Does Tiger Have This US Open Wrapped Up

By Associated PressJune 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods was celebrating so wildly on the 18th green Sunday youd think he had just won the U.S. Open.
He had.
It wont become official until sometime early Monday afternoon when they inscribe his name on the U.S. Open trophy for the third time, pat Rocco Mediate on the back and wish both him and his belt buckle well. Mediates name will go somewhere, too, alongside those like Bob May who have their one chance and are never heard of again.
One bumpy putt that traveled about 12 feet before somehow deciding to fall in the right side of the hole took care of that, touching off one of the better double fist-pump, look-to-the-sky gyrations youll ever see from the baddest golfer on the planet. Woods was so into it that caddie Stevie Williams had to come across the green to help him finish it off properly, and the two engaged in a weird and thankfully brief dance together.
The huge crowd celebrated, too, because they understood that although Mediate had done everything he could, the way of the world of golf is that once Woods does something like this, it isnt wise to bet against him closing it out. For most it was their only chance to have such fun, because theyll be back at their jobs Monday when Woods and Mediate play one last 18 for the Open title.
The USGA insists on sticking to its quaint notion that anything less than an 18-hole playoff is bad for national morale, even while every other tournament has long abandoned the concept. So instead of an immediate playoff to settle it once and for all, Mediate will have to sleep another night before his one chance at glory is finally stripped from him and he is sent on his way.
He would have been a good champion, though an unlikely one, had the final putt by Woods lipped out instead of falling in. The crowd enjoyed their fling with Mediate over the course of a weekend at Torrey Pines, urging him on as he played his way around with a smile on his face and a belt buckle around his waist that looked like it had been stripped from the hood of a Mercedes.
Turns out he has Woods stamp of approval, too.
Roccos a great guy, Woods said. Theres not one person who can say they dont like Rocco.
That doesnt mean Woods will be making much small talk with Mediate as he methodically disposes of him in the playoff. Mediate might be the nicest guy around, but to Woods it wont matter who is teeing it up against him because his victims always look alike.
Well talk, Woods said. But well also understand were try to win a U.S. Open. And well have our moments where well go our separate ways and be focused for each and every shot.
Mediate, on the other hand, seems almost giddy to finally be playing against Woods with the Open on the line. And why not, because it will likely be a nice parting gift to give the 45-year-old journeyman something to tell his grandchildren about when they ask about the time he almost won the U.S. Open.
I have nothing to lose. I cant believe Im in this situation. I cant wait to go see what Ive got against the man, Mediate said. I know what he has. But its head-up and well see how it goes. Its going to be exciting. Im sure theres going to be a lot of heat on me, too, because I know Im playing the best player in the world. And Im the 158th player in the world. Thatll change this week, too. It wont get to second, but it wont be 158th, either.
Actually, Mediate is ranked 157th, but whats one spot where Tiger Woods is concerned?
If Woods had somehow missed the putt that everyone knew he was going to make because, well, hes Tiger Woods, Mediate would have been the oldest Open champion ever. Now hes got a chance to be one day older and the champion, though that chance pretty much comes down to whether Woods can walk on his bum knee or not.
Assuming he can, you only have to look at his 14-1 record in playoffs since turning pro and his 13 major championships to figure how this one turns out. Mediates only been in two playoffs, winning both, and the last was 15 years ago.
Mediate might have thought he was going to steal this one as he paced in the scorers room watching both Woods and Lee Westwood have a chance to make putts to tie.
Westwood wasnt going to make his because hes an Englishman and, while we win a lot of their Opens, they dont fare well in ours. Nixon was the president the last time one did, so Mediate shouldnt have been too surprised when his curling downhill putt for birdie didnt even get to the hole.
That left Woods, who doesnt leave putts short when they count. By now, Mediate looked as if he was going to need the portable heart defibrillator on the wall behind him as he watched the ball hit the right lip and drop in.
Like everyone who was watching, he knew what was coming. This was Tiger Woods, after all.
You know, the guy who will be kissing the Open trophy on Monday.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Open
  • Getty Images

    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

    Getty Images

    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

    Getty Images

    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

    Getty Images

    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.