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November 16, 2003

Trevor Immelman

Rory Sabbatini


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: We would like to welcome the World Golf Championships World Cup champions, the South African team of Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini. Congratulations. Let's start with each of you making a brief comment about winning today and what it means to you and your country and we'll go into questions.

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Basically it's a fantastic feeling. Any time you win anything, let alone a World Golf event, an event where you're representing your country, it's a tremendous honor for both of us to be here playing in the tournament, never mind sitting here as the champions. And obviously I'd like to thank my partner for playing such great golf and making sure he kept the gray hairs off my head.


RORY SABBATINI: It's always an honor to represent your country and to be able to participate in an event of this nature and of this stature. As Trevor said, it's always great to win, no matter whether it be just a friendly match against one of your friends or a World Golf Championship event. We're competitors and that's what we like to do. It's a great way to finish off the year for me and for Trevor. He has one more tournament next week. And it caps off what was a good year for me and I can go home and relax and take a month's vacation now.

Q. Where does this rank with other victories, especially individual victories?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: It's right up there, obviously. It's tough to say otherwise. I think the way we just played together, played as a team and enjoyed each other's company, we really had a good time this week and that's what makes it a special victory. We both had a great time doing it. Even when we weren't playing so well on the front nine, we were trying our best to have a good time and that's what makes it feel like such a good one.

RORY SABBATINI: I definitely think that it was a great week to highlight, especially both of us, but more so I think it really gave people in America and quite a few people all over the world an opportunity to see Trevor's game. He's obviously quite a bit younger than I am. He's pretty much breaking through to become a pretty well-known golfer and a world renown golfer. He showed his determination and his guts out there, and I think it does him a lot of justice and it's something he can be proud of.


Q. Trevor, were there any anxious moments out there? I know you said on television you watched the scoreboard.

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Let me just think. I can't even remember. The first three holes we kind of had makable birdie opportunities and we didn't really grab one there. And then the third, we both didn't hit very good shots and we ended up making a great bogey there. I kind of felt, jeez whiskers, we won over here and we could easily be 2-under if a couple of those makable birdie putts had gone in on the first two holes. We stuck to our guns and we had a game plan today that we wanted to hit all the fairways and all the greens. We knew we were putting really well. If we did that we knew we could hole putts at the end of the day.

The front nine was tough. We really had to hang in there. We made a lot of great par saves. We both kind of found our games on the back and started playing like we played the first three days.

Q. When did you guys feel like okay we've got it in the bag, and how did you feel coming down those last few holes?

RORY SABBATINI: Obviously you can never really say that you've got it in the bag. It's a situation you have to go out there and finish every hole until you're done. I was pretty certain with four holes to go that we had put ourselves in a really good position. If we stuck with what we were doing and didn't make any blatantly stupid errors out there we were fine. And I was pretty confident we were going to win. I would say about four holes to go is where I started to get comfortable and started to get relaxed and really loosen up out there.

Q. What was the conversation on the 17th tee?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: There wasn't any. He left me. He walked up to the green with his putter in his hand. But it was good, because that kind of showed me that I knew what I was doing and he at least knew what I was trying to achieve. And I noticed Rory just walk up to the tee box right in front of ours and just stood there with his putter in his hand. It was a shot I felt comfortable with and lucky enough I pulled it off. And Rory had a great putt. We almost made a two. At that point, when with we made a 3 on 17, I knew we could play the last hole anyway we wanted. Until we got 17 done, I wasn't letting my mind wander too much.

Q. You've been gone a pretty good while from South Africa. When did you first start hearing about Trevor?

RORY SABBATINI: I've known Trevor for about ten years now. I've known him since he was 14. He pretty much walked around and told everybody the way it was and the way it was going to be, in a similar fashion to the way Ernie was when he was younger; an abundance of confidence. He's matured into a really solid player. He's definitely starting to really blossom into a dominating player. If he continues in the way he is and sticks to his work fundamentals out there, I think he's going to be around for a long time and everybody is going to know him very well.

Q. Yesterday, we talked briefly about something that's coming up in three weeks. Is that going to change any?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Not at all. If it changes anything, it makes me want to get home quicker. Unfortunately my fiancee is not here to enjoy this moment with us, but I know she's down in South Africa. She's been watching it late every night, and she'll be really excited for us and I'm looking forward to getting home.

Q. What event are you playing in next week?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Dunlap Phoenix in Japan.

Q. After 72 holes over this golf course, can you guys sort of critique it, the strong points, the weak points, what you do and don't like about it?

RORY SABBATINI: I don't think you can really highlight the strong points and the weak points of the golf course. I think the only thing the golf course does is highlight your weak points, and apparently there is quite a few in my game. It's a course that you can hit a good shot and get unfortunate out there and you hit a bad shot and get lucky. I would say the chances of getting lucky out there aren't very good. The times we hit a slightly wayward shot today we found a lot of trouble. It really stresses every part of your game and it's a continual challenge out there. You really have to just know what you're doing and trust what you're doing out there. I think overall, after 72 holes on this golf course, I know one thing for sure, it wears you out mentally. It's a course if you play continually in competition, you can go play any Major anywhere in the world on any golf course and I think you would be pretty tough as nails out there.

