By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
SAN MARTIN, Calif. --When Rocco Mediate won last year’s Frys.com Open, memorably holing out a couple of shots from the fairway for eagle along the way, it changed his life -- or at least the immediate future of it.
Here’s why: Prior to playing at CordeValle, Mediate had torn tendons in his left arm trying to pull his bag off the carousel at the airport. Had he not gone on to win there, he most likely would have been bound for q-school. But the injury wouldn’t have allowed Mediate, whose MRI had revealed about 6,000 to 7,000 torn strands in the arm, to play in q-school.
“If I miss [the final putt], I’m not sitting here,” Mediate said Tuesday. “Huge week.”
While Mediate is back to defend his title, his tendons still aren’t healed and they’ve bothered Mediate, who has withdrawn five times and missed the cut another nine times in 20 starts this season, all year.
Still, the victory bought the 48-year-old two more years on TOUR. And this week he’s using a new putter, going with a belly putter after being the first player on TOUR to use a long putter.
”Last week was my first week, and I putted really nicely with it,” Mediate said. “I just hope I have a putt that matters. And why am I saying it has to matter. I had to have the 5-footer that matters (last year). It's interesting how that all happened.”