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Mediate ready for more fun with Woods
SAN DIEGO |
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Energetic Rocco Mediate said he was having the time of his life, even though he came less than an inch from winning his first major title at the U.S. Open on Sunday.
Tiger Woods barely caught the right-hand edge of the cup with his birdie putt at the 72nd hole at Torrey Pines to tie the 45-year-old American and deprive him of victory.
Mediate will now have another day of excruciating fun as he duels head-to-head with the world number one in an 18-hole playoff on Monday.
"It was the most amazing day of golf I've ever experienced. Tomorrow is going to be pretty amazing too but today was absolutely remarkable," Mediate told reporters after posting an even-par 71 to complete regulation in one-under-par 283.
"I've never been there like that before," said the animated Mediate, whose best finish in 43 previous majors was fourth place at the 2001 U.S. Open.
"I had a blast. It was hard. I kept trying to do what I was doing. I hit a lot of good shots. Made a lot of putts today, for me, when I needed them. Big ones, to keep the momentum going. And missed a couple, but I made a few.
"I've never had more fun and more insanity. It's just amazing."
Mediate began last season as a TV commentator with his playing career in doubt because of a chronic back injury but he has enjoyed a renaissance on the course.
The four-times winner in 22 seasons on the U.S. PGA Tour had a runner-up and three top-10s last year for his best season since 2003. This year he came to Torrey Pines following a tie for sixth at the Memorial Tournament.
Mediate has made no secret of his admiration of Woods and is excited about their showdown.
"I get to play for the National Open against the best player on earth, that maybe ever played," Mediate said. "How much more could you ask for?
"To go up against the best player in the world and have a chance to beat him, there's nothing else you can ask for, period."
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
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