Singh plans new regime to stay on top

While Tiger Woods was getting married beside the waters of the Caribbean, beside the slightly chillier waters of the North Sea here the two best golfers in the world will be contesting the Dunhill Links Championship. As magnificent as the West Beach is, it is not the time of year to be tying the knot on the sand that once provided the opening scenes for Chariots Of Fire.

Fortunately, that is not the concern of either Vijay Singh, the newly appointed world No 1, or Ernie Els, the winner of last week's World Championship event in Ireland.

This is their first meeting since Singh took over from Woods as the best player in the world. However swimmingly things are going for Tiger at the moment, off the course, at least, life has been pretty perfect for Singh while he has been winning. The Fijian has won the two tournaments he has played in since inheriting Tiger's mantle, and five of the last six in all, including the USPGA Championship, his third major. "It was kind of strange to be announced as the world No 1," Singh said.

"It was in Canada and it was exciting. A sudden adrenaline ran right through me as if to say, 'hey, you are who you are and that's how they announce you'. On top of that, I hit the driver straight down the middle, which was a good start, and I won the tournament, which made it even more special.

"Everything has happened in such a short space of time that it is hard to comprehend," he continued. "I'm surprised I've played so well but it's thrilling. It's brought out a side you never thought you had. You think you can't stop winning. Right now I feel I can win anything that I play in."

Next year, there will be no let up for the 41-year-old. "My trainer has already told me that we are going to bump it up next year. I said I'm dying already doing two workouts a day. But he said we'll be doing different stuff to make me stronger and help my core. I wish I could play for another five or six years but unless I keep up the exercise regime it will not be possible."

Singh thinks Tiger's problems may be to do with not matching up his swing with his changing body. "Your body does not stay the same and you have to keep adjusting your swing," he said. "When Tiger first came on the scene he was extremely strong. I'm not saying he isn't strong, but you do slow down a bit. I have adjusted accordingly and for the better but I don't think he has yet. I'm sure once he figures that one out he'll be fine."

In this pro-am style tournament, he is playing with Teddy Forstmann, a friend and sponsor who has just acquired the International Management Group, the company founded by the late Mark McCormack.

Singh, Els and 10 members of the victorious Ryder Cup team, including defending champion Lee Westwood, will be playing at Kingsbarns today, on the Old Course tomorrow and at Carnoustie on Saturday. The final round will be on the Old Course on Sunday.

Given the rounds can stretch up to six hours, some of the leading players have familiar partners. Els is again playing with his father, Neels, Westwood with his manager, Andrew "Chubby" Chandler, and the former Open champion Ben Curtis with his wife Candace. Colin Montgomerie appears to have been perked up by being drawn with model Jodie Kidd. Matthew Pinsent and Michael Vaughan will be among the band of celebrities hiding under waterproofs and woolly hats.

There is considerable motivation in the form of a first prize of £445,000. Westwood held off Els and Darren Clarke on the final day last year and then followed it up by finishing fourth in the Open at Royal Troon. Not bad for someone who had his eyes opened to the subtleties of links golf by Dave Musgrove, Sandy Lyle's old caddie who worked for Westwood in this event two years ago. "I owe a lot of my fondness for the Old Course to Dave," Westwood said. "He changed my mind about links golf."

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on