Some startling ShotLink numbers on Rocco Mediate, who looks sure to end the day with the 36-hole lead in the Frys.com Open:
-- Posting rounds of 64-65, Mediate matched his career low first
two-round total of 129
this week. This is his 540th start (including the ’91 & ’92 British Open) on TOUR since he
last shot 129 (also the only other time) in the first two rounds (1987 at the Chattanooga Classic
where he finished tied for second.
-- Mediate is the second player on TOUR this year with multiple
aces (other player: Nathan Green, AT&T National and The
Masters). He’s the 42nd player on TOUR with
multiple aces in the same season since 1983.
-- In addition to his hole-in-one in Round 1, Mediate went onto convert an eagle
on the par 4 4th on Friday from 160 yards. This marks just the second time in his PGA TOUR
career where he’s had two eagles on non par-5s in the same event. The last and only other time
he accomplished this feat was at the 2001 SBS Championship.
-- Entering the week, Mediate had played 990 holes on TOUR this
season (on courses where
ShotLink was used to capture data) and made just one putt longer than 35 feet. However, on Friday, Mediate made 2 bombs of 35 feet or longer.
Here's why Rocco Mediate is prepared to hit q-school if he should somehow not lock up his card over the weekend at CordeValle -- he's feeling good, and he says he can compete with the TOUR's bombers despite averaging 280 yards off the tee.
Rocco says 280 yards is enough. Especially with a dizzying array of options in the hybrid department, which have been a godsend for a lot of players.
Mediate has hit the ball beautifully this week, and he says a lot of the credit must go to Lee Trevino. Trevino, who famously hit a perfect fade using a unusual reroute-and-hold action, worked with Mediate on moving the ball better from left-to-right.
"I spent four or five hours with him on [improving his fade]. I learned so much," Mediate said. "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 [work] one of the best hitters that ever walked on the grass."
Mediate is hoping the hard work translates into extending his time on TOUR right until the time he's eligible for the Champions Tour in Dec. 2012. Mediate sounds like he is going to mix up his playing time on the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour.
"I want five more years [on TOUR]. That's my goal," Mediate said after Friday's 65. "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."
He's 46 and giving up 50 yards off the tee to the bigger hitters on TOUR, but Rocco Mediate is the man to beat at the Frys.com Open so far.
Mediate just finished up a 65 that has him four shots ahead of the field so far at CordeValle Golf Club, a 7,368-yard track that would normally benefit the big hitter.
But Mediate has holed out twice from off the fairway this week, including on the fourth hole in Round 2 when he jarred his approach from 160 yards out (we're assuming it wasn't a pitching wedge) at the 418-yard par-4.
At 182nd on the money list, Mediate must finish in the top 125 this year to retain a PGA TOUR card for next year. He said on Thursday that he would consider going to q-school if he has to.
"If I don't have enough money to be in the 150 or 125, I don't belong here," Mediate said. "I have to go get my job back. That's not a problem with me."
As everyone knows, Mediate lost in a playoff at the 2008 U.S. Open -- a victory then would have secured his card for a full five years, virtually giving him a free ride until he's old enough to hit the Champions Tour. Since then, his putting has abandoned him, and Mediate maintains he can still hit the ball with the best players in the world.
Mediate is 183 rd on TOUR in Putts per Round and 183 rd in Putting Average, so it hasn’t been a coincidence that he’s 182nd in money.
"I have been striking it really well for a long time, and I have just gotten murdered on the greens," Mediate said Thursday. "And then it bleeds into everything else. I was averaging 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 three-putts a week. Even if I played two rounds, I was averaging three or four, five three-putts. There can't be anybody doing that."
Putting hasn't been a problem this week, but again, there have been two times when he didn't have to putt. He's used just 50 putts through two rounds. Coming into this week, he averaged 61 putts every two rounds.
A win would send Mediate all the way to 73rd on the money list. To see the latest projections, click here.
In the first round of the 2010 Frys.com Open, Rocco Mediate ties the lead at the time at 6-under par with this quality approach and birdie putt made at the par-5 9th.
J.B. Holmes knew he had a shot. That's why the 3-foot birdie putt that lipped out at the 11th hole lingered with him. Ditto for the 10-footer for eagle that stubbornly refused to fall at No. 17 – a putt that might have turned his 60 into the magical 59.
"I knew I was quite a bit aways, but, yeah, I knew if I played well I had a chance," Holmes said. "I hit some good putts on the back nine that didn't go in. So, you know, it's a little frustrating when you look back and end up one short.
"It's a great round no matter what. When you look back and there's a 3-footer you missed or even the eagle putt on 17 where you hit two good shots and then, you know, I hit the putt right where I wanted to.
"So to do that, hit good shots, to end up one short is a little frustrating. I'll definitely take it."
The round of 10 under vaulted Holmes into sole possession of second place when he finished, two shots behind overnight leader Jeff Overton. Of course, Overton was three hours from teeing off in the third round but at least Holmes has given himself a shot.
Holmes once shot 60 in a casual round at Kenny Perry's course in Franklin, Ky., but his previous career low in competition was a 64, shot three times. The 60, though, continues a spate of low scores on the PGA TOUR -- Holmes is the fourth player to shoot 60 or better in the last four weeks.
