Fiji’s Vijay Singh made history in Hawaii on Sunday after a two-stroke victory in the Mercedes-Benz Championship, the season’s traditional curtain-raiser. Not only was his win the 30th US PGA Tour title of his career but it was also his 18th since turning 40 ? breaking a longstanding record previously held by the great Sam Snead.
The 43-year-old came home two strokes clear of Australia’s Adam Scott after carding a final round 70 to finish on 14-under. South Africa’s Trevor Immelman finished third on 9-under. The leading European in the event, which is exclusively reserved for the previous season’s winners, was England’s Luke Donald, who finished in seventh place.
The $1.1 million winner’s cheque also enabled Singh to pass another landmark. He is now only the second ever player, alongside Tiger Woods, to pass $50 million in career earnings. Birdies at the first two holes and no subsequent bogeys meant that his final round was played out in relative comfort, despite Scott’s 69.
The tournament was the first to offer FedEx Cup points, and Singh will be delighted to have secured an early lead in the race to qualify for the playoffs and a potential $10 million winner’s cheque. He was quick to point out that age does not seem to be much of a barrier to him.
“Fred Funk won a tournament when he was 48 and I’m a lot bigger and stronger than him, so what makes you think I won’t be winning at 50?”, he said.
“I was totally in control of my game and I wasn’t at any point worried about my position. I’m looking forward to this season and hopefully there’s a lot more wins to come.”