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March 20, 2003

Trevor Immelman


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Trevor, for joining us for a few minutes.

Great round today, 3-under par, 69 in the weather conditions we had out there, you should be very pleased with your round. Why don't you make a couple comments and then we'll go into some questions.

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, thanks. You know it didn't feel like I was hitting the ball all that well coming into the tournament, and I knew playing a golf course like this; it was really going to be tough for everybody. So I had a lesson with Butch Harmon late yesterday afternoon and we kind of worked on a few things. I went out early this morning before my round out at Lake Nona hit a few balls and just tried to get a feeling for things. Just managed to, every time I hit my bad shots today, I managed to find a way to get away with it and save my par and then every time I hit a good shot, I converted, except for the last hole there where I hit it to ten feet. And left it right at the mouth. All in all, it was an extremely pleasing round for me today.

Q. Was there anything specific that you worked on?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, it was nothing new. I've been working with his son, Claude, for about nine months now, and obviously Claude learned everything he knows from his father. It was nothing that I've never done before or tried before or had to do before, but it was just nice for somebody to stand there and have a look and just helped me out and tell me what I need to try and do. So it wasn't too major, really.

Q. Is this your second tournament in the U.S.? How many times have you been here?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: I played the Memorial in 2000, so this is my second TOUR event other than The Match Play.

Q. Is it hard not to think about the Top-50 and what's at stake in a few weeks at Augusta?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, obviously it's in the back of my mind. I mean, that's my goal, but I don't think that's what drove me out there today.

I just think that something about this golf course, every shot poses a challenge, and so it's quite easy to feel like you're going to knuckle down, because you know you have to. If you hit one bad shot you can really pay the price. I was really -- the thing I did best today was just concentrate on one shot, one hole at a time. I didn't get too far ahead of myself and I think that's why I kind of held it together.

Q. Historically, have you had more success on courses like this or courses that are birdie-fests?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: I haven't really thought about that. I wouldn't be able to answer.

I would like to think that I could play well on any type of course. I've been playing in Europe for the last -- this is my third season. Obviously, this is kind of slightly different. Your shots into the greens somehow have sort of a British Open feel to it because there was a bit of wind out there today and you always feel leak you're landing the ball ten yards short of the flag and hoping for it to release back.

Really, to answer your question, I haven't really been keeping track of that.

Q. Do you feel as confident that you have to shoot 24-under to win or 6-under?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, I think you've just got to keep playing one shot at a time and keep playing as well as what you can play. If you shoot 6-under to win or if you shoot 24-under to win it really makes no difference.

Q. Totally off the top of my head, you won twice this year already?


Q. Where was that again?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: South African Open which is a co-sanctioned event on the European Tour and I won the Dimension which is like a kind of AT&T Pro-Am format which is part of the South African.

Q. So those are both actually in South Africa?


Q. Do you feel as though you are in a bit of a zone at the moment?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: I did. I think if you had asked me that a month ago I would have said yes. After I went first, second, first, second, and then I had a week off and kind of lost it a little bit there. Ever since, I went down to Australia and sort of played so-so and had a week off and played terribly at The Match Play and had a week off and played so-so in Dubai. So for last four or five weeks, I've been the furthest thing from the zone.

The last three or four holes today I kind of felt like I was getting something, a little something back.

Q. That first week off after those four good weeks, what did you do? Where did you do go? You'll probably never do it again; right?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: My sister just had her first child. So we went back down to Cape Town and spent some time there.

Obviously, I had a first and then lost in a playoff the next week ask then won and finished second again, was pretty bushed after those four weeks. I kind of just think my body had had enough.

Q. What would a guy playing on the European Tour need a house at Lake Nona before? What was the reasoning behind that; I guess December or so you bought a house there, what's the connection?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: I've been staying with friend at Lake Nona since 1995 when I came over here and played amateur golf and junior golf. I felt in love with the place right from the first time I went there.

I have a green card. I am a U.S. resident. I was looking for property to buy in the States and I couldn't think of anywhere better. Obviously, you've got Ernie out there and Retief, two South Africans and Sergio and Jim Courier, a bunch of guys that I've known for a long time. There was no other thought, really.

Q. Do you aspire to eventually play over here?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Oh, I've love to. I've really had a great time, am having a great time playing in Europe. I thoroughly enjoy it over there. I think we have got a fantastic tour over there.

But, you know, may dream would be able to play a schedule the way Ernie and Retief does, to be able to kind of mix-and-match and play all over the world. I think that would be fantastic.

Q. Are you switching from working with Butch to Claude -- inaudible?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: No, I'm not switching at all. Claude came over and spent the week before and the week of The Match Play with me and we did some good work, but I just couldn't quite get things going. He's been at home in Scotland and I've just been kind of trying to do my own thing. He's actually scheduled to come over the week before Augusta. It was more just in me asking a favor of Butch than anything else.

Q. Did Ernie's tangle with a punching bag cost you guys a practice round?

TREVOR IMMELMAN: I don't know what he's told you guys about that -- (Laughter.). Maybe I should just keep quiet.

Yeah, it did, actually. We were actually going to come and play here Sunday afternoon and he got in on Sunday morning and said that he had kind of hurt his wrist. Then he didn't do anything Monday and played the Pro-Am Tuesday so he's kind of been taking it easy in his preparation for this. I think he's got his mind a couple weeks ahead to Augusta right now so he's just going to get ready.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Let's go through your birdies and bogeys starting on 2.

TREVOR IMMELMAN: The second hole, I thought that was the toughest hole on the course today. The pin was right behind the bunker there was almost no way to keep the ball on the green. I pulled it slightly, pitched on the green, went into the back bunker and missed about an 8-footer to save there.

The third hole was probably the turning point in my round. After making bogey on 2, I hooked my tee shot into the lake and dropped it and hit a wedge to ten feet and made the putt to save my par. That kind of kept me going. I think if I was 2-over after three, I may have been a little more irritable.

Then the birdie on 4, I just hit my second shot in the left bunker got it up-and-down.

9, I hit a good drive down the middle and a 5-iron to about ten feet and holed the putt.

10, I hit a 2-iron and a wedge to about five feet.

Then the next par 5, I hit my tee shot in the right rough and laid up and then got up-and-down from about 70 yards.

Then I kind of just -- 15, I was trying to hit a fade off the tee with my tee shot and hit the dreaded straight ball through the fairway. I actually was lucky to have a shot and just got a flyer that went through the back. Hit a great bunker shot to about five feet and missed that.

Then 16, I hit my best tee Shot of the Day and a 3-iron just kind of on the fringe of the green and got it up-and-down for birdie there.

Q. What did you hit on 17? There were not many guys staying on that green.

TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, that was a pretty good shot there. I tried to hit a high cut 6-iron and it must have just caught a soft spot on the green. I could see that nobody was really going to keep it on there.

I had great shots on 16 and on 17 didn't convert. And then on 18 I hit two great shots to ten feet and left it right in the mouth there. So hopefully I can hit it the way I hit it the last three holes tomorrow and putt the way I've putted for the first 15 tomorrow, as well. Hopefully I'll be in good shape.

End of FastScripts....

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