Immelman a good bet

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

The withdrawals of Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington made way for South Africa's Trevor Immelman to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge on his debut last year.

Immelman, now the defending champion, will be teeing off against the world's most famous golfers at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City from December 4 to 7.

The signs are that, at this course, it would be brave to bet against a repeat from the top-ranked South African in the field.

Though it will be Immelman's second appearance in Africa's major, this has inspired him no end.

Buoyed by his victory over an impressively strong field, Immelman made his way to the SAA Open at Pearl Valley as one of the firm favourites, brimming with confidence and eyeing a third national title.

However, he had to withdraw from the tournament with extreme chest pains.

That forced him to sit out some of the early tournaments of the year.

But the surgery to sort out the problem and the time Immelman needed to recover appeared to have taken a toll, with his form inconsistent as he approached The Masters, his ninth start of the year.

After a string of sub-standard performances, Immelman stepped back into form two months after The Masters with a tie for second at the Stanford St Jude Championship.

Showing typical fighting spirit, he birdied the final two holes of regulation play to get into a play-off with Justin Leonard and Robert Allenby, eventually won by Leonard.

Immelman's form towards the end of the US season has improved with almost every outing.