Fresh off his one-stroke 18 hole playoff loss to Tiger, the man, the myth, the legend, Rocco Mediate clocked in his first round at -1. So if you had a dream that man boobs were going to own the British Open and you rushed to Vegas to lay your money on Phil, you picked the wrong tits.
The seventh hole of Torrey Pines decided the fate of Rocco Mediate. Rocco said before the hole, "They wanted a show, they got a show." Indeed. It seemed before today's round, most of the experts were giving Rocco about as much a shot at beating Tiger as Matt Lauer. He proved everybody wrong.
"You are watching one of the greatest U.S. Open championships in history..."
Rocco Mediate somehow managed to overcome a seemingly impossible three-stroke deficit on Tiger. Then it was two. Then it was one. Then... it was tied.
As they approached the 12th hole at Torrey Pines, Johnny Miller and Dan Hicks appeared down on Rocco's chances. He'd lost a shot on ten, gained it back on 11, but, still, seems completely out of this thing down by two shots with six to go against Tiger.
Broadcast switch. ESPN retires its coverage for the day and turns it over to Bob Costas at NBC who sounds very, very serious, saying that "Rocco Mediate's Cinderella story is in jeopardy." He's speaking in hushed tones, like he's in a confessional or explaining death to a small child. He has not called Sean Salisbury…
The focus on Rocco right now is his closeness to the common man. After every shot, Johnny Miller is quick to point out Rocco's likability: shlubby, balding, great attitude, "looks like the guy who cleans the swimming pool", etc. It seems genuine, but you get the sense that they're waiting for Tiger to pull away, so…
Former fat guy and poker aficionado Rocco Mediate almost had a hole in one on the third hole par 3. He ended up with a birdie and is even through three. Tiger bogey'd the hole after shot out of the bunker went 15 feet past the pin.
The US Open playoff — and how cool is it that they make the two people who tie play another 18 holes the next day? — tees off in about 20 minutes. As Jason Sobel put it, it's Tiger's knee vs. Tiger's brain. Or, as we put it, it's Tiger's knee against Rocco Mediate's male pattern baldness. Don't worry, Tiger: You'll…
You know, you have to feel for Rocco Mediate. The guy staves off Tiger Woods all day, the best player in the world on his tail, a 46-year-old man playing the tournament of his life, and his reward is to go 18 more holes tomorrow against the guy. The goal should be survival at this point.