-answer session, drank some of his beloved coffee and hit a bunch of balls on the practice range. Then he went out and won his third Shell Houston Open title in four years.
In other words, Singh, a Hall of Famer at 42, has no intention of slowing down. He says his game is better than it was in 2004 when he won nine tournaments, PGA Tour Player of the Year honors and the money title.
“I’m just proud that at my age I’m at the top of my game,” Singh said. “Normally guys my age are at the end of their run or are kind of over the hill.”
Singh’s wife, Ardena, has told him to now “enjoy” the life he has traveled countless miles to build, the life in which he has hit countless balls in earning more than $40 million on the PGA Tour alone.
But Singh is not buying such talk – or any lounge chairs.
“I said (to Ardena), ‘Yeah, but this is the peak of my career. . . . This is where I want to be.’ Every golfer out there wants to be in the position I am right now. So I cannot slack off. I have to work even further to maintain this level I’m playing at. This is where I want to be right now and this is the most comfortable I’ve been. This is my life, and I love it right now.”
It is a life much different than the modest one he knew growing up in Fiji as the son of an airline mechanic. He got his first set of clubs at 13 and used it on a course where few people played daily. It’s a long way from Fiji to St. Augustine, Fla., site of the Hall.
“It’s been a long, long journey, a hard journey,” Singh said. “You can’t even find Fiji on a map if you try to look for it. There’s only, what, 500 people that play golf in Fiji. To be where I am, it’s just incredible. You can’t really explain it in a few words."