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Immelman Wetterich kindred spirits

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Trevor Immelman and Brett Wetterich could have compared the scars on their wrists during Thursday’s first round of the Honda Classic.

Coincidentally, they were paired together in their return from injury.

“I think we sympathized with each other,” Immelman said.

Wetterich was making his first start in 20 months, Immelman just the second start of his comeback. They both shot 3-over-par 73s and were pleased with their performances in tough conditions at PGA National.

Wetterich, 36, had surgery to repair the torn sheath around the tendon in his right wrist in December of 2008. Immelman, 30, had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left wrist on Oct. 22 of last year. The 2008 Masters champ has struggled with the injury since the fall of ’08. Before heading in for a random PGA Tour drug test following his Thursday round, Immelman rolled up his left sleeve and showed the 2-inch scar on the outside of his wrist and the two incisions on top of his wrist.

“The wrist is fantastic,” Immelman said.

Immelman missed the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in his return last week but is upbeat about his return.

“It’s just a matter of me getting rid of all the bad habits I got into while I played with the bad wrist, and I think I’ll be there,” Immelman said. “I’m excited.”

Immelman is playing on the second year of a five-year Masters exemption. Wetterich is playing on a major medical extension. He has 17 events to earn $731,077 to keep his PGA Tour card.

'I'm totally healthy,' Wetterich said.