IRVING, Texas, May 18 (UPI) -- Vijay Singh fended off a charge from Nick Price Sunday to win the Byron Nelson Championship by two strokes and then said he would skip next week's Bank of America Colonial.
The Colonial has become one of the spotlight events on the PGA Tour this season because of the scheduled appearance of LPGA superstar Annika Sorenstam. Singh added a twist to the upcoming tournament last Sunday when he criticized Sorenstam's playing in the event.
He was originally quoted as saying he hoped Sorenstam missed the cut, although he later insisted he had said he hoped she would miss the cut only if he missed the cut as well.
Nevertheless, he made it clear he did not think Sorenstam belonged in a PGA Tour event and he was certain to be one of the centers of attention during the Colonial.
After his victory Sunday, Singh decided to step out of the spotlight.
"Since I won this week, I'm going to take next week off," Singh said. "I have to be at (Mark) McCormack's memorial on Wednesday and I have something with my boy on Thursday. It's a good time to take off I think. The U.S. Open is around the corner. I've played four in a row now."
McCormack, credited with creating the concept of sports marketing, died this week.
Singh led the Nelson after three rounds holes only to surrender the top spot after 11 holes. But three birdies over the final seven proved more than enough cushion in ideal conditions at the Las Colinas TPC.
Singh carded a 4-under-par 66 to finish at 15-under 265. Price, whose three-putt bogey at the 15th proved to be pivotal, shot a 65 and was alone in second at 267, a shot ahead of Australian Robert Allenby (65).
Singh's outstanding play came despite the fact that he had been constantly barraged with questions concerning the Sorenstam issue.
"I spoke to my wife a lot," said Singh, who collected $1,008,000 for his 13th victory on the PGA Tour, his second this year. "She said, `Just go and play.' The way I was playing, I just wanted to focus on my game."
He wasn't at his very best for much of the round, picking up three birdies and two bogeys in the first 11 holes, but when the challenge was issued, he responded.
Price, who will be the defending champion at the Colonial, also has been critical of Sorenstam's participation, although a little more diplomatically than Singh.
"Vijay is a straight-up person," Price said. "You always know where you stand with him.
"I don't think he meant to say that he wants Annika to miss the cut, but I think he is frustrated with all the questions that have been going on. He sure got criticized this week.
"It shows how strong the guy is that he can come back and play the way he did and win. I certainly have a lot of admiration for him."
Price also indicated he has grown weary of questions concerning Sorenstam.
"I have answered more questions about Annika than how I am playing," said Price, who earlier this month was voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. "She had 41 other tournaments she could have chosen.
"I wish her the best of luck. She has a big heart. I don't think I would be able to do what she is going to do next week."