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August 18, 2010

Trevor Immelman


MARK STEVENS: Okay. I'd like to welcome Trevor Immelman. Trevor, thank you for joining us. Just got done with your Pro-Am round. If you would talk a little bit about the course and then your thoughts coming into this week.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Thanks. Obviously it's my first time here and so I'm excited about that and, you know, I think it's -- it's a nice golf course. I've enjoyed playing it. I played 9 yesterday and obviously the full 18 today. You know, I could see how, you know, maybe around April time these greens could be really firm and fast and pack quite a bit of punch.
Obviously right now with all the heat, you need to keep them nice and moist, otherwise that bent grass is going to die pretty quick.
The weather is sort of probably forcing the superintendent's hand a little bit from that aspect but I think it's a fantastic course and, you know, I'm excited to be here this week and hopefully have a good week and get myself into the next round of playoffs.
MARK STEVENS: Okay. Questions.

Q. How much are you thinking about the playoffs and what kind of pressure do you feel? You have to finish maybe Top 4 or something.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: You know, obviously I want to be there. There's no doubt about it. You know, it's something that every player on the PGA TOUR is trying to make sure that he's a part of, plain and simple, and so from that aspect, you know, I want to be there for sure but, you know, it's such an interesting sort of phase in my career right now, the last couple of years has been a stop, start, not playing quite as much.
I'm just excited to be able to be here. This is probably my -- this is -- let me just think. This is my sixth start in seven or eight weeks which, you know, it's been years since I've done that and so for me, that is the most exciting part. I feel like I'm healthy enough to where I'm able to come out here and play that many weeks in a row.
Absolutely I would love to be there next week but if -- if it doesn't work out,, I'll take those weeks off and try and prepare well for the Fall Series and you know -- because for me right now everything to make sure that by the time January 1st comes, I'm able to come out here and play a full schedule next year and play the way I know I can.

Q. Trevor, it's been two 59s on the Tour this year, a couple 60s. Are we coming upon a new norm or do you feel this is an exception or just a one year thing?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, I think, you know, first of all, credit needs to go to the players. That's just unbelievable golf. To me it doesn't really matter what golf course you're playing on. To be able to shoot a 59 and be able to handle your thoughts and emotions down the stretch to be able to pull that off is incredible. So much of the credit has to go to the players.
You know, guys are working so hard, you know, on and off the golf course trying to improve their games and so it's just incredible golf but, you know, I guess time will tell to see, you know, if that trend keeps on.
It definitely has been out of the norm, as you say, but it's exciting stuff and probably great for our sport, you know, it gets us in the news more and more and makes people take up and notice.
I think it's great for the Tour.

Q. Can you touch on this subject a bit, seems like golf more than any other sports the kids that just come out here and they're so not afraid at all. There was a high school kid in this tournament last year made the cut. 17 years old.
Talk about that, maybe personalize it a little bit and these young kids are not afraid, they're not intimidated at all.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: They shouldn't be. There shouldn't be -- nobody should be. I mean, you know, it's unfortunately just experience that makes those bad thoughts creep into your head. That's probably the one area where experience does you a disservice.

And so the young kids that come out and play as amateurs or even as young pros. They're thinking the way you're supposed to be thinking. To them that's a hundred percent normal.
I watch my son playing sports and learning sports and to him there's no doubt in his mind he's going to be able to pull it off.
It's actually unfortunate that society all through the way, we change as we get older. That is the way to go. I think it's exciting and great for the fans as well to see young players turning pro, whether it be out of high school or even off after college and come out here and be ready to play well and have their own -- ever player seems to have -- or what we're starting to see is each player is an individual. They all have their own personalities.
Some guys are dressing different to others. I think it's fantastic to the Tour. It just goes to show that there there's a bunch of different personalities out there and somebody in the crowd is going to be able to relate to that. I think it's fantastic and it's -- it bodes well for the PGA Tour for sure.

Q. Given the recent attention to local rules, I'd like to know a little bit about the conversation that you have with your caddy and the officials on the course regarding rules and making sure that you understand, abide and are up with them while you're playing.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: You know, I would say that as pros we know the rules that we need to know, you know, the different types of water hazards, out of bounds, the unplayables, you know, the pretty general stuff like that, if a ball moves, stuff like that.
But, you know, we're also spoiled to where we have rules officials on hand, great rules officials on hand, and so if we are ever in doubt we just call one of them over. So we're pretty spoiled in that manner.
You know, then obviously the Tour and the -- pretty much every professional event that I've been a part of does a great job at giving you the rules, the local rules sheet before you tee off on Thursday and so, you know, at that point the responsibility is up to you and your caddy to make sure that you know those and abide by them so that you don't get caught out.
Q. I'd like to hear a little bit more of your thoughts on that. It seems like --
TREVOR IMMELMAN: You're asking me about the 18th hole on Sunday.

Q. That, yes, and also how you internalize that as a player watching that. I know that a good number of players were going --
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah - the rules of golf state you cannot ground your club in bunker or any hazard. So that's cut and dry. We know that. So did Dustin break a rule of golf? Yes.
But, and it's a huge "but", on how many occasions is a spectator or even hundreds of spectators allowed to stand right next to you in that hazard and to me, that was the problem that I had and, you know, you can point blame in many directions.
At the end of the day the onus is on the player and the caddy. Fair enough. We all know that. You can point blame in various directions.
When I was at home watching and seeing the aerial view, I mean the marshals carved about a two yard gap for him to walk in there. And so he -- by the way, I saw it he had to walk 50 yards past his ball, make a U-turn and walk back up the tunnel that they had created.
I mean there were people like within five feet of his golf ball. And so I can see how he didn't know that that was a bunker and especially from my television view, I mean it didn't really look like there was a defined edge to that bunker. That's purely because you had thousands of spectators just, you know, walking straight through it all week long.
To be honest, the only reason I knew it was, I had my folks with me last week and my mother walked one of the practice rounds with me and that night she said to me, "I spent half my day walking through bunkers today." I was like, "What?" She said, "Yeah, yeah, the spectators are allowed to walk-thru the bunkers in certain places." I was like, "I've never heard of that before."
So at that point I became aware and then I saw the rule that anything outside of the ropes wasn't going to be tended to or raked, which is not normal for us in itself. It was pretty bizarre situation, you know.
I was hoping that -- when he hit the shot I didn't think that he had done anything wrong, but as soon as I saw the rules official walk up to him he was like, "Was that a bunker?"
So, you know, I felt so bad for the guy because he's played such beautiful golf this year and obviously we know what happened at the U.S. Open and he bounced back and hung in there all day. Here he is, one shot coming down 18. That's a major defining moment to win a major championship. I felt pretty bad for him. It's just tough.

Q. This one actually about the weather and the effect on the greens. What kind of shape do you think they'll wind up being in after a weekend of play? I know it's been real tough on them in this area for the summer so far.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, you're definitely going to get a better surface in the morning. There's no doubt about it. The surface itself is great, you know. You know, like I said, the problem is is that with bent grass in this type of weather you really are fighting a losing battle. You really need to be syringing and spraying and just keeping it so moist otherwise that grass is going to die. You can't even cut it as short as you would like.
So I would say, you know, in the mornings the first groups out is going to be -- you're going to see some nice putts made but because of the softness, you're going to see some spike marks. The pitch marks are quite large and obviously some footprints come in the afternoon. The afternoon putting might not be -- might not see as many made. So, you know, that's what I would think would happen.
MARK STEVENS: One more question? Everybody good? Okay. Thanks a lot, Trevor. Good luck this week.

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