July 28, 2009

The Forgotten Fijiian Is Healing From Knee Surgery

Vijay Singh seems to have disappeared off of the PGA Tour's screen this year, making only sporadic visits to the top of the leader board in nearly any tournament he's been played in.

That may be due to his balky putting, or perhaps his ball-striking, which was certainly affected by an injury he suffered way back in the beginning of the year:

"Vijay Singh concedes that he came back too early from knee surgery earlier this year.

Singh played at Kapalua before having surgery to repair a torn meniscus, returning a month later for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he missed the cut. He missed the cut the next week, too, and did not record a top 10 finish until he closed with a 67 to sneak into a tie for ninth at The Players Championship.

"The 46-year-old Fijian has yet to seriously contend on the back nine this year, with only three top 10s."

It would likely be a misnomer to blame Singh's age for his precipitous drop in performance. If you don't believe his own performances -- Singh broke Sam Snead's record for the most wins by a player older than forty back in 2007, then look no further than Kenny Perry -- who turns fifty on August 10th -- as a counter-example. Singh is in fine physical condition, knee injury notwithstanding, and he certainly has the game tee-to-green to contend when he's healthy.

Or perhaps Vijay is a slow-starter in the latter days of his main Tour career: he's the defending FedEx Cup Champion, something he won after he had another slow start and went without a win until last year's Bidgestone Invitational. After that, he played well and won the second annual PGA Tour playoff, winning the million dollar annuity in the process.

For his part, Singh says he's raring to go, and also that Tom Watson's performance has given him a mental boost. "It kind of gives us a second wind. I was thinking maybe 50, 51, 52, I'd still have enough energy and strength to compete. But now after what Tom's done it gives you a second life," Singh said in a Reuters article.

He added that he is"working out really hard and I feel really strong right now." Vijay added that "I can still compete with the young kids now. I don't know how long that's going to last.

"The body takes a lot of toll. The older you get the harder you have to work at it. That's been my motto."

And you can ask anyone on the PGA Tour -- Vijay Singh has the reputation of being a hard-worker the likes of which have not been seen since Ben Hogan. If there's anyone who can make a strong comeback from knee surgery, it's him.

1 comment:

  1. Vijay is an incredible talent. Even at 65-75%, he shoots some great numbers has some very decent finishes.

    I was never crazy about him, but for Vijay to fly under the radar on this tour is ludicrous. For work ethic alone, he should be discussed daily...


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