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September 30, 2009

Trevor Immelman


SCOTT CROCKETT: Many thanks for coming in, and welcome to the Alfred Dunhill Championship. Give us your thoughts on the week, Trevor. You played here, I think 2007 was your last time, pretty good finish, tied 6 or something like that. Give us your thoughts going ahead into this week.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: I think obviously for me, it's exciting to be here. I've all enjoyed playing this tournament. You know, I think it's such a unique idea. It's a fantastic idea, especially being played at golf courses like this, and here at the Old Course with all of the atmosphere that surrounds this venue.
But I think what Mr. Rupert has done for golf, not only in South Africa, but around the world, is so commendable. And so any time I have the opportunity of being able to come and play here and support his tournament, I really try to do it, because I think they have done an incredible job growing the game.
SCOTT CROCKETT: It's a unique format and not everybody's cup of tea, but you seem to enjoy it, playing with the amateur partners on the three different courses.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, I enjoy it. Like I said, it's a real unique format, and it's fun. They seem to be able to create some great partnerships out there with the draw, and you know, definitely creates a nice, relaxed atmosphere. Players can come out here and just enjoy the venues and have a good time.
SCOTT CROCKETT: And your own form, how do you think you are shaping up for this week?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, that's a good question. (Laughter).
SCOTT CROCKETT: That's why I asked it.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: You've done this before.
SCOTT CROCKETT: I have. You're very kind.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, I've been working as hard as I can in the last few weeks trying to get something going. Wouldn't say that I'm exactly where I would like to be at this point, but I think that comes with the territory of the situation I've had to deal with over the last ten months or so.
I'm just going to have to wait and see really, and I started to see a nice upward turn in the last few weeks and hopefully I'll be able to bring that out here and show some competitive rounds. At this point I have to stay patient and keep doing the right things and let it happen.

Q. What would it mean to you in your overall career achievements to date to win at the home of golf?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, I think that it would be the ultimate achievement. You know, it's something that I've always had in the back of my mind, something that's always been on my wish list. What's nice now is I get two opportunities with this tournament with The Open coming here every five years. That would be something special; I imagine coming up the 18th winning a tournament here would be something that would be really, really incredible. So it's definitely a dream.

Q. Something that would be special for you?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Absolutely, yes. First time I came here, must have been about '96 or '97, I was absolutely blown away by the whole atmosphere that surrounds this town and the golf course and the history and every little shop you walk into has some story and pictures and stuff like that. It's always been something special to me. That really would be something quite incredible.

Q. You gave an ironic chuckle when asked about your form, I know you've been asked this question a few times, but you have a bit more time to digress on it, do you feel mentally whether you wanted it or not, you've slackened off after winning the Masters?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: No, I don't at all.
I think obviously winning the Masters was just something that was really huge for me, for a person who has grown up from a very young age, really admiring sportsmen and golfers and people who have won grand slams and majors and stuff like that.
So to somebody who has follow the history of the game, it's really something that was quite incredible for me, especially considering the amount of time and sacrifice that I've put into getting to that moment.
I think also along with going through the surgery at the end of 2007, I mean, it was quite an interesting three or four months there for me. But you know, towards the end of last year, I was really -- well, after the Masters victory, I was really having a great time enjoying all of the perks that came with it, travelling around the world and getting to do some fantastic things, and I thought that the rest of 2008 went very well.
You know, obviously when this wrist started giving me some problems sort of towards the end of February, it was at that point that I sort of started, you know, struggling a little bit. Obviously I haven't played very much at all. It's very difficult to gain momentum against such world-class players when you're sitting on your couch back home.
So I think the advantage for me is I'm only 29 years old and I still feel like my best golf is ahead of me. I feel like for me, I've just got to be able to stay patient and keep doing the right things and keep working hard and just wait for it to turn around really. I don't feel like it's any sort of crisis or anything crazy like that. I don't think that I've slackened off or that I don't have any motivation. I would say that it's, you know, totally the opposite.

Q. How is the wrist?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Obviously I'm still in a rehabilitation process. I'm still having to limit my practise and give it some TLC. So I wouldn't say that I'm exactly where I would like to be yet but I'm definitely on that road.
You know, the whole goal for me is to be able to see out the rest of this season, and get a few good, competitive rounds under my belt and then just build for next season. So by the time I kickoff on the West Coast next year on the PGA TOUR, I'll be 100 per cent ready to go.

Q. You touched on 2007, you mentioned the ten months that you've had with the ongoing wrist problem as well; you've been through most sportsmen your age. Do you think you are mentally stronger than most for having come through these?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, I would definitely say that, you know, you grow in tough times. You know, any time you're faced with any sort of adversity, to be able to go through it and get on to the other side, you've had to endure some interesting times, and I think at that point you've grown on a personal level.
So I do think so, yes. I think it's given me great perspective on my career and how fortunate I've been. And also how much I love the game and how much I really want to be able to get out there and play on a consistent level. Mentally I think I've gained a lot on all of these things.
Going back to the surgery, there was a time for a little while, if I had gotten the wrong result out of that, it could have been life-threatening, so you definitely come out on the other side of that with a greater appreciation of everything you've been blessed with.
So I would say so, yes. And that's why for me, I know I've got the game in here somewhere. I've proved it many times. I just have to be able to go out there and work hard and let it come back slowly but surely.
You know, it's just a process, as with any injury in any sport.

Q. You said you were blown away by the atmosphere at St. Andrews in '96, '97. What was that in and how did this compare to other Scottish golf courses you had played beforehand?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: I came to play in the St. Andrews Links Trust event, and it was just incredible. And from the first time, if you're driving into St. Andrews and you see all of the buildings, it's filled with so much history and atmosphere; even somebody like my wife who when I first brought her here in 2001, you know, didn't know too much about golf or the home of golf or any of the atmosphere that comes with it. But she was just blown away by the place. And to this day, it's her favourite place to go to.
There's just something that's special about this town, and so that's why I think you get people coming here this week and everybody is really having a good time.

Q. Is the goal to --
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, you know, the Old Course is so unique. It offers up something totally different to any other golf course on earth, really. You know, you're given very generous landing areas off the tee, but you really need to be able to place your ball in the right area to then be able to attack the second shot.
I also think what is so nice, to play the Old Course in difficult conditions, you know, at that point, you really gain respect for the way the course has been laid out and how ingenious it is, really. It really plays into tough conditions and still allows you to still hit certain shots and enjoy playing the game of golf.
And also for beginners who come here and amateurs who come here this week, they are able to run the ball. So even if they don't strike one 100 per cent, they are able to get some run out there, and I think that's important, because a lot of new courses nowadays become so difficult for amateurs that a lot of times they don't even want to play, because they have got to carry the ball 200 yards off the tee to get over a water hazard or out-of-bounds or something crazy like that, whereas this golf course, you can just go out there and even if you top one, it's going to run out there a hundred yards and I think that makes it fun for people.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Trevor, many thanks for your time as always. Good luck this week.

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