U.S. Open live blog
Throughout this week, ESPN.com golf writer Jason Sobel will be live blogging from the U.S. Open, bringing you inside information and analysis from Torrey Pines. Refresh this page often to keep track of all the entries during each round. (All times are Pacific time.)
Have a question or comment for Sobel? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Round 2
• Round 3
• Round 4 1:49 p.m.: Before I go, just wanted to thank everyone who participated -- or tried to participate -- in the Live Blog. In 41 hours of live coverage for five straight days, I received close to 5,000 e-mails from readers -- double the number I received during the Live Blog at this year's Masters. Thanks to everyone. I've got to go catch a plane. And find a few more superlatives to describe Tiger Woods! 1:45 p.m.: Last e-mail of the week, from Gregg in Austin, Texas:
- Go and rest your eyes and fingers. The Open Championship is only one month away!
- Back in the days of the gladiators, a man wasn't expected to live beyond a few minutes with a tiger. Rocco did his "old" self proud today by fighting for four hours and 26 minutes -- to the last putt. Welcome back, Tiger.
- Rocco was absolute class in that post-round interview. Tiger is absolute greatness. Unbelievable. Greatest Open I've ever seen in my 43 years.
• Thursday: Par
• Friday: Par
• Saturday: Birdie
• Sunday: Par
• Monday: Birdie Rocco Mediate:
• Thursday: Bogey
• Friday: Par
• Saturday: Par
• Sunday: Par
• Monday: Par 1:06 p.m.: Rocco holes it! Handshakes all around as we're going to the 91st hole of the week 1:05 p.m.: C'mon, did you really think he'd miss? Woods makes a short putt for birdie. We're either going to sudden death or Tiger Woods is the U.S. Open champion and Rocco Mediate is the goat 1:04 p.m.: Tiger will putt first 1:03 p.m.: Rocco for the win and he misses on the left side, hits it a few feet past the hole. A couple of knee-knockers here. If they both make, we continue to the seventh hole 1:02 p.m.: Well, he didn't leave it short. Woods pushes it to the right and knocks the eagle attempt about 3 feet past the hole. Has that left for birdie. 1:01 p.m.: Tiger will be first to putt. Stevie is tending the stick for him 12:58 p.m.: Rocco with a very nice third shot to about 20 feet left of the hole. Each player will have an uphill run at it from there. If they both make, we have a playoff. If they both two-putt, we also have a playoff. If one makes and the other doesn't, this thing is over. Easy as that. 12:57 p.m.: Well, he hit it high and took it over the water, but it didn't cut too much. Woods is on the green in two, but has about 30-40 feet for eagle. 12:56 p.m.: He's got 217 yards to the stick 12:55 p.m.: It's not a 5-wood, but a long iron for Tiger 12:53 p.m.: Rocco knocks his second shot down the fairway. Easy enough. 12:52 p.m.: Another prediction from Harry: "Here comes a big 5-wood cut shot from Tiger. Right over the water. His favorite shot." This one I agree with. Woods is going to hit it about a mile high and let it funnel into that back-right hole location. 12:50 p.m.: Tiger splits the fairway. He's going to be able to have a go at the green, while Rocco has no chance. Could we really see an eagle to win this thing? 12:49 p.m.: Just like yesterday, Rocco hits his tee shot well left into the bunker. 12:48 p.m.: We've talked all week about how cool it is to have a par-5 18th hole on a U.S. Open venue, and this could provide some great drama today, just like yesterday. Pin is back right, meaning the guys can have a go at it without worrying about Devlin's Billabong. 12:46 p.m.: Tiger has the line on another long one but leaves it short once again. Rocco follows with a tap-in of his own. A pair of pars and we're heading to the final hole with Rocco Mediate leading by one in his upset bid over Tiger Woods. The heart has gotta be racing now -- for both players -- and maybe some butterflies in the stomach, too. 12:44 p.m.: Rocco has been simply spot-on with his long putts on the back nine. He hits the birdie putt about two feet past the hole, should be an easy par from there. 