A timeous return to form for Immelman

This week, 2008 Masters winner Trevor Immelman will play his second Open Championship since an injury-plagued 2009 season and attempt to improve on a 23rd-place finish at St. Andrew’s last year.

The 2006 European Tour Rookie of the Year struggled in the 2011 US Open, but tied for 15th in the Masters this year, made the cut in 10 of his 15 2011 PGA Tour events, and proved that the mental aspect of his game is stronger.

Immelman, who played off a scratch handicap from 12 years old, had an electric season in 2000 that ended with the then 21-year-old securing a top 10 finish in European Challenge Tour’s Order of Merit.

In 2003 he won the Golf World Cup with Rory Sabbatini and the SA Open, a title he would successfully defend the following year.

By the end of 2006 he had won three tournaments in his first season on the European Tour and was named Rookie of the Year.

The highlight of his career came in 2008 when he won the Masters in a wire-to-wire finish, beating Tiger Woods by three shots. That same year he tied for 19th in the Open Championship.

In 2009 he suffered from tendinitis in his left wrist and elbow, and withdrew from the US Open and the Open Championship after a disappointing start to the season.

Immelman returned in 2010, and despite struggling in the USA he recorded an 11th place in the Scottish Open before 23rd in the 139th Open Championship.

With his physical game ready, beware of Immelman should he get his tail up at Royal St George’s: there may be no catching him.

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