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…