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September 25, 2008

Trevor Immelman


LAURA NEAL: Trevor, thanks very much for coming in. Good start to the tournament. How do you feel about the course with the changes and the start you got off to today.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, I think the golf course is in fantastic shape. I'm sure you guys have heard that before. You know, the greens are an absolute perfect surface to putt on. I'm sure you're going to see guys making a lot of putts this week. But, you know, really tricky on your approach shots because you've got to be very precise with the distance that you're landing the ball off.
Obviously the greens are real firm, so if you get a little bit too aggressive the ball could go bounding over the back of the green. And then chipping out of the Bermuda rough is not the easiest thing to do.
You've got to keep it in the fairway and then try and create as much spin as you can your second shot to give yourself a good putt at birdie.
LAURA NEAL: You're pleased with your start then?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, it's fantastic. I think any time you can shoot par or better on this golf course you've played real well. So it was nice for me to go out there today and hit some solid shots and hole a few nice putts. Driver was a little wayward on the back nine, but I stepped up and hit a good one on 17, so that was a nice way to finish that off.

Q. Is it possible you might have a slight leg up on some of these guys? The other guys around you on the leaderboard are all kind of coming off the Ryder Cup, and since you've had a couple weeks off a more full tank of gas in theory.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: I think there's two ways to look at it, so it depends what side of the fence you're sitting on. Obviously I'm fresh, but I haven't played too much. I've had to shake off some of the rust the first few days, but those guys have come off an incredible week. There's going to be a little bit of an emotional letdown for them, but some of the guys might just keep riding that.
Obviously Anthony seems like he's just kept going. All depends on what your theory is.

Q. I assume you saw quite a bit of the Ryder Cup. Just interested as to your views as to the level of competition and the result.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, I saw parts of it. You know, it was a lot of fun, and it always seems to be. I think, you know, everybody played real well, and I thought the scoreboard was slightly misleading. I thought the European players played a little better than that.
But it seemed like the American team really -- they really wanted to win this one pretty bad, and I think the captain came in with a great plan and he managed to rally the troops. I think it was good for golf that they won again. It'll make for a real interesting next Ryder Cup.

Q. How did you spend those two weeks? How did you prepare for this event?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, actually I took 12 days of not touching a club, and it was incredible. You know, just spending time with the family, hanging out at home, catching up on a few things that, you know, I had to put aside for a little while. It was great. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
But when it was time for me to start hitting a few balls again, I was excited about getting ready to play in this tournament. This was one of the goals I had set for myself at the start of the season was getting in here, so I was looking forward to that.
I got back into it, and my game felt like it kind of stayed along the same lines of form that I had in St. Louis, which was decent. I was looking forward to coming to play here.

Q. Do you prefer the courses where par has a little more meaning? Obviously it was a dog fight to get through Augusta and everybody was scratching and clawing just to keep their head at water level. I think there are only four guys under par out of the 30 right now, so it looks like it's going to be one of those weeks where it could be single digits wins it.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, it's quite an interesting take, because of kind of keep reading in the media that Augusta lost its flavor. But, what was I, 11-under after three rounds, which is pretty low scoring at a major championship.
Obviously if it weren't for those gusty conditions on the Sunday I might have been able to keep that at double digits and not finish at 8-under. I seem to have played a lot of TOUR events this season where single digits are winning the tournament.
You know, obviously Memphis jumps to mind and the playoff there at 4-under. It seems like we're playing these golf courses just so difficult every week.
So I think we need to pick our events where we want par to be a little more relevant. But in my opinion, I think we need to find a little bit more of -- a little versatility to where we can get some events where we get guys shooting 15-under or so.
I think it's great for the fans. I think it's less stress on the players. You get a little bit more energy around the event, so that's my idea.

Q. So Augusta was one of the easier ones, or am I reading too much into that? (Laughter.)
TREVOR IMMELMAN: When you look at the scoreboard there's been so many -- I don't know the exact numbers, Doug, but it just seems like every TOUR event I play in nowadays you get up there and it's like -- you know, we get to the events and the guys are like, Okay, the first thing we're going to do is turn the par-5s into par-4s. I'm like, Okay. And then we're going to lengthen every other hole and lengthen the par-3s and then overseed the rough. It's just you get out there and it becomes a real long slog all week long.
So, yeah, I mean, I think that -- for me, my opinion, obviously I'm not the most experienced player out here, but in my opinion, I'd like to have the majors where even par to 8- or 9-under is going to win -- this is if I was running things, right? This is if it was a crazy world.
And for a regular TOUR event I'd like to have it where between 10 and 20-under win the event. That's kind of the system that I would shoot for just from a toughness and entertainment point of view.
I don't think you've always got to necessarily make it brutal to find the best player.

Q. How did your dad used to do it back home when he was running the show?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Not too sure. I didn't play too much down there. Obviously the courses that the Sunshine Tour are playing on, a lot of times they'll just walk right into the way the members have had it set up for themselves during the year, so it's slightly different.

Q. Have you given any thought to playing in Europe next year and be part of that race to Dubai?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, I'm going to be able to play the allotted 11 next season, because obviously you've got the world golf and the majors. So that's the seven.
And then I've got a tournament here in China at the end of the year, HSBC, and the South African Open, so I'm already at nine. And then I'm going to be playing in Abu Dhabi, and well. So I'm at 10.
So I'd only really need one more for the rest of the season to make up my 11. So I will be keeping my card over there.

Q. Would you expect to see more, I don't want to say Americans, but more U.S. Tour regulars do that?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: I think it's going to be interesting to see. I do feel like we're going to see a few more international -- a few more Americans turn into more of a global style of player. I definitely think there is that possibility.
Obviously it's tremendous prize money that they're putting up, and playing in the Middle East is a blast. The weather is always great. Always get looked after real well.
I do think it's a distinct possibility, especially if the FedExCup system doesn't change too much. It seems like you can make up a lot of ground in the way they've got it set up right now if you play well in the playoffs. It'll be interesting to see.
Guys will kind of have to figure out which way they want to tackle getting into the TOUR Championship.
LAURA NEAL: Trevor, thanks for coming in.

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