I figured it was just meta enough for me to live blog the live blog of the live blog. (But I’m watching it, too, so you’re getting a little bit of that.)
12:01 EST: Rocco Mediate dribbles his first drive to the left part of the fairway, and we’re underway at Torrey Pines.
12:02: Tiger Woods’ drive cuts right, takes a favorable bounce, and lands in the fairway.
12:06: Rocco’s in the bunker, and Tiger’s about 20 feet away. This isn’t the start Rocco wanted.
12:10: Rocco punches out to about six feet, though ESPN can’t show it to us live. Thanks for that.
12:12: Tiger rolls it by; never had a chance. Rocco’s par scoots left, though, too, and he’ll be one shot back after one.
12:14: ESPN shows the montage of Rocco’s missed putts yesterday; okay, yeah, he missed five or six tough little putts, but he made two or three, too, and the real killer never happened. The guy tied the best player in the world after 72 holes at the most exacting test in golf. Slack should be cut.
12:16: CRM knows.
Commenter/contributer, Rockabye Reggie Nelson is now live-blogging the live blog of the live blog. Ugh. It was only a matter of time folks. I apologize in advance of Al Gore’s head exploding like the guy from Scanners. Excuse me while I borrow a third monitor from the next cubicle.
You know, if this breaks the Internet, it breaks the Internet, but that’s a link to the very post I’m writing. That’s not right.
12:17: Wonderful silent interview between Rocco and Jimmy Roberts here.
12:18: All right, indeed, Dan Hicks.
12:20: Oh, NOW you apologize. Jerks.
12:21: Tiger’s in the first cut of rough, and Rocco’s in the second cut. Less than inspired golf so far.
12:24: A poor chip for Tiger leaves him an eight-footer, which he drains.
12:26: Rocco’s par goes in, too, and it’s still a one-stroke deficit.
12:27: CRM is hungry. I am, too, but there’s some chips and guac waiting for me.
Oh, and Tiger just buried one halfway to Dubai while Rocco’s tee shot creeped past the hole on the left. Barring a Tiger miracle, Rocco Mediate will again be the U.S. Open leader.
12:32: CRM with the eternal optimism.
Tiger is pulling away. This thing might be done by the time I leave work.
Tiger excavates to a very possible par putt.
12:34: But Tiger misses, and Rocco’s two-footer is true, and Mediate’s even while Tiger’s one-over.
12:38: Rocco and Tiger find longish grass, and it’s guac time.
12:41: CRM is starting the noise in the machine.
With only two players going today, this could just become a score update. I think I’ll have to start making wild accusations. Example: Tony Navarro just head-butted someone. Again.
Why limit it to golf? Tony Orlando just Zidaned Dawn. There.
12:45: Rocco’s second is about 40 feet away, and Tiger’s got a two-footer for par after a rather exquisite third shot.
If this Woods guy ever figures out how to keep it in the fairway, he might win some tournaments.
12:46: CRM is lonely.
Nobody’s e-mailing me. I suddenly feel so alone…
Yeah, well, check your email, CRM.
12:50: Yeah, the golf. Both par the fourth.
And Tiger’s waiting for Snoopy, in the form of the Metlife blimp, to move.
12:51: Someone just yelled “Cheese!” Golf, the sport of the genteel.
12:52: Okay, now it’s really guac time.
12:54: Now Jason Sobel’s talking about me.
9:43 a.m.: Usually, when players miss the cut after two rounds and aren’t around on the weekend, they’re not eligible for the Monday playoff. Guess that’s not the case for live blogs of live blogs. Or live blogs of live blogs of live blogs, for that matter. Funny, but this is the exact same thing that happened during the Hogan/Fleck playoff in ’55.
Meanwhile, the fairway just did the wave, according to my brother. I think that happened in ’55, too.
12:55: No, no, my brother meant they were just following the pair in a wave. That’s boring.
12:56: Rocco just punched out from a bunker to somewhere in western Arizona.
1:00: And he puts it within eight feet with his third. Great shot.
1:02: Tiger’s birdie isn’t even close.
1:03: CRM and TBL are having technical difficulties.
