Montreal Championship interview: Rocco Mediate

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September 05, 2013

THE MODERATOR: I'd like to welcome Rocco Mediate into the media center, coming off a decisive win last week, seven strokes, at the Shaw Charity Classic. Reflect on last week and then maybe talk about the course.

ROCCO MEDIATE: Last week was kooky. It was one of those weeks you want to have. I've never had a week like that as far as having that big of a lead or going into Sunday wanting to make a big lead so it would be I don't want to say easy, but easy coming out of the last few holes.

It was really fun. It was one of those things, first time I ever won twice in a year, a calendar year, so that was cool, too. It was fun and everything worked out well. Just one of those weeks where everything, it just worked out well, obviously. Putted great last week, so a ton of birdie putts.

I did see something I found out that someone mentioned to me. I made three bogeys last week, which is cool. But I made four eagles. That's really cool when you make more eagles than bogeys. Never done that before either. I'm getting all this information I never paid attention to last week.

Yeah, you made more eagles than you did bogeys. I went, What? That usually is a good week.

Q. Tied the Tour record with four eagles.

ROCCO MEDIATE:
And I missed the one on 11 the second day.

No. It was cool. It was cool.

This golf course is really good. I love it. I played it yesterday morning, in the afternoon and this morning.

I don't really play great in Pro Ams. I try to get the guys to have fun and entertain them. That's what I'm doing.

But looking around, it's really tough. You have got to really be on your stuff or you're going to be in trouble, which I like. Good driving course, great second shot, just a good golf course.

I've never played it, but I guess the redo was whoever did the redo, as far as I know, did a fantastic job. I didn't see it before, but it's really good. Looking forward to it. Good old school golf course, my favorite.

Q. What have you heard about this course?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
Well, this is my second time in Montreal. I played in the Canadian Open at Royal Montreal, which is another awesome golf course, in '97. But I haven't really heard. A lot of guys said they played a different golf course, so they couldn't really talk about it.

The thing I also like about it is it's a much more even playing field. I'm a rookie, remember? I don't see these courses. Which is fine.

Sometimes it matters; sometimes it doesn't. We're all kind of playing a new golf course, which I like. We're all learning it. As the years go, we'll know it. This year we're learning it. So we'll see what the scoring is. Good par 3s here, really good set of par 3s.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
It's fine. I feel 30, but I'm 50. I don't mind it at all. You have to prove yourself out here like you do everywhere else. We can really, really play here.

I'm very touchy about this Tour, about what people think about it and stuff like that. I said it last week, I'll say it again. Anybody, any age, from any tour, come on, see what you do. We'll hand you your ass. I promise you. I promise you. I don't care who it is. Bring 'em.

The scores we can shoot in three days are ridiculous. We're playing golf courses that aren't short. I don't know what flight this is, but it's not short. So it's 7,000 yards long, average course on Tour is 7,000 yards long, give or take. So come on. If you think it's easy, please come out here. I tell you what, it's not. I've never worked harder in my life. I've always worked hard, but I'm still working as hard as I've ever worked.

Lanny said something last week that pissed me off a little bit. He said, Rocco started out really well and he won the first tournament and he played really good a few weeks after and then maybe he thought it was so easy that he quit working. Bullshit. I haven't stopped working. You can print anything you want.

If you tell the truth, they can't hurt you. They can't hurt you. My point is I love Lanny, by the way. But he said that because he doesn't know what I do. You know, he's just reacting to scores and stuff. I'm like, no, no, no. It's hard. It's really hard. It's hard to play. It's just hard to beat these guys; it really is. I think they would all say the same thing. It's not a walk in the park.

It's a great place to be able to play golf. If you are not on your game, you are going to get crushed out here.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
Very, very fast. I don't waste any time. I have no time to waste.

Today, like I said, and I even told the guys, I said, Look, I'm out here to help, entertain, make your laugh, make fun of you. I'm real good at that. You are not going to see 12 birdies today, I can assure you, from me. Or five birdies for that matter.

I'm not out there practicing or I'm not taking the time away from them. I'm not doing that. Sometimes it makes them mad that I don't shoot 65 every time I play in the Pro Am, but I'm not going to do it. Probably not going to happen. Every once in a while maybe. I'm out there having a little bit of fun, talking to the boys, playing a little music. Had a little Rush going today. And we had a great time. That's what it's about on Pro Am day, period.

If you have got a guy out there working on his game and not talking to the guys, toss him. I don't care who it is. That's not what today is about.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
Frys in about a month and a half.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
Maybe the McGladrey. I'm not sure yet. I've been working on Davis a little bit on that one after the Schwab Cup, but if not it's okay.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
I want to stay in one place and get comfortable and get used to what's going on. It's a whole different world out here. Three days it's a sprint not a marathon. The PGA TOUR is a marathon. It's four days.

Somebody said something last week. Did you ever shoot 22 under par? The closest I ever came was 20 under at the Buick Open when I won in '99 or 2000. And they went, But that was four rounds. I went, That was lowest I ever shot. I forgot about the four rounds thing. I'm still forgetting about that. It definitely is the lowest I ever shot last week or ever, period.

