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May 28, 2016

Rocco Mediate

Benton Harbor, Michigan

JOHN DEVER: Welcome back to the 77th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. Like to welcome back Rocco Mediate. Steady as she goes today, even par 71 today. Three birdies, three bogeys. Your lead's gone from four to two, however. Were you content with today?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Oh, yeah. I was ecstatic with today, believe it or not. I would love to have made a couple more putts, but so would everybody else in the field. But I was happy with the way I felt. I felt good.

I was -- the club was flying today. I let it, just let it go, even more than first two days, believe it or not. I just didn't hole enough putts.

I made some good par putts, obviously I made a long one on 17 which was kind of stupid, but those things happen sometimes. But I was ecstatic with the shots I hit into some of these wind conditions. It's a good sign.

JOHN DEVER: You're 18 holes away from your first win of any type since 2013.

ROCCO MEDIATE: Since like last decade.


JOHN DEVER: Not that long, but also your first Major Championship. I think that might be a little different. Are you looking forward to Sunday, especially considering where you were earlier this year?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I can't wait until tomorrow. Like I said, today I wanted to see what I had and I had it. It wasn't bad. The golf course was hard today, I thought. I thought it was -- wind was cooking, it was just hard. This golf course is hard without any wind.

So, but I'm, I can't wait until tomorrow. It will be fun. This is what you want it feel. I got -- I'm playing against one of the best we have. A lot of the best we have are just a little bit behind. So it's not going to be easy and it's not supposed to be easy. It's going to be a tough day and it's going to be a fun day.

JOHN DEVER: Questions.



Q. You had a couple of big par savers this week. That first round on 16 you made that nice par putt there. Today --
ROCCO MEDIATE: Should have made it today on 16, too, dang it.

Q. And then today on 17. Just talk about what that does for your confidence and then just the momentum going in.
ROCCO MEDIATE: It's momentum. It's just momentum. When I got -- I don't know what -- I told the guys outside, I said, I just, I'm going to go to Jordan Spieth to this one on 17. I just didn't execute. I love when he says that. It's hilarious. And I didn't.

But I looked up and I went, what the hell was that? Like it came out of nowhere. And it was actually an easy -- not easy, but it was a perfect wind for me. It was stupid.

But, anyway, on the pitch, I looked over at Martin my caddie and I went -- and I had like this much room to land it -- and I looked at him and I went, this is doable. He kind of went, what? He didn't say it, but he looked at me like -- and if I, it just grabbed me a little bit or else it was doable to hit it closer than I did, but it was one of those putts I kind of had a feeling. I just gave it speed and thank God it went in. It was cool.

When you win events or any events, especially big events, stuff like that happens. You can't hit every green and every fairway, it's just hard. You get in places, you're like, what the, how did this happen? So you just have to minimize the damage. Very fortunate on that one.

Q. You said you were pleased today, shot a solid round. Made a grade par save as you said on 17. Now, as you get ready for tomorrow you're going to be playing with Monty, is that any added pressure with a three-time Major Championship --
ROCCO MEDIATE: It's added fun for me. I like Colin a lot. We have become good buddies. I like the way he plays, I like the way he is, and I got my hands full. So that's how -- that's good. See if I can beat him tomorrow. See if I can have a lower score than he does when he's done.

These guys do this all the time. But it's not easy for anybody. But they're just more used to it. So today, that's why I feel good about today, the way I felt. I just let it go. I didn't really hit a lot of -- I hit a couple bad ones -- but that's how it goes. It's going to happen, because we're humans, unfortunately, but I'm looking forward to it.

I know he's won a million tournaments in his life. He knows what he's doing. He's an exceptional player. I love watching him play, too. But tomorrow, fairways and greens as they always say bring home the silverware. And this place, fairways and the right part of the greens bring home the silverware, because you can get in places here you can't play from.

Q. And other guys too, not just Monty.
ROCCO MEDIATE: Absolutely. It's out there. If you played great golf, you can shoot a low score as you've seen this week. So nothing's safe here, like I said yesterday or day before or whenever it was. Whole bunch of guys out there coming, so.

Q. Talk about the energy from the fans and tomorrow specifically will you feel like the fan favorite?
ROCCO MEDIATE: The energy from the fans was great. I don't know that I'll be a fan favorite. I don't know. I really don't know. But they like to scream a lot, the fans around here. Which I love the noise. I love all that stuff.

So, it's enjoyable for me. It gives you, it's nice to play around a lot of people. A lot of -- sometimes our tournaments we don't have a lot of people. This one, however, we do and I'm sure tomorrow will be the same.

Q. You were talking about how you let it rip today. And you had a four-shot cushion so tomorrow with --
ROCCO MEDIATE: Same thing.

