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Vijay Singh decides against missing Bay Hill

Vijay Singh has decided not to miss this week's Bay Hill Invitational in Orlando, Florida, despite a hectic tournament schedule since the start of the year.

The world number two had considered skipping the PGA Tour event for the first time since 1995 and instead practise his game at home for next month's U.S. Masters.

"He's playing this week and he is very much looking forward to it," the Fijian's manager Clark Jones told Reuters on Monday.

"Bay Hill has always been an important part of his schedule. It's Arnold Palmer's tournament and the start of a big stretch taking in next week's Players (Championship) and the U.S. Masters at Augusta."

However, the three-times major winner has skipped just two weeks of tournament golf this year and hinted after the Doral Championship in Miami eight days ago he might take this week off as well.

"Bay Hill is a good tournament but I need to fix a few things first," the 43-year-old said. "If I'm not ready, I won't play."

Singh tied for second at Bay Hill last year, finishing two shots behind American Kenny Perry after finding water with his second shot at the last.

While world number one Tiger Woods has been in dynamic form this season, winning three of the five tournaments he has entered including the Doral event, Singh has been below his best.

Although he has produced four top-10 finishes in six PGA Tour starts, he has contended in only one of them, losing to Australia's Stuart Appleby in a playoff for the season-opening Mercedes Championships in Hawaii.

Singh regrets having disrupted his early PGA Tour campaign by playing two European Tour events in the United Arab Emirates.

"It was a real bad move," he said. "The first week is just getting used to it. "You come back over here, you do the same thing.

"It was a good trip but it was very tiring on my body and I think I wasted three weeks."

Singh tied for eighth at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in mid-January and shared 24th place the following week at the Qatar Masters.

The U.S. Masters, the first of the year's four majors, takes place from Apr. 6-9.

March 14, 2006

 




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