I was really hoping that Rocco Mediate could hold on to his lead and become the “first player to beat Tiger when he had the 54 hole lead in a major.” Of all the people to do it, you could have gotten 40,000,000/1 odds in Vegas on Rocco. Then we wouldn’t hear the ever popular “Tiger has never given up a 54 hole lead…..” stuff. That being said, Rocco has put on a great performance and I hope it continues in the playoff.
Nobody has EVER been a better clutch putter
When he absolutely HAS to make a putt, Tiger is clutch. There hasn’t been anyone who is better at holing out when failing to do so sends him home. Some examples are the Bob May putt at the 2000 PGA, earlier this year at Bay Hill to win and now Sunday at the 2008 U.S. Open on #18 to force a playoff.
If you have it recorded, watch Tiger just before he addresses the ball on that final putt Sunday. If you watch closely you can see him take two deep breaths while standing behind the ball. While doing that his eyes, which already seemed focused, really zero in. He’s completely blocking out all external distractions and summoning up an amazing and pinpoint ability to perfectly read the line and perfectly execute the stroke. All of this under the greatest pressure in golf. Simply spectacular.
I hope both players play well and the battle rages on to the final holes. The more pressure the better.
I’ll never forget seeing Tiger making a do or die long snaking clutch putt in his 3rd US Amateur – It was incredible – seriously like magic. They somehow go in for him if it is a really important putt. It is skill for sure but I can’t explain it.
That putt in the Amateur he made was against a guy named Scott (who I confused for Adam Scott for a couple years but it was someone else). That was one unbelievable match those two had. That guy Scott chipped in from a down hill lie in the rough to a down hill green by landing the ball in the hole – SWISH. From what I remember Tiger was dormie in the middle of the round and had to win several holes in a row just to not lose – and he did that. There was so much media buzz and that Nike guy in the crowd that Tiger turned pro soon after.
*** uh, don’t quote me on any of that – almost 20 years ago by now 🙂