Rocco Mediate has a job again! The fan favorite entered the Frys.com Open 182nd on the PGA Tour money list and had signed up for Q-school, but after his thrilling victory on Sunday over Alex Prugh and Bo Van Pelt, Rocco doesn’t belong there anymore.
Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the thrilling action. I had the TV in the midst of Rocco’s bogey streak and nonchalantly turned off the TV before heading to the pool (yes, I’m still in paradise, but not for long). Thankfully, Intern Kevin gave me the riveting play-by-play of the last four holes via the phone. His first comments were something like, “Rocco is missing four-footers like they’re going out of style!” (Mediate had something like a five-shot lead going into the final round.)
As it came down to the wire, it was unclear who had the real advantage — would Rickie Fowler notch his first pro win? Or perhaps the lesser-known Prugh? Would Van Pelt finally win after such a great season? Would Rocco keep missing four-footers?
Rocco finally made his first birdie of the day on the 16th. And then on the 17th, a 295-yard par-4, he laid up, while Prugh knocked his drive to half-a-foot of the cup and Van Pelt to about 20-feet. With 116 yards to play, Rocco hit a nice little wedge up and holed out for eagle! (Even the usually cynical Intern Kevin got super excited and sounded like he almost fell out of his seat.)
In all four tournament rounds, he holed out on four different holes — on Thursday he aced the par-3 No.3; on Friday he dunked his shot from 160 yards on the par-4 No. 4; and on Saturday he knocked one in from 111 yards on the par-5 No. 15.
Sometimes it pays not to just be good, but to be lucky. And with Rocco’s first win since 2002 and sixth Tour victory, he gets a trip to Kapalua for the season-opening winners-only event.
I can’t even believe it. I had such plans. I get to go to Kapalua, though, don’t I? Nice. Hey, Matt [his caddie], I’m going to take a buddy of mine to Kapalua, sorry about that. Matthew won twice this year, by the way. My caddie won twice. Not with me. He won with Matt Bettencourt, and then this week. So Matthew is doing well.
I think Kapalua will be excited to have Rocco back, too. I may have heard Roy’s has a spot at the bar reserved for him still. Congrats, Rocco!