Mediate Makes Most of Battle with Tiger

By Associated PressJune 26, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 Buick OpenGRAND BLANC, Mich. -- Rocco Mediate was told a story about how a father and his 3-year-old daughter were riveted to the U.S. Open, walking from Dora the Explorer to watch the 72nd hole when Tiger Woods made a putt to force a playoff.
 
I think thats so cool, Mediate said.
 
Before playing in the first round of the Buick Open on Thursday, Mediate took a look back at his memorable matchup with Woods that attracted millions of viewers from coast to coast.
 
The amazing thing is how many people said, My mother or my father who never watches golf couldnt take his eyes off the television, he said. Obviously wasnt because of me, it was because of Tiger. But it was because of the match it turned into.
 
I heard hundreds of stories like that.
 
As the PGA TOUR embarks on life without Tiger for the rest of 2008, its commissioner and players are hoping new stories will be told about those who take advantage of opportunities without the worlds No. 1 golfer around to physically and mentally dominate.
 
Even though Woods was recovering Wednesday from season-ending knee surgery, his likeness was everywhere to promote the Buick Open and his legacy was a topic of discussion at Warwick Hills.
 
His image is plastered on three sides of Buicks in the parking lot, on pairings sheets and billboards in the Detroit and Flint areas.
 
Buick Open officials expected Woods to be in the field for the ninth time since 1997.
 
But Woods announced last week he would be out until 2009 after competing with a double-stress fracture and a torn knee ligament over 91 holes to win the U.S. Open in a playoff over Mediate.
 
If it was anybody else that I would have lost to, I would have been devastated right now, Mediate said.
 
Instead, Mediate has soaked up the attention generated by playing a part in a sporting event that will always be remembered.
 
Ive actually had a lot of fun with it, he said. Ive always been with the people and talked to people, so I just talk to more people.
 
Across the room at a packed news conference, a Florida Southern College roommate beamed.
 
No one has ever won so much by losing, said Steve Puertas, who hosts Mediate at his home in suburban Detroit during the Buick Open. And it couldnt happened to a better guy.
 
Mediate also can take solace in the fact that he didnt blow the U.S. Open, but rather came up just short of stopping Woods from claiming his 14th major.
 
This guy does things that are just not normal by any stretch of the imagination, Mediate said.
 
Kenny Perry agreed.
 
He beat everybody on one leg, Perry said.
 
PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem also marvels at Woods talent and mental toughness.
 
Finchem, bristles, though at the notion that his absence renders tournaments to being irrelevant.
 
Its just ludicrous, Finchem said after taking part in a ceremony honoring the Buick Opens 50th anniversary. He played 17 events last year and we have 47.
 
Finchem acknowledged TV ratings dip without Woods because casual viewers tune out and that likely will be the case this week.
 
Jim Furyk (No. 12), Justin Leonard (No. 23) and Perry (No. 27) are the only players among the top 30 in the world at the Buick Open and the lackluster field includes nine of the top 50 in the world ranking.
 
If Woods was playing, few would focus on those facts.
 
But because Woods makes the Buick Open a regular stop, his presence or lack of it has an obvious impact on the gallery and buzz 45 miles north of Detroit.
 
I think it will have less impact on tournaments where he didnt play in the past or the British Open or the PGA, Furyk said. Its a definite hit for Warwick Hills and the Buick Open.
 
It will be difficult but theres still going to be a lot of good golf. Weve had a lot of exciting tournaments that he has not teed it up in this year, so hopefully that will continue.
 
Woods has had a sponsorship agreement with Buick since 1999 and agreed to a new contract in 2004 believed to be worth more than $40 million over five years. Buick has said the deal does not require Woods to play in specific PGA TOUR events it sponsors.
 
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    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.

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    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

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    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.”

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    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.