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Singh looking to secure PGA money title

Vijay Singh has surged into contention for 2003 PGA Tour player of the year honours but the Fijian would prefer to concentrate on ending this season at the head of the U.S. money list.

Twice major champion Singh swept to the top of the PGA Tour standings with earnings of $5,702,507 after pulling away from the field with a six-under-par 65 to win the rain-delayed John Deere Classic on Monday.

"I've been asked so many times about player of the year," Singh, 40, told reporters at the TPC at Deere Run. "Again, I say that I'll have to think about that when the season is finished and see how it plays.

"Money list obviously is going to dictate if you're player of the year or not and my goal is to win the money list. Player of the year is not up to me.

"I can play the best golf, but somebody has to choose who the player of the year is (the prestigious award is voted upon by the PGA Tour players).

"I can control the money list, but I cannot control the player of the year.

"My goal is to be the top of the money list, since I'm leading. But it wasn't in the beginning of the year, I just wanted to win a lot more tournaments," added Singh, whose victory on Monday was his third of the PGA Tour season.

However the former U.S. PGA and Masters champion is one of seven leading contenders for the player of the year award.

Singh is vying with world number one Tiger Woods, U.S. Masters champion Mike Weir, U.S. Open winner Jim Furyk, world number two Ernie Els, Davis Love III and Kenny Perry for the accolade.

Weir, Furyk and Love appear to be the front-runners among their peers, with Singh favouring Canadian left-hander Weir.

"I still think that the guys that won the majors, they're in the running," said Singh. "Mike Weir I think might be (player of the year) but we'll have to wait and see at the end of the year."

Weir became the first left-hander to win a major in 40 years at Augusta National this April, edging out American journeyman Len Mattiace in a playoff for the Masters. The Canadian lies fifth in the U.S. money list on $4,670,338.

Love and Woods, both four-times winners on the PGA Tour this season, are second and third in the standings, Furyk is fourth and Perry sixth.

No matter who wins the race for 2003 player of the year honours, Singh is determined to win at least one more title from his last three starts.

He is scheduled to play in next month's WGC-American Express Championship in Atlanta, the Funai Classic in Tampa and the season-ending Tour Championship in Houston.

"I really would like to win again," said Singh. "If I can maintain the money ranking, that's my goal...to win the money list just once before I finish.

"I just have to focus on that and see if I can pull another one off. If I can win one more time, I think I've got it sealed.

"This will probably be the best opportunity that I get," added the Fijian, whose highest placing in the U.S. money list was second behind David Duval in 1998.

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