Vijay Singh was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006, a selection that seemed warranted based on his three major titles and his 34 PGA Tour victories (30 when inducted).
With today’s breaking news from SI in a story by David Epstein, which said the Singh has been using an illegal growth substance (deer spray), it appears that Singh has once again crossed the line into territory that makes him nothing less than a cheater.
In May of 2000, SI’s John Garrity retold the story of another of Singh’s indiscretions which happened in 1985 in a pro event in Indonesia:
I interviewed the Indonesian Golf Association official who ruled that Singh had improved his score in Jakarta by a stroke—just enough to make the cut—before signing his card. I reviewed the incident with Asian tour players of the time, including the Canadian pro who played with Singh that day. “It was not a misunderstanding,” said an American player who was there. “All of us who were around are very upset that Vijay denies this.”
In recent years, Singh has done everything he can to remain competitive by working out religiously, and by hitting more balls than any other player. He also has become an outspoken advocate for anchoring, threatening legal action if it is banned – which in my opinion makes him golf’s public enemy #1 (in a tie with Keegan Bradley and Tim Clark). And, it is not bad enough that he anchors, but he does it crosshanded, while using a monstrosity of a putter. In short, it appears that he will do anything to solve his putting problem, and to keep playing – which makes me wonder what other rules he might have violated between 1985 and now.
For a long time, I was a fan of Singh’s BA (before anchoring) because I liked his laugh, his family values, his smooth swing, and his work ethic, and because I was willing to put his youthful mistake behind him. Now, however, when I think of Singh, I see a player who goes too far, who takes this game far too seriously, and as one who will be remembered for starting and effectively ending his career on the lowest of low notes.