12:41 p.m.: Harry wants credit for a close call. Instead, he's just wrong. Mediate barely carries the left bunker but gets his ball onto the front left side of the green. Will have a putt of some 40 feet or so for birdie. 12:40 p.m.: Tiger hitting his second shot first for one of the few times today, knocks it to 25 feet above the hole. 12:35 p.m.: From my buddy Harry Emanuel of the Sportinglife.com: "It's a tough back-right pin position today. Rocco is going to choke here. Front right bunker." Uh-oh. Worried for Rocco. Harry is a man who knows things. 12:34 p.m.: Rocco hits his tee shot on 17 into the first cut on the right side. Tiger takes 3-wood, swings and twirls it -- which means you don't even have to look to see where the ball went. (Fairway. Dead center.) 12:30 p.m.: If Rocco's roll was good, Tiger's was great but it still didn't go in. Woods leaves it about one ball rotation short of the hole on 16, as the players exchange pars and move to the 17th tee with Rocco Mediate your leader by one over Tiger Woods. Don't go anywhere. This is getting really good. 12:29 p.m.: Rocco putting from off the green whoa, that's a hell of a stroke. Almost holed it. Should be a kick-in par. 12:25 p.m.: Rocco's tee shot on the par-3 16th falls short of the green. Tiger puts his on the front. (Wonder if there's more wind up there than it seems.) For what it's worth, Mediate has won all three par-3 holes so far today. 12:22 p.m.: Despite Mediate's current lead, Garrett in Parts Unknown sees it going the other way:
- You're wasting your time with analysis, when the real answer, as always, lies in anagrams.
The 45-year-old Rocco Mediate is just a "medicare coot." A Rocco win would be a "meteoric coda" to the tournament -- in fact, it might set off a "co-ed mace riot" -- but he'll come up short, and leave a bad taste in our mouths. Like a "mediocre taco."
Tiger Woods just had knee surgery -- his "stride goes 'ow'"! Like all golfers, he wears "weirdo togs." Still, the women (and some men) see him and say, "We dig torso!" Are there words to describe Tiger? "Two: God, sire."
Looks like a win for Tiger.
- Everybody thought there should be a four-hole playoff, right? Consider the first 14 holes a warm up.
- If it's tied after 18 holes, what happens? Sudden death? Another 18-hole playoff tomorrow?
- This playoff is like when the Harlem Globetrotters were on Gilligan's Island playing basketball against robots. The only way the Globetrotters could win was to do exactly what the robots were not programmed to expect. Rocco should use his fairway wood on the green and putt from the tee box. Tiger's control panel will start to spark while he repeats, "Does not compute." And that is the only way that Rocco will get to keep the resort that Thurston Howell III built.
- Do u think this will be golf's version of Woodstock?
In other words, will there be thousands of people who'll say in future, "I was there when Tiger and Mediate went at it at Torrey Pines?"
11:47 a.m.: Woods hits a long iron out of the rough. Lands it about pin-high, 30-35 feet away. That thing was an absolute rain-maker. Eagle opportunity coming up.11:45 a.m.: Mediate hits a fairway wood into the front bunker. He's still smiling 11:41 p.m.: Rocco down the left side of the fairway, Tiger into the left rough, but it's sitting up pretty nicely. 11:39 a.m.: I mentioned earlier that the forward tee boxes should aid Rocco more than Tiger, but that's debatable here on the par-5 13th hole. Using the forward tees, it's playing at 539 yards, which means Mediate can likely get there in two, just like Woods. Then again, Tiger will be hitting a much more lofted club into the hole, you would think, which certainly helps him. 11:37 a.m.: Tiger blows his par putt past the hole, cleans up for bogey. Rocco makes par to pick up another stroke. It's now a one-shot difference, with Tiger at 2-over and Rocco at 3-over through 12 holes. Interesting that a 74 or 75 could actually win this thing. 11:35 a.m.: Good e-mail from Dan in Parts Unknown:
- After 11 holes, Tiger and Rocco have only halved two of them (second and fourth).
