Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Big Day for Mediate Local's 66 Low Round of Day, His Best in a Major

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Big Day for Mediate Local's 66 Low Round of Day, His Best in a Major

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits, Times-Union sports writer

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Rocco Mediate wasn't happy with his first-round 72 in the Masters Tournament, and still isn't -- to the point where he doesn't even want to talk about what he did to turn it around in two days.

"I didn't really do anything different from Thursday," said the Ponte Vedra Beach resident. "I don't even want to think about Thursday. I just went out and played today."

That he did. Mediate posted his best score in 93 rounds in major championships with a 6-under-par 66 for the day's low round, and put himself into contention entering today's final round at the Augusta National Golf Club, at 8-under 208

Mediate is in a tie for eighth with Kirk Triplett, four shots behind leader Tiger Woods, and if he doesn't win, he still has an excellent chance to post his best finish in a major. Mediate's best Masters is a tie for 22nd in 1991; his best PGA finish is a tie for 16th in 1991; his best British Open finish is a tie for 18th in 1996; and his best U.S. Open finish is a tie for 25th in 1993.

Given the choice, he would have started playing the final round as soon as he finished the third.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," he said. "I don't really expect the guys ahead of me to back up that much, but I'm going to come out trying to shoot as low as I possibly can. If I shoot 66 again, that might not do it, but I would not mind posting that and be done. I can't wait to get out there."

Mediate, 2-under to start the day, used a combination of precise iron shots and a hot putting stroke to fuel his round. He birdied the difficult par-4 fourth from 3 feet away after a 4-iron shot. He tapped in for birdie at the par-5 eighth and made an 8-footer for birdie at the par-4 ninth.

He closed with a rush, making birdies on four of his last five holes, with a 10-footer at the par-4 16th the longest. …

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