Trevor Immelman's Masters win no fluke
It may seem like a fluke that Trevor Immelman won the Master’s, but it just didn’t happen by accident …
I was talking with some friends of mine about the Master’s and one of them said to me “who is this guy Trevor Immelman? He came out of nowhere to win.” I almost choked on my coffee. Although many Americans may think that Trevor Immelman came out of nowhere to win golf’s most coveted tournament, the Master’s, Trevor has actually spent his life preparing to win this championship. Since I have known Trevor for almost half his young life, I thought that I would help everyone get to know golf’s newest major champion.
I first met Trevor back in 1997 when I worked at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Orlando, Florida. He was just 16 and he was already a star junior golfer. His family had mortgaged their house to send Trevor to the States to work with David Leadbetter. His parents wanted to give him every advantage they could to help him fulfill his dreams of becoming a professional golfer. Following in the footsteps of other famous South African golfers such as Ernie Els, Nick Price, David Frost and Mark McNulty, Trevor sought out swing advice from David Leadbetter. “Lead” (as he is called by his friends and family) proceeded to help shape the future champion’s swing into the technically perfect form it is today.
While at the Academy, Trevor and his brother Mark spent countless hours working on their games as if they were tour players; studying the swings of some of the best players in the world including Nick Faldo and Nick Price. Since the Leadbetter Golf Academy was a who’s who of golf greats, Trevor was able to associate with and study the traits of champion golfers. He would sit in on video sessions of other players, he would watch pros practice and he who not stop asking questions. Talking with Trevor you would have thought you were conversing with a mature adult and not a 16-year-old kid fresh off the plane from South Africa. I knew back then, that he would be a great player. He practiced and studied the game, not just to win junior and amateur tournaments, but to become a champion golfer. Being slight in build, Trevor set out to become as strong and flexible as possible, enlisting the help of trainer Dave Herman, whom he still works with today.
Not only was he a studious golfer, but a great kid as well. He was very appreciative of the help he was getting in the States and knew the sacrifices his family was making for him. I remember him saying one time, that he was going to buy his family a house someday when he won a tournament.
Although not a big name on the PGA Tour, Trevor has been an up and coming force in world golf competition for the past 10 years. After winning the 1998 US Amateur Public Links, he turned professional in 1999 and played on the second tier professional tour in Europe, the Challenge Tour, and finished tenth on the Order of Merit. He became a full member of the European Tour in 2001 and has made the top twenty of the Order of Merit three times. He has also played on the Sunshine Tour and won the Order of Merit in 2002-03. He has four wins on the European Tour, and in 2004 became the first man to successfully defend the South African Open title since Gary Player in the 1970s. He has played on two President’s Cup Teams for his hero and mentor Gary Player. In 2006 Immelman won his first PGA Tour event at the Cialis Western Open.
Trevor married his childhood sweetheart, Carmenita, on Dec. 6, 2003. He withdrew from the 2006 Open Championship to be with her for the birth of their first child. He finished 2006 in the top 10 of the PGA Tour money list and was named Rookie of the Year.
In December of 2007 Immelman withdrew from the South African Airways Open due to the discovery of a small tumor in his chest. After surgery and countless tests they discovered the tumor was benign. This caused him to miss the first eight weeks of the 2008 PGA Tour season. Although he was having a lack luster year on the PGA Tour this year, Immelman managed to hold on to win the Master’s even after a double-bogey on 16, defeating Tiger Woods by three shots.
So you see Trevor Immelman just didn’t come out of nowhere to win the Master’s, he has spent his life preparing for it.
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CBS needed to provide more of this information for it's viewers especially since he led wire to wire.
The victory as you say is definitely not out of the blue. He had already served notice with a pretty good performance in the Master’s a couple of years back and even though his CV might not have read like that of a Master’s Champion he definitely had the potential and he showed that alright this past week at Augusta. Not many would have thought that in the present crop of players the South African most like to win the Master’s would be Immelman but he has managed some of his more fame contemporaries such as Ernie Els and Retief Goosen.
Despite the course playing relatively easy this year there were still many who believed that the folks at Augusta National had robbed the crowds of genuine excitement, something that was echoed by Jim Furyk and many other players who feel that over the last few years Augusta has lost it’s charm
Players should quit the sissy whining and play professional golf. I'm tired of too many birdies and double digits under par. They make too much money every tournament to cry and pout.
Immelman dropped shots on Sunday, other players were supposed to make putts to catch him. They didn't.
The US Open will truly test players, most will be over par. The Master's can sort of do it too, when the wind blows, its tougher. They have to defend the course from technology.
It got to -11 under par, that's easy enough.
Immelman a prodigy, that's questionable, he's late in age on the PGA tour to win a Major. He needs to back the win up with other tournaments.
Tiger has a month off suddenly, much less competition!
I prefer Tiger's muni course teachings with his father as a background story. Having to send a child across the world for sports training is weird.
Now Immelman's whole family is in Florida apparently, he better choose to play a full PGA schedule.
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