"If I had shot 60 maybe this time last year, it) probably (would) get a little more attention than it's probably gonna get," he acknowledged. "But there's been a lot of great scores lately."
Holmes set the tone when he hit a wedge to 13 inches on the first hole – one of three he hit to inches on Saturday. He bogeyed No. 3 but made 10 more birdies on his last 15 holes, including three straight to end the round in style.
The big-hitting Holmes two-putted both par 5s for birdie from 48 and 10 feet. His other birdies came from 26, 9, 6, 45, 6 and 10 feet, as well as 12 and 8 inches.
Holmes' playing partner, Rocco Mediate, also got into the act, shooting a bogey-free 63. Between them, the two made 18 birdies.
"We were having a lot fun," Holmes said. "We were just chatting away. We started talking on 14 or 15. We both made par, and ... my caddie said, 'Par is not a bad score.' I was like, Man, but it feels like it."
Holmes actually thought he was going to miss the cut, which fluctuated between 2 under and 3 under on Friday afternoon. Now he has a chance to win -- just like Carl Pettersson did after making the cut on the number last week at the RBC Canadian Open.
"You know it's possible, so we'll see where that ends up at the end of the day," Holmes said. "Overton is still two ahead (prior to starting his third round). If he goes out and plays like he's been playing, goes out and shoots 5 or 6 under, then he's got an eight-shot lead. It'll be tough to come back. He's a good player.
"But you never know. Maybe I get hot two days in a row and shoot 60, 60. You never know. I put myself in a position, and that's really all you can ask for." -- Helen Ross
Rocco Mediate doesn't have any grand plans to go low Sunday and win. It could happen, but the veteran isn't counting on Steve Stricker to collapse.
"As good as Strick's playing, as good as Pauly's playing, they're going to be at least 20-some-odd [under to win]," "I don't care about that. I'm just trying to get back on the horse, and so far so good."
Mediate, who has made only three cuts in 16 tries this year, has fallen all the way to 455th in the world since climbing to 74th after his epic 2008 U.S. Open battle with Tiger Woods.
The best round of the day so far? Easily Rocco Mediate’s 64, which included a hole-in-one on the 226-yard par-3 seventh. That helped Mediate shoot 30 on the front; he also had an eagle on No. 2 and a birdie on No. 4 ( Click here to replay his round with Shot Tracker).
On the day, Mediate hit nearly 80 percent of his fairways and 80 percent of his greens in regulation, but the real story was his putter -- Mediate had 26 putts and averaged just 1.5 putts per green in regulation. -- Brian Wacker
ACES ON TOUR IN 2010
|Greg Owen||7||2||PGA West (Nicklaus)||Bob Hope Classic|
|Chris Couch||7||3||PGA West (Nicklaus)||Bob Hope Classic|
|Dustin Johnson||6||2||Riviera||Northern Trust Open|
|Derek Lamely||14||1||Monterey Peninsula||AT&T Pebble Beach|
|Adam Scott||7||3||Monterey Peninsula||AT&T Pebble Beach|
|Charles Howell III||7||1||El Camaleon||Mayakoba Golf Classic|
|Robert Allenby||13||2||TPC Blue Monster at Doral||WGC-CA Championship|
|Justin Leonard||13||2||Innisbrook (Copperhead)||Transitions Championship|
|Woody Austin||7||2||Redstone||Shell Houston Open|
|Lucas Glover||16||2||Redstone||Shell Houston Open|
|Nathan Green||16||4||Augusta National||Masters|
|Ryan Moore||16||4||Augusta National||Masters|
|Jerry Kelly||4||1||Harbour Town||Verizon Heritage|
|Davis Love III||4||3||Harbour Town||Verizon Heritage|
|Ted Purdy||14||4||TPC Louisiana||Zurich Classic|
|Ken Duke||2||2||TPC Four Seasons Resort||HP Byron Nelson|
|Ben Crane||13||2||Colonial||Crowne Plaza Invitational|
|Paul Goydos||13||3||Colonial||Crowne Plaza Invitational|
|John Senden||8||4||Muirfield Village||the Memorial|
|Billy Mayfair||8||1||TPC Southwind||St. Jude Classic|
|Will MacKenzie||8||1||TPC Southwind||St. Jude Classic|
|Thongchai Jaidee||5||3||Pebble Beach||U.S. Open|
|Chad Campbell||16||1||TPC River Highlands||Travelers Championship|
|Nathan Green||5||1||Aronimink Golf Club||AT&T National|
|Rocco Mediate||7||3||TPC Deere Run||John Deere Classic|
We now have eight players tied for the lead at 1 under – three of whom, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Mike Weir and K.J. Choi, are done for the day.
Also in that group are Ian Poulter, who has two holes remaining; Jason Dufner, who has three; and Craig Barlow, who has four.
Poulter actually has an 18-footer for birdie at the 17th hole to take sole possession of the lead while Barlow has a 10-footer on the par-5 sixth to do the same.
The afternoon wave is starting to tee off now. Rocco Mediate, who lost the 2008 U.S. Open in a playoff to Tiger Woods, has just birdied his first hole while amateur Morgan Hoffman did the same at No. 2.