I don't know. I look out there and I think all of us do it. We first come out here and look out there and go, Man, I can still hit like that guy and I can still and I can. I just want to stay here and we'll see. I only have one or two. I'll probably just play the Frys this year. I won that golf tournament three years ago; it's not been that long. I'm better than I was then. Whether that means anything to me when I go there, I will find out.

Q. Why are you better now?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
I just know more. I putt better, definitely putt better. I'm a little bit longer. Whatever. I'm just better.

We should get better as we get older. We should know more than everybody else knows. I have been playing this game professionally almost 30 years, I better get better. I still talk to people, I watch guys play, I watch hit shots. We don't know everything, nobody does.
The minute you think you've got it, it's gone. You have to keep moving forward and trying to learn stuff. I got the best guys in the world out here ever that ever played. Think about that one. I get to hang with the best players that ever played ever that are still playing, you know.

Trevino doesn't come out much, Jack doesn't, Arnold is done pretty much. He doesn't want to play anymore. But think about who I get to play with: Watson, Kite, all the guys, Erwin. If I have a question, they will answer my question most of the time after busting me up a little bit after I ask it. I'm going to ask questions and watch them practice and stuff because they're the best who ever played. I'm not the best. They are.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
Oh, God, yeah, absolutely. If I got a question about something, 100 percent. That's pretty huge, if you ask me.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
What do you mean?

Q. Support?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
You did, it just depended on I was never I never asked anybody questions back then. First of all, I was too shy to do it. Now I don't care.

But back then, I was like I had to try to figure it out myself. We all tried to figure it out ourselves. We have our teachers or our people who help us out, but we still try to figure it out ourselves.

Back in the early days, it's like you are not supposed to really say, Greg Norman, can you help me? No, I'm not going to do that until I get to know him. Tom Watson was my idol, still is. When I was in high school and college, he was the man. I'm still nervous hanging around him.

Q. You sound happy to be here?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
I'm ecstatic to be here, absolutely. Would I want to play the PGA Tour forever? Yeah, but you can't. You can't.
Like I said, this is as much competition as I'll ever have are out here. It's a three day sprint. It's a different ball game. Totally different. If you are not sharp on Friday, your game is over for the week. You can play good; you can play great. Finish in the top 10, 20, whatever, but you are not going to win. I assure you.

And that's what I like most of all. The guys are really good here, as good as any Tour in the world. Like I said, come on. Open it up for any age for a couple of weeks, see what happens. I guarantee you will be surprised. We won't.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
Yeah, just about.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
I don't remember that one. What happened? Oh, I lost. Obviously, that day, the four days were great, but that Monday was really cool because there were 30,000 people live watching us and the rest of the world watching us some other way. That's really cool. You can't hide, so you have to have it.

And I've said it a million times and I'll say it again. Everybody in the entire united world thought that I was going to get murdered. I never doubted I was going to win that morning, ever. I still wonder how I didn't win, but I didn't. That's what great players do; they beat you. Whatever way they do, they beat you.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
It ranks just behind the Frys that I won in 2010, because that one saved me. I didn't want to leave the PGA Tour, not that I'll ever go back again, but I didn't want to be done with the PGA TOUR with that that being my last event. I had won five times, which is great for me. If you had told me in 1986 I was going to win five tournaments, I would have said, What are you nuts? I didn't think I belonged out there for a year, but I was still there.

When I won Frys, it solidified what I wanted to do. If I have to leave, I want to leave having another trophy, not a little medal that's second place to the man. That was still cool, though. I have no regrets on that. I did the best I could. If I had bogeyed the last three holes on Sunday, bogeyed the last three holes on Monday, that could change the whole career. But I didn't. I kept moving. It hurt for a while, believe it. It hurt for a while.

Frys took that all and tossed it in the garbage can. Now at the time I won another golf tournament.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
Well, from everywhere it was, actually. Fairways, everything. It was crazy. Obviously something was going on that week.
Just like last week was the same thing. It was ridiculous what happened. Those things happen, I guess. You wish they would happen more often, but maybe they wouldn't be successful. I don't know. I have no absolutely no chance.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
If they can't understand English, they are in trouble. I can catch some Italian. I used to speak it when I was a kid. My dad and my uncle still, but I'm not ever around them. Then my grandma died when I was 21, and her and I would talk all the time. That was, what, 29 years ago. I'm not around it anymore. I can catch it, but I can't have a conversation. I wish I stayed with it, but I didn't. I really miss that. I really miss that. It's cool.

Last week, I've always liked playing in Canada anyway. I played mostly in Tornoto.

Q. (Inaudible)?

ROCCO MEDIATE:
Mostly, yeah. But it was cool being in Calgary last week, which was a great town. This is obviously a great town. I'm glad we're here.

The golf course is cool. This will bring out your best player this week. There is no flooking around here. There is no messing around here. You have to your game or this place will tear you up, which I love courses like that.

Everyone asks, How are you playing? I said, I'll let you know Friday. Friday is another week, so I'll let you know. The score will tell the truth.

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