Vijay Singh has prepared for this week’s Tour Championship in a most unusual way – by doing nothing.
Singh, who has a reputation as a workaholic, has been warned by his trainer not to take any risks that could cause an injury in the lead-up to the Atlanta tournament, which starts on Thursday.
That is because he only has to complete 72 holes to be assured of being crowned the FedEx Cup play-off champion, and collecting a healthy $10m (€6.82m) bonus.
“I’ve been told maybe 100 times, don’t run too much and make sure you run on a flat surface and don’t over-exercise,” Singh said on the eve of the tournament at East Lake.
“It’s been kind of strange in a way, your friends, family and trainer saying don’t over-exercise. It kind of gets to your head a little bit.”
But the 45-year-old from Fiji is not here just to take a ceremonial victory lap, he fully intends to win the tournament as well.
“I want to finish really strong and this will be probably my last event for this season over here,” he continued.
“I’m going to go out there and not even worry about the FedEx Cup. I’m going to worry about winning this tournament.”
Singh might not be worried about the FedEx Cup, but PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem certainly is.
For the second year in a row, the play-off winner has been all but decided before the Tour Championship – Singh this year and Tiger Woods last year.
Finchem admits the points system must be revamped for 2009 so the play-off winner is decided at the Tour Championship, no matter what happens in the three previous play-off events.
But that is not Singh’s problem. Although he is less than five years away from the Champions Tour, he has no intention of winding down his career on the regular tour any time soon.
“I’m not going to go away for the next five years,” he said. “If I keep physically fit and injury free, I think I have a good chance to go into my 50s as well.
“But if I cannot compete with the young kids – if I show up and know I’m not going to win or cannot win – then I think it’s time to walk away. But hopefully that feeling won’t last long.
“My career is still at its peak. I’m going to start figuring how I’m going to come out next year and play even better golf.”
Singh is remarkably motivated for someone who has already won more than US dollars 60million in career earnings on the PGA Tour alone.
And he spoke about how his trainer regularly knocks on his door at 6am to take him to the gym.
“That’s the discipline one needs to keep going,” he said. “I’m in great shape for a 45-year-old, but the older you get, the harder it is to feel younger.
“You’ve got to work twice or three times as hard and you also have to watch what you work on (because) it’s very easy to get hurt. It’s a delicate situation.”
Singh is part of a 30-man field that does not include a single British player, nor Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who failed to qualify after missing the cut in the first two play-off events.
And the past four winners of the event are absent – Woods (2007), Adam Scott (2006), Bart Bryant (2005) and Retief Goosen (2004).