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September 1, 2003

Rocco Mediate


ROCCO MEDIATE: Everybody says, "your World Ranking has dropped," and this and that. It has dropped. I haven't played, and the few I did play, I finished like 40th, and I spent all of my time with my boys and my wife.

Like I've been saying, it's kind of a neat quote, my World Ranking has dropped, but my ranking with my children and my wife, I'm No. 1. I can get the other world ranking up higher if I do more of that.

And they haven't even asked me a question. I'm just talking, so go ahead.

I blamed my caddie for my bad play the last couple of months. Because I told him, I said, "Pete, it's your job to get me in contention." I'm just giving him a bunch of crap because when I get in contention, I like it. I feel very comfortable. Like yesterday, I started to play good coming in and today I felt comfortable all day. I said, "You just have to get me there more." So I blamed it on him.

Q. Does this give you confidence that you get into The TOUR Championship?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Yeah, I've got at least five more. I've got Vegas -- Atlanta, Vegas, Greensboro, Disney and Tampa. So I've got five left. If I can't do it in five tournaments, I shouldn't be there and I've got my shot. This really helped, by the way. I don't know what the money is here but I moved up.

Q. (Inaudible.)

ROCCO MEDIATE: I just took a bunch of time off. I didn't really take it in a row. Played a few, went home and came back. It doesn't really work that well for me.

Q. Can you talk about the crowds?

ROCCO MEDIATE: The crowds were nuts. I enjoy that. I enjoy the loud. The only thing I don't enjoy is when you're walking down the ropes and they are right besides and you they go: "Hey, Rocco!" I can't hear the next half hour. That's the only bad thing.

They were great. They were fun. There was really nothing bad happening and I think the golf course held them pretty good.

Q. Are you disappointed with your finish?

ROCCO MEDIATE: No. If I had shot 62 and finished second, yeah. I shot -- I made one little blip on 14. I hit just the prettiest 6-iron I could hit. I just got two -- it's straight downhill and the greens were, just started to rain a little bit and I just didn't -- I got into the line too much and I didn't hit it. It's real simple. I wasn't like nervous. I hit it right where I was looking, but I didn't put any speed on it.

Q. How far?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Seven, eight feet. Straight downhill, left-to-right. I just didn't hit it.

Q. If you made that putt --

ROCCO MEDIATE: You never know. You're talking about one of the best players in the world, Adam. He's not afraid of anything. If I had made that, who knows what I would have done coming in. See, I would like at it that way. Who knows what I would have done coming in? I don't look at it like, "what if." I just didn't do what I was supposed to do there. 6-, 8-footers are not gimmees, but when you're putting good, they feel like they are.

Most important putt all day was the last one because I really wanted -- Justin played great, but I really wanted -- I knew he was going to make that 10-footer for birdie. I needed to -- I really wanted to make that one. I played so good, I wanted to be second by myself, if that means anything, because I couldn't win unless something weird happened and he's not going anywhere.

Q. How far was it?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Probably five feet, a little left-to-right. Thinking about the putt I left short on 14, I'm like, this ain't happening right here.

I hit a good putt on -- I almost birdied 17 and I almost birdied 14. I hit the hole both times. It was close. I was right there and if those putts go in, still probably would have lost, but it would have been cool.

Q. Can you talk about the whole package here, the crowds, the course, amenities?

ROCCO MEDIATE: The course took some criticism. It's different. Some of the green sides are a little interesting, I guess is a good word. But as you saw this week, they held up. When I first got here, I'm like, "Oh, my God." You can't even play the 14th hole, 500 yards downhill, the green slopes away. But all of the sudden, when the tournament starts, you're hitting 7- and 8-irons in there, no big deal. But with 2- or 3-irons back in the old days, you can't play that hole. You can't hold the ball on the green.

So I think the golf course surprised the guys who stayed. A lot of guys left, I guess, on Thursday. I think it surprised everybody. I was pleasantly surprised.

Q. There's some talk about this tournament moving to California.

ROCCO MEDIATE: We heard that. Is that true or false?

Q. Has not been decided. Would you like to see it stay here?

ROCCO MEDIATE: We need a tournament up here somewhere, and it's here, it needs to be here then. It's one of our golf courses, so why not have it here? We need a tournament in the Boston area. There's too many good golf courses here not to have an event.

