Date: October 26, 2015
Author: Robert Grant

Work ethic the key, Singh tells Day

Workaholic golfer Vijay Singh has some advice for Jason Day in his bid to remain as world No.1.

Singh, renowned for his obsessive practising, says Day must adopt an unrelenting work ethic to stay ahead of his major rivals.

The Fijian, who was No.1 for 32 weeks in 2004 and won the Masters and two US PGA Championships, maintains it was his devotion to work on the practice range and putting greens which kept him ahead of the pack.

Day recently regained his top spot from American Jordan Spieth after losing it for one week and has vowed to return in 2016 an even more committed and improved competitor.

Despite his victory in the PGA and remarkable series of tournament wins this year, Day has had a stark reminder of how elusive the No.1 spot can be to hang on to. 

The rankings lead has now developed into an intriguing three-way battle between Day, Spieth and Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy.

Singh, who returned home recently to play the Fiji International at Natadola Bay, said the only way to be the best of the best was to work harder than anyone else.

“You play good enough to get to the top but to maintain that is the hardest thing,” Singh said.

“You have to work twice as hard to stay up there and you have to keep producing good golf. It’s good to get up there but to stay up there is even harder. It’s hard work and maintaining a good focus."

Singh warned that it was even harder to remain ahead on course because of the off-course demands on the world's No.1 player. 

“You can get distracted really easy when you get on top. You have to do a lot more things outside playing golf. So if you can focus on the game of golf, you can stay there long.

“Those three are right on top of the world right now but there is a hell of a lot of young kids coming up. It is going to change. They have to keep playing at the level they are playing now and it is very hard in the game of golf to do that," he said.

The battle between the three young stars meant golf's future was bright and unpredictable. 

“You will probably see changes. And Rory was hurt during the British Open and PGA, so he would be a big challenge … because he is nearly as good or better than anyone else up there," Singh said.

“Then you have Jason Day, who has been playing incredible golf. Jordan Spieth obviously played good all year. It is interesting. It is good for golf. It is good for the future of golf because they are young.

"I can’t say more than golf is really, really strong at the moment.”

Singh was reluctant to predict whether one of the three would eventually emerge as a dominant force in the way Tiger Woods was.

“It is hard to say. They all play a similar type of golf — Jason and Rory hit the ball a lot further than Jordan does so they may have an advantage.

“But Jordan is a much better putter than both of those … then you have other players. Every year you get great players coming up,” he said.