TREVOR IMMELMAN: I agree. It's just a very difficult golf course. I mean it was tough enough the last three days without the wind. I think if you were a member here and you had to play it every day, I think you would definitely be taking the money off your fellow competitors when you went over to their golf courses because there's not many around that are going to test your game as much as this one does.

Q. This golf course has only hosted team events so far, what would you think about a stroke-play tournament here?

RORY SABBATINI: I would not be playing. I wouldn't want anybody to see what I would shoot. It's a tough golf course. I think if they had to have a stroke-play event here, I think the viewers at home would be sitting there for a long time watching because I think the rounds would take 7 and a half, 8 hours. It would be a pretty small field.

TREVOR IMMELMAN: It's definitely got all the qualities a Championship golf course needs. It's very demanding, and every part of your game needs to be in top form. I think if you wanted a Major or stroke-play event, even though the tournament was very well attended this week, I don't think it's very crowd friendly. There are a few spots on the course, like around 17, where you can kind of get a nice little ampitheatre down there. Other than that it looked like -- to me it looked like a tough walk for spectators. But from a golf course point of view, it's one of the best I've played.

Q. You threw out the word Major. Would it be a good test for a Major?


Q. Congratulations on your dad being appointed Commissioner of the South African PGA Tour. Does that mean you'll have to make a lot more appearances over there?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: On his behalf, thank you very much. I think he'll do a very good job down there. I don't think it means that I'll have to make more appearances down there at all. In my heart I've always wanted to support the South African Tour and I enjoy playing in South Africa and enjoy spending time at home. I can't tell you what my schedule is going to be in five years' time. I'm always going to make an effort to play down there.

Q. I was ribbing you a little bit, but what do you think about your dad doing something like that?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: I think he's going to be successful. He's had a lot of years in business and in marketing and I think that's what we need down there out of a commissioner. We need to get somebody in there who can wrestle up sponsors and get some tournaments for the guys. There are so many great golfers in South Africa that nobody even knows of. A lot of the guys haven't been able to afford to get out and play outside of South Africa. If we can get a few strong tournaments and bring some international competition into South Africa, hopefully we can see more South Africans up there. We have already got two players in the Top-10 in the world and a bunch in the Top-50. If we can get something going like that, there will be a lot more South African names up there.

Q. What do you think it is about South African games that allows a superstars to come out it seems like every decade, Locke to Player to Ernie, to you guys?

RORY SABBATINI: In South Africa, they have a very good junior golf program. They've always put a very good program out there for developing young golfers and providing opportunities for golfers to play. I think in the U.S., golf is more of an elite sport. Generally most of the courses are private, semi private. In South Africa, I would say about 70 percent of the courses are municipal golf courses, so the facilities for kids to go out and play and the opportunity for them to go out and play is pretty well out there. I think as a whole, South Africans as a nation are very competitive. It's a small country, we've always been competitive internationally in all sports and I think golf is just a continuation of that.

TREVOR IMMELMAN: For me, first of all, the weather is fantastic pretty much all year-round. And as Rory said, very accessible for youngsters to play and it's fairly cheap so the guys can go down and play golf. From the age of five years old I spent just about every day at the golf course. It's just easy to play golf down in South Africa.

Q. Will the U.S. be seeing you anymore?


Q. Is that in your future?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: I love playing here in the U.S., I really do. I played a lot of junior and amateur golf over here, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm a European Tour member and I'm exempt over in Europe, but I'm going to try my best to make sure my world ranking stays in the Top-50 so that I can come and play the Majors and hopefully throw a few invites on the side. One day I'd like to play a full schedule out here, I really would.

Q. This tournament is played every year, the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, every other year. This is not something you do all the time. I know it's a good feeling, you're happy to win the trophy, is there a significance to your careers beyond today? And doing this together is it something that will carry over when you play as individuals?

RORY SABBATINI: I think the biggest thing that will come from today is Trevor and I knowing that we have the ability to go out there and win and to be successful out there. But at the same time, I think the biggest thing that's going to come out of today is the fact it's going to highlight that South Africa has good golfers out there and it's definitely a country that is going to continue to produce good golfers and to be a world dominator, not necessarily with 50 or 60 players out there, but there's always going to be those 3, 4, 5 players out there who are going to be out there contending for the top spots in the world rankings.

TREVOR IMMELMAN: I agree 100 percent. There's not much more I can add to that.

Q. We've talked to him about what he's going to do with his paycheck. What are you going to do with yours?

RORY SABBATINI: I think you'll have to argue between my wife and my accountant what's going to happen with that. I think at the end of it I might get a bone or two. They'll take me out for dinner once in a while. No, I don't know if there's any set thing. It's a nice feeling to end the year on a good note. I'm just fortunate that I'm in a position financially with everything that I've got a happy and healthy family and we can have a comfortable lifestyle. I think it puts a good momentum going into the beginning of next year.

Q. Who's going to take the trophy home?

RORY SABBATINI: You can take the bottom half and I'll take the top.


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us and congratulations.

End of FastScripts.

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