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Vijay Singh aiming to seal FedExCup win

Buoyed by victories in his last two PGA Tour starts, Vijay Singh has all but clinched the FedExCup ahead of this week’s BMW Championship.

The Fijian leads second-placed Sergio Garcia by 12,225 points going into the penultimate event of the playoff series and could seal the overall prize of $10 million before the showpiece finale, the September 25-28 Tour Championship.

In the absence of injured world number one Tiger Woods, the inaugural FedExCup champion last year, Singh has dominated the first two weeks in the four-event series.

After beating Spaniard Garcia in a playoff for the Barclays Classic 10 days ago, the smooth-swinging Fijian spread-eagled the field with a closing eight-under-par 63 to run away with the Deutsche Bank Championship by five shots on Monday.

Although the leading 24 players in the standings still have a mathematical chance of winning the FedExCup trophy, that largely rests on successive victories being posted while Singh finishes last in the next two tournaments.

Despite the near-impossible task facing his rivals, the world number three has no intention of adopting a no-risk strategy.

“I don’t know how to play safe,” Singh, 45, told reporters after sealing his third PGA Tour victory in five appearances. “I’m going to go out there and play the best I can.

“I’m going to have a game plan and stick to it. Another win would be the icing on the cake but I don’t take anything for granted.”

The top 70 on the FedExCup points list have qualified for the BMW Championship at Bellerive Country Club and the leading 30 players after this week will then advance to the Tour Championship.

Going into this week, the top points earners are Singh (120,500), Garcia (108,275), Canadian Mike Weir (106,965) and Americans Justin Leonard (105,388) and Jim Furyk (104,230).

Garcia, who has posted top-five finishes in his last three tournaments, accepts he has no realistic chance of overhauling Singh.

“Obviously when Vijay won the first two (playoff events) it didn’t help much,” the 28-year-old told reporters on Wednesday.

“But these playoffs are definitely exciting. It’s something extra to keep everybody involved.”

Along with many other PGA Tour players this week, Garcia has vivid memories of the 2001 American Express Championship scheduled to be held at Bellerive before it was cancelled following the September attacks on New York.

“You remember what happened because this is where we were at that point in time,” said the world number five. “It was a sad moment.”

The BMW Championship starts on Thursday.


September 4, 2008

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