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October 18, 2006

Trevor Immelman


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Trevor, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the Funai Classic. It's kind of close to home. Obviously you have a home here. That makes it very comfortable to have your family nearby. Talk about being near home.

TREVOR IMMELMAN: It's always fun. I wouldn't say I've played very well staying at home, though, so hopefully this week I can try to rectify that. Yes, I had two weeks off. I'm nice and fresh and ready to go. I like the golf courses, so I look forward to the week.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Questions, please.

Q. It's the end of the year on the PGA Tour, but is that really the end of the year for you?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yes, I play seven of the next nine weeks. That's one of the reasons I've taken some time off lately. Obviously we've got a newborn, too, so that's another reason. I play here, Tampa, the TOUR Championship, Shark Shootout, and I play a charity event in South Africa, The Nelson Mandela Invitational, the Million Dollar, and the South African Open. That leads up to the 18th of December, and then I have got 10 days off in South Africa before going to Hawaii. It's pretty busy. My year pretty much starts this week.

Q. What is The TOUR Championship to you?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: It was a goal I set for myself starting this year. I wanted to try my best to be in the Top 30 and get into that tournament. You know, order of importance, maybe you need to ask me that question after the tournament, seeing I've never played it before and I've never been to Eastlake. I haven't really experienced it. What I've heard is it's a fantastic event. And obviously you needed to play real well to earn your spot to go to that event, so I'm really looking forward to it. I'm sure it's going to be a great one. Maybe after the tournament I'll be able to assess where it would stand in my rankings.

Q. Is Disney a big distraction?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, because I live here, Disney is not a distraction. We're pretty much used to all the theme parks and everything that happens around this area. I enjoy it. There's definitely, without a doubt, a different feel than a regular Tour event. It's more relaxed. The guys seem more family oriented. And golf is sort of a by product. I guess you have that sort of a feel with it being a Pro Am format, too, using carts in the practice rounds and stuff like that. So it's a much different feel than what we're used to on a regular Tour event. I think the guys welcome that this time of year.

Q. (No microphone.) Obviously you have obligations in South Africa.

TREVOR IMMELMAN: There couldn't be anywhere further everyone the world for me to go to, but it's a great situation to be in. You're 100 percent correct, I, unfortunately, have to turn down playing in Tiger's tournament because it's right after the South African Open. So that was a real difficult decision for me, because that's a tournament I've always wanted to play. And for the respect and admiration I have for Tiger, I would have loved to have supported the tournament.

So yes, a lot of doors have opened for me. It's fantastic. Hopefully I can manage it properly and not agitate too many sponsors and people that have helped me get to this point, and try to keep as many people as happy as possible, as well as trying to continue to play the same level of golf.

Q. When you go back to South Africa, does it feel like you're going home?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: We have a place down there that obviously we don't get to see very often. South Africa will always be home. I really love the country. But we thoroughly enjoy Orlando. My wife and I have had a place here for four years. We have a lot of friends and family. We know the area well. And this year we based ourselves solely from Lake Nona, where in years past we've sort of based ourselves in London and traveled over here, because I was only playing the odd event over here on the PGA Tour.

And we've thoroughly enjoyed living here full time, in the Orlando area. We've had a great time. But South Africa will always hold a special place in my heart. And I'll always try to get back there and support the Tour. I have a few charities and stuff down there and stuff that I'd like to keep supporting and helping grow.

Q. Can you take us through what happened at the British Open? You were saying everything was fine. Was it that night your wife gave birth?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: The next morning.

Q. You rushed back?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: It was really crazy, because the information I gave you guys was the information I was given. And the doctor on the Friday, the day before I traveled, had said that the baby wasn't engaged yet and he didn't feel like anything would happen that week. He did tell me that he couldn't guarantee anything, but that was his guess. The next morning, as my wife was making the bed, her water broke. That's pretty much the schedule of events.

I found out, actually, I was on the 18th green playing with Jeff Ogilvy and Adam Scott in a practice round, and my mother came onto the green and told me that Carminita had gone into labor, and he was born about an hour and a half later. Yeah, it was a crazy time. And obviously I was really fortunate that I could get a ride back with Mr. Finchem. I ended up being 19 hours late. I guess that was a pretty good effort. I was very, very fortunate the way things worked out that I could get here, because it would have been another 12 hours after that if I had to fly commercial.

Q. (No microphone.)

TREVOR IMMELMAN: To be honest, I don't think it's changed that much. I think my play from Wachovia through that period, as a whole, has changed my position in the world of golf, if you will, obviously improving my World Ranking into the Top 15. And then as you guys alluded to, opens a lot more doors and tournaments I can get into. And the way everybody perceives my game and my status in the game, that has changed.

But everything else feels the same. It's obviously been a great experience for me, and I've thoroughly enjoyed my year. I look forward to next year. I've had a great time playing full time out here this year.

I really look forward to next year and the FedEx Cup, and to see how the change in the schedule shakes out and how everybody manages that.

Q. (No microphone.)

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, you know, I've set my schedule up through the U.S. Open, and I'm going to be playing a lot. There's not all that many breaks, but I guess that's the way it was planned. But I think it's going to work real well. I think we're going to see more of the top players playing. They'll play in the same amount of tournaments, but it's going to feel to us that they're playing more often because the schedule has been squeezed in. I think it will work well, and I'm looking forward to it. You'll be able to get a lot more momentum because you're playing more regularly. I think it's going to be great.

Q. (No microphone.)

TREVOR IMMELMAN: I think it's surprising to all of us that players of that caliber haven't won on the PGA Tour. But obviously Ernie is trying to make his way back from a knee injury. And I think he feels he has put that behind him and he expects his game to start improving now.

Retief, you know, I don't think he's performed as well as what he would like, but hopefully that victory last week is going to kick him on. With players that are that great, it normally only takes something very small for them to be able to get their confidence back and to be able to get back out here and start winning big tournaments again. I definitely don't think this year is going to be any sort of trend. I expect them to be back and winning lots of tournaments next year.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Trevor.

End of FastScripts.

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