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Vijay win fortifies all the over-40s.

Vijay Singh landed a victory for the older brigade in the first tournament of the 2007 US PGA Tour.

The 43-year-old Fijian captured the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii to move up two places in the world rankings to fifth.

Singh was the last player to dislodge Tiger Woods from the number one spot, but fell from second to seventh last year.

On Sunday, victory by three shots over Australian Adam Scott was his 30th in America and made him only the second player ( after Woods ( to top $50m in prize money.

It was Singh's 18th Tour win since reaching the age of 40, beating the record previously held by Sam Snead.

Singh is well known for marathon practice sessions and frequent visits to the gym. "Hopefully it doesn't stop there," he said afterwards. "I feel good and I'm looking forward to the season. Hopefully there's a lot more wins.

"Life doesn't stop at 40 - it just begins I guess. And anyone who says 43 is old can go to hell!

"Since I've turned 40 my physical training has been a lot more intense.

"Fred Funk won a golf tournament when he was 48 and I'm a lot bigger and a lot stronger than Freddie Funk, so if he can win at 48 what makes me think I'm not going to win when I'm 50?"

Scott, not 27 until July, is now a career-high third in the rankings after his runners-up finish, relegating the still-resting Phil Mickelson to fourth.

The legendary Snead, whose trademark was a straw hat with a colourful headband, won seven majors between 1942 and 1954.

He possessed a fluid swing and a high degree of athleticism that enabled him to enjoy a career so long, he finished third in the US PGA at the age of 62.

Snead was born in Hot Springs, Virginia, where he died a few days before his 90th birthday in 2002.

* SEVE Ballesteros, determined to make a successful return to golf this season, begins 2007 this week as the non-playing captain of the Europe team hoping to defend the Royal Trophy against Asia in Bangkok.

Ballesteros led his side to a 9-7 victory in the inaugural match last year and has five of the successful Ryder Cup team playing this time.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 9, 2007
Words:379
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