Immelman Returns Strong After Bout with Parasite

By Associated PressMay 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Wachovia ChampionshipCHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Unlike many, Trevor Immelman had to work to gain weight.
 
For three years, he put in countless hours at the gym, bulking up from 155 to 178 pounds, and his game improved, too.
 
He got his first PGA TOUR victory in 2006 and had three top-10 finishes this year, giving him confidence going into the Masters. Then, two nights before the tournament began, he started getting stomach cramps.
 
Two trips to the hospital, a visit to a specialist and a month later, the parasite that caused him to lose 22 pounds is gone.
 
Immelman is healthy again -- and so is his game.
 
In his first event since he finished tied for 55th at Augusta while eating only toast for four days, Immelman shot a 4-under 68 in the opening round of the Wachovia Championship on Thursday, leaving him near the top of the leaderboard.
 
'Mentally, I stayed very calm,' Immelman said. 'Because I said to myself, 'How much do you actually expect right now? Just take it easy.' Then I started rolling a few putts in, and I really started playing solidly.'
 
The 27-year-old Immelman recovered after bogeying two of the first three holes, reeling off four straight birdies on the front nine at Quail Hollow. He finished par-par-birdie on what's rated the toughest closing stretch on the PGA TOUR the past three years.
 
All from a golfer who didn't pick up a club after the Masters' final day until last week.
 
'I feel fantastic. I just don't feel like I have as much energy as I used to,' said Immelman, who added his iron shots weren't traveling as far. 'It's part of just getting the weight back.'
 
And that peeves the 5-foot-9 South African.
 
'It took me three years to get from 155 to 178, and my goal has always been 180,' he said. 'It's incredible I can lose three years of work in three weeks. It kind of (ticks) me off.'
 
It also scared him. Doctors weren't sure what he had or how he got it. Just when he started to feel good, he had a relapse and was forced to withdraw from the Verizon Heritage and Byron Nelson Championship.
 
Immelman eventually saw a specialist, who determined he had contracted a parasite and then a stomach infection. Told to fast for three days, then eat only rice for two more, Immelman got the go-ahead to play Tuesday. Though his doctor did warn him, 'just try to stay lactose-free.'
 
Immelman wanted to play the Wachovia, where last year he three-putted the 72nd hole for bogey, then lost on the first playoff hole to Jim Furyk.
 
'The golf course is playing very difficult, just like a major. So you've got to be on your game,' Immelman said. 'I really didn't know what to expect of myself having not competed for four weeks. But there are definitely some good vibes for me around here.'
 
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    Watch: Birds attack JT during post-round interview

    By Grill Room TeamFebruary 17, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Justin Thomas may have carded five birdies and an eagle on Saturday at the Genesis Open, but it was the two birds he encountered after his round that made for the biggest highlight.

    Fresh off a third-round 67 that put him in the mix at Riviera Country Club through 54 holes, Thomas' post-round interview was interrupted by a couple of birds. Luckily, JT and CBS' Amanda Balionis were able to escape unscathed and with smiles on their faces.

    Thomas will need to do a little worse at dodging birdies in the final round if he wants to catch the leaders on Sunday.

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    Watch: Fathauer dunks one off flagstick for eagle

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 17, 2018, 7:45 pm

    The NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest will take place Saturday night in Los Angeles, but Derek Fathauer kicked things off a little early with this eagle in the third round of the Genesis Open.

    Playing his second shot on the par-4 third hole at Riviera Country Club, Fathauer dunked one off the flagstick and into the hole for an eagle-2:

    The shot got the the 32-year-old, in search of his first PGA Tour victory, under par for the round and into the mix early on Moving Day.

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    Luiten in three-way tie at Oman Open

    By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 4:17 pm

    MUSCAT, Oman - Joost Luiten showed a return to form after a mediocre 2017 as he moved into a three-way tie for the lead in the Oman Open on Saturday.

    The Dutchman shot a second straight 6-under 66 - the joint best score of the day - to move to 12-under 204. He was joined at the top by Matthew Southgate (69) and Frenchman Julien Guerrier (66) after the third round at the Greg Norman-designed Al Mouj Golf Club.

    England's Chris Wood (69), another man on the comeback trail, was in fourth place at 11 under, but it could have been a lot better if not for a bogey-bogey finish. Adrian Otaegui (66) was a shot behind Wood while pre-tournament favorite, France's Alexander Levy (67), was at 9 under.

    The 90th-ranked Luiten credited some hot iron play for his success after a cracked driver set him back last year when he had just two top-10 finishes the whole season.


    Full-field scores from the NBO Oman Golf Classic


    ''I cracked my driver in my first tournament of the year in Abu Dhabi and it took me almost six months to get another one that I really liked. Once you are not driving the ball well, it puts pressure on other parts of your game,'' said the 32-year-old Luiten. ''My iron play did not get me into trouble at all today.''

    Southgate was quick off the block with three birdies in his first three holes. But the Englishman then made two bogeys and a double bogey in his next four holes, and a birdie on the ninth saw him make the turn at even-par.

    That forced him to think differently for the back nine and he was rewarded with three birdies.

    ''It was quite funny really,'' Southgate said. ''We birdied the ninth and I walked off and said to my caddie Gary ... 'We've just shot level par, so let's just pretend that we've made nine solid pars and that we haven't holed a putt and haven't made a birdie. Let's just start again on the 10th'.''

    The 32-year-old Guerrier started his round with a monster 48-foot birdie putt and had an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys.

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    J.Y. Ko increases lead; Lydia focuses on positives

    By Associated PressFebruary 17, 2018, 3:33 pm

    ADELAIDE, Australia - Jin Young Ko continued her domination of the Women's Australian Open, shooting a 1-under 71 Saturday to increase her lead to four strokes after three rounds.

    The South Korean, who led after each of the opening two rounds of the LPGA tournament, had a three-round total of 11-under 205 at Kooyonga Golf Club.

    Australian golfer Hannah Green moved into second place after the round of the day, a 66.

    Green, 21, is seeking to become the first Australian to claim her national crown since Karrie Webb won the last of her five titles in 2014. Webb, who is playing a part-time schedule in 2018, missed the cut Friday by one stroke.

    Green birdied her first three holes on Saturday and then added two more on the eighth and ninth. Two more birdies followed on the back nine with her only dropped shot a bogey on the 17th.


    Full-field scores from the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open


    "I was very pleased with my ball striking," Green said. "I have put myself in contention so I'm very happy with how things are panning out.

    "It was a real shame about Karrie missing the cut, but I know she has got different plans."

    South Korea's Hyejin Choi (70), was tied for third, five strokes behind. Australia's top-ranked golfer Minjee Lee was tied for fifth after a 69, six off the lead.

    Former No. 1 Lydia Ko shot a 71 and was eight strokes behind.

    "It's always nice to be able to start the season on a good note, and I've obviously got tomorrow," Lydia Ko said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to finish off on a high note."