Fourth-round observations from the Frys.com OpenOctober 17, 2010
Brett Wright, Special to PGATOUR.com
PGA TOUR Network correspondent Brett Wright will be offering observations this week from the Frys.com Open. Listen to PGA TOUR Live coverage on XM 146/SIRIUS 209 or right here at PGATOUR.COM.
SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Rocco Mediate had his regular caddie all week, but his carry bag was an unusual sight out here on the staff bag-driven PGA TOUR. Rocco, now playing without a golf club deal, gave his looper a break with the stand-up carry bag. It could have been a huge disadvantage in Sunday's final round if that carry bag leaked or did not have enough room for clean towels and raingear. If a carry bag is a large apartment in space, a staff bag is a Hearst Mansion.
After this week, it may be too hard for Mediate to turn away another lucrative club and bag deal. His last deal was with Callaway for several years. Whatever the case, the veteran multiple winner will do it his way like he always has. Rocco also had the bonus of his Pittsburgh Steelers winning Sunday against Cleveland. I asked him before the round about Ben Roethlisberger coming back to the team and Rocco said with a grin "yea, we have big Benny coming back, he hates it when I call him that!" Congratulations to Rocco and "Benny."
• Chris Tidland is in his fourth season on the PGA TOUR without a win. This year, for the first time, he is struggling to keep his TOUR card. He is currently 136th on the money list. The fifth-place finish this week will advance Tidland closer to the magic number of 125. Tidland told me, "I am going to move up some, but I sure wanted to win this week and take care of that. It's always a lot easier to relax and play once that card is assured." Tidland went on to say he is going to Las Vegas next week. Look for his solid game to continue with the momentum he found on the West Coast.
• Charles Warren, who has had a slow season and was ranked No. 173 coming into this week, played near the lead all day on Sunday. Warren ended up tied for sixth and will move up the list toward the magic number of 125. He could have finished higher, but just couldn't get the putter going. I watched him hit good solid putts that just would not fall and Warren also caught some bad breaks down the stretch. On the par-4 17th, Warren's drive was pin-high in the bunker and he hit a wonderful bunker shot that landed right on the cut line that divides the fringe and green. The ball caromed off the cut line and rolled to 27 feet. "I really did hit good shots, I only missed two greens all day, I just didn't get it done. Oh well, (I'll) try again next week," Warren said.
• People always call this a game of inches, and it proved true again in the final round of the Frys.com Open. Kevin Stadler and Tidland came down the stretch in contention but both would have traded for a few extra inches on the golf ball to close the deal. Stadler bogeyed the par-3 16th and hit a driver of the tee at the reachable par-4 17th. I believe he hit it pretty solid, yet it splashed right on the bank, just five inches shy of clearing the hazard and leaving him a possible eagle putt or chip.
• Tidland missed the green at the par-3 16th, decided to putt from off the green and left his putt short of the ridge in the green that would have fed his ball down to the hole. Tidland only needed one more rotation of the ball, but was left with 22 feet to save par.
• The CordeValle Golf Club was well received by all this week. I certainly did not enjoy working in the rain all day Sunday, but I think those conditions made everyone reconsider the difficulty of this layout. Instead of focusing on a winner around 20 under, the lead actually fell to 15 under. The teeth that hadn't shown itself all week looked like fangs in the cold and rainy final round. I hope the PGA TOUR remembers the way to San Jose.