Final thoughts on Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate's classic U.S. Open duel
24 hours later, I’m still digesting this U.S. Open classic…
-Has anyone else watched the replay of Rocco Mediate’s tee shot on the par-3 3rd hole? I slow-mo’d it about ten times on my HD. The ball seems headed straight into the hole, until it rolled over some little piece of dirt - maybe it was from his pitch mark, maybe it was a speckle of goose poop. Whatever it was, it sent the ball off-line just enough to skirt right.
That really should have been a hole-in-one. It probably wouldn’t have changed the inevitable outcome, but it would have made this match all that more memorable.
- Is it me, or did Johnny Miller seem even more grizzled and pessimistic than usual yesterday? He was really getting on my nerves.
- Great, genuine moment: Tiger is holding Sam on the green after his win and he hands her back to Elin. Sam shrieks and sticks her arms out back at Tiger. Tiger’s heart just melts and Elin gives her back to him for another moment.
Thankfully, Tiger didn’t go by way of Kobe Bryant and bring Sam to the press conference. Is there anything more uncomfortable than when an NBA player brings their little kids up to the podium? Is this some kind of PR stunt or do they really think the kids enjoy sitting up there listening to their dad say “we had to be aggressive” a dozen times in 15 minutes? Or do they think the media will ask softy questions if they’ve got their kids up there?
Only basketball players do this. I don’t get it.
- Speaking of the NBA, there is no way the Celtics-Lakers NBA Finals will be able to match the kind of drama from the U.S. Open this week. During the match yesterday, I kept waiting for Rocco to call Woods on some stupid rule - or Woods to suggest in a conference the committee was favoring the field. Then I realized it’s because I’ve watched too much playoff basketball over the last few years filled with excuses and complaining. I don’t know if the NBA is fixed, but it’s most certainly become a joke.
- I think the One Year Rule should be in effect for reporters proclaiming an event the “greatest ever“. Chris Baldwin’s saying it, Pat Forde at ESPN is saying it, search “U.S. Open Greatest Ever” in Google News and there are plenty others.
I know we’re all caught up in the moment and want our articles to feel historically significant, but I think it cheapens the moment itself, especially when this phrase is so horrifically overused by media and fans. Have we all gone to the Stuart Scott School of Journalism??? And do you think Australians, South Africans or English golf fans think this duel between Yanks was the greatest ever?
- Given his health, I get the feeling Tiger Woods is either going to play in the FedEx Cup or the Ryder Cup - but not both. How do you turn down a guaranteed $10 million paycheck? Should be a PR nightmare for the Woods camp if his knee isn’t right. He might be better off skipping both.
- Woods also deserves tremendous credit this week for not asking for any knee sympathy. It helps bridge the gap between golf and supposed “real sports” when a player handles themselves this way. He never made excuses and tried to deflect the barrage of questions the best he could.
- I wonder if Phil Mickelson was watching the playoff Monday, on the couch in his pajamas, binging on bon-bons and sobbing uncontrollably.
I know the 18th hole yesterday was tense, but all I hoped for was for a moment where Rocco and Woods, as they walked up to the green, put their arms around each other and stroll up in lockstep, acknowledging the crowd. The sum of this match was greater than either of the two alone and I can’t help but think if this was the 1970s, they would have taken a moment to recognize each other and the incredible fan support in that way.
When the movie comes out hopefully they add that in.
I was also a guest on Papa Joe Chevalier’s Las Vegas-based radio show Monday to talk about the Open. To listen, click here.
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- The official world golf rankings were released after Tiger Woods collected his 14th major championship title at the U.S. Open on Monday. Tiger has been atop the ranking for the 500th week.
- Tiger Woods is currently the World Number 1 golfer. He was the highest-paid professional athlete in 2007, having earned an estimated $122 million from winnings and endorsements. According to Golf Digest, Woods made $769,440,709 from 1996 to 2007, and predicts that by 2010, Woods will become the world's first athlete to pass one billion dollars in earnings.
Thanks ;-) Randy
That was something I'd have expected from Wolfie, Kiel, or Mon (or maybe that new Daly guy...sheesh, what a bleeding heart HE is).