What they said: Rocco Mediate

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October 15, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Frys.com Open transcript archive

MARK STEVENS: Rocco Mediate, another great round including another eagle. If you can take us through your round today, and then we'll take some questions.

ROCCO MEDIATE: I was concerned, thought it might be a bit chilly. But it wasn't too bad. But coming out, the first couple holes, it is a hard start that early. So (indiscernible). Got a ball out of the bunker on 11. (Indiscernible) just kept trying to hit my ball in the fairway. Kind of have to out here.

I missed a few today, unfortunately. The human factor kicked in a little bit.

But it was good. It was solid all day. I mean, I made a shot on -- what hole was that? 4. 158 yards and there is a guy up behind the green. I hit it. It was right at the flag. I remember I said, "I got it on." Hit a foot or two to the right of the pin. The guy -- to get the kick, there is a slope out there. It kicked up a little bit.

And one of the marshals was standing by the ropes and he is walking it down and he is going, "Go, go, go." So I just looked at the guy and I said, I don't know what to tell you. It was one of those -- I have never done that in one week or two days. So it is cool.

Q. You hole two shots so far this tournament, a guy who is to complaining about his putting.

ROCCO MEDIATE: Right.

Q. What club did you hit in there??

ROCCO MEDIATE: 7-iron, good solid 7.

Q. And the other thing, the fact that you have been struggling this year and all of a sudden now are playing well, do you have the confidence of a guy who almost won the U.S. Open??

ROCCO MEDIATE: Absolutely, yeah.

Q. It is all back again??

ROCCO MEDIATE: It is all back about -- it is all about striking, on this golf course especially. So if I can go out and hit all the fairways and all the greens, that's what I need to do. Obviously putting, whatever, that happens. That's all it is. That's what I like.

I always say, What are you thinking about? Driving it in. That's as far as I'm going because I can't do anything else but think about that.

But, yeah, I have been there a zillion times and at the U.S. Open, albeit I lost. I didn't fail physically. I didn't really fail. I just got beat. I don't know what else to tell you. You really can't say much else. Everything else worked pretty good there under the gun, and it is working so far now.

It is a little -- starting out this morning I was a bit nervy for sure because, you know, you just want to go out and try to shoot. Did I think I was going to shoot six or seven under? No. You never think that's going to happen, but, of course, I want it to.

I got a couple balls up and down. Saved a few putts (indiscernible).

Q. When you have been in the lead, you seem fearless, at least on the outside. Is any that of that an influence from being a friend with Arnold Palmer??

ROCCO MEDIATE: You just look at that where I trust -- you know, I trust my motion that I have. Whether it comes off or not is a different story, but I definitely trust it. I know when I can do it and I know when I can't do it. And I just don't care what the situation is. Like I said, it may not happen.

I'm not going to lose it before I hit it, you know what I mean? I hate when that happens. It does happen, especially putting.

There are certain holes out here you just can't -- you got to go. That's when I go -- I go -- lay it up or (indiscernible). I have driven most of the fairways. I missed a few of the putts in the right spot, I'd guess you'd say, but never off line too much, a touch here or there. (Indiscernible). I missed by a yard. But you get what you get.

So, you know, knowing Mr. Palmer like I have known him over the years, yeah, there is definitely some of that mentality when it comes to replay. It cost him a few, too.

But I rather go down fighting than not. I never know. (Indiscernible). If I continue to keep striking it, I will be around.

Q. Rocco, you are not a guy who -- you know, you are a strutter and you have had your problems. I just wonder, the book you did with John, was that, like, out of character? Were you a little embarrassed or had a lot of fun?

ROCCO MEDIATE: (Indiscernible). But it was fun. I learned stuff about me that I didn't know. He talked to so many people, I was like, Really, I did that?

Q. You were suddenly a star. I know you were saying yesterday people yelling, "Rocco, Rocco." But did you look at yourself differently??

ROCCO MEDIATE: No. All I took from that whole experience was that under the most intensive heat or pressure or gun, or whatever you want to call it, what I have learned for 25 years worked. Unfortunately Tiger won. He just won. Whatever.

My point is that's what I took from it, to where all this physical stuff I do, it held up under a huge stage and microscope. And I was very pleased about that, very. There is no reason why it won't hold up anymore. I know what I'm doing.

Like I said, we all hit bad shots. We are going to hit some shots off line.

Q. (Indiscernible).

ROCCO MEDIATE: I want five more years. That's my goal. I know physically I'm fine. If I stay in reasonable shape, which I will, I still hit it -- I don't hit it far but plenty far enough.

I mean, I still hit far. Trust me, I'm not even close to far but far enough. You always say, How far do you hit it? Far enough. It doesn't matter if I average 280 yards, I'm happy with it. I can't hit it 300 anyway. So I like hitting long clubs.

Q. You said yesterday you had a hole in one like a month ago.

ROCCO MEDIATE: Yeah, John Deere. It's weird. And then -- I don't know. It is just weird. A lot of stuff happening. When that went in today, I was like "really?" I was pleased but shocked.

Q. Actually, in 2001, you hit -- in the same tournament, you had two eagles on a non-par 5 also.

ROCCO MEDIATE: Wow.

Q. I will look it up later.

ROCCO MEDIATE: I don't remember. Anyway, but it was cool.

