Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mediate Weary after Buick Win

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mediate Weary after Buick Win

Article excerpt

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Rocco Mediate leaned against his locker, closed his eyes briefly and anticipated a light day on the golf course in preparation for the 82nd PGA Championship, which begins today at the Valhalla Golf Club.

"Last week was more tiring than anything," the Ponte Vedra Beach resident said about his fourth PGA Tour victory, at the Buick Open, in which he birdied the final hole to overtake Chris Perry, who bogeyed that hole to lose a one-shot lead and the tournament. "I played 18 holes [Tuesday at Valhalla] and I played here [in 1996]. I know the course pretty well. I won't do much today."

Mediate is used to emotionally and physically draining victories. He never led the Buick Open until his 10-foot birdie putt, followed by Perry's miss for par from 8 feet, and in winning the 1999 Phoenix Open, he beat Justin Leonard by two shots and Tiger Woods by three.

Mediate's first two Tour victories were also close, and against quality competition. He won the 1991 Doral Open in a playoff with Curtis Strange and the 1993 Greater Greensboro Open in a playoff with Steve Elkington. This will be the first time he has played in a major the week after a victory.

"Nothing comes easy for me," Mediate said. "But I feel very confident. Whether that means I'll play well, I don't know."

FAMILY CLASSES -- Mediate's wife Linda and three sons are with him this week in Louisville, which is never a problem, no matter what time of year. That's because the oldest two Mediate boys are home-schooled. Mediate said 9-year-old Rocco Jr. and 7-year-old Nico are ahead of the grades they would be in if they attended public schools. His youngest son, 4-year-old Marco, is in a preschool program.

"They're doing great," Mediate said. "We have to submit their work to the state, and according to their tests, Rocco and Nico are a grade or two ahead. What makes it great is that they can travel to a lot of my tournaments, and that's even more educational, because they've seen different parts of the U. …

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