The True Side of Trevor

By Rich LernerApril 14, 2008, 4:00 pm
Every year about 10 o'clock on Sunday evening at the Masters, the winner comes downstairs to the grill room in the clubhouse to sit for brief interviews with ESPN, CNN, CBS and GOLF CHANNEL.
 
After we finished this time around, Trevor Immelman was preparing to be escorted back upstairs to a gathering held by Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne. Trevor saw the locker room supervisor and then realized he didn't have any cash on him. It's customary to tip the staff at any event. Trevor stopped his representative, Jon Wagner of IMG, and with obvious concern asked how they could see to it that the gentleman could be taken care of. Trevor was adamant. Only after an Augusta National official assured Trevor that they would make a suitable arrangement did Trevor move on, but not before thanking the attendant.
 
I get asked often about players, 'What's he like?' It was plain to see in that moment an undeniable decency in Trevor Immelman. If form holds, he'll go from Augusta to New York for Letterman. Dave would've likely found easier comic material with Brandt Snedeker, poking fun at his name and Opie Taylor features. But Dave's a major championship level professional in the world of funny, and he'll no doubt pull the smiling best out of the photogenic new star. It would be nice too if the Late Night audience, assuming not all are golf fans, heard the serious side of the Immelman story.
 
When doctors saw the initial X-rays back in December, they didn't know if the growth on his diaphragm was benign or malignant. That's pressure, and thank goodness the tumor turned out to be benign. Fifteen-footers take on a different look when you realize how quickly and randomly your health can be stolen. And maybe Gary Player was right. Player compare Immelman's ball striking to Ben Hogan's, heady stuff when you consider that more than a few experts would argue that Hogan's swing has not been improved upon in 60 years. If Player is correct, then there's no telling what Immelman could do with the kind of confidence boost that will come with this victory.
 
Hogan didn't win his first major until he was 34. Immelmans 28. Tiger owns 13 at 32 but is zero for his last three at Augusta and one for his last six. If they haven't Tiger proofed it, they've at least put the breaks on what looked to be a runaway 18 wheeler when Tiger hit sand wedge to 15 and won by a dozen in 1997. No this is no longer just Tiger's Masters and it's certainly not your father's Masters. Your father's Masters likely delivered more birdie and eagle roars. Especially in windy conditions, this becomes an exercise in defense, a brutal examination. But then Trevor Immelman came through a more daunting test late last year. People who've experienced that kind of trauma often remind others not to sweat the small stuff. Sometimes, though, the small stuff does matter.
 
That was evident Sunday night as I saw a young man in a green jacket look into the eyes of a man who had cleaned his shoes all week and say, thank you.
 
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  • Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

    Getty Images

    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.