October 15 2011
By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Playing his first full healthy season in a half decade, Trevor Immelman found a little magic Saturday at Sea Island, playing his way into contention.
The South African rolled in a pair of 35-foot putts on his last five holes Saturday, while going 6 under in that stretch, to reach 11 under for the week, just two shots off the pace, at the McGladrey Classic.
“That’s always going to help your round, that’s for sure,” Immelman said. “I played real well today, drove the ball well, hit some nice iron shots and made some putts. It really was a fun day.”
This 2011 season has been a lot of fun for Immelman, who is looking to complete his first healthy year since 2006.
“It’s the first year that I’ve gotten to play when I want to play and practice when I want to practice,” Immelman said. “With all that work, I’ve started to see some better signs And with those better signs, I’ve become more confident. So it’s really just that type of a process and it’s been fun for me to be able to come out and compete this year without taking breaks.”
Immelman had surgery late in 2007 to remove a benign tumor from his ribcage. He came back to win the 2008 Masters Tournament but started to feel pain in his left wrist late in that season’s campaign caused by tendonitis that affected his play each of the last two seasons.
The two-time TOUR winner has played in 23 events this season, making 16 cuts, but he still is in search of his first top-10 finish since the 2008 TOUR Championship. With 10 3’s on his course-record-tying scorecard Saturday, he moved from a share of 27th to a tie for third.
Saturday's 62 matched the course record set in the inaugural event by Charles Howell III, who posted that number in the final round. Immelman's card featured seven birdies and an eagle. Four of his birdie putts came from inside six feet and his closing birdie on No. 18, after the 35-footers on 15 and 17, came from 16-feet away.
“In those moments, you’re just trying to stay out of your own way and trying not to think,” Immelman said. “Things are obviously going well for you on the day and you just trying to get in the house without having anything go through your mind.”