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April 27, 2002

Rocco Mediate


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: I would like to welcome Rocco Mediate. 1993 Greater Greensboro Classic Champion and finished at 15 under today. Rocco, if you could just maybe talk about your day today and obviously you've got a lead going into the final round.

ROCCO MEDIATE: It was a good day. I came out and got a really dreamy kind of start and birdied the first three holes. So it got my day off to a good start. Then I made a couple bogeys. I hit it right to the pin on 4. And then just through the fairway on 5, way over the bunker, and I was dead. Toast. So you've got to accept those and go on. All in all, I had a great day. I kept it in front of me most of the day.

Q. The kind of day a golfer loves?

ROCCO MEDIATE: It was perfect out there. It was perfect temperature, no wind. The golf course plays fast. I like it when it plays fast.

Q. Your putting stats aren't very good.

ROCCO MEDIATE: I'm working on things with the right hand grip. I slowed the pace down a lot, things that we as professionals change every day. Tomorrow could be different.

Q. Why had you not been putting good this year?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I putted okay in some events, but I putted pretty lousy in other. All of us go through that. I've never been ranked very high in putting. My pace got off and the lines were crooked and that's all you need. We don't want to go through the technical part. It's not very interesting.

Q. 68, 67, 66.

ROCCO MEDIATE: You know what's next.

Q. 65?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I don't know if it's possible with the weather report. We'll see.

Q. Rocco, as far as your play today, what was key to the good round other than the birdies the first 3 holes? Did that really kickstart you?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I tend not to get excited when that happens. Like I said, I hit some pretty good shots and made two bogeys in a row. I putted good today. I hit some good iron shots, that what you have to do. I made a good long one on 3. I made it from just short of the rise there about 30 feet, just tried to two putt and it fell in. You couldn't ask for a better start. I just kept it going. I made mistakes and came back with a birdie on 7 and just kept rolling.

Q. What kind of a weather player are you?

ROCCO MEDIATE: It doesn't really matter anymore. I can hopefully as a professional adapt to what they throw at me, hopefully.

Q. Rocco, the fans seem to identify with you here. Is it your personality?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I don't know. I think so. I really don't know. I love it here. I always have, since I first came here in '86, I believe, and I have some good friends I stay with, the Flanagans. It's like being home. I enjoy that. I enjoy it a lot. I always give the fans a thumbs up or acknowledgment most of the time, unless I can't see them or hear them.

Q. 18, how fast was that?

ROCCO MEDIATE: It wasn't really fast. Pete read it outside left and I knew it was going to go left at the end, and I put it outside left and I hit it soft and it went in the middle. I just had a better feel today.

Q. That's a good way to end the round?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Absolutely. When you get ahead or close to the lead, you want to stay there. You don't want to ease off and make a bogey.

Q. How long was that putt?

ROCCO MEDIATE: 20 feet, something like that.

Q. Just your thoughts going head-to-head with Mark Calcavecchia tomorrow. Any memories of any match ups?

ROCCO MEDIATE: He absolutely blistered everybody at Phoenix last year. I shot like 63, 68 and got beat by nine shots for the week. Then I shot that on the weekend. So no, Mark Calcavecchia is very, very dangerous, but I've got to go play. This golf course isn't easy. The guy who plays the best tomorrow wins, period. It might not be out of our group, who knows. If I go out and shoot a 68, that means he has to shoot a 66 to tie. It can happen. You take nothing for granted. I'm definitely the hunted one now, and it's fine. It's fun to be hunted every once in a while. It will be fun to play with Mark. He's just a great guy.

Q. When you are being hunted, do you like to put a number in your mind that you're going to aim for?

ROCCO MEDIATE: No, I think if you're the hunted one and look back at what the other guys do, they grind it out and hit fairways and greens and that's all we can really do, so if I can grind it and keep putting myself on the green and make birdie putts that's all I can do. If someone shoots 63, that's just how it is, and that's happened before. There are no predictions. Unfortunately, I can't predict. I wish I could tell you I'm shooting 63 tomorrow, but I would being lying because I don't know that. There will definitely be fireworks out there tomorrow.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I came out that round and started out like crazy. I played really good early and didn't finish it as good because I think I was 250 pounds and out of shape and not strong, but that won't affect me tomorrow. Whether I play good or bad, I don't know, but I've set myself up to play good because I played good to get here. That's the way I look at it. There is no reason I can't do that tomorrow.

Q. Before the week, you were the highest ranking player coming in.

ROCCO MEDIATE: It would be funny. It would be fun to say, Okay, see.

Q. You don't really play attention to those things?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I know where I'm ranked, but I don't put a lot of merit to it. Once I'm ranked, I want to show everybody else that's where I should be ranked. I don't like people to say, "He shouldn't be the top 20 in the world. What the hell has he done?"

Q. Do you think it really is an advantage that you've won here?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Probably not, no. I mean, Mark has won a lot of golf tournaments. It's a matter of playing the course. I was a different player then. The fact that you've won anything is good and if I can carry one of the four times I've won, I'll need that tomorrow. So who knows.

Q. There going to have it in the fall next year with more money, do you think that will a attract more players?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I think the fall is a great time. I'm thinking a better field probably. And you'll probably have -- not that the weather is bad -- you might get interesting weather with the trees changing and it might be neat. Did they change the name of it?

Q. The Chrysler Classic of Greensboro.

ROCCO MEDIATE: Okay. That took some imagination. Anyway, they're putting the money up. They can call it whatever they want. I'll be here for sure. I think it will be neat to play that time of year around here.

End of FastScripts....

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