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Singh named PGA Tour player of the year

World number one Vijay Singh, the game's hottest player over the last 18 months, was named the 2004 PGA Tour player of the year on Monday.

The 41-year-old Fijian, who became the first player in tour history to earn more than $10 million in a single season, was the clear-cut choice after balloting of the tour members.

Singh won his third career major in the U.S. PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in August before ending his 2004 campaign with nine victories.

He was runaway leader on the U.S. 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.

He produced 18 top-10 finishes in 29 tour starts, a golden run of form in one of the greatest individual years in the history of the game.

"This whole year has been great for me," Singh said at the end of the season. "You don't really wake up one day and think you're going to be able to play like I did this year.

"There's a build-up to it. You win one and then you win another one. You feel more comfortable and more confident, and it snowballs. You can't wait to get to the next hole and play better. That's how it's been."

Singh, whose work ethic is unparalleled in the modern game, ended Tiger Woods's five-year reign as world number one in September. Last month he was named 2004 PGA Player of the Year by the PGA of America.

The most accurate barometer of a player's form is scoring average and the smooth-swinging Fijian also ruled supreme in this category, his mean of 68.84 securing him the prized Vardon Trophy for the first time.

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