I think the guys who, now that we've seen it, are going to change their tune a little bit. I know I have.

Q. You must like playing -- inaudible?

ROCCO MEDIATE: You know, I like -- I got up this morning and I think good things have happened to me here. A good thing did happen to me today. I can't -- yeah, I might have made that one on 14, but you know it doesn't mean I'm going to birdie in and win the tournament. That doesn't mean that's going to happen. Today was as good as I can do for how I was doing recently. To be in that heat again, I just love that. I just wish I could get there more often.

Q. Inaudible?


Q. Did it take a long time -- inaudible?

ROCCO MEDIATE: No, I kind of had a mental breakdown when I went to the short putter for a while. I just said, "I'm going to try it." I went nuts, something happened. I putted good with it for about three weeks and then it was just nothing.

Q. This is the best you've putted all year?

ROCCO MEDIATE: This is the best I've putted for a couple years, trust me.

I just did one thing last week when I was at Firestone. I just moved my right arm further down the shaft, almost on to the steel, and that engaged my body again. I was too much -- it was awful.

I was speaking with Rick Smith about it last week and I said, "Check this out."

He goes, "Say, that's something." The body is moving' that's what you're supposed to do. I got away from it and it was crap when I went back to it. I never thought about switching -- but now, I really putted good every day here. I made a lot of good putts here and I'm looking forward to Pennsylvania. That's my next one.

Q. How far down?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I'd have to show you but it's pretty much -- it's not straight. I was up here. I had too much angle and went down that way. All of a sudden, speed came back. I left one putt short this week and that was on 14. That's the only one. Everything else had speed. So I can't complain.

Q. This could be the first of many victories for Adam.

ROCCO MEDIATE: Absolutely. Oh, my God, yeah. He's as good as you can get, really. He hasn't even tapped -- what is he, 24? Justin is 23? We've got our hands full.

I look at it this way, I'm 40, so I try to push, push, push and get better and hang with them as long as I can. The length is a big thing now. That's a big advantage. Some of the clubs they were hitting into par 5s yesterday, I'm going, "Well, I can't do that." But I can still make birdies the other way.

But when you're hitting 7-irons instead of 3-irons or 5-woods you've got kind of an advantage. Those guys, it's survival of the fittest. That's okay.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Rocco, can we go through your birdies and bogeys, please?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I hit it just over the green on 2 with a 3-iron. Pitched it down to a foot. That was like 20 feet from the hole on the right.

I hit it into the hazard on 4. Only fairway I missed today. Just blocked it a yard and took a bounce and went where it should have went. Then hit it on the green and 2-putted.

7, I hit it over the green, my third shot, easiest chip -- I pitched it right in. Made birdie and that kind of got me started.

Then I hit it to 15 feet on 8 and made it.

20 feet on 9 and made it.

12 feet on 10 and made it. I'm like, here we go again.

Q. How far was the chip?

ROCCO MEDIATE: 20 feet. But the biggest putt besides 18 was the next putt, 11. Hit a so-so 4-iron about 30 feet left of the hole and left the first putt eight feet short -- I left two putts short today, I apologize. And I made that one. That was huge.

Then I birdied -- I hit a little cut 5-iron into 12. I had a 12-footer down the hill and made that.

Then I hit a 5-wood, I don't know how that ball didn't cut. It was over the bunker, flopped it over about eight feet and made that.

Going into 16, it's such an intense hole. I shot it right at the flag and missed it about 20 feet left of the hole on the fringe. I wasn't even going to lay it to the right. I was just going to try to knock it in -- my caddy just said, "Get it a little right of the hole," and I'm like, okay. I almost hit a good shot. Almost chipped it in. Thought I was going to chip it in.

Anyway -- no. I sent him home Sunday. I'll see him tonight. All in all, I certainly can't complain this week. It's been awhile.

Q. (Inaudible.)

ROCCO MEDIATE: No. They have got school tomorrow. They were out for two weeks -- I've been home six weeks and they have been out three of them, so I haven't missed them that much yet. School starts tomorrow and they are not happy -- and neither would I.

End of FastScripts.

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