12:50 – The Big Lead goes down for the count!
ESPN Traffic > Sprite-Powered-Servers
Tough miss for Mediate, who leaves it on the lip.
Oh, and today is already the best day ever for my blog, and I’ve had no problems, so thanks to CRM and Jason Sobel for the links and to WordPress for doing a good job with these servers.
1:07: It’s all tied up as we go to the sixth.
1:08: The USGA has done many things very well this week, from staying mostly out of the way of itself on the ESPN/NBC broadcast and putting together a universally praised course every day.
But their commercials aren’t quite sappy enough as to be worthy of parody, and aren’t funny enough to be memorable. Certainly, people will want to pick up clubs after this tremendous show, but that has everything to do with Tiger, Rocco, and the like, and little to do with the USGA.
1:14: Tiger’s close. Rocco’s not.
Johnny Miller would be crying if he read this.
Hold on guys, it’s my turn to ride the stationary bike that powers the server. I’ll be right back.
Rocco misses the par putt and makes bogey (see, I was right after all). Tiger makes par. We’re all square once again.
I pretty much just said the same thing. Who’s live-blogging who here?
1:19: Tiger’s dead on from about six feet, and he’ll have at least a one-shot advantage.
1:20: Mediate makes sure it’s just a one-shot edge.
1:21: CRM is quoted, Sobel’s in italics.
Tiger drops one out of the sky, knocks it stiff to about 6 feet short of the hole.
He hit a bird!@?
1:24: I’d like to mention that I’m licking the bowl of guac. You needed to know.
1:27: Tiger’s about 12 feet away, while Mediate’s probably going to have to settle for par here.
1:29: I’m a translator, too.
Tiger pures his drive on 7. Rocco finds the first cut.
I’m confused. Can you put this into tennis terms so I understand?
Okay, Tiger’s winning because Rocco’s on the take. What? Tennis isn’t fixed?
1:30: Okay, the ESPN cross-promotion with Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller just jumped from odd to unnerving.
We learned that Tiger’s a Lakers fan (who’s got season tickets to Magic games) who thinks Kobe’s the best in the NBA, and that Johnny Miller thinks defense wins championships.
Corporate synergy makes me uncomfortable.
1:32: Tiger’s second straight birdie puts him in red numbers to an oddly subdued reaction.
The afterburners may be on.
1:35: Neither player hits the green on the par 3 8th.
1:37: The USGA “stroke” commercial about handicap is fraught with uncomfortable sexual tension.
1:38: Tiger puts his ball back where Rocco’s was. Then Rocco puts his a few feet past the hole. Then Tiger puts his a few feet past the hole.
If they continue struggling like this, it’s going to stay interesting.
1:42: Did I say something about the afterburners being on? Oops.
Tiger’s still got at least a one-shot lead heading to the par 5 9th, though.
1:43: And it’s just a one-shot lead.
1:45: It looks hazy out there in San Diego, and Tiger’s just grimaced.
But both Rocco and Tiger just hit decent shots in the fairway.
1:48: CRM is envious of Jason Sobel. (Well, duh.)
So the weather in Southern California is sunny and 75? Good thing we’ve got a man on the scene!
Well, it’s dark and thundering and a touch on the warm side down here in Central Florida. But I’m sitting in my living room watching golf on a Monday afternoon, so I’m not complaining.
1:51: Tiger continues doing incredible things with a golf club, bouncing it into a bunker, then up and over a patch of heavy rough, then back into a finger of that bunker.
I wish I could play ugly golf beautifully.
1:55: CRM’s heading home from work.
We’re heading to the turn and it’s time for me to change venues. Back in a bit.
Whatever will I do?
1:57: Reece just found the note! Jessica’s been found out! That guy with the eyepatch is scary!
Wait, that was Days of Our Lives?
2:00: Tiger puts in his par, and while we missed Mediate’s birdie putt in the switch from ESPN to NBC, Bob Costas seemed like he called Rocco’s par miss live.
Tiger stays at even and Rocco drops to two-over.
2:02: I think Costas’ intro was longer than the Gettysburg Address.
