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Rocco Mediate

Rocco Meidate's recent run on the PGA tour is a hot news headline, taking the spotlight from the recent controversy surrounding NPR.  Rocco Mediate is an American pro golfer on the PGA tour who has won several tournaments throughout his professional career. Most recently he won the 2010 Frys.com Open in October of that year. Rocco Mediate has always been regarded as one of the most talented players on the tour, and perhaps a golfer whose resume ought to have more wins to show for all of that talent. Some casual fans of the game of golf do not know that Rocco Mediate is American born and that he played his college golf here at Florida Southern. Because of his Italian name, many believe him to be an Italian player. But although his ancestry traces back to Italy, Rocco Mediate was born in the United States, in the state of Pennsylvania.

In college he played golf with fellow PGA Tour player Lee Janzen. Together they helped lead Florida Southern to the Division II national title in 1985. Once he won that championship he turned pro. Early in his career Rocco Mediate had serious back issues that really affected his game. One of the things he did to try to make it work and keep playing was to use a long putter so that he wouldn't have to bend down so far. He finally got his first tour win in 1991 and actually was the first player to win a tournament using a long putter. Throughout the 1990s he was plagued by back trouble, including a ruptured disk and other problems. He ended up having major back surgery as the decade drew near to a close and lost significant playing time. After coming back Rocco Mediate eventually returned to using a conventional putter.

World Golf Rankings

Rocco Mediate these days is considered one of the best players in the world and is particularly noted for his great putting, ironic considering his back pains nearly cost him that putting stroke entirely. He is usually ranked among the top 20 players in the world, and has gone toe to toe with some of the greats of the game. He could have won the Masters in 2006 had he not committed a huge error and actually ended up with an incredible septuple bogey on the 12th hole on Sunday [1]. His best finish in a major was second place at the 2008 U.S. Open, which he lost in a sudden death playoff to Tiger Woods.

Today Rocco Mediate is one of the stronger candidates worldwide for the unofficial title formerly held by Phil Mickelson of "best golfer never to win a major". His showings, especially at the U.S. Open in 2008 and at some other courses, demonstrate the man's obvious ability. It is just interesting that he has never been able to put it all together when it matters the most. This is a common attribute ascribed to those golfers who get to compete for this unfortunate title. It suggests that especially at the highest level, golf is as much a mental game as it is physical. Rather than worry about online car insurance or the phone bill like most people, these men have to worry about failure in front of a worldwide audience.

Rocco Mediate still has some time ahead of him to win a major. His career has been a success in the sense that he has been able to overcome physical ailments to remain in the game and actually improve his standing in the world rankings. But even so, that elusive major is something missing from his list of accomplishments. Rocco Mediate is good enough to win a major. The only question that remains is whether he will.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocco_Mediate Retrieved 2010-10-25.

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