HONOLULU -- Kicking a soccer ball against a wall has Vijay Singh excited about the 2011 season.
Singh, 47, again starts his season at the Sony Open in Hawaii, but unlike the last two years, he's more hopeful about his ability to add to his record of 34 PGA Tour titles. The reason is that his right knee, which he had surgically repaired in early 2009, is not causing him any pain.
"I'm still getting a little swelling, but it doesn't hurt me," Singh said Tuesday at Waialae CC, where he won in 2005. "It's feeling pretty good. I'm pretty optimistic about this year."
Singh hasn't won since the 2008 DeutscheBank Championship that sewed up the FedExCup title. In fact, he's only had five top-10 finishes combined the last two years. But he believes the worst is behind him. Since the BMW Championship Singh has played just one event, the Children's Miracle Network Classic in Orlando. The rest did him wonders. And when he incorporated an exacting soccer training drill into his fitness regimen -- kicking and chasing after a soccer ball -- and felt few adverse effects, his confidence began to return.
"With no pain in my knee I can do a lot more," Singh said. "I am eager to get going. I'm feeling more like myself again."
-- Dave Shedloski