South African Golfer Immelman Wins His First Grand Slam

By: Stephen Lars

South African Trevor Immelman, who shared the Augusta Masters' leadership last Thursday, managed to preserve that position on Sunday and reached the last hole of the tournament as well as his first 2008 season title the Grand Slam. Back in 1976 a similar situation took place in Augusta when Raymond Floyd won heading the tournament also from beginning to end.

At Augusta was clear that Immelman deserved to triumph as most spectators admitted he played his best. Golfer Immelman has the same age as Sergio Garcia; but the South African has managed to open his way through in the tournament's history winning the Grand Slam.

The surprising 2007 Champion Zach Johnson helped another unexpected champion to wear the Green jacket. It is most certain Immelman has achieved his dream as he has already entered the incredible world of golf champions.

Other golfers participating were; Garcia but he was quickly eliminated then the only Spaniard remaining in the tournament - Miguel Angel Jimenez - did achieve an incredible position which included an "eagle" in the seventh hole and did the best return of the day with 68 blows finishing in eighth place. The Andalusian did assure a spot in next year's Masters.

The South African's work did pay back after his last return with had lots of suspense; four of his most prominent rivals, among them the world's number one, Tiger Woods made it clear to expect a harsh battle, which at the end did not take place. Neither in the group showed enough to surpass Immelman, then the strong wind in the decisive round and neither the double "bogey" of the 16 and the 17 hole, dragged toward the end of the board to the new champion.

Tiger Woods just could not manage to break his statistics regarding winning the Grand Slam. The world's best player seemed to reach with a very long "putt" in the 11 hole for a "birdie", but it just did not work. This year, Tiger remains distant of a Grand Slam win, his career fourth consecutively.

The Americans Brandt Snedeker and Steve Flesch, as well as the English Paul Casey were falling in different parts of the final journey. Without these three contenders and without Tiger, the road became prompt for Immelman, a golfer that four months ago was powerless in an operating room to eradicate a benign tumor near the diaphragm.

Immelman just needed 75 blows (3 up) to win with -8. To three blows concluded Tiger Woods and they shared the third place Stewart Cink and Snedeker.

Over the past seventeen years in the Masters, in sixteen the champion has dropped the last game. With Immelman that tendency did not take place. The South African has become the second golfer of its country to obtain the Green Jacket.

Destiny had prepared a good surprise to Immelman whose childhood idol was Gary Player, the golfer that played the most times in Augustus (51). This year Immelman came out with that lesson learned and recalled, also, how he won the 2006 Western Open with Tiger closely behind of him.

The champion crossed easily the first nine holes, had a tense moment in the "Amen Corner" but left with only a "bogey" and in the 13th hole, the pair 5, added a "birdie" which allowed him to obtain the title over Woods with 72 blows.

Immelman obtained a USD 1,350,000 prize and heads the European Order of Merit. Besides, it becomes, along with Gary Player, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen the fourth South African to obtain a Grand Slam title.

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