FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – What is it with Rocco Mediate and the U.S. Open? Seriously, if the guy could play 10 U.S. Opens a year he’d battle Tiger Woods as leading money winner.
Mediate is back in his Open glory, a year removed from his head-to-head battle with Woods at Torrey Pines. He strolled around Bethpage Black Friday to the tune of 2-under 68, that included five birdies and three bogeys. Birdies on both par 3s on the back side (14, 17) were from 3 feet, which set the New York galleries into a frenzy. After the first round he was tied for sixth.
“We freakin’ love you Roc,” and “I love me some Roc” were just a couple of the choice words the gallery had for their cult hero, who has the name and the game to charm the pants of this place.
When asked after his round to estimate how many times he heard his name he said, “About 4 million. Unbelievable out there today. It was great, absolutely fantastic.”