GONE ARE THE DAYS when pro golfers would shoot a couple of practice rounds during the week, work on their long and short game and consider themselves ready for a tournament.

Tiger Woods and his bulked-up physique saw to that.

Now, players are more likely to be in a gym or on a treadmill following a round than having a cold one in the bar.

Trevor Immelman was no different. The 5-10 South African had put countless hours over the past few years into trying to inflate his 155-pound frame. And it worked as he put on close to 25 pounds of muscle.

That translated into his first PGA Tour win last season, and he began this one with three top-10 finishes.

Then the cramps started just a couple of days before the Masters. A month later, he

had lost 22 pounds.

Then the parasite was found.

Near the top of the leaderboard after the first round of yesterday's Wachovia Championship

is Immelman, who shot a 4-under par 68.

"It took me 3 years to get from 155 to 178, and my goal has always been 180," he said. "It's incredible I can lose 3 years of work in 3 weeks. It kind of [ticks] me off."

Our solution to put the weight back on

quickly? Forget the workouts, hit the bar.

Bring it on

Simply put, tomorrow is going to be one great sports day. The NBA and NHL playoffs will have significant games. You've got the Phillies going against Barry Bonds, the Kentucky Derby, then the fight (if you're willing to shell out more than $50) between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Funny thing is, if a certain quarterback decided to hold a news conference, the other stuff would be shoved to the backest of burners. *

- Bob Cooney

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