PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Due to a new condensed schedule and crowded Florida swing, it made sense for a lot of top players to skip this week’s Honda Classic.
It had been mostly a low-key affair, with rules fiascos dominating discussion.
Then Vijay Singh swooped in and created a fascinating build-up to Sunday’s final round at PGA National.
Singh’s 5-under 65 in Round 3 was the low score of the day and brought him up to T-2, just one shot off the lead.
Now Singh, 56, is looking to become the oldest player ever to win a PGA Tour event when he tees it up in the final pairing at 1:35 p.m. alongside Wyndham Clark, 31 years his junior.
“Today I played like I know how,” Singh said. “I just let it go and the swing was a lot more free. This is how I used to play. I don’t know what I found, but I’m going to see if it’s still there tomorrow.”
Sam Snead became the oldest player to win a tour event when he claimed the 1965 Greater Greensboro Open at age 52, and his benchmark remains 53 years later.
Since the year 2000, only three players in their 50s have won events – Craig Stadler (50), Fred Funk (50) and Davis Love III (51).
“It would be great,” Singh said. “I’ve worked pretty hard. I’m physically quite capable of doing it. Mentally I’m going to to out there and see how my mind works. If I just don’t let anything interfere, I think I can do it.”
Singh finished the round with a 7-foot birdie make at 18, one of six total birdies on the day to just one bogey.
One of the most dominant players of his era, Singh last won on Tour at the 2008 Deutsche Bank Championship. He has dabbled on the PGA Tour Champions and last year won the Toshiba Classic, Senior Players Championship and Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
“It’s not surprising to me,” said Rickie Fowler, who shot 4-under 66 Saturday to get within two of the lead. “He’s someone that is a grinder and has always been known as a ballstriker. So we’ll see. Hopefully I can go out and outlast him tomorrow.”
Singh has remained in great shape in his later years and video of his intense workout routine went viral in January. Adding to a total of 34 career Tour wins at this stage in his career would prove even more shocking, while shattering one of the longest-standing records in golf.
“It’s hard work,” Singh said. “Every time I finish playing, I feel like I’ve got to get up and do it again tomorrow. They should give me a cart tomorrow. I deserve one.”