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Tiger and Rocco

As we all know, today’s little round of 18 at Torrey Pines is for all the US Open marbles. After Tiger’s brilliant putt to extend the Open to “overtime,” most probably think momentum is on Tiger’s side. However, if he starts today like he has the last four days — namely with a bogey or double-bogey on the first hole — how can you not like Mediate’s chances?

We’ll be here all day covering it live.

11:30 – Ah, live TV. Well, I’m here and both Rocco and Tiger are finishing up the second hole. Tiger is at even par and Rocco is one stroke over.

11:40 – And on the third hole, the pair swapped their positions. Tiger bogied three while Mediate birdied.

Woods – +1
Mediate – Even

11:42 – Mediate’s drive on four winds up in the left rough — as does Tiger’s. Torrey Pines continues to be unforgiving.

11:50 – However, after a horrid second shot, it appears Tiger’s in a position to save par. As for Mediate, he hit the green in two and is actually putting for birdie but it’s a long one…

Pars all around.

Woods – +1
Mediate – Even

12:00 – Mediate is beefing the fifth hole. Badly. He was shooting from a sand trap and his ball bounced off the cart-path and wound up on the third hole. Is this Tiger’s opening?

12:02 – In other news, that new Tiger/Nike commercial is a tad much — granted it’s the voice of Earl Woods, but still. In other, OTHER, news, the reports of Rocco’s demise were premature. He’s in a position to save par after those horrid first two shots.

OK, maybe I was wrong.

12:07 – Rocco bogies after his par putt just BARELY missed. Tiger pars.

Woods – +1
Mediate – +1

12:17 – Tiger’s approach shot on six was RI-DIC-ULOUS. That is all.

Absolutely ridiculous.

12:20 – Not to be outdone, Rocco’s first putt — from the back right of the green — was awesome as well. He’s in a position to save par. Tiger’s up for birdie.

And he hits it. Back to even. Mediate saves par.

Tiger – Even
Rocco – +1

12:35 – Uh oh. Two birdies in a row for Tiger.

Woods – -1
Rocco – +1

Big ups to Mac G for the link.

12:40 – Tiger’s first shot on the par-three eighth was really bad. He really overshot it. However, Mediate’s drive is short of the hole, so he’ll be working for par. Tiger’s second shot came out hot and he’s now got a loooooooooong putt to save par.

12:45 – Mediate pars and Woods bogies.

Woods – Even
Mediate – +1

On to nine and then NBC.

12:55 – I’d love to be able to hit a drive 325 yards on a gimpy knee that’s been prone to buckling since I had it surgically cleaned up. Unbelievable.

1:05 – During the switch to national TV –WHAT UP NBC??? — Tiger made par and Rocco bogied the par-five eighth. Tiger by two strokes.

Woods – Even
Mediate – +2

In some more other news, Tiger likes asking God for favors when he hits bad shots. ;) The announcers even apologized.

1:15 – Both are making a mess of the 10th. Tiger’s par save is a sign of impending doom — especially if Mediate misses his par.

And he does.

Woods – Even
Mediate – +3

Tiger is taking control of this… well, Mediate is falling apart, too.

1:20 – Neither player is shooting well today. However, while Tiger is one over, Mediate is FOUR over; but his drive on the par-three 11 was nice. Tiger’s wasn’t. He’ll be taking a trip to the beach for his second shot.

Mediate makes it in three while Tiger has another loooooooooong putt to save par. But he misses and bogies.

Woods – +1
Mediate – +3

1:30 – Tiger’s drives are sucking — you can blame the knee, I have no doubt. You get the feeling if someone plays even-par for these remaining holes, they very well might win this thing. This 12th hole might be Tiger’s undoing. Rocco has found his stroke and hit two brilliant shots. El Tigre has not. His third shot is short of the green.

1:40 – Another bogey for Woods. That’s two-in-a-row. Mediate has settled down.

Woods – +2
Mediate – +3

1:50 – OK, we’re on the par-five 13th and Tiger reached the green in two. On a bad knee. Sigh. Rocco is in the sand trap in front of the green. Tiger has a legitimate shot at eagle and Rocco needs to hit a good bunker shot. Things could turn really, really quickly here.

