Monday, June 16, 2008

Tiger Nips Rocco in 19 Hole Marathon Playoff at '08 U.S. Open

91 holes, David vs Goliath, and a single stroke separated them after 91 holes. They were deadlocked after the 18 hole playoff, so it took a 19th playoff hole to decide what has to have been one of the most compelling major tournaments in quite some time. Tiger Woods parred the 7th hole, the 1st sudden death hole, to claim his 14th major championship and 3rd U.S. Open. A more than game Rocco Mediate forced him to use every last ounce of his formidable skill to pull it off. Woods was three strokes up through ten holes of the playoff when Mediate went on a three hole birdie tear of his own. He was one up getting to the 18th hole. Woods' birdie and Mediate's par forced sudden death. It was a little unfortunate that the sudden death playoff began on the 7th hole. It's a longish dogleg right par 4 that doesn't necessarily set up well for Rocco's natural draw. Sure enough, his tee ball was in a fairway bunker left. Woods hit the fairway and had an easy approach shot. Two putts later, after a little more Rocco trouble, Woods had a par and the trophy.

24,000+ fans showed up for the playoff. Woods' knee didn't appear to be much of a factor in today's round. He did mention in the post round interview though that he'd be taking some extended time off. Rocco gained a legion of fans for the quality of his play and his wonderful personality and attitude. Finally healthy after quite some time, he hung with and pressured the world's best over five days. Not many people can say that. I'm a Rocco fan now. How could you not be?

Til' next,

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