No relaxing for Vijay Singh
Vijay Singh closed the door on a frustrating 2006 campaign by winning the opening event of the 2007 PGA Tour season on Sunday.
Hard work to rectify swing problems toward the end of last year paid dividends for the Fijian as he sealed a two-shot victory at the Mercedes-Benz Championship.
"Life doesn't stop at 40, it just begins I guess," Singh, 43, told reporters after holding off a late challenge by Australia's Adam Scott with a three-under-par 70 at the Kapalua Resort.
"It hasn't been easy. Once I've turned 40, I've probably picked up my training and my practice even more. My physical training has been a lot more intense."
Known for his workaholic approach to the game, Singh believes he has never been in better shape.
"I'm feeling pretty good," he said after clinching his 30th PGA Tour title. "I'm very, very comfortable with not only my body but my golf swing.
"A little bit more aches and pains than I had two years ago, but I've been going at it very, very hard. That's why I've got to be very, very careful in what I do. I cannot overdo myself.
"I'm not looking that far ahead. I'm trying to be fit, keep my body in shape and be injury-free as much as possible. I'm just going to try to keep going."
Although Singh moved past Sam Snead as the Tour's most prolific winner after the age of 40 with his 18th title, that record means very little to him.
"It's going to happen sooner or later," the three-times major champion said. "I don't know what it means.
"It really does not mean much. There are no trophies for doing it, you know what I mean. It's just numbers out there."
Far more significant for the former world number one is how elusive the game can be at the highest level.
Singh ended Tiger Woods's five-year reign at the top in September 2004 before ending that season with a remarkable haul of nine victories. Before this week, he had slipped to seventh in the rankings.
"You know, it's so easy to fall off the top," he said. "Once you're sliding down, you've got to have something to hold on to.
"My physical condition probably kept me there. If I wasn't strong enough, once you mentally get a little frustrated, you can just slide off so quickly."
Singh gave the example of the 2006 season which, by his lofty standards, was a little disappointing.
Although he clinched his 29th PGA Tour title at last year's Barclays Classic, he was not at his best for much of the campaign.
"It was a tough year, and I thought I played better than what I did," he said. "But the scoring didn't show and I was having problems with the driver all year.
"But I cleared it all up, and the good thing is I'm fresh and I'm really looking forward to this season. I'm quite happy with the way I'm feeling right now."