“My world has changed tremendously,” added the South African. “It took me a little time to become accustomed to being a Masters champion. But I have loved it, every minute. Playing out there and arriving here, it has been very emotional.”
Despite not having the most successful year since picking up his Green Jacket, Immelman believes that his game is in good enough shape to mount a challenge at Augusta National this week. He also added that since his victory, his expectations had probably been too high.
“I thought I could play like that every week – and that is not possible. Well, it is if you are Tiger Woods, and I’m not sure he is human. But I am really looking forward to this week, not just because it is the Masters, but because I believe my game is coming together again.
“I’m looking forward to competing. It’s still pretty emotional for me, being here. It feels great to be part of such a golfing fraternity.”
With Tiger Woods making his first Major appearance since his eight-month lay-off for reconstructive knee surgery, many are tipping a one-horse race for the season’s opener. But Immelman claimed the strength of the game as a whole means “any player from the top 50 can win a Major”.
“You need to be unflappable,” he added. “Physically, any player in the top 50 in the world can win a Major.”
Immelman also revealed his Champions Dinner menu for Tuesday night, saying: “I wanted to pick something that has a South African flavour, but that everyone would enjoy. It is going to be a huge honour for me, rubbing shoulders with all those great players. I think it is going to be the highlight of my week.”
Champions Dinner Menu
Starter: Spinach Salad
Main red meat: South African dish called ‘Babotie’
Consists of: minced meat with a curry flavour, a thin layer of egg, baked and eaten with yellow rice
Main white meat: ‘Chicken Sosatie’
A chicken skewer grilled with vegetables.
Desert: South African desert called Melktert; a pumpkin pie style dish
Wine: Popular choices from Cape Town
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