Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)
Birthdate: 16 December 1979
Year turned pro: 1999
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa
Country: South Africa
Immelman was born in 1979, in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. It’s unsurprising that he ended up embarking on a career as a professional golfer, as his family were keen on golf. His father used to be the commissioner of the Sunshine Tour in South Africa. As could be expected he encouraged Immelman to begin playing golf at the young age of five. As he grew up, Immelman studied at Hottentots Holland High School but he continued in his love of golf, and in 1998 he was successful in winning the US Amateur Public Links.
After turning professional in 1999 Immelman concentrated on playing his golf in Europe, where he competed on the Challenge Tour in 2000. This is the second tier of European golf, below the European Tour itself. In his first season on the Challenge Tour, Immelman finished in 10th place on the Order of Merit. This led to him becoming a full member of the European Tour the following year. Since becoming a full member of the European Tour, he has finished in the top 10 of the Order of Merit on three occasions. He has been helped to achieve these positions by being successful in winning on the tour on four separate occasions.
Immelman’s success in Europe has been mirrored by success elsewhere. In 2003 he and Rory Sabbatini won the WGC-World Cup for South Africa. Immelman wasn’t quite as successful at the Presidents Cup in 2005 when he was a member of the International Team that lost the event.
Something good did some out of his Presidents Cup appearance though. He received an exemption to play on the PGA Tour for 2006 and 2007, which naturally led to him appearing on the Tour more often. Immelman won his first event on the PGA Tour in 2006, at the Cialis Western Open. As a result of this win, Immelman rose into the top 15 of golf’s World Rankings. That same year he withdrew from participating at the Open Championship, so that he could be present for the birth of his first child. This didn’t stop him from finishing the season in the top 10 of the PGA Tour money list; an impressive feat which earned him the title PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. Following on from this success, Immelman was chosen to play on the International Team at the Presidents Cup in 2007; unfortunately for them the team did not win.
2007 was not the best of years for Immelman. Towards the end of the year, he suffered pain and problems with his breathing and was forced to withdraw from the South African Airways Open. After investigative surgery it was discovered that Immelman had a calcified fibrosis tumor on his diaphragm. In an ironic twist the tumor was described as being the same size as a golf ball. Fortunately, the tumor was found to be benign. Even so it still required a course of treatment, and Immelman missed the initial weeks of the 2008 season as a result. Impressively Immelman made a comeback to be remembered when he triumphed by three strokes over hot favorite Tiger Woods, at the 2008 Masters Tournament.
This incredible success was soon to be followed by the dark cloud of injury looming over Immelman’s career. The cloud was caused by tendonitis in Immelman’s left Wrist which caused him to withdraw from the 2009 US Open and continued to cause problems throughout the rest of 2009 and 2010. By the time 2013 came around, Immelman had gone five years without a win on the PGA Tour and his five year exemption for winning at the Masters expired. As a result he played in the Web.com finals and he achieved victory at the Hotel Fitness Championship, which helped him to finish in an overall 6th place in the finals and regain his card to play on the PGA Tour for the 2014 season.
Away from the course Immelman is married to Carmenita, who was his childhood sweetheart. He enjoys spending time participating at charity events organized by Gary Player.
As of the end of 2014, Immelman had achieved two wins on the PGA Tour, amassing total prize money of $12,492,720.