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Vijay Singh makes rare appearance in Asia

Vijay Singh makes his first appearance in Asia as reigning US Masters champion this week in the US$300,000 Johnnie Walker Taiwan Open at Sunrise Golf and Country Club.

Since winning his first Green Jacket in April Singh has not played in the region where his roots lie, and he's also not played a tournament since missing the cut in the US PGA Championship three weeks ago.

"I don't have much chance to come back here, so it's great to return when I can. I didn't come here to finish second and hopefully I can play to my expectations," said the 37 year old.

"I had a bad day on the first day (of the US PGA) and I had a slight injury to my arm so I couldn't really swing that well. It was just one of those weeks. It was disappointing because I'd been looking forward to playing there. It's behind me now," added the Fijian, who pulled out of the following week's NEC Invitational because of the injury.

Vijay Singh returns to his roots on the Asian Tour. Allsport.

"I am playing pretty good now. I'm just not scoring well although my putting is on the verge of being really good, perhaps the best it's been. I am disappointed I did not win again after the US Masters but I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season," added Singh.

Singh decided to part ways with his caddie of four years, Dave Renwick, after missing the cut in the US PGA. He has a local caddie this week but his regular new man on the bag will be close friend Paul Torisori, also a professional golfer.

"We got tired of each other," said Singh of his old caddie. "We had some great times but we started arguing too much. We just didn't enjoy each others company. When that happens there is no point in going on. But we parted in good ways. I'm really excited about working with Paul, he's a great guy. "

This week's event is the 13th leg of the 2000 Asian PGA Tour, where Singh boasts an excellent record. He won the Passport Open in Korea in 1995, was second in the Macau Open in 1998 and finished seventh in last year's Johnnie Walker Classic in Taiwan.

Singh boasts the notable achievement of being the last player to win a Major before Woods' dominant run in golf's biggest events.

"The way he (Woods) is playing it's going to be very tough getting close to him. We all have to raise our game. We have to go out there and take it to him," said Singh.

Singh is the hot favorite to win this week. Rushing his practice round to make it in time for today's Johnnie Walker Taiwan Open press conference Singh reached the 546-yard par five 18th in two, not once, not twice but three times with practice balls that peppered the pin.











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