The Iceman Cometh
As a casual golf fan, and by casual I mean I watch golf about as much as I watch soccer, I watched (what was supposed to be) the final round of the U.S. Open yesterday with fascination. If you didn’t watch it, you missed what I can only describe as the most gripping sports television since the NCAA tournament. You had Tiger Woods, who has never lost a major tournament when heading into Sunday with the lead, battling it out with Rocco Mediate and Lee Westwood and a surgically repaired knee which caused him to wince in pain after nearly every stroke. The PGA and the USGA couldn’t have asked for a better moment when Tiger squared up to hit a birdie putt to force an 18-hole playoff with Mediate on Monday. I’d find it hard to believe that every sports fan in America wasn’t on the edge of their seat for that one. He sank it. Of course, he sank it. He’s Tiger Woods.
So today Mediate will head out onto the course at Torrey Pines for the fifth time in five days to try to beat the best golfer in the world and possibly the best golfer ever. The pair will square off at noon and Tiger will need to come out of the gate and not double bogey and bogey the first two holes as he did Saturday and Sunday. My guess is that Mediate will try to play it safe, laying it up and hoping that he can let Tiger beat himself on way to his first ever major championship.
Will it work? I can’t say for sure but you can rest assured that I won’t be far from a television in the newsroom when Tiger and Rocco tee off.