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Singh's course record sets up another showdown with Tiger


By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer

September 4, 2006




Vijay Singh shook off a yearlong slump and shot a course-record 61 to take a three stroke lead over Tiger Woods and Justin Rose into Monday's final round. The twosome of Singh and Woods is a rematch of the final group two years ago, when they went head-to-head for the tournament title and the No. 1 world ranking Woods had held for more than five years.


"It seems so far away, two years ago, the way I was playing then and now," Singh said after shooting 10 under on a rainy but windless TPC of Boston. "It felt good. This golf course brings back great memories and hopefully it's the start of another great run. We're going to find out."


A light but steady mist never stalled play but pestered the players as they trudged through the slick grass and mud. Several players called the weather annoying -- not enough rain for an umbrella, the kind that has them constantly putting their jackets on and taking them off.


Singh didn't seem to be bothered by it at all, playing like he did when he won here in 2004 to ascend to the No. 1 ranking in the world.



To me, it's almost unbelievable," Singh said. "The way I've been playing, and not really happy with the way I've been scoring, and all of a sudden this shows up. It just fills me up with so much confidence, brings a lot of good vibes back."


Singh started the day at 1 under, five strokes behind, but he birdied the first hole and eagled the second and was at 6 under after five, before Woods even teed off. The 43-year-old Fijian birdied the last three holes coming in to improve to an 11-under 202.


"That made everybody wake up for sure. Made me wake up anyway," Rose said.


Singh broke the course record of 62 set by Adam Scott when he won in 2003 and matched by Marcel Siem in '05.


"It was awfully impressive playing today," Woods said. "Given the conditions, that's a great round of golf."


Woods missed four birdie putts inside 15 feet on the back nine, but made birdie on the par-5 18th, hitting a 4-iron to 30 feet and two-putting for a 67. At 8-under 205, he will be paired with Singh in the final group here for the second time in three years.


"Hopefully, I can play a little better than last time," Woods said. "I just know that tomorrow, given that conditions are as soft as they are, I'm going to have to make some birdies."


Rose two-putted for birdie on the 18th for a 69 and also was at 205; J.J. Henry, three weeks away from playing in his first Ryder Cup, shot 68 and was at 207, along with Shaun Micheel (68).


"Guys like Vijay and Tiger, you don't expect any charity from them," Rose said. "It's a Vijay and Tiger show. They're proven winners. It's great for the tournament for them to be in that situation, but it's nice for me to be what I feel is a part of it."


Singh came into the 2004 Deutsche Bank with five victories in the year already, including the PGA Championship. He won at the TPC of Boston to take Woods' No. 1 ranking, then won the next two weeks as well before finishing up with nine victories and the player of the year award.


Now it's Woods on a streak: He's won four straight tournaments and he's in striking distance for a fifth in a row.


"I'm not going to be thinking about his streak or beating him," Singh said. "I've been playing lone enough to know that you don't worry about the guys who are playing with you. You worry about your own game and see what happens."


This year, Singh missed the cut in the final two majors and has not finished in the top 10 since the Western Open. His only victory this year was at the Barclays Classic.


"I don't know where that came from, but everything came together in one week," he said. "It was really difficult to keep practicing and not seeing results. And finally it showed up, and I did it in a great way. It didn't feel like it was difficult to do the way I played."





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