Tenth alternate Immordino enjoying experience he's waited for
June 13, 2008
LA JOLLA, Calif. -
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.com Correspondent
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- The lone figure on the chipping green between morning and afternoon waves was 10th alternate Josh Immordino of Seattle, Wash.
The 26-year-old figured his chances of getting into the field were slim and none, but he was still here at 6:30 a.m. PT, hitting putts and getting loose. Then he went to the first tee at 8:15 PT just to see some players tee off. Then he was back keeping loose, waiting for the afternoon groups to tee off.
"As soon as I find out I'm not in for sure, I'll probably go out and watch some golf,'' he said. "And drive home tonight."
Gary Wolstenholme was the first alternate and got in Wednesday afternoon when Sean O'Hair withdrew. Until then, Immordino was 11th alternate. Usually you don't see those guys hanging around, but Immordino made the trip down Sunday anyway for the experience.
And, oh, he's staying at the same motel -- Quality Inn -- as Wolstenholme. In fact, the two met in the elevator earlier this week.
"I'm not expecting to get in,'' he said. " I wanted to be here for the experience. I wanted to see how they prepare. I figured I could come here and work on my chipping and putting, so why not? I figure it's good motivation for next year.''
The highlight so far? "Tuesday, I was lucky enough to go out and walk with Tiger,'' he said. "He was playing with Bubba Watson and Jordan Cox."
Immordino, a PGA professional at Riverbend Golf Complex, was a four-time All America at Division II Western Washington, but decided to get a club job instead of try his hand on mini-tours. "The only reason I didn't do that is I didn't have a sponsor,'' he said. "It costs about $100,000 for two years.''
He brought another pro from the club -- Eric Hinrichs -- along with him to caddie (in case), but Hinrichs flew home to run a pro-am Thursday at Riverbend. His backup is University of Washington player Joel Damon, who was walking with teammate Nick Taylor. If that falls through? "Any guy in the crowd who looks like he can carry a bag and be quiet,'' he laughed.
But the worst part? Alternates are not allowed to play practice rounds. They can only walk the course. And, well, Immordino has never even had the chance to play Torrey Pines period.
"So if I were called,'' he laughed, "I would be somewhat under-prepared.''
We don't think he has to worry.
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