Monday, June 16, 2008

Tiger Woods Wins U.S. Open in Sudden Death (Or How Golf Became Arbitrary For Mediate)

I just saw Tiger Woods win a sudden death playoff to win the U.S. Open against Rocco Mediate on TV. I'm not a hug golf fan but if Tiger ever gets into a playoff I automatically root for the other guy usually with futile results. It is not a resentment of success. It's just I like to see other people have their moment in the sun. I mean there are hundreds of golfers on the PGA Tour who go years between winning tournaments. Mediate hasn't won a golf tournament since 2002. Some never win any at all. Yet they are still great golfers. But with Tiger on the scene it has become that much more difficult. Golf has become even more arbitrary for the Rocco Mediates of the world. With today's win at Torrey Pines, Tiger has now won 14 majors. He is within striking distance of Jack Nicklaus who won 18 majors. Keep in mind that it took nearly a quarter century for Nicklaus to achieve this feat. Tiger has won 14 in just over a decade. What's even more amazing about today's win is that he just came back from knee surgery.

Still, Rocco Mediate went toe to toe with the Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky of golf. Nothing to be ashamed of. He can not only tell his grandchildren about competing with Tiger Woods but he can share his earnings with them. But had Mediate beat Woods, the 45-year-old would have been the second oldest man to win a PGA Major. The oldest was the aforementioned Golden Bear. Nicklaus won the Masters in 1986 at the age of 46.

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