Trevor Immelman has secured his PGA Tour card for next season after winning the first event of the Tour finals.

After winning the Masters in 2008, the South African secured a five-year PGA Tour exemption but, following that victory at Augusta, has subsequently struggled with both form and fitness.

Down at 143 in this year's FedEx Cup standings, Immelman missed out on the play-offs and looked set for a battle to retain his playing privileges.

But his one-shot triumph at the Hotel Fitness Championship in Indiana has now effectively ensured his card for next season.

"There's no doubt this is huge for me," he told "It's been a long, frustrating road for me.


"It was so disappointing to lose my card. I'm not going to lie, I've struggled since 2008. I've been wondering if I'd be able to get back to playing the way I know I can play."

"I think my wife and family truly understands how frustrating things were for me. This is really sweet and I'm going to enjoy it."

Immelman, who walked away with a $180 000 first-place cheque, was five shots behind leader Patrick Cantlay at the start of the day, but fired a superb 64 to edge out his rival.

"I had a number of eight-under 64 in my mind," he continued. "Patrick was playing so well and there was no reason to think he wouldn't continue that today. I figured I'd have to shoot something like 64 to have a shot."