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June 27, 2007

Trevor Immelman


THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Trevor Immelman to the media room here at the Buick Open. It sounds like you're on your way to recovering from that stomach virus that you got at the Masters earlier this year. Talk about how you're feeling, how it has affected your game since then, and really the status of your game coming into this week.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: I feel great now. I started regaining my strength and my stamina, so my health is fantastic. My game hasn't been too sharp as of late. I started seeing signs of things improving, but still haven't quite found the form that I had this time last year, so that's pretty much what I'm striving for right now.

Q. Do you know how you contacted the virus, and in what ways did it affect your golf game?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, we have no idea what happened. All I know is I was feeling fine the Tuesday at Augusta, went in and had some lunch after my practice round and by 8:00 or 9:00 that evening I was feeling really ill. The next morning I had to go to the hospital. It just kind of happened out of nowhere. Initially we just thought it was some sort of food poisoning, but you know, it hung on for four weeks. After three weeks, the doctor started, you know, getting maybe a little anxious and decided the best way forward was for me to just have three or four days just fasting, just liquids and no food, and try to get rid of the parasite and the infection that way. Then they started me back slow just on rice and Jello and eventually moving up to a lactose-free diet. It just kind of came out of nowhere. I put a lot of hard work in at the gym to try to get some of the strength back.
Initially, with regards to my game, I definitely wasn't hitting the ball as far, so that was something I had to adjust to. But I think that four-week period, I lost some confidence. I wasn't out there winning tournaments that I normally play in and enjoy playing in, so it was an interesting time for me. Once I came back, you know, like I said, I didn't quite have the same form as I had before I got sick. So it's been a matter of me trying to get back to some old swing keys and trying to get my confidence that way and hopefully start putting in some good results.

Q. Trevor, can you talk a little bit about the FedExCup? Are you a fan of this system? Are you looking forward to it? Give us a little more about your opinions on it.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, I guess it's worked because you're talking about it a lot, and I think that was the key, to find a way to drag more sponsor involvement, more fan involvement, more media involvement towards the PGA Tour. So from that sense it seems it has worked, because a lot of people have been talking about it, every week the players get asked about it. Yes, I still think we have to wait and see how the playoffs work out and how that happens, and if the top players support all four playoff events, you know, that remains to be seen. We're going to have go through this first year and then decide if it was a hit or not.
I think with regards to this tournament, it seems like this date that this tournament received, it might have hurt it a little bit with the field not quite being as strong as it usually is here.
There are some tournaments that it's really worked out well for, and others, maybe like this one, where you're used to seeing Tigers and Vijays and Phil Mickelsons, and guys like that, who haven't shown up this week.

Q. How much is the Presidents Cup on your mind right now, and what does it mean to you to play in something like that?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: It's definitely in the forefront of my mind. It's something I really enjoyed last time and I definitely don't want to miss. It's fantastic to be in a team environment with your peers and guys you've looked up to, so I'm really striving hard to make that team and to go up to Canada and have a good week, because I really enjoyed it last time around in Washington.

Q. You mentioned Tiger and Vijay not being here. They usually are. When they're not here, like a week like this, does it give you more confidence that you can win this tournament, or do you always feel you can win it if you do your thing if Tiger or Vijay are here or not?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: I feel if I play my best golf I can win the tournaments that I'm playing in and that I've teed it up in. To be honest, I would rather have them in the field, because it adds more to the tournament, and that way you also know if you manage to win the tournament, you've beaten the best field in golf. Me personally, I would love to see the guys, Furyk, and Mickelson, and Tiger and Vijay, I'd love to see those guys teeing it up as often as they can.

Q. Did you set goals in December for yourself and what were they? And now that you've had this illness, what goals remain for the year?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, last year, it was kind of like a breakthrough year for me. I was really pleased with that and I was really looking forward to this year. Last year I got to see most of the golf courses and find my way around the PGA Tour and get used to traveling around the States a little bit more. I was really looking forward to this year. And my goals were just to try to compete. I think the key for me last year was that I got in the hunt quite often on the weekend. And when you put yourself in that position often, you know, you're going to get your fair share of tournaments where you really come close to winning, and towards the end of the year I managed to win one. That was my goal this year, was just to keep myself in contention and then hopefully with the experience I gained last year I could have maybe snatched a couple of victories. That hasn't worked out for me this year. I have a couple of 3rd places and a 9th at Bay Hill is really all I have to show for the season thus far.
Like I said, I'm starting to see some improvement in my game the last couple of weeks and hopefully I can finish strong.

Q. Never a good time to be sick for four weeks, but you had some Top 10s earlier in the year. Did that come at about as bad as it could when you're playing well like that?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: As you say, it's never a good time. I guess up and to that point I played in eight tournaments and had two 3rds and a 9th. After that I haven't done that much at all. It's just one of those things. I guess -- well, I know I'm real thankful to be feeling healthy again and getting back into decent shape. Lucky enough for me, I probably still have got seven or eight tournaments here on the PGA Tour left this year, maybe four or five, you know, around the world after that. There's still a lot of golf to be played this year. Hopefully I can step it up a notch.
THE MODERATOR: Trevor, best of luck this week. Thanks for coming in.

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