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October 17, 2010

Rocco Mediate


THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome the 2010 Frys.com Open champion, Rocco Mediate. I know that sounds very good. It was an absolutely incredible week, marked by the eagle each day. You certainly kept it interesting.
ROCCO MEDIATE: Unbelievable.
THE MODERATOR: I know you're probably going to be pinching yourself for a few months before things kick in.
THE MODERATOR: As best you can, tell us how you're feeling.
ROCCO MEDIATE: I can't -- I remember telling you guys on was it Thursday, I want a four- or five-footer that matters. I got one. I'm thinking to myself, why did I say that? But at least I got one.
I don't know, today was tough on everybody. I don't do good in this kind of cool, damp stuff. You know, rain, the rain is not the big deal, it's the cool dampness.
I warmed up pretty good, but, still, it's hard for me to move with this stupid back. It wasn't like pain, it was just stiff. I couldn't move and I was awful most of the day. I couldn't hit it where I was looking.
Hit a few good shots, but mostly bad ones off center. You know, it was hard for anybody to make a move because it was just hard to play. The pins were good and all that stuff.
At the turn, after I three-putted 9 -- I decided to sprinkle in a couple three-putts today that I hadn't had all week, which really tore me up. I told Matthew on the 11th hole, or 12th hole, I said, I'm not missing any more fairways. I'm done with this.
You know, it wasn't great, but I got it around and made a big putt on 14 to stay alive, because Bo missed a shorty there. He surprised me. I thought he was going to make that. That kept me alive.
And then some good wedges and whatever the insanity that happened before.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take some questions.

Q. I snuck out and watched the finish on 18. I haven't seen anything that exciting since I've been covering golf. I heard some gallery members talking about the fact that once you got it going out here, you ate at the same restaurant every night.
ROCCO MEDIATE: Absolutely. Westside Grill.

Q. Why?
ROCCO MEDIATE: It was really good. I'm not superstitious, but I'm a creature of habit. If I find a place in the new town, like San Jose is for all of us, I stick with it. I loved it. It was great. Might even go back tonight.

Q. You were 5 over through 13, I think.
ROCCO MEDIATE: Uh-huh. I was doing good to be -- heck, I made two 12-, 15-foot par putts the front nine.

Q. Did you know that you could dig down and was it easy?
ROCCO MEDIATE: It wasn't easy. Matthew said to me on 10 maybe? Yeah, it was on 10. He goes, We're still leading the golf tournament; nine more championship holes it's over.
What did he say? Matthew, what did you say? He's right there. Dig something out; find something. I don't care how you get it done, get it done. Yes, sir, I'll do that.
Of course I couldn't. I hit a terrible tee shot on 10, great two-putt.
Horrible three-putt, lousy 9-iron on 12.
I just wasn't getting it done.
All of a sudden, like I said, it cleared a touch and I started to feel a little better off 14 tee, thank God, because otherwise I can't finish that hole. It's a monster.
I didn't hit a very good second or pitch, but I made a good eight, nine-footer, I guess.
And then 16, hit a pretty 6-iron and that went in. That was a really good putt. That was really cool. I had to make that one.
Then 17 I couldn't reach. It was 280, 285 or so? Something like that? It was like 277 to front. I cannot carry 277. Maybe in 95 degrees when I was 35, but it doesn't work now.
So I just hit a nice 5-iron and I had a perfect yardage, 116. Alex marked his ball, because it looked like it was right in front of the hole. You never know. What if my balls hits and hits his ball and doesn't go in or whatever?
So he walked up, I waited, and it was one of shots Mr. Trevino showed me, a little cut wedge, a flat little wedge. It worked. (Laughing.)
Q. Was there a thought in your mind...
ROCCO MEDIATE: Absolutely. If I hit it the right number, it's going to come back to the right a little bit. I just started out a little left and it was a flat slider, which is really cool that I can hit that occasionally. Under the gun today that was really cool.
Obviously going in is a joke, but, you know, it would've been a birdie more than likely, which is what I was trying to do anyway.

Q. Do you remember what you said right after?
ROCCO MEDIATE: I just turned around, and Matthew's eyes were as big as cookies and he couldn't talk. I said, Are you all right? He said, Yeah, I'm okay. I said, It's all right. It's no problem.
But the one thing was cool today, I never quit, but the last three or four holes I had no -- my nerves were ice. It was really cool. Over the putt on 16, the shot on 16, the wedge on 15, I have to get it -- even the 5-iron on 17, you mishit that shot it's in the rough and it's over. I know the fairway is big, but still, you have it to make it go forward.
I never felt even on 18, the second putt, definite nerves, but no shake. Just kind of like just do what you do. There's the chalk line. You know, I thought that, Matthew, te chalk line. I made about 600 of these putts the last three weeks. That's about the distance, four, five, six feet.
So just roll it down the chalk line. I didn't really see it go in because I hit it, and when it was a foot short, I knew. I just kind of turned around. I didn't know what the hell I was doing, tell you the truth.
But it's very satisfying. I can't believe it, but I can, if it makes any sense.

Q. Right before you holed out, Alex almost sunk his tee shot, and Bo Van Pelt...
ROCCO MEDIATE: I know, it was ridiculous. Those two shots were -- - yeah.

