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May 24, 2003

Trevor Immelman


RODDY WILLIAMS: Trevor, thank you very much for joining us. Perfect round of 64, leading the field by three at the moment. You must be very pleased with that.

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, I played a near-perfect round of golf except for the 3-putt on 15. That was pretty much as good as I can play. It was a lot of fun to be able to be out there with Ernie and shoot a round like that.

Q. Did you dream of this when you were starting in the game, to be playing in a major tournament with Ernie?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, obviously I watched -- I've known Ernie for 17 years. I've seen him play a lot and I've watched him play a lot and we've played a lot and practised a lot together. He's always been kind of like a big brother to me.

Sure, I could remember sitting up at midnight watching him win the two U.S. Opens, and then obviously got to play in the Open last year that he won in the playoffs. Yeah, definitely is. It was something that I was hoping I could get to one day.

Q. They are calling you South Africa's next superstar; how does that rest on your shoulders?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: To be honest, the press down in South Africa have been saying that since I was about 13. Obviously, it's quite early to say anything when somebody is that age. I've won a lot of junior tournaments and amateur tournaments in South Africa. Obviously I was coming through the ranks quite quickly for my age. Guys like Ernie who was only 33 or Retief who is 33, I would hardly say they are over the hill and their best golf is done. I've got a long way to get to the heights that they have achieved.

Q. You had a rough time on the U.S. tour before you came back, could you talk about that and how you managed to get over whatever problems you were having over there?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, last year was a real long season for me. Play a lot of tournaments, trying to get into the Top 15 on the Order of Merit. When that was done, I decided that I wanted to put a lot of work into my game over the off-season. I did, so I sacrificed my holiday there. I got right back to South Africa and played really well. At that stage I was trying to qualify for The Match Play and all those sorts of things.

To be honest, I think I wore myself out in December, January and February. By the time The Match Play came around, and Bay Hill, TPC, all of those big tournaments, I think I was pretty much running on empty. I got over there, and you can't -- I mean, you can't be playing anything but your best in tournaments like that.

It was a great experience for me to go over there and play and see what it's about. It's definitely something that takes a few weeks to get used to, with all the hype around the tournament and the players. There are a few events I've played over there that I've had decent finishes and felt comfortable, so I'm looking forward to getting back there next week.

Q. Have you ever gone head-to-head with Ernie in competition before?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: At the South African Players Championship in 2000. I won by three.

Q. A victory tomorrow would take you probably up to third on the Order of Merit. Is that something that's on the horizon for you, to perhaps even win it?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: To be honest, I haven't really thought about that. My goal this year was to become a fixture in the Top-50 in the world, and I did that for about a month, and that's hardly a fixture. I wanted to play the majors. Unfortunately I missed out by two or three spots for the Masters. That was tough to sit at home and watch.

For me, my goals were more World Ranking orientated, just trying to win tournaments. I think if you think about those things, you're going to be pretty close on the Order of Merit anyway. Sure; would I love to win the Order of Merit? Absolutely. That would be a fantastic achievement.

You know, this year my goals, my thinking so far has been more world ranking.

End of FastScripts....

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