1:53 – However, Mediate is in position for a birdie after said good bunker shot.

1:56 – Birdies all around.

Woods – +1
Mediate – +2

2:07 – All squared guys and gals. Rocco with two birdies in a row and Tiger just lipped a birdie putt out, giving him par. 86 holes later and we’re no closer to having a winner than we were on Thursday. Well, we are down to two golfers, but damn, someone stake a claim.

2:12 – Tiger with yet ANOTHER crappy drive. Meanwhile, Rocco is in the fairway. Is this the day Tiger finally gives a Sunday lead away and loses after he’s had a lead (albeit, a day later)?

2:17 – Jesus Christ. Just when you think Tiger’s down, he hits a second shot on the 15th from the bunker on the NINTH hole to within 12 feet of the pin. On the 15th. My goodness.

2:21 – Jesus Christ part two. Rocco just hit a magnificent birdie, his third in a row. The pressure is RIGHT back on Tiger.

2:25 – And he misses the birdie putt and settles for par.

Mediate – Even
Woods – +1

2:30 – They are shaping this as one of the biggest upsets in US Open history. However, Rocco’s three-straight birdies is not a fault of Tiger’s; instead it’s a sign of Mediate’s ability to make big-time golf shots — at least for today. Tiger was in a position to grab this thing and he responded with some bad bogies. Is it the knee? Perhaps. But the fact he’s even here today speaks volumes about his ability and his mental make-up.

And this thing’s not over.

2:34 – Tiger just about hits a 50-foot birdie but came up just short. Mediate keeps his one-stroke advantage with two holes remaining.

Mediate – Even
Woods – +1

2:45 – OK, after another US Open post, here’s what we have — Tiger is in a position for birdie and Rocco is on as well, but he’ll be working on a par because he’s on the other side of the green from the pin. If Tiger pars this hole and Mediate doesn’t give a stroke back, it comes down to the 18th hole.

Again.

2:50 – Pars all the way around. And here we go to the 18th. Can he possibly do it again?

Mediate – Even
Woods – +1

Synergy, folks.

2:55 – Tiger’s in the fairway and Rocco’s in the bunker. Rocco needs to birdie this par-five to hold Tiger off, I would think.

3:00 – Woods is on in two and Rocco’s third was 120 away. He has about a 20-plus foot putt for birdie. Double that (at least) for Tiger’s eagle try.

3:05 – Tiger misses his eagle, leaving about 7-10 for his birdie. Mediate’s birdie try is again, from about 20. This is his chance to close the door on Tiger.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd he misses. Tiger for birdie. Can he do it again? The tension is quite noticeable, even here in KC.

3:10 – Tiger hits the birdie. Rocco needs to make his par for sudden death golf… OVERTIME. 90 holes later and STILL no champion. We’re starting with the par-four seventh.

3:15 – Is anyone surprised by these turns of events? Did anyone REALLY think Tiger wouldn’t hit a negative score on 18?

3:16 – Tiger was first to drive and he gets it in the fairway. Rocco’s, on the other hand, winds up in the bunker — not the way to start a sudden death hole.

3:22 – Rocco’s second shot went into the crowd and off of the cart path. A par on seven will probably win this thing.

3:25 – Tiger hits the green in two and it’s looking like he’s winning another Major, although, if Mediate gets a good drop and makes par, he just might save himself.

3:28 – Tiger’s now putting for birdie. If he hits it, it’s over. If not, he’ll put the pressure on Rocco to make a 20-foot par. And here we go.

3:30 – Wow. Two inches short for Tiger = par. OK, Rock-o, the pressure’s on… and he’s just short.

3:31 – Tiger Woods wins his third US Open and his 14th major. ON A BAD KNEE. I say again — Woods beat the best in world, had to do so in 91 holes instead of the normal 72 and he did it on a bad, recently repaired by doctors knee. A pedestrian effort, to be sure.

What else can you say? I mean, really? What else can you say about Tiger Woods? If you can think of something new, let me borrow your thesaurus. Please. Congratulations, Tiger.

Grab your tickets for the next US Open at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale early and see Tiger add another trophy to his case.