One last eagle gives Mediate the victory

The familiar chants of ”Rocco! Rocco!” never sounded better or
louder as he approached the 18th hole.

Rocco Mediate holed out for eagle for the fourth straight day,
hitting a pitching wedge approach from 116 yards that spun back
into the cup on the par-4 17th hole Sunday en route to a one-stroke
victory over Bo Van Pelt and rookie Alex Prugh in the Frys.com
Open.

”Do you believe what just happened out there?” Mediate said.
”I have a job again.”

The 47-year-old Mediate won his sixth PGA Tour title and first
since 2002, finishing with a 2-over 73 for a 15-under 269 total at
CordeValle. He earned $900,000 and a two-year tour exemption.

Mediate had a hole-in-one on the par-3 third hole Thursday,
holed out from 160 yards Friday on the par-4 fourth, and holed out
from 111 yards Saturday on the par-5 15th hole.

Prugh shot a 69, and Van Pelt closed with a 71.

U.S. Ryder Cup player Rickie Fowler birdied three of his final
five holes for a 69 to finish fourth at 13 under. Chris Tidland
(67) was fifth at 12 under in the Fall Series event.

”I was walking down the stairs and I heard the roar,” Fowler
said. ”I couldn’t see the green but I could tell who the roar was
for. It was pretty loud.”

Prugh and Van Pelt each birdied the final hole, giving Mediate
exactly what he wanted on his final shot – a 4- or 5-foot putt that
mattered.

As Mediate and caddie Matthew Achatz looked at the shot, they
both saw it the same way.

”He said, ‘It’s dead straight, knock it in,”’ Mediate said.
”I nodded and said, ‘OK.”’

Mediate said he never saw the ball go into the hole. He turned,
flipped his putter and embraced Achatz before shaking hands with
Prugh and Van Pelt.

”I don’t know how to explain it,” Mediate said. ”Over the
past three weeks everything was coming along and I was putting
better. Last week I was pretty solid all four rounds and this week
went bonkers.”

Mediate built his lead through three days of warmth and
sunshine, allowing his cranky back to stay loose. That all changed
Sunday with a steady rain and cold through most of the day as he
shot a 5 over through 13 holes, and lost the lead temporarily on
the 15th hole.

”The weather was tough on everybody,” he said. ”I don’t do
well with the cool and damp stuff. It was hard for me to move. My
back wasn’t sore but it was stiff. I couldn’t hit it where I was
looking.”

The sun poked through as he began play on the 14th hole and his
fortunes turned.

”I told Matthew at 12 I was not going to miss any more
fairways,” Mediate said. ”I made a big putt on 14 just to stay
alive.”

Mediate made an 18 1/2-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th, then
regained the lead on the 17th.

Prugh, who had his first top-10 finish since opening the season
with top 10s in three of his first four events, came within 2 feet
of a hole-in-one on the 17th.

”I had Alex mark his ball because you just never know,”
Mediate said. ”I was going for it, thinking I wanted a birdie.
Then I made a shot Mr. (Lee) Trevino taught me.”

That’s when fans began chanting as they followed him to the 18th
tee.

”I had signed up for tour school,” Mediate said. ”That’s
where I belonged until a half-hour ago.”

Mediate plans to play in Las Vegas and at the Disney ”and then
I’m going to rest.”