Rocco rocks tattoo in Kapalua

By Doug FergusonJanuary 7, 2011, 3:11 am

Hyundai Tournament of ChampionsKAPALUA, Hawaii – For most people, the defining moment of Rocco Mediate’s career was fearlessly taking on Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines before losing on the 19th hole of a thrill-a-minute playoff in the 2008 U.S. Open.

That’s not the way he looks at it.

“San Jose took care of that,” Mediate said at Kapalua for the Tournament of Champions.

Not many were even watching last October when Mediate won the Open at CordeValle Golf Club in the suburbs of San Jose, Calif., one of the most entertaining final hours of golf all year. He holed out with a wedge on the 17th hole for eagle – his fourth time holing out that week – and made a 5-foot par putt on the final hole for his first win in eight years.

What’s the big deal of winning a Fall Series event?

He received a two-year exemption instead of going back to Q-School, and now has a card until he gets to the Champions Tour. Going back to Kapalua is always a treat. Beyond that, however, he proved to himself that even at 48, he can still get it done.

“People are going to think what they think,” Mediate said. “I didn’t want Torrey to be the last thing I did that was any good. Once I won in San Jose … I had the 5-footer to win. I had to do this, and I did it. And that was really cool. That proved to me, that whether I win another or not, Torrey wasn’t the end.”

Not that he has forgotten Torrey Pines.

For all the perceptions that players fold when going up against Woods, Mediate was always an exception. At the Phoenix Open in 1999, Mediate had a big lead with Woods in the final group and realized if he hit every fairway and every green, Woods couldn’t beat him. Mediate recalls hitting 13 fairways and 17 greens and winning handily.

The U.S. Open was no exception.

“When I woke up Monday at Torrey, I remember telling people around me, ‘There’s no question I’m going to beat this guy today,”’ he said. “I’ve got him tee-to-green right now, and that’s all the U.S. Open is. And I beat him tee-to-green soundly … and he just beat me.”

Despite his six wins – his first was 20 years ago at Doral – Mediate calls that U.S. Open “one of the coolest days ever, one of my coolest weeks ever.”

“I loved every second of it, although I lost,” he said. “But now that I won another event on this tour, it’s huge.”

Mediate is all about feeling cool and loving every minute of it.

He surprised his three sons when they arrived in Hawaii with his first tattoo. Seems he was doing a photo shoot for Golf Digest on players who take risks, and they suggested he get a henna tattoo, which eventually would wash away.

“I said, ‘henna comes off, right? Well, what risk is that?”’ Mediate said. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, and it was a perfect opportunity.”

On his right arm, he has a tattoo that says “RNM,” initials of his three sons – Rocco, Nikko and Marco.

“If I was going to get a tattoo, I wanted it to mean something,” Mediate said. “That’s a pretty good tribute to the boys, something never comes off my body. You know me, I’ll probably add to it. I won’t have a sleeve, but I’ll probably add to it.”

Mediate had a blast showing it off to his sons. He recalls casually rubbing up the right sleeve of his shirt to reveal the tattoo, and his sons figuring it was a temporary tattoo. He told them to rub on it.

“They were like, ‘Oh, my gawwwddd!,”’ Mediate said. “I’m 48 and got cooler.”

There’s a lot of cool stuff going on with Mediate right now, the only surprise that it comes at this stage in his career. He has a new series of commercials with Dick’s Sporting Goods that he suggested when he thought the original script was too dull.

As for his game? Mediate says his lower back has never felt better, and he has never had such an understanding of his swing.

“You wait your whole career to feel like I feel right now, as far as physically and what I’m doing with the golf club,” he said. “And it’s pretty cool.”

The last time Mediate was at Kapalua was in 2003, and he tied for second. That happened to be the year Ernie Els set the tournament record at 31-under 261, so Mediate wound up eight shots behind with K.J. Choi.

He also had a good week at the Phoenix Open in 2001 when he finished 20-under 264. Just his luck, that was his week that Mark Calcavecchia set a PGA Tour record at 256.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.