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US Open 2008
Torrey Pines, CA - 12-16 June, 2008

Tiger Woods won his third US Open after sudden-death following a thrilling 18-hole play-off with Rocco Mediate.

The world number one, struggling with a knee injury throughout, kept his nerve to birdie the 18th and take the contest to a 91st hole.

After birdies on the 6th and 7th, Woods was three shots ahead after ten holes.

But after bogeys on the 11th and 12th, veteran Mediate battled back to take the lead with three birdies on 13, 14 and 15 before Woods saved his own skin.



To get involved, text us on 81111, and join the debate on 606 (not all contributions can be used)

By Chris Whyatt

2207: Time for me to sign off folks. That was epic. The adrenaline is still coursing through my veins and I could quite happily chat with you all night, but I'm sure we've all got homes to go to. Thanks for your company and contributions.

Final words go to Rocco, who could only pay tribute to the great man after a roller-coaster battle: "He's just so hard to beat. Unreal."

2154: "I'm glad I'm done. I really don't feel like playing any more," jokes Tiger in reference to the knee pain he has had to ignore and endure over 91 holes.

"The atmosphere was incredible. The fans have just made the tournament. I couldn't have carried on if it wasn't for them. It just kept ebbing and flowing."

2147: "Woods is an unbelievable role model, in the whole world of sport. An incredible sports men, one of the greatest sportsman ever, and still so down to earth and family ethics. Amazing."
jonnyb89 on 606

"The guy is an outstanding example to all sports stars the world over. We are privilleged to witness his achievements in our lifetime. I have seen Nicklaus, Palmer, Watson, Player, Seve, Trevino and Faldo but this guy is almost superhuman. He is the greatest ever golfer and is still only 32." PositiveSteve on 606

2142: To hoarse roars from the wide-eyed gallery, Tiger cradles his daughter Sam before lifting the gleaming trophy with equal care.

"This is probably the greatest tournament I have ever had," he declares upon winning his 14th major.

Care to disagree? That, for my money, was one of the best sporting events I've ever witnessed. We are in the company of a true great.



Woods finds perfect position from the tee on a hole he has twice birdied in five attempts. Mediate finds the sand. Advantage Tiger in only the third sudden-death in US Open history.

With the ball well below his feet in an awkward lie, Rocco connects well but punches the ball deep into the now eerily-quiet crowd. Further disaster. Should get a free drop though.

Tiger, inevitably, hoists the ball onto the green with a disinfectant-clean iron shot which lands within roughly 20 feet of the pin. This is his stage. Rocco lazily chips onto the green from the rough but it's Tiger's to lose. My hands are trembling...

Woods putts to within an inch of the championship before sinking to his knees. Rocco needs to sink this 18-footer to stay in the hunt - last throw of the dice time... HE'S MISSED.

US Open title number three for the sensational world number one Tiger Woods.


2048: 18th HOLE Woods (E) Mediate (E)

Ouch. Mediate misses the fairway with his tee shot but, as chants of "Tiger, Tiger, Tiger" ring out around the course, Woods bisects the fairway with his. The noise is deafening.

Rocking Rocco hacks out of the bunker for position on the fairway with his second. Tiger waits for the fresh wind to turn stale... and hits a near-perfect iron shot into the heavens and down onto the edge of the green. I say 'near' because any shorter, and it would have been in the pond. What drama.

Punchy wedge from Rocco with his third finds the green to give himself a birdie chance. This is the play-off of all play-offs.

From 50 feet, the eagle eludes Tiger. Just. Millions of golf fans hold their breath. Rocco, from 20 feet, is putting for the championship... INCHES WIDE! Tiger still fighting.

Woods, from six feet, can now birdie for a share of the lead... and nails it. Rocco now for par and to take it to a sudden-death play-off - this championship goes to 91 holes! This is breathless stuff. Beyond words.

I'm assuming you 18-hole play-off sceptics are converted?

2033: 17th HOLE Woods (+1) Mediate (E)

Rocco hits his tee-shot slightly to the right but it's not in huge danger. Woods, with a three wood, sends the ball booming down the fairway in typical fashion on this 441-yard par four hole. Trademark Torrey Pines: straight and skinny.

After a deep conversation with his caddlie Steve Williams, Tiger launches his ball plum on the green. He was concerned about length but the deliberation was rewarded. Rocco - how can you still be doubting him? - finds the green too.

