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June 20, 2001

Rocco Mediate


ANA LEAIRD: We will go ahead and open it up if anybody does have any questions for Rocco about what he is really good at, not that it is not PSA, but his life blood, his day job. Go ahead.


ROCCO MEDIATE: That was as good as -- I mean, I don't know, I enjoyed that much more than any type of golf I have ever played last two days there because it was more intense. It's definitely different in an Open. I have never been there so it was my first experience as far as playing that well. Everything is more clear, more clear to me those last two days, it was much more -- it was so much more fun than any other last two rounds I have played. Because it meant so much more. It was neat to be there. But bringing momentum, absolutely nothing but good things happened to me last week, yeah, I wanted to win, only two shots off, but I did almost everything I could. I almost birdied a few holes coming in to get in there close. It just didn't happen. But it didn't happen -- how can I explain it. I felt my best in the last six or seven holes when I knew what I had to do when I saw what the score was. I just missed doing it. So that was a good thing. I would have liked to have done it but I certainly gave myself the chances. You don't know if you are going to until you get into that position. The people that see it on TV said, oh, he should have done that. Well, until you have been there, you really can't say anything about it. It's truly amazing. Even what Retief did on Sunday missing that two and a half-footer, then what he did yesterday to come back and win basically by good putting is truly remarkable. Brooks played a great round too. Just Retief did what killed him on Sunday to keep him in the round on Monday. That's a sign of a champion. But it definitely brings me momentum. Hopefully I can continue here because I love this course.

Q. (Inaudible) what happened on Sunday is an example that finishing a tournament is so difficult?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Yeah, especially on a green like that. Believe me it was way slower than it was the Sunday before the practice round stuff. It was unbelievable. But on that type of green - what do you have 12 or 15 feet, to 2-putt; everyone is going, well, how did he hit it behind the hole. Why would you do that. Well, first of all, you really don't know what is going on at that time because you are so you just -- you are into so much of what you are doing you almost have not much control as far as the perfection of it, I just -- you just hit it a little too hard and you saw what happened. Forget about the 3-footer he made to get into the playoff, they forgot about that one. That was harder than the first one. So I look at it that way, but Opens do weird things to people. If he wouldn't have performed good yesterday and lost, who knows what would have happened to his career. Things like that define your whole career. That could have destroyed him if he let it. Because he is probably sitting up all night saying I had a 2-footer to win the Open; now I have got to go into the playoff; what if I lose. Well, he didn't. He came back did what he should have done on Sunday. That, to me -- he may be become, you know, one of the top players in the world now because of this.

Q. Is it more than just the Open (inaudible) the pressure --

ROCCO MEDIATE: Hopefully if you work hard enough and hopefully -- I mean, Tiger shows that the best. He is the perfect example. He makes the most insane difficult pressure-packed shots seem like no big deal. This was -- we are all after that. Hard to do, you know, but he does it more than anybody else. I have said this before. Retief not being in that situation before ever like that, couldn't quite make it that simple. Stewart hit the putt, 10-footer for par, I don't know if he could hit it any better. I talked to him in the locker room today. He says that's as good as I got, just didn't go in. He had control, just didn't go in. Next one ,whatever happened there, just lost a little concentration there, whatever happened there, Retief could say the same thing. It's just hard to explain. Best person to ask would be guys who have won five, six or 10 of those majors. They know the story because that is why they are winning them. It is definitely a different game though. Never seen anything really like it until last week.

Q. (Inaudible) point on Sunday where you felt --

ROCCO MEDIATE: Before I even teed off. I couldn't stand waiting that long. I wanted to play like at 6 that morning. Instead I had to play at 2:30 which that's part of the deal though I -- obviously they did that on purpose to get you thinking a little bit. Once I got on the tee, I was fine. I hit probably my best drive of the week on Sunday, first hole, so that was good. I was definitely wasn't feeling good before I teed off. Not sick or anything but anxious very, very anxious. Then finally I got to play and I was fine once I got out there.

Q. This tournament has a special place for you. Is every tournament (inaudible) --

ROCCO MEDIATE: That's hard to say. I am going to have to say no on that one because there's a lot of good players here, especially this week. This is a great field I guess from what I have been told. Last week you could say it was Tiger tournament to lose; I will have to say no again because you can't bring your game to that level on those four weeks every single time you try it in the majors, you can't do it. As players we got to bank on that every once in a while but when he does bring the A-game we have problems. We have seen that happen the last four out of five so that is my point. It is not like Tiger is here that means, oh, no, now I can't win, I am not thinking that at all. Because the low score still wins; doesn't matter who puts it up there. It's definitely a different game when he is around. I enjoy it more when he plays because it just pushes you harder.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE: It is a great old-style marvelous golf course with -- I mean, you know, some of greens here have some serious slope and for instance like the first hole the par 3, that's a perfectly designed green, but if you build that green now they think you are crazy. They don't understand, I don't know get it. So they built this stuff with horses and shovels, no bull dozers whenever they built this place. It's like if I ever build my first golf course sometime I want to go back to the old style, the way they did it, take a couple of years and do it. Have a little fun with it. Instead of popping it out in six months and have some kind of insane thing that no one likes where this one here -- all the golf course in this whole area are some of the best in the world and I come from Pittsburgh and the same thing not quite as many, but there's a lot of them. Why can't we build these anymore? Why? I don't understand. That's why most guys like it here because it is just so good. Like the 12th hole here, that's one of the hardest holes in the world but never hear anybody complain about it - at least I don't. You just won't build that hole today, you can move too much dirt. Well, that big thing of granite under that ground, but they can't move it. They could but it would be kind of silly. It is just old fashion.

Q. (Inaudible) hangover effect from last week(inaudible) how do you feel?

ROCCO MEDIATE: After I -- I played a reasonable round at Augusta reasonable tournament at Augusta. That was my best finish in a major until Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday I was a wreck. I wasn't even nearly as close as I was this week. I was tired. I just didn't have it. And then as the tournament went on I got a little bit better and I played okay that week. This week I feel much much better, believe it or not. I didn't do anything today. Tomorrow the Pro-Am is in the morning so I will have all afternoon to rest and I play early Thursday so I am not really -- sometimes it is a let-down but to try to beat yourself. I don't want it to be a let-down. It's easy for me to go, well, I just played well at the US Open, I will go through the emotions, I shouldn't be here then and think I am taking up a spot someone else could use. I really want to play good here because I never really played as well as I should have here. You don't have many courses that you love like I like this one, so, hopefully I can do better. That's exactly why it was, no question. No one had a 14-shot lead either. No one was going for the record so yeah, absolutely going to be down. When he's not in the mix on the weekend it's very simple. It changes the whole situation. But we still like playing though believe me.

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