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Singh sets sights on Grand Slam of Golf

Vijay Singh narrowly failed in his bid to win 10 PGA Tour titles this year but has a golden opportunity to clinch a final victory of 2004 at this week's PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Hawaii.

The elite four-man event, which will be played over two rounds at the Poipu Bay Golf Course in Kauai starting on Tuesday, brings together the winners of the season's four major championships.

Singh, who clinched his third career major in the U.S. PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in August, will face the challenge of U.S. Masters champion Phil Mickelson, U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen and British Open champion Todd Hamilton.

World number one Singh will go into the event as favourite after producing one of the greatest individual years in the history of the game in 2004.

The smooth-swinging Fijian became the first player in PGA Tour history to earn more than $10 million in a single season, ending his campaign with nine titles and runaway leader in the money list with earnings of $10,905,166.

Of the eight tournaments he played during August, September and October, he won six and tied for second in another.

Overall, he produced 18 top-10 finishes in 29 starts, 28 of which were strokeplay events.

"It's been sensational," he said, after tying for ninth in the season-ending Tour Championship earlier this month. "There's no other way to describe it. It's been amazing."

Singh, 41, will be making his third appearance in the elite event.

He lost to Tiger Woods by two holes in the 1998 final, the first of two years when the tournament was decided over matchplay, and was edged out by Woods in a playoff in 2000 when it had switched back to 36 holes of strokeplay.

Offering a $1 million purse, the tournament is being held this week for the 22nd time, and for the 11th consecutive year at Poipu Bay Golf Course.

Jim Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open champion, won last year's title by eight shots after rounds of 67 and 68.

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