Virus gives Immelman an unwanted spring rest
This is Trevor Immelman's preferred time of year and he's spending it home in bed.
The world's 12th-ranked player broke out with a pair of runner-up finishes between the Masters and U.S. Open last year, eventually leading to a win at the Western Open and the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award. But the 27-year-old Immelman has been spending this post-Masters season battling a viral parasite he contacted either through water or a meal while in Augusta. He was hospitalized the day before the Masters, made the cut but shot 21 over and had to withdraw from the Verizon Heritage and this week's EDS Byron Nelson Championship, where he finished one shot back of Brett Wetterich in 2006.
At one point last week, Immelman was hooked up to an intravenous tube, then had to fast for two days before being put on a diet of toast, according to swing instructor David Leadbetter.
Immelman's manager, Jon Wagner of IMG, said the South African had lost 26 pounds and was down to 154 pounds Sunday. After visiting a specialist in Orlando, Immelman was feeling better and hopes to be in the field at the Wachovia Championship, where he lost a playoff to Jim Furyk in 2006.
"He's one of the fittest players on tour," Leadbetter said. "He didn't have that much weight to lose."