2:03: Johnny Miller apologizes for Tiger’s “Goddamit!”
If you have mics on the course, that’s the risk you run. If you train cameras on coaches or players, that’s the risk you run.
But apologizing for it? Sorry, NBC, you have to take the bad with the good.
2:06: Tiger just hacked out of a cornfield and has a third from the middle of the fairway.
2:09: Rocco’s got a 25-foot chip for his third, and Tiger’s got a par putt from the fringe.
And Rocco just sort of chunks it; he’ll have about six feet for par.
2:12: Tiger’s putt gets an “Oh-ho-ho!” out of me; he hit it fast and put it in on the edge to save par.
If Costas says “stroke of genius” again, though, I will throw something.
And Rocco’s never had a chance, staying left the whole way.
2:14: “The Rock is shocked,” says Costas.
I swear, that window was already broken…
2:15: Filling in for CRM. This from Sobel:
11:06 a.m.: E-mail from Michael in Dallas comes with the subject line “Really Good E-mail Question”:
According to the guide on my cable there are going to be a lot of ticked off “Days of our Lives” fans today. Thought you might like to issue an apology on behalf of all of us golf fans.
Not sure where the quesiton was in there, but wouldn’t soap opera fans be into this sort of daytime drama, too? In fact, couldn’t this be a soap opera? There’s the star of the show who everyone knows and the guy who left the show, like, eight years ago and inexplicably came baqck from the dead to become a main character once again. This should be right up their alley.
Well I, for one, enjoyed my minute of that show today. But Rocco’s not the guy who left the show like eight years ago and came back from the dead; he’s more like the Mark Schlereth cameo that leaves you wondering why he’s even there.
But he put himself on the green for a 15-footer for birdie, so maybe he’ll be fine.
2:19: Tiger’s second shot from the bunker on 11 is about 12 feet past, but the way he’s putting right now, with twelve putts through ten holes, he could be putting off a tarmac and down a waterfall and it might go in.
2:20: Rocco’s birdie putt, again, never had a chance. It’s 19 putts over 11 holes for him.
2:23: Ah, but Tiger misses, and he’s one-over with Rocco two back, and Miller and Hicks, who have seemingly turned more and more towards Rocco as the day has worn on, are quick to point out that “two shots is different from three shots.”
Now I know.
2:25: We go to commercial with Rocco in the fairway and Tiger in the bunker.
2:27: And it’s raining.
Not there, here.
2:30: But it’s really pouring here.
2:32: Rocco has a birdie try here, but it’s longer than the putter, so it’s not going in.
And no, it doesn’t turn, and yeah, I think a four-letter word just slipped from his tongue.
2:38: Rocco saves par, Tiger makes bogey.
It’s a one-shot difference.
2:41: Rocco got a lucky carom back into the fairway. And now Tiger’s in the rough again.
It’s safe to say momentum has shifted, I think.
2:44: Hey, CRM’s back!
We’ve got a severe weather warning in my area as Rocco putts to get within one. And he makes it on the tiny little screen in the corner of my TV! I think! I can’t tell because they’ve decided to put up the doppler radar and a picture of lightning. While it is totally badass, I’d really like to watch the golf match.
Well, it’s raining and thundering here, but we haven’t gotten the slightest warning.
Then again, I live in Florida, so we just sort of deal with the weather.
2:46: Rocco: from fairway to bunker.
Tiger: from “perfect” lie in the rough to…
2:47: …about 40 feet. Wow.
2:48: What we do get in Florida on network channels are commercials for The Villages.
3:00: Hey, the Internet died! No, really, I just had to restart my computer.
It’s a one-shot advantage, still, as the pair traded birdies on 13.
And the thunder is getting more concussive here.
3:03: How is there a par 4 that plays less than 300 in a major championship?
Mediate and Tiger both lay up; Rocco chips to a foot, Tiger to six feet.
3:04: Rocco birdies. Tiger’s birdie try swirls around the end.
Memos to NBC: Talking about a commercial during the telecast is beyond tacky, the “eye of the Tiger” references are a bit dated, and being tied doesn’t count as “on the ropes.”
3:06: Are you excited for Nashville Star, too?