But all day it is just trying to get it done, get it around. There are some holes, like I said, that will get your attention. They are all good, but certain ones you really just have to trust it.

Q. (Indiscernible).

ROCCO MEDIATE: That was my record, five miles, I think, 34 holes. I was so disappointed because -- just for like for a second because I'm like how could I be that angry (indiscernible). But I'm like, I wanted to go to at least 36. I actually tried to bogey the ninth hole, too, by the way.

So, yeah, it is just solid. And, like I said, I made a couple good par putts today that I haven't made in a long time. (Indiscernible). I don't know how far I was. Six, eight-footers I keep the ground going.

So I had a couple good saves and birdied the next four. You never know. You never know.

Q. You talked about your ball striking yesterday, and you said this is kind of what you waited for your whole life.

ROCCO MEDIATE: Yeah.

Q. How long has that -- I mean, when did it click??

ROCCO MEDIATE: I'd say -- you know, even at the U.S. Open, it was still fairly new, the feelings were new. Now they are ingrained to where -- I don't know how to explain it. But it is -- all my body does is (indiscernible). My arms and hands are (indiscernible). That's what I want.

Q. So the U.S. Open --

ROCCO MEDIATE: It may look different, but it is extremely effective when the club is moving up and down very nicely. A lot of the great players, they were up and down. That's why they last forever.

The reason I lasted this long out here is not because -- is because I have driven the ball on a lot of fairways in my day and hit a lot of greens.

Q. That was the U.S. Open two years ago??

ROCCO MEDIATE: I'd say -- sometimes it's a solid year where it really has kicked in to where I can feel more things and I do.

I don't look at video a lot. I will keep a Sling or two every week. I don't look at it all the time. I will look at it every once in a while.

The thing that scares me the most is when my posture changes because when I get too far bent over, Mr. Back doesn't like that. I have to make sure I'm up there tall and wide. It still doesn't make any guarantees (indiscernible).

Q. And you are 36-hole leader. You haven't won since 2002. What does this position feel like for you??

ROCCO MEDIATE: I want it. I can't stand it. I hate it, hate it. I want to be able to go tomorrow and see what I got. Whether I have the lead or don't have the lead, there are a lot of guys (indiscernible). So, whatever, I don't really care where I stand.

I like to have attention, but I just want to see what I can do out there. (Indiscernible). Can't wait.

Q. What would the title of the next Rocco Mediate book be??

ROCCO MEDIATE: I don't know. (Indiscernible).

I'd know what I would call it, "No, I'm serious." That's what I would call it. I know I can still do this stuff. I know I can. I love my job. I just love this whole thing. I love the guys. I've had a great time out here all of a sudden. I probably wouldn't change much.

Q. John was talking about Arnie and, of course, both from Western Pennsylvania. Furyk is from there. A guy named Harry Toscano, who you remember. How did you connect with Arnie, the fact that you grew up in the same general area? And when did he start connecting with you, when you were real young?

ROCCO MEDIATE: I think when I was 18 -- (indiscernible). I probably should remember exactly. A buddy of mine, Danny Bono, and Chris Adams, I play a lot of golf with them. They were the (indiscernible) members, and Arnold is a very dear friend. They always promised me that they would get me around him. I was like whatever.

I got a call on Wednesday. I was at Greensburg Country Club where I grew up, "Come on over, we got a game." They didn't say with who. I told the story many times.

But that was when, I went over and I shook his hand. I almost turned around and left I was so nervous. I went out and when I first met him, it was like he knew me for a hundred years.

He has gotten on me quite a bit over 20-some-odd years about just --

Q. Personality or whatever??

ROCCO MEDIATE: About whatever. What are you doing? Why do you do that? Or do. I learned a lot from him.

Q. Just a quick question about your bag. You don't have a TOUR bag. You switched a couple months ago. No head covers either.

ROCCO MEDIATE: I never use head covers, just the putter because I don't want to mess it up.

I don't do it. I changed, after I kind of went on my own in June, just because I wanted to. I just wanted to change everything because what I wanted to (indiscernible). I just said, I'm not even going to use a big bag anymore, hah. So I use a little one and it is no problem. It is easier for me to carry from the hotel to the car, too. There is always a reason.

But, also, I was telling a couple guys earlier, and I want to mention this, I called Mr. Trevino and I said, Mr. Trevino, I would like to come up and talk to you about(indiscernible). He said bring it.

I spent four or five hours with him on that. I learned so much. And it helped so much, moving the ball to the right. I'm a natural drawer, but I wanted to be able to do that at will. At will, no problem.

The time he spent with me was priceless. Fortunate enough to (indiscernible) one of the best hitters that ever walked on the grass.

But I said, Teach me to make this ball cut, go, help me with this. He did in about ten minutes. Yeah, it was nice. And I pitched the ball better. I hit my wedges really good. They become really good. And it is very fortunate.

I said, I got to call this guy. He has been through it. He knows how to do it. It was fantastic. I didn't want to leave. So it made a big -- there were so many people, a big impact.

(Indiscernible) they're nuts. They don't shut up. They don't care. I would never put myself (indiscernible) as far as walking around talking to (indiscernible).

Transcript courtesy of ASAP Sports.

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