Rocco Mediate, making a late-season push, takes lead in Frys.com Open with 64
Sitting at 182nd on the money list, Rocco Mediate needed
something up his sleeve for the final three tournaments of the
season to earn his
On Thursday, he had an ace.
Mediate made a hole-in-one on the 191-yard third hole at
CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, sparking a 7-under-par 64 that
vaulted him to the top of the leader board in the opening round of
the Frys.com Open.
Mediate, the 2008
Open runner-up to Tiger Woods, shot
a blistering 6-under 29 on the front nine and had a birdie on No.
15 on the way to a one-shot lead over Bo Van Pelt, Ryuji Imada and
Paul Goydos. Four more players are within two of the lead,
Championship winner Shaun
Rickie Fowler, who lost a three-way playoff in last year’s
Frys.com Open in Scottsdale, Ariz., was at 2 under. Defending
champion Troy Matteson shot a 1-over 72.
If Mediate had won his 19-hole U.S. Open playoff against Woods
at Torrey Pines in 2008, he would have earned a five-year exemption
on the PGA Tour. Instead, he lost full playing privileges last year
and is trying to gain them back with a last-ditch effort in the
Mediate still is reminded of the 2008 U.S. Open by fans every
day, or “47 million times” by his estimation. And he savors it.
“I want to get back there again,” he said. “I want to get back
to that situation. Even today, it was fun playing with the lead. I
don’t care what day it is.”
Mediate gave himself a clean bill of health, but he
self-diagnosed his golfing troubles in the past year as putting.
Mediate is 183rd on the PGA Tour in putting average, and he has
made just nine of 23 cuts this season.
“I’ve been striking it really well for a long time, but my
putting has been murdering me, and it’s been bleeding into the rest
of my game,” he said.
Mediate had just 27 putts Thursday, and he has made his past
three cuts thanks to an adjustment in his stroke.
“All the great putters keep their blade low to the ground, and I
was coming straight up and down,” Mediate said. “I was practically
Goydos, who had a 59 earlier this season, shot a 30 on the front
nine to grab a share of the early lead. He said his recent
assistant-captain duties with the U.S. Ryder Cup team were
“It was really inspiring to be around those guys,” said Goydos,
who is 76th on the money list but would earn berths into all of
next year’s invitational tournaments if he finishes in the top 70.
“I definitely think it helped my mental attitude toward the
Micheel is tied for fifth with John Mallinger, Michael Letzig
and Will MacKenzie.
Last year’s Frys.com Open playoff runner-up Jamie Lovemark was
also 5 under until a double-bogey on his final hole dropped him
into a tie for 14th. Also 14th is David Duval, who birdied four of
his first seven holes before shooting a 3-under 68. Duval is 109th
on the money list.
The Frys.com Open will be played a week earlier next year, Oct.
6-9, preventing a conflict with the LPGA’s CVS/pharmacy
Live Oak High graduate John Ellis opened with a 70, St. Francis
alum Joseph Bramlett posted a 74, Monterey’s Chris Marin shot a 75,
and former San Jose State player Isaac Weintraub had a 79.
After shooting a 77 at the Institute Golf Club on Tuesday,
Goydos played with owner John Fry on Wednesday. Goydos called the
greens, which rolled faster than a 15 on the stimpmeter, the
fastest he has ever putted. Pebble Beach’s greens at the U.S. Open
rolled close to a 13.
“He is a math genius,” Goydos said of Fry. “He designed the
greens to maximize speed. You don’t want too much slope, but you
don’t want too little slope. He did some math equation.”
The Institute is expected to replace CordeValle as the Frys.com
Open venue in as little as three years.