Falcon and Dove hope that you are having a great week!
For any of you that know anything about golf, the greatest major tournament in television history ended on Monday when Tiger Woods, the number one player in the world went head-to-head with Southwestern PA's Rocco Mediate for a playoff that took 19 holes to complete. Tiger, congratulations on Major Win Number 14! Rocco, you made us all here so very proud. Yes, we all cheered and cried for both of you: tears of joy, and a little sadness, because we realized how special this tournament was to the two of you, and to history.
There was no televised event in 1913 when Frances Ouimet beat Harry Varden and Ted Ray to win the U.S. Open that year. That tournament was referenced this way on the eve of the 18 hole playoff:
" ...one David against two Goliaths...I have given up all attempts at prophecy. Tomorrow's round should be the greatest game ever played."
This of course was a key-line in the 2005 Bill Paxton directed film called, "The Greatest Game Ever Played" starring Shia Le Boeuf as Frances Ouimet and Stephen Dillane as Harry Varden. If you haven't seen this movie, check it out. It was one of the best films of that year, yet didn't get the attention it deserved.
There could have been two Goliaths on Monday...Lee Westwood missed a putt on the
18th green that would have put him in the game for the next day, so no proverbial Ted Ray...only our modern day Harry Varden in the incarnation that is Tiger Woods.
Rocco Mediate is one of the nicest, kindness golfers on the PGA tour. Falcon and Dove know this because we have talked to Rocco numerous times while marshaling PGA events, and playing golf at Rocco's favorite places in the Laurel Highlands. Falcon also remembers Rocco in FL when Dove played in the Nike Junior Championship at the TPC at Sawgrass in July, 2005. There was Rocco, cheering on the junior golfers and commented out loud about the difficulty of the pin placements. It was hysterical, and on one of the hottest days during one of the hottest weeks in memory, highly welcomed.
Falcon also remembers when Rocco was playing in the 84 Lumber Classic the year of Hurricane Isabel, when the temperatures were dropping and the wind was becoming chill. Falcon and Dove were working the 15 hole, and Rocco came by, bright and chatty as always, asking pleasant questions like he had just seen us the day before. Then he asked about Falcon's hair, and was I ever going to be able to get a comb through it the next day, and I burst out laughing.
Remember, there's a PGA golf tournament going on, but all the while, there is Rocco, chatting as he was in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. He was never too busy to be polite, and talked about our collective kids with warmth and pride. We were out there 12 hours that day, and Rocco (along with some other really cool PGA players) realized how awful the conditions were, and never forgot that.
That's the gift of Rocco: his glee in playing the game of golf,(even when he was injured), his humor and his kindness. He was great with Leno last night, too. That's Rocco...what a joyful soul!
Today, Tiger Woods announced that he is done for the season. He needs another surgery on his knee (two stress fractures) on the ACL, and he requires rest and rehabilitation. Today is Tiger's daughter Sam's first birthday. Happy Birthday, Beautiful!
I know this had to be a difficult decision to make for any professional player, but particularly for Tiger because he is so passionate about the game. Your tenacity to stay in the U.S. Open when you probably should have taken the week off is admirable, and we hope that you have a good respite, enjoy your family...we'll see you next year.
Falcon and Dove
Wednesday, June 18, 2008