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March 21, 2009

Trevor Immelman


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Trevor, a fine 1-under par 70 today, and in what looked to be very difficult conditions, especially the greens, as fast as they are. You put yourself into position going into tomorrow's final round here at the Transitions Championship.
Maybe a few comments about your round overall, and then maybe go through the birdies and bogeys and tell me what you did there.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Obviously it's nice to get out and play well for three rounds this week. Obviously this golf course is pretty demanding and you have to play some great golf to give yourself a chance to win.
My round today was a little bit more up-and-down than the previous two rounds. I started with a great eagle, which was nice to get started off in the right direction. Obviously everybody knows that the course is going to take from you at some point. You've just got to try and hang in there as well as you can.
So through eight holes, I was really happy with the way the day was going. On the 9th hole, I hit a beautiful 5-iron in, came up just short in some rough and didn't manage to get it up-and-down.
So I was a little bit upset about that, to only be 1-under, because I felt like I played a lot better on that front side.
Then birdied 10 to get things going again. And then I was playing some solid golf, and making some good pars, and then didn't manage to get it up-and-down on 15. Miss-read a little 5-footer there. So I made a bogey.
And then parred in. But the course is extremely demanding. It feels a lot like a major out there, and the greens are dying as we speak. They are hard and firm and fast, and you've got to control your ball well, and obviously the breeze throws that extra element in there.
You know, you've really got to have your wits about you and you've got to be playing some great golf to shoot under par here.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Do you want to talk about that eagle at No. 1?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, I hit a driver off the tee, managed to keep it in the fairway, which is not that easily done. That's probably the narrowest fairway on the course.
I tried to hit the same shot with my 3-wood, and missed it just left of the green in some rough, but probably only about maybe 40 feet from the hole and hit kind of like an explosion shot out there and landed maybe 15 feet short of the hole and rolled down into the cup.
Obviously a great way to get my day started, because like I said, you know you are going to lose some shots eventually. It's just the nature of this course. Sometimes you don't even have to hit a bad shot, and you make a bogey. So it's nice to get those two in early, and then just try and grind it out from there.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: I notice for the second consecutive day, you had 26 putts, so the putter must be working pretty good.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, well, you know, it's all relative, really, to the amount of greens you hit. Obviously that gets tougher as the conditions get tougher around this golf course.
But I've worked real hard on my putting. It was something I thought I needed to work on to get to where I want to get to. You know, so I've got to keep doing that and keep hitting putts on the practice green and seeing the ball go in the hole.
So it's nice to see myself make a few there, and I see all three rounds under 30 putts, which is I guess the reason I'm in here.

Q. Do you feel like you got your MoJo back after a rough patch with your game last here? Seems like you're rounding into shape at the right time?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: At the end of last year, I feel like I started playing well. I had a 13th and 10th the last two Playoff events. I finished fifth in an event in Japan, and 10th at the South African Open. I felt like I was starting to get things together again.
And then it's been a little bit slow to start this year, which is a bit disappointing. I did take four weeks off just to try and get some rest. I haven't had a break. I pretty much haven't come up for air since this time last year.
So I took four weeks off after I played in Abu Dhabi, and it's been a little slow coming back since then. But the game has felt sharp on the driving range and on my weeks off. But then when I get to a tournament, I haven't played very well.
So it's been frustrating for me in the last few weeks, but definitely nice to step up this week and hit some good, quality shots, in demanding conditions, because obviously this is what it's like at a major championship. So I'm definitely going to bank this and hopefully try and build on this up to Augusta.

Q. You had mentioned the conditions and the challenge being somewhat feeling a little bit like a major. Is there a correlation to that, and the guys on the leaderboard? There are a number of past major champs there.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Possibly. You know, it's definitely -- I'll just put it to you this way: We don't see this every week. So the guys who have seen this are guys who have played in major championships.
So you don't necessarily have to have won one to feel like you're going to play well. But you know, guys who have played a few majors have seen these kind of conditions before. It just keeps coming at you. That's the main thing is the mental strain it puts on you. From the first hole, it just keeps coming at you until you sign your card, so you're just going to have to be tough and try and stand up to it. It's just the type of course it is.
I think it's always been that kind of a course, ever since the TOUR has been coming here. This is generally regarded as a very difficult golf course.

Q. The major championship conditions, is simply as you said, the greens are drying out and the rough?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, the greens always get firm and fast here come the weekends. It's just kind of known. It's the same as Bay Hill. In fact, it happens the whole Florida Swing: It happens at Honda; it happens at Doral; it happens here and it happens at Bay Hill. The Florida Swing is known for firm, fast greens on the weekend. I guess they have nice little bit of breeze, 80 degrees, it firms things up. So everybody knows that's what they are going to get.
But the rough is definitely a little bit more penalizing than what it usually is.

Q. The overseed.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah. They did a good job overseeding. (Chuckling).

Q. Do those slick greens work in your favor? Do you like it like that?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: I do like it like that, yes.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Good luck tomorrow, Trevor. Thank you.

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