Rocco Mediate, En Fuego
Let’s say you’re a PGA Tour professional playing in a tournament. Things are going well…maybe even very well. In fact, you finish one stroke off the lead, only one bloody stroke! Oh well, great effort, great second-place check, time to move on to the next event. Then you realize that the guy who beat you did so largely because he HOLED OUT FOR EAGLE FOUR DAYS IN A ROW!!! Well, that’s exactly what Rocco Mediate did to Bo Van Pelt and Alex Prugh during the 2010 Frys.com Open.
In the first round, he carded an ace at the 191-yard par-3 third hole. In the second round, he made a two at the fourth hole from 160 yards. In the third round, he jarred it from 111 yards for a three on the par-5 15th hole. And in the final round, he flushed a wedge from 116 yards for a two at the par-4 17th hole to assume sole possession of the lead with one hole remaining. As it turned out, he needed both of those strokes: both Van Pelt and Prugh made birdie on 18, and Mediate made par to seal a one-shot victory, the trophy and a check for $900,000.
Both Van Pelt and Prugh handled their short-fall with grace, per golf’s long tradition of etiquette and sportsmanship, but I gotta think that once they had a chance to reflect behind closed doors, the internal dialog went something like this: “Rocco, you lucky S.O.B.” Call it luck or call it skill, in the end the fat lady belted out a tune that certainly sounded sweet to Mediate. Good for him!