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Vijay Singh looking to improve on home course

Vijay Singh should have the home field advantage in the Players Championship.

The world's No. 2 player lives here and plays the TPC at Sawgrass often.

But Singh has never been able to take advantage of his familiarity with the course.

In 11 tries, Singh has only two top-10 finishes, one of which was a solo second in 2001 behind Tiger Woods. He has missed the cut the last two years in a tournament he considers a major.

"The last two years haven't been a very good tournament for me," Singh said Tuesday. "So this year I came in the attitude that I have nothing to lose."

Singh said in curious way his knowledge of the course and comfort he feels in familiar surroundings has worked against him.

"I've known everybody out here, I've come here every time, I've seen all my friends, and I know where to hit the balls, which way it breaks," he said. "I think I took everything for granted and put too much pressure on myself.

"But this year I'm going to take it as it comes. I'm going to go out there and enjoy myself and the attitude is I can't do any worse than last year."

The 2003 Players was a curious failing for Singh in what was banner year for the Fijian. Singh led the PGA Tour in money earnings ($7,573,907) for the first time in his career, won four titles and finished second five times in 2003. The only cut he missed all season was in the Players Championship.

Already this season he has won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and has earned more than $2 million.

No wonder the 41-year-old feels good about his game.

"This is probably the first year where I feel like I have a very good chance of winning one of the majors again," Singh said. "I'm playing well, I'm striking the ball well, I feel physically very strong and my mental outlook is very good, too. So all in all you still have to go out there and perform.

"This is my main goal right now is to play well in this tournament. This, I consider, is the first major and the next is the Masters. But right now my focus is right here. This is important to me and probably to a lot of golfers that are playing this week."

Winning the Players Championship or another major would go a long ways toward Singh's ultimate goal: snatching the top spot in the world rankings from Woods.

"It's not a easy task to do that," Singh said. "The amount of tournaments I play, my average doesn't do me any favors. But I'm going to try. I think this year I've got a very good chance to do that. I'm playing well. I feel like I'm playing well. And the big events are just starting. I feel if I can maintain my play and win a couple of them, I think I can hit the spot playing fine golf."

Woods, of course, will have a lot to say about who holds the No. 1 spot, but there is no doubt that for the past 15 months or so, Singh has played better than anyone in the world.

He is confident he can continue.

"If I play the way I know how and I want to when I start, going in, I can win the golf tournament every week," Singh said.

Now he just has to go out and prove that in a tournament that has not been kind to him.

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