Q. There was a lot of pressure at that point.
ROCCO MEDIATE: I had to hit a good shot. I had to make a birdie. The only way I was going to make a birdie was laying it up in the fairway with a 5-iron. I had no chance with a driver.
I could try to sneak it down there, but if I don't, I'm making four, five, or worse. So that wasn't going to happen. I mean, I knew Alex was going to make his and I figured Bo would two-putt. It just got -- the first putt just got away from him a little bit, and he missed the second one.
Yeah, I can't believe it. I made one shot day that's just ridiculous. I don't know what to say.

Q. Have you even seen a finish like that?
ROCCO MEDIATE: Heck no. I haven't. I remember Okey (phonetic) holed one back in the early '80s against Jack Renner at Hawaii. But this wasn't the last hole. But still, then going to 18, that's a horribly difficult tee shot. Everything looking at you is death out there.
You know, Matthew and I talked about it. He says, You can go on the left. I'm like, No, I need to drive this ball up there; I'm going to hit driver, which was the play.
I pushed it a little bit, but I wasn't having any draw on this ball. This ball was not going to draw, because if it goes in the hazard it's probably over. I mean, best I could make is probably five.
And I made a pretty good swing. Not great, but pretty good. In was in play on the first cut. A little hooky lie like I grew up on. Just jumped a little right on me. I was kind of surprised, because I like the way I hit it.
Then had a tough two-putt. Would have been much nicer if it was ten feet from the hole up the hill, but it wasn't, so...

Q. They made it tough on you, too.
ROCCO MEDIATE: Well, Bo, you know, I figured one of 'em was gonna make it. I figured Alex would make it. Bo's got 37.5 feet I think the board said.
But, you know, it's like -- even Matthew said before they ever putted. Hey, I would've taken a four-footer to win this golf tournament if you had told me at the end of the week, figuring someone's going to make it. I'm not going to think they're not. They both it, which kind of was surprising.
Bo missed a lot of the putts today. He could've shut this thing out. He missed a couple shorties or I wouldn't have had a chance to win.

Q. Does this win eight years later feel different than the others?
ROCCO MEDIATE: I can't believe it, though. I mean, I don't know how to explain it. You know, the last three weeks I kept telling everybody, and Matthew kept beating it into my head, everything is coming around, you're putting better. And I was.
I had sprinkled a few 65s and 67s in there, which haven't done all year really. Last week I put like four decent rounds to together. Usually I'll throw a 74 in there for some reason, but I didn't last week. I went, That's good. I was pretty solid all week. Whatever.
Then this week it just went bonkers. And I love the golf course. It fits my eye beautifully. It made a big difference, because I really do like it. I mean, the tee shots I liked. You know, I could see where my ball would fit there, and I made a lot of putts and holed out 3-iron shots.
So, I mean, only eight shots I saved really. (Laughter.) If they wouldn't have went in and I made all birdies, I would have lost.

Q. That was going to be my next follow up question. You talked about 18, that tee shot being the Valley of Death, and it is.

Q. I've been around the venue, and there's a lot of scary golf shots out there. Your thoughts on how this golf course fits as a PGA Tour event.
ROCCO MEDIATE: Oh, fantastic. I hope we stay here. I mean, I think there's rumors we're going somewhere else. I stayed in Gilroy all week except for the last two nights. I loved it. It was great. We had a great time.
Yeah, it's good. This time of year here is -- obviously today was freaky, but this place is fantastic. I don't know where they're planning on going.

Q. Where did you stay the last two nights?
ROCCO MEDIATE: Right at CordeValle. Mr. Butler put me. CordeValle was fantastic. What a joint. You can come here and just hang out and not play golf and play whatever. The rooms are ridiculous. It's like a little house. It's a neat place. It really is something, the views and the vineyards and the houses, the way the houses are designed are really cool.
I think everybody loved it. I don't think anybody complained about it. I think it was great. Everybody in the locker room was great. It was great. Can't complain.

Q. How does to win change next year few?
ROCCO MEDIATE: I have a job. I signed you up for tour school, and I was going to go. That's where I belonged about a half hour ago; I don't belong there anymore, so... (laughter.)
That's where I was going to go more than likely. If I had finished second, I don't think that would have been enough to get to the top 125. I don't know what the number is for second place.
But the two years is huge. I can kind of -- I'm going to play Las Vegas and Disney and then I'm going to rest. Actually going to get in the gym. But I don't have to do the school again, and that's ridiculous. I can't even believe it. I had such plans. I get to go to Kapalua, though, don't I?
THE MODERATOR: Absolutely.
ROCCO MEDIATE: Nice. Hey, Matt, I'm going to take a buddy of mine to Kapalua, sorry about that. Matthew won twice this year, by the way. My caddie won twice. Not with me. He won with Matt Bettencourt, and then this week.
So Matthew is doing well. There's a reason that happens. He knows what he's doing. All he said to me the last putt -- we both read it the same. It was literally dead straight. He just said, It's dead straight. Knock it in.
Okay. But we've been waiting a long time for this. I rehearsed and thought about last night I was going to do. It was cool.
THE MODERATOR: We know you have a check and trophy to collect, so we'll cut you loose. It's an incredible win. We couldn't be happier.
ROCCO MEDIATE: Thank you. It's a great place. I'm glad it was here. It's my first win here in California, so it's good. This is good. This is really good. I'm happy. Everybody was fantastic. Hopefully we'll come back next year.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations.

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