The underdog then hits a decent putt from 45-feet which rolls just past the hole. Should make par. Here's Tiger for birdie from 20 feet, it's going to break from left-to-right slightly downhill... TOO SHORT! Par for Woods.


"The drama is unremitting - Woods hasn't done much wrong but the underdog just has his nose in front."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Iain Carter at Torrey Pines

2021: 16th HOLE Woods (+1) Mediate (E)

Rocco's four-iron pulls up just short of the green on this 225-yard par-three tester. Tiny beads of sweat just visible on his furrowed brow, Tiger waits until the Pacific breeze dies down... and then sends the ball high and handsome onto the green.

Full of faith, Rocco sends a brilliant 50-foot putt to within two feet of the hole. Tiger, not to be outdone, then send his long streaker to within millimetres of the drop. Just a quarter of a turn away. Both players make par - a good score on this 16th. As you were.

"Sorry, I take back my last comment (see 1956). This is absolutely gripping!"
Jamie M, Dunoon on the 81111 texts

2008: 15th HOLE Woods (+1) Mediate (E)

Rocco hits the rough with his tee shot but it kicks back into the fairway. What a story this would be if he can do it. Tiger, now slightly limping, veers way over to the right beyond the baying crowds... but he may still be safe. Come next week or next month, however, the world number one may have to go back in for more surgery.

Energised Mediate hits a beautiful golf shot to find the green with his second on this par four. Over 50 yards away from the centre of the fairway, Woods hacks his second out of the bunker... draws the ball perfectly for it to land serenely on the green within 10 feet of the pin. The galleries go wild.

I have never seen anything like it. Mediate follows Tiger's skin-saving shot of the day by sinking an unbelieveable 18-feet putt for birdie to take the lead. Here's Woods... who misses. Still a tricky one for par, but he converts.

Rocco, who has now birdied three consecutive holes, is now ahead. Wow.

1956: 14th HOLE Woods (+1) Mediate (+1)

Rocco is rallying and sends a searching long iron close to the green on this short par four off the tee. Tiger hits a similarly placed shot.

A dull sound as Tiger connects indicates his error with an attempted punch to the hole which lands way too short. Mediate does far better then taps in a simple putt to tie the scores. Brave stuff. Tiger with a 10-foot putt to maintain his one-shot lead... deadly silence fills the Torrey Pines air... AND IT LIPS OUT!

We are even with four to go. Incredible.

"18 hole play-offs dont capture the same brilliance and intensity as 4-hole play-offs or sudden death when they are played on the same day." Jamie M, in Dunoon, on the 81111 texts

Much as we all respect your opinion Jamie, now just isn't the time to be chipping in with comments like that mate! Rocco is ensuring that this is pretty compelling stuff.

1943: 13th HOLE Woods (+1) Mediate (+2)

Par five, 612 yards. Fairly straight but the fairway is more svelte than Kate Moss. Tiger hits a remarkable second shot with a five wood to find the green. Sorry, we lost pictures there for a second. Rocco digs out of a greenside-bunker with his third shot. Good skills.

Tiger snakes one within inches for eagle ut both players now face birdies putt, of differing difficulty. Cheep cheep - two birdies. Well done Rocco, who nails one from 10 feet under incredible pressure.

"This playoff has been up and down all the way round, this is definitely going to go the distance, right to the 18th! as someone said earlier, it only takes a double bogey and everything changes......... I actually prefer this format!" scuffer_UK on 606

1926: 12th HOLE Woods (+2) Mediate (+3)

Woods find the bunker with his tee shot on this par-four 512-yarder, then messes up his second shot, while Mediate plays safe with his first two shots to stay on the fairway then find the green.

Rocco is not a great putter. He skids one past the hole when faced with a half-reasonable birdie chance. Tiger, meanwhile, also knocks one by which is just too hard after committing to his line... and has to settle for bogey. BUT ROCCO THEN SINKS ONE FOR PAR. Sloppy play all-round but there's only one shot in it now.

Aliens could take command of the planet right now and I wouldn't notice. This is captivating, no?

1915: 11th HOLE Woods (+1) Mediate (+3)

Par three, 192 yards. Tiger finds the bunker with his tee shot but, giving himself a potential lifeline, on-the-ropes Rocco finds the green and has a 18-yard downhill putt for birdie.

