We interviewed Rocco Mediate, the golf player who made it to the 2008 US Open against Tiger Woods. Here are his thoughts about that historic match. Following is a transcript of the video.
It was the funnest time I have ever had playing golf in my life, was that Monday, with him.
Hi, I am Rocco Mediate, PGA Tour Champions Player and representative for Osteo Bi-Flex.
So, 2008 United States Open, Torrey Pines, against Tiger Woods, our best player, probably ever. That week I was playing good, I was playing good coming in.
And Tiger came to the last, having to make birdie. [He] hit a tee shot on the left bunker. [He] laid it up on the rough. I am watching the telecast. Everybody was like “Oh my god! I can’t believe you are going to win the US Open.” I went, “I haven’t won anything yet. We are not done.” And Lee Westwood, who was playing with Tiger, was in the last group too, tied with Tiger. So, they were, both, one behind.
Westwood missed. Tiger gets a shot. Another right rough, about 15 — 18 feet from the hole. And I remember my buddies around me said, “What do you think?” I said, “Well, we are playing tomorrow. He is making the putt.” And he did. And then, we went to the playoff on Sunday. So, I was kind of shocked, but not really.
Because I knew, when I woke up on Monday morning, that I was going to beat him. I knew it. Because I was better through the air than he was. And the opens are won, mostly, from tee to green. He proved that week that some of them aren’t.
That was one of the coolest days of my entire life. I beat him through the air, senseless. I destroyed him physically through the air. But he beat me on the greens that day, and he wanted to turn it to the 19th hole. We had 30,000 people following two people.
The 18th hole, which was our last hole of the day — we thought — was filled at 7 o’clock in the morning. We didn’t tee off until nine. So, they were there for six to seven hours. It wasn’t because I was in the match. It was because Tiger was playing another US Open. So, am I disappointed?
I was disappointed to lose, but I wasn’t disappointed how I lost. It’s OK to get beat by someone who plays better. I am not concerned about that part.
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