Q. You're still going to let it rip?
ROCCO MEDIATE: Absolutely. You have to. I'm getting back to what I used to be able to do. I felt like I was 25 years old today, the way I was moving the golf club and I like that. I just went up and just looked at a spot and just hit it. Instead of going, oh, heck, what's over there, what's over here. No, I'm just going there. If it goes over there, you know, deal with it. And that was, I was ecstatic about today. I know it wasn't under par, but I know the gap got closed, but that happens.

JOHN DEVER: We haven't seen you since Thursday.

ROCCO MEDIATE: You guys left yesterday, you lazy -- I'm out there playing all day.


JOHN DEVER: You had some advice from your better half, your wife had some advice for you. What's she had to say the last couple days?

ROCCO MEDIATE: Yeah, Jess just, she's like, she's not surprised this is happening. I think I'm more surprised, in a good way, that it's happening, because there's been some good things showing up every round, couple rounds, a round here, a round there. But she's like, the way you're working, as much time as you're putting in, what you did to your body, it's coming. Sometimes you want to think, well, when?


I remember telling Mike Biviano, we were messing around on the range and I said, I've done so much work and I just can't seem to get over the edge of it. And all of a sudden it broke the other day. I'm like -- and today it felt -- my caddie said to me a couple times today, he goes, that's as free as I've ever seen you move.

That's all I want to do. If the shot comes off funny, that's okay. But I'm not trying to not hit a certain shot, like I've been for like two years. That's a bad way to play. It's a bad way to do anything, really.

But now I'm trying to hit a certain shot. If I don't, I can deal with it. I was always fine with dealing with it, if I tried to hit the shot.

I was in about three divots today, too, by the way, dang it. Go fix all those divots out there.

16 killed me. I hit a beautiful tee shot -- and that's called rub of the green -- but it was just nasty. But that happens.

Q. I'm guessing, in some ways, it's actually easier to play with a guy like Monty, when you see a guy who is going to hit every fairway, probably going to hit every green?
ROCCO MEDIATE: More than likely, yeah.

Q. Or close to it.
ROCCO MEDIATE: Boring, boring, boring, yeah.

Q. Is that kind of okay with you?
ROCCO MEDIATE: It's fine with me.

Q. Does it help your game?
ROCCO MEDIATE: Absolutely.

Q. Does his tempo help your tempo?
ROCCO MEDIATE: Absolutely. I pay attention to these guys and what they're up to and why they're so good. I see everything. That's my curse.

So, I look at -- it was a quote from a movie -- never mind.

But just playing with Colin, knowing the level of golf that's going to be shown, makes you play, try to play better. It makes you want to be better. Any time you play with the best guys, it shows you where you're good or where you're not good. Simple as that.

I expect him to be right there all the time and just darts and stuff like that. I expect all that. So it's not going to surprise me whatever happens.

Q. You said you played with him and you like him.

Q. Have you got any favorite Monty stories?
ROCCO MEDIATE: Monty stories? Well, a lot of the stories that we, the stuff that we talk about, probably really can't put in the newspaper. No, I'm kidding. Just the way that the barbs -- like on the first hole, the first hole of the tournament. He drives perfect down the left side. I drive pretty good down the right center just short of the bunker. This is stupid, but it's hilarious. Because at the time, I'm looking, a bunch of people around, I said, Colin, is it you or I?

He goes, well, Rocco, being that your further from the hole, perhaps maybe you should hit.

I'm like, well, I just looked -- stuff like that we just barb all the time. He's just -- he's hilarious. He's absolutely hilarious. He'll absolutely make you laugh. But I don't have any store rest that are, you know, bad stories. They're all good stories.


He's, he's doing good. He's doing good out here. I think he's enjoying it. I hope so. It's a pretty good place to be.

Q. How many cigars do you start the day off with and how many do you have left when you finish?
ROCCO MEDIATE: I bet you during a week I don't smoke two or three. I'll light them for a second and then I'll just keep them there and put them down and that. It's just a habit.

But I don't smoke hardly any cigars as far as during the day. And if I smoke one a day, that's a lot. Yeah. And Rocky Patel, who is a dear, dear friend, who has been awesome to me, I signed with them, what, two years ago he's awesome. He goes, I don't know if I -- do you want to smoke cigars out there? I said, Rock, if I didn't want to smoke cigars, I wouldn't smoke them. I like to have a little bit here and there. Not much. But I love it so.

Q. How many do you put in your bag at the beginning?
ROCCO MEDIATE: Four or five. Because I'll leave them -- I shouldn't say that because he'll get mad -- I leave them on a hole and I'm like, oh, I got another one in the bag.

So I leave them places all the time. It's kind of funny. But, so, but, no, I don't really smoke that many. I do love them though.

JOHN DEVER: Thank you so much for your time. Have a good evening.

ROCCO MEDIATE: You got it.

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