Woods goes close with his chip out of the sand. Mediate has a decent stab for birdie but pokes home for par. Tiger pulls his third shot short so taps in for bogey. Mediate's shoulders collapse as he breathes a desperate sigh of relief. Rocco is still in this. For now.

1904: 10th HOLE Woods (E) Mediate (+3)

Tiger slices into the rough off the tee on this 414-yard par four. Rocco is on the smooth green plains of the fairway. That 9th hole perfectly summed up why Woods is the world number one and players like Rocco are ranked 158. He is unbreakable and gives 110% on every single stroke.

Back to the action... an anguished Rocco pulls up short of the green while Tiger, on the collar of the first cut after skewing his second shot, strikes a beautiful shot onto the green which jags with heavy backspin just off the dancefloor.

Rocco fluffs an attempted chip to the green. No follow-through. Head up son. An amazing par putt from Woods. Over 20 yards out and it curves right into the hole's epicentre. Outstanding. Rocco drops another shot... and really is crumbling.

1902: Loads of you asking what happens if the players are tied after 18 holes today. We think that, as at the 1994 US Open, it will be decided by sudden death rather than a three hole play-off.

1845: 9th HOLE Woods (E) Mediate (+2)

Mammoth par-five: 612 yards. Rocco is short and inaccurate with both his drive and second iron shot. Woods hits a perfect drive which eats up the fairway at a rate of knots... then sends his second into a green-side bunker.

US Navy ships sail away into the distance as the first sign of pain in Tiger's left-knee today becomes evident in the form of a grimace.

Woods pitches out of the bunker but finds long grass on an awkward slope yards shy of the green. Another pitch and it's within 20 yards of the pin. Mediate (I've not forgottten about him) goes oh so close with a birdie putt but has to settle for... bogey. Poor putting. Tiger is just incredible under pressure and makes a decent save for par.

1833: 8th HOLE Woods (E) Mediate (+1)

Tiger is into the sandpit off the tee on this par-three. Rocco pulls up short but safer. Few of you purists out there on 606 not loving his swing... Woods, though, digs out of the bunker but it skids yards past the hole to almost kiss Mediate's ball on the fringe grass.

Tiger sends a skip and a hop to within five feet then rolls a putt in for a disappointing bogey. Just when you thought he might turn the screw. Mediate stays calm to claim his much-needed par.

1822: 7th HOLE Woods (-1) Mediate (+1)

Woods gains another bid advantage distance-wise off the tee but Mediate hits a decent second while Tiger, with caddie Steve Williams playing an influential Doctor Watson to his Sherlock Holmes, finds the green with textbook technique. Despite the pressure, Rocco is smiling loads and really enjoying his round.

Perfect line with a long streaky from the Cheshire cat - but his length is just short. Par. Tiger rattles a straight 12-footer right into the middle of the hole. An ominous birdie. Almost 20,000 on the course for this two-ball play-off by the way folks.

1806: 6th HOLE Woods (E) Mediate (+1)

Two fines drives find the fairway on this 515-yard par four. Woods has the advantage length-wise. The lead has changed hands twice already. Enjoying yourselves? With his second shot Rocco gives himself a tough job for an up-and-down - but Tiger goes hard at it with his nine-iron, an aggressive line, to give himself a super birdie chance.

Ghostly punch just off the green from Rocco as the ball virtually stops.... then gravity does its job as it finds the edge of a deep contour and rolls toards the hole. Ten feet short. Tiger holes a six-foot putt downhill for a birdie three (on a converted par five). Rocco gets his par.

"Anyone with a SENSIBLE input of advice after I lost 16 balls yesterday at my local course!?" lil-maz2k8 on 606

1750: 5th HOLE Woods (+1) Mediate (+1)

Rocco is miles off-line with his tee shot on the par-four 4th and, finding sand, clearly has a touch of the 'rights' today. How does Tiger cope with some of the clowns which follow him? "Cheeeeeeese!" is the cry just yards from his eardrums as he drives down the fairway.

Tiger finds the green with a beautiful left-to-right. Far too long, Rocco hacks into the crowd and the ball pings along a pathway towards the Mexican border. Good recovery finds the green but he is down in two putts for a bogey. Solid as a rock, Woods makes par. Honours even.

