PGA Championship 2010: Vijay Singh Can Repeat At Whistling Straits

Brad GoldbachCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2010

KOHLER, WI - AUGUST 09:  Vijay Singh of Fiji plays a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 92nd PGA Championship on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits on August 9, 2010 in Kohler, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

The last time the PGA Championship went all the way to Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, Vijay Singh took home the title in a playoff with Justin Leonard and Chris DiMarco.

Yeah, Vijay Singh. It has been a little while since you've heard that name, hasn't it?

But just because he has been out of the headlines, it doesn't mean Singh can't repeat and be a surprise winner at the PGA Championship this weekend.

The reason for Singh's recent downturn has not been entirely his fault. He faltered most of 2009 due to a balky knee, leading to his worst finish on the PGA money list. It was just a year after he brought home the most money on Tour.

Earlier this year, Singh was battling a back injury. He missed four cuts in five appearances.

Not really the Vijay everyone remembers, but that tends to happen when all the parts aren't healthy.

So, naturally, many people will not pick Singh to repeat at Whistling Downs. In fact, he is listed at 100/1 odds to take home the trophy.

It's never a bad time to make a run at it when you are completely under the radar. More importantly, maybe the real Singh is starting to come back to the Tour.

His play has picked up recently since recovering from that back injury in the spring. He has finished in the top-13 three times in the past two months.

Admittedly, he has struggled to find his consistency, though. But that's to be expected when you battle back from injury, something that isn't easy to do when you are getting up there in age.

Singh knows that and admitted as much after a poor showing at WGC-Bridgestone, where he finished tied for 58th.

But he did say he is starting to get comfortable with his swing again, so maybe it is time for Singh to break back into golf's elite. Or at least win a big one, which would be his first since that 2004 win at Whistling Straits.

It would be a long climb back into the elite rankings, but last time Singh won there, he was just a few months away from overtaking Tiger for the world's top golf ranking.

As rare an event as it is to see Tiger fall from the mountaintop, it would seem only fitting for it to occur at the hands of Singh once again.

Singh certainly puts in the effort that would make it possible for such a return, as he is known as one of the hardest workers in golf.

Singh showed just that by getting an early peek at Whistling Downs this week.

It was a little tougher than he remembered, but that may not be a bad thing. The rest of the field has to play there, too. And, in the back of his mind, Singh can always point to that 2004 win.

In fact, he is the only one who can do so because this is only the second Major to be played there.

A veteran like Singh might not need that kind of mental edge as the going gets tough, but it couldn't hurt. When you're battling back from injuries and beating down Father Time, you will take any advantage you can get.

So you have to wonder, is a return to Whistling Straights just what Singh needs to get things back on track?

The timing feels like it might be right for Singh to return to golf's elite.