- So if Tiger wins today his career earnings will put him over the $82 million mark. Where does that put Steve Williams on that PGA Tour career money list?
- According to the guide on my cable there are going to be a lot of ticked off "Days of our Lives" fans today. Thought you might like to issue an apology on behalf of all of us golf fans.
- What are the weather conditions like on the course today?
- What time does Lee Westwood tee off? I haven't heard any updates about him.
- How does Tiger's knee seem to be holding up? Any noticeable grimacing?
- Why were you so against a playoff? You had something better to do than sit in Southern California on a gorgeous day watching two charismatic players compete for the U.S. Open Championship?
- What score today is achievable? Like yesterday, is there a 68 available? Or is the course set up to play more difficult?
• Tiger Woods: -400
• Rocco Mediate: +250 Tiger Woods playoff score?
• 71 or Better: -120
• 72 or Worse: -120 Rocco Mediate's playoff score?
• 74 or Better: -150
• 75 or Worse: +110 What will Tiger Woods score at the first hole be?
• Birdie or better: 5/1
• Par: 2/3
• Bogey or Worse: 2/1 Who will get the first birdie or better?
• Tiger Woods: -200
• Rocco Mediate: +150 Who will get the first bogey or worse?
• Tiger Woods: EVEN
• Rocco Mediate: -140 Who will lead after nine holes?
• Tiger Woods: 1/2
• Rocco Mediate: 5/2
• Tie: 11/2 9:29 a.m.: Wow! After Tiger finds the greenside bunker on 3 -- with a plugged lie, no less -- Rocco nearly holes out for an ace. Even so, this has the potential of being a two-shot swing, as Woods has a brutal second shot coming up. 9:27 a.m.: Interesting that Woods is in a playoff one year after missing a birdie putt on the final hole at Oakmont that would have forced one with Angel Cabrera. Had Tiger shot one stroke better last year, there's no telling what would have happened on Monday, as his wife, Elin, was giving birth to their daughter Sam that day. Said Woods just a few weeks after that: "That didn't happen, so it would be all hypothetical. I'm not going down that road." 9:25 a.m.: Ho-hum. A pair of pars and Woods heads to the third hole still up by one. 9:21 a.m.: Rocco hits a nice chip from the thick stuff on No. 2. Tiger with a pedestrian chip to about 6 feet. 9:16 a.m.: Good time to discuss the course setup. Here's what I received from the USGA this morning Yardages and hole locations: • Hole 3: 188 yards (back right tee)
• Hole 6: Tee markers moved forward 14 paces (501 yards to middle) due to challenging left "bowl" hole location.
• Hole 8: 171 yards
• Hole 11: 192 yards (back tee)
• Hole 12: 505 yards
• Hole 13: 539 yards (most forward of three teeing grounds used with hole location on back left shelf)
• Hole 14: 269 yards from tee markers to flagstick (same forward tee as round four. Hole location is front center).