"What is there to stop Tiger from using a buggy to stop him from walking so far to protect his knee? It seems a bit of a no-brainer to me." Euan, an Englishman in St Louis, on 606

1737: 4th HOLE Woods (+1) Mediate (E)

Little bit of breeze floats in off the Pacific as Rocco finds a decent position off the tee. Tiger then mis-hits over to the left before shaking his head in disgust. Still not happy - "oh no, damnit," he screams - after shanking an iron left and short of the green before cool-as-ice Mediate lands one on the dancefloor.

But Tiger sends a superb chip within three feet and taps home for par while Rocco putts long and then short for his own par. As you were.

1728: 3rd HOLE Woods (+1) Mediate (E)

Rocco inches away from a hole-in-one on the par-three 195-yard 3rd hole!.... Amazing.

Tiger, framed by the azure-blue Californian sky, digs a decent chip out of the sand with his second shot from the left-sided bunker and then skids a par-putt past the hole. Bogey.

Rocco was a shot behind. But is now, tapping home for birdie, a shot in front.

"If Tiger wins this one, it would rank alongside Stephen Hendry's 1994 World Championship win with a broken arm, what a guy! Still ranks just below Trautmann winning the FA cup with a broken neck though (even if he wasnt entirely aware of it!)" Ginger Freak on 606

1716: 2nd HOLE - Woods (E) Mediate (+1)

Both players find the stubby grass next to the fairway with drives but Woods comes up short of the green with his iron while Mediate skies one and has to conjure a magical chip to with five feet from a slope in no-mans in between green-side bunkers.

Ordinary chip from Tiger stops seven feet short of the hole... but he sinks for par. Standard. Rocco, putting second and under real pressure not to fall two shots behind, keeps his cool for a smart up-and-down.

1700: 1st HOLE - Woods (E) Mediate (+1)

Rocco tees off first... fairway, then bunker, a decent chip out, but cannot scrape a birdie. Bogey. Tiger finds the fairway with his opening drive on a hole he has double-bogeyed three times in the past four days. Then finds the green with a nifty eight iron. A 15-foot putt sneaks left of the hole. Then down for par.

This is strokeplay folks, not matchplay remember. Oh, and Mediate - wearing a red shirt - will be the oldest ever US Open champion if he does it.

1659: "I'm predicting Tiger's dodgy leg will unexplicably fall off leading to him hopping round the course but he will sink the winning putt with his removed limb to mark an incredibly victory." charisman7 on 606

"If Tiger wins, then it's one of the most gutsy sporting victories of all time." chumbawumba2 on 606

1656: Right. Quick run-down on the runners and riders. Tiger... you probably know a fair bit about him.

Rocco? Well. He's 45 (13 years older than Woods), has won zero majors (to Woods' 13), compiled $7m in career earnings (Woods has $49m), and has five tour wins (compared with Woods' 86).

There is one aspect, however, where Mediate has the edge: a 100% play-off record (played two, won two). Woods has played 17 and, you are not misreading this, lost three.

1651: But you cannot deny that the atmosphere at Torrey Pines has been white-hot. When Woods sank that final putt on 18 for birdie last night, the galleries erupted like Boca Juniors fans witnessing a last-minute winner against River Plate in the Bombonera.

1647: My highlight, since you ask, is hearing some Fred Flinstone-wannabe scream "yabba-dabba dooooo!" less than a millisecond after Tiger's ball left the tee when he drove the opening shot of his round down towards the first hole yesterday.

Perhaps that should be lowlight. Where do they get these people?

1643: Just to make it clear, the US Open is the only major championship that still requires 18 holes to determine a winner in case of a tie. Do you agree with it?

"I want to be the first to go on record to say Tiger would do a Hogan ala 1950 US open and win his 65th tour event surpassing Hogans 64th tour wins." keizo-Yamata on 606

1638: Greetings all. Just over 20 minutes until this frankly bizarre/ archaic/ nonsensical/ bonus ball (*delete as appropriate) 18-hole Monday play-off between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate.

Before we kick off, and believe me it will kick off golf fans, can I have your 2008 Torrey Pines highlights so far?

1630: Force - or freak - of nature?

His peers clearly don't believe Tiger Woods is human.

"I'm playing against a monster tomorrow," said Rocco Mediate after the world number one sank that stupendous birdie putt on the final hole to determine an 18 hole play-off between the pair today.

see also
Final round as it happened
16 Jun 08 |  Golf
Third round as it happened
15 Jun 08 |  Golf
Second round as it happened
14 Jun 08 |  Golf
First round as it happened
13 Jun 08 |  Golf

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