NORTON, Mass. – Trevor Immelman never imagined a Web.com Tour event would be on his list of most important victories.
His first win was the South African Open. Another big moment was the Nedbank Challenge, because that's where South African kids could watch the world's best players. The Masters is in a league of its own. "The biggest tournament on earth," said Immelman, who won his green jacket in 2008.
And the Hotel Fitness Championship?
"From a timing standpoint, from the situation I'm in right now, it's absolutely huge for me," Immelman said.
Immelman lost the better part of three years with a left wrist injury that required surgery. He lost his PGA Tour card – the same year his tour exemption from the Masters ran out – when he finished No. 143 in the FedExCup.
It wasn't a matter of pride to go to the Web.com Finals. Immelman had enough poor scores over the last few years to get beyond that. He went to Indiana with a good attitude, improved putting and determination to get back to the big leagues. And that's where he's headed.
The win assures Immelman will be among the top 25 on the special money list to get his card, and now he wants more. The leading money-winner of the four tournaments is exempt into The Players Championship.
Most exciting of all is his health.
"That was the only positive I had taken from the year – I was injury-free," he said. "I didn't have to worry about anything. That's something that really excites me. Because when you start withdrawing from tournaments, it becomes a habit. And that's an awful situation to be in."
STRICKER PLANS: Steve Stricker is going to the BMW Championship now that he's on the Presidents Cup team. And if he plays well enough in Chicago to have a serious shot at the $10 million FedExCup, well, the elk in Colorado can breathe easier.
Stricker has planned all year to go bow hunting for elk with his friends, who already have pushed the trip back a few days so he could play the BMW Championship.
He said he received an email from a friend who is going on the trip that said, "Remember, you're elk hunting."
"But he knows if I'm up in there and have a chance to win or top-10 going into Atlanta, I'll probably go into Atlanta," Stricker said.
DIVOTS: Tim Herron is recovering from injuries to his right knee cap and meniscus, which has kept him out of the Web.com Finals. He says he will have eight events next year on a medical extension to get his card. In the meantime, he went to Canada to fish for walleye, discouraged to learn there was a limit (two) and no beer could be consumed on the boat. Talk about a tough year. ... Rory McIlroy has made eight double bogeys over his last two tournaments. ... The Old Course at St. Andrews is raising its green fee by 5 pounds for 2014. It will cost 160 pounds (about $250) during peak season next year. ... The NCAA meeting next week includes a proposal for the Division I women's golf championship to switch to match play.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Players with at least a share of the lead going into the final round have won only two of the last 10 FedExCup playoff events.
FINAL WORD: "He's been there before. I've been there before. Everyone that's out here has been in that situation. ... It's always tough to lose when you're leading. It's part of the game." -- Henrik Stenson on Sergio Garcia losing a two-shot lead in the final round.