• Hole 16: 225 yards (back right tee)
• Hole 18: 525 yards (to middle of green) Advantage: Rocco. With all of the forward tees (especially 13 and 14), it should eliminate much of the discrepancy in driving distance. A few more notes from the USGA: "If the players are tied after 18 holes, the playoff would be decided in sudden death using holes 7, 8 and 18 in rotation." And I thought this was interesting: "Almost every aspect of the playoff setup was done prior to Thursday's first round. The only thing undecided was which teeing ground to use on hole 14. We waited to see how things went in Round 4." I guess they liked how things went. 9:14 a.m.: Rocco misses his par putt; Tiger makes his. So much for that quick start for Mediate. 9:11 a.m.: Woods misses his 15-foot birdie putt on the high side. Mediate has a little left to make par after a nice bunker shot. 9:07 a.m.: My buddy Scott Van Pelt mentioned on the air yesterday that he'd have to recycle a suit, since he didn't plan for a playoff. Well, he's in good company. As CNBC's Darren Rovell reports, yes, that is the same shirt that Tiger was wearing yesterday. What? You thought he'd wear green or something? 9:03 a.m.: Tiger hits the fairway! And raises his arms triumphantly. Since I've covered a lot of golf in my time, I can tell you that raising your ams triumphantly is a much better reaction to hitting a shot than doubling over in pain. Through one shot, Woods looks OK so far. 9:02 a.m.: Rocco splits the fairway on No. 1. Tiger hasn't been close to the fairway on this hole in any of the four rounds so far. 9:00 a.m.: Welcome to a special Monday edition of the U.S. Open Playoff Live Blog! As someone who witnessed the last one of these -- Retief Goosen vs. Mark Brooks at Southern Hills in 2001 -- in person, let's just say I'm a little more fired up for today's matchup. In this corner, we have a 13-time major champion, global icon and multi-trillionaire, a guy who makes birdies in his sleep Tiger Woods! And in this corner, we have a 45-year-old who hasn't won since 2002 and has to wear a sweater so his back doesn't tighten up Rocco Mediate! Honestly, I'm not sure we could have two more different players or personalities for this playoff. Tiger is a steely-eyed, focused picture of intimidation on the course. Rocco is chattier than those ladies on "The View." Tiger launches rockets off the tee box with his powerful swing. Rocco may not have a swing that would make Ben Hogan puke, but he wouldn't be happy about it, either. Tiger collects major trophies like a kid collects baseball cards. Rocco has never sniffed a top-three. What does it all mean? Absolutely nothing. This isn't tennis, where the 158th-ranked player would barely stand a chance against Roger Federer. Anything can and often does happen in golf and while I did predict that Woods would win, I don't think it'll be a runaway by any means. A handful of quick notes as they're about to tee off: • The first four holes will be crucial. Through four rounds, Mediate played these holes in 5-under-par, while Woods was 4-over. If Rocco can get an early lead, he'll carry that momentum for a while.
• As ESPN's researchers have told me, if Mediate had won yesterday he would have become the oldest champion in Open history at 45 years, 180 days. Well, guess what? He's even older today -- 45 years, 181 days, in fact.
• I've been getting a lot of questions about the course setup, which is especially crucial considering there's a long hitter against a short hitter today. Well, I can tell you that the playoff setup was determined before the tournament started, so there was no favoritism played toward either player once the Monday match was determined. I have details on the setup and will share them throughout the round.
• Also getting plenty of questions on why this isn't in prime time. All about television, from what I hear. Can't say I blame 'em, either; four hours of Mediate vs. Lee Westwood during nighttime hours wouldn't have been must-see TV for most of the audience.
• The USGA didn't sell individual tickets for the playoff, but they were included in the weeklong package that was offered. Last night, I heard estimates that there would be more than 20,000 spectators on the scene today. Since they'll all be concentrated on the action at one hole, expect the gallery to be massive.
• This is worth noting, since we have one guy with a bad knee and another with a bad back: If a player has to withdraw from the playoff, I've been told by the USGA that he'll still receive second-place honors and a second-place paycheck.
• I stopped by the driving range about 45 minutes ago. Woods and Mediate weren't exactly at opposite ends of the range, but they were 50 yards about. Always a weird scene. Happens on Sunday at the Match Play every year, too.
• In case you couldn't tell, Tiger is the guy in a red shirt and black pants. Rocco is the other guy in a red shirt and black pants. OK, that's all I have for now. If I divulge any more info, I'll have nothing left for the next few hours. After four rounds, I hope you know the drill by now. Hit me at the above e-mail address throughout the day and keep clicking refresh as quickly as possible. I'll be here all day. And with that Tiger, Rocco, you may now swing away Jason Sobel covers golf for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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