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May 3, 2007

Trevor Immelman


STEWART MOORE: We'd like to welcome Trevor Immelman to the interview room here at the Wachovia Championship. Trevor is playing his first event since The Masters earlier this year where you fell a little bit ill over the weekend. If you could talk about what happened at The Masters and how everything has gone since and how you feel now.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, you know, we don't 100 percent know what happened. Tuesday evening of Augusta, I just started feeling really ill. My stomach just felt like it was moving around inside me. Needless to say, I pretty much slept in the restroom that night.
By 8:00 o'clock the next morning we went to the hospital because I was really, really struggling and shivering and shaking and fever and the whole deal and spent the day in the hospital there just getting rehydrated.
You know, thankfully I had the last tee time on Thursday, 2:15, so it gave me a little bit of time to recover. I took a couple packs of Imodium and was just hoping for the best. Managed to make it through Augusta pretty much just eating toast, just trying not to eat anything that would make me go (laughter).
You know, I didn't play too well, but I was looking forward to going to Hilton Head because I actually felt good about my game going into Augusta. Got down to Hilton Head, Monday evening started up again, had to go to the hospital in Hilton Head on Tuesday morning. At that point I got on some antibiotics, but there's no way I could play.
So I withdrew, went home to Orlando. I was actually fine for about four or five days, and then it came back, and it came back worse than I had ever had it. At that point I started throwing up, as well.
You know, I started getting a little bit nervous, just had no appetite, constantly had a fever and didn't really know what was going on. So I went to see a specialist in Orlando, and you know, they decided that it would be best for me to fast for a couple days and take in liquids just to give my stomach a break.
Since that opinion that I got from that doctor I've started to slowly improve. I had to do three days fasting, then I had a couple days just eating rice, and then since then I've been on a lactose-free diet. For a guy who was weighing 178 going into Augusta, I was down to 156 at one point. I'm glad to say I've picked up a couple pounds so I'm now 158. It's just great for me to be able to be out here again.
When it came back the third time I was starting to get pretty nervous. I thought it was going to be something quite serious. But the doctor said he thinks it was just some sort of parasite I picked up, and then I got a stomach infection on top of that.
STEWART MOORE: Having said all that, great round today (laughter).
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Probably sounds worse than what it was.
STEWART MOORE: Opening round 68. You bogeyed two of your first four holes. Talk about some of the highlights of the round.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: You know, I didn't quite know what to say coming into today. I started practicing sort of Wednesday last week. You know, so I was just trying to tell myself to be patient with myself and made a couple bogeys to start. You know, at that point mentally I was -- I stayed very calm because I said to myself, look, how much do you actually expect right now? Just take it easy and try and hit one good shot after another and let's see where we go.
And then I started rolling a few putts in and I really started playing solidly.
The highlight of the day would be -- you know, the finish, pars on 16 and 17 and then a drive and a 7-iron to about five feet on 18 and made that. That was probably the highlight of the day for me.

Q. When did you first start to feel like close to 100 percent, assuming you do?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: You know, I feel fantastic, I just don't feel like I've got as much energy as I'm used to. I guess part of that is just getting the weight back. But I definitely don't feel ill at this point, which is like 100 percent recovery for me.
I would say I started feeling myself about Wednesday last week. Yeah, I went for my second checkup on Tuesday, and we got all the blood tests and all the other tests we did back and everything seemed to be leveling out. You know, he gave me the all-go-ahead and try and stay lactose free, and from the Wednesday I started practicing slowly.

Q. Have you lost any strength on the course? Are you driving it as far as usual?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Funny enough, with my driver I don't feel like I have. My irons are going a little shorter. I guess it's not that big a deal, you've just got to kind of adjust for it and probably take a little extra club.

Q. You've always been a big workout guy. Have you been able to do any of your rubber band stuff? What's it been, four weeks?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah. I wasn't doing anything, just trying to get rest until kind of the midpoint of last week, and then I got a couple big upper body workouts and big lower body workouts, just trying to get some sort of strength back.
You know, I'm just going to have to feel like -- I kind of feel like I'm at base camp again and have to work my way back up. It took me three years to get from 155 to 178, and my goal had always been 180. It's incredible, I can lose three years of work in three weeks. It kind of pisses me off (laughter). You know, I'm just going to have to start again.

Q. Did you play at all from The Masters until last week? Were you able to play at all?

Q. So Wednesday of last week was the first day you've played since The Masters?

Q. How much do good vibes play into today given that you played very well here last year? Did that have any effect?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Absolutely. I really was hoping to play last week, as well. Obviously I've had some success there. But the doctor didn't think it would be a great idea.
You know, I was watching that tournament wishing I was there, but I was really looking forward to this week. You know, we came here and the golf course really is playing very difficult. It's set up just like a major. So you've got to be on your game.
You know, and like I said, I didn't really know what to expect from myself having not competed for four weeks, but there definitely are some good vibes for me around here. I love this golf course, I love the area, and once I started rolling a few putts in and started making some birdies and got under par, I started feeling comfortable.

Q. Since you didn't really know what it was, did you have to stay away from Jake? Did they think it was communicable?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Funny enough, neither -- the people who were with me at Augusta, my wife, my family, my trainer, Jake, nobody ever got sick. Really weird.

Q. You didn't come in the pressroom that week, did you?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: No, you didn't invite me (laughter).

Q. How much are weights part of your workout routine?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Weights? You know, it kind of varies in the off-season. They're a massive part of my routine. While I play, my trainer and I have devised a band system where we use resistant bands for stretching and strengthening. At this point I'm going to have to start using some weights more during tournaments, you know, just to try and get the strength and some muscle back, and you know, all you've got to deal with at that point is you've got to be able to understand the next day while you're playing you might feel a little stiff and sore. If you can get over that mentally and still feel like you can compete well, then that's probably going to be the only problem.

Q. I was just wondering if there's any way you could measure how much strength you've lost?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: It's tough to tell, but I surprised myself last week doing chest press and stuff like that. You know, I was probably 75 percent of the way there. So I surprised myself. I think it's just a bit of an endurance factor.
STEWART MOORE: Trevor, welcome back and thanks for your time.

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