3:07: Checking in on that thing I’m supposed to be live-blogging…
How many times is TBL going to see Hitch opening night? I’m putting the over/under at 3.
I assume CRM means Hancock, because I already own all four of the tickets from TBL’s trips to see Hitch.
And I’m taking the under.
3:11: More CRM:
It’s hard to blog with my fingers crossed as I mutter “Please stay on. Please stay on. Please stay on.”
Hey, you could just live-blog my live-blog of your live-blog of Sobel’s live-blog.
3:12: Rocco’s second on 15 is within 15 feet, but I don’t think he’s made a putt beyond 10 feet today.
“The pressure is on” only if Tiger isn’t making par here.
3:14: What pressure?
3:16: Okay, so the immediate comparisons are to Hogan’s Alley and a shot at the Buick, but that reminds me more of Tiger’s great shot at the Canadian Open.
3:17: Well, he’s made a putt beyond 10 feet now.
That one was perfectly paced and placed, and Rocco Mediate leads the U.S. Open again.
3:19: Tiger. From 10.
Never had a chance, and it rolls three feet by.
3:20: The comebacker for par is true, though, and Tiger looks up at Rocco with three holes to play.
3:22: Well, if this isn’t CRM…
12:09 p.m.: E-mail from Ron in Mexico:
Everybody thought there should be a four-hole playoff, right? Consider the first 14 holes a warm up.
Good point. Here’s our aggregate playoff. Of course, couldn’t we have just done this yesterday?
Yeah, well, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. So I’m happy.
3:23: CRM again.
Tiger taps in to keep it within one. The audio on my TV is now getting jumpy. The hail continues.
As long as you can see, I’m pretty sure you’re getting as much out of it as I am with Hicks and Miller.
3:28: More Sobel:
12:22 p.m.: Despite Mediate’s current lead, Garrett in Parts Unknown sees it going the other way:
You’re wasting your time with analysis, when the real answer, as always, lies in anagrams. The 45-year-old Rocco Mediate is just a “medicare coot.” A Rocco win would be a “meteoric coda” to the tournament — in fact, it might set off a “co-ed mace riot” — but he’ll come up short, and leave a bad taste in our mouths. Like a “mediocre taco.”
Tiger Woods just had knee surgery — his “stride goes ‘ow'”! Like all golfers, he wears “weirdo togs.” Still, the women (and some men) see him and say, “We dig torso!” Are there words to describe Tiger? “Two: God, sire.” Looks like a win for Tiger.
You had me at “mediocre taco.”
If it were the Masters, you have to figure “mediocre coat” comes into play.
Oh, and Rocco just rolled his putt from the fringe to about two feet. He’ll make par.
3:31: Tiger leaves it half an inch short. Perfect line.
3:33: Rocco’s sitting up in the first cut on the right.
Tiger’s smack in the center of the fairway.
3:39: Well, we’re still waiting…
3:40: That was worth the wait, I guess. Tiger’s got something between 15 and 20 for birdie.
3:41: Rocco is just barely on the shelf of the green; his putt is going to be pretty murderous.
3:42: This is going to go down as one of the best two-man rounds of golf ever.
3:44: Mediate’s putt was never going in, but he’s got a knee-knocker from two feet for par.
3:46: Tiger’s putt never quite got it going, and he’ll par.
3:47: Rocco could probably use some Tums right now.
3:48: And my feed has disappeared into blackness and silence. I’m going to assume Rocco made par.
Oh, now we’re back with Johnny Miller flying the helicopter over the 18th.
3:49: From CRM:
From earlier on Sobel’s blog:
If the players are tied after 18 holes, the playoff would be decided in sudden death using holes 7, 8 and 18 in rotation.
That’s exactly the kind of research I pirate from other thieves to bring you.
Oh, and the feed goes out on Tiger’s drive? Any ideas?
3:53: Oh, Tiger’s in the fairway? Did he putt?
Rocco’s second is good into the fairway.
3:54: Tiger’s got an iron from about 220 for the green in two.
I say he either puts it close enough for the eagle, or goes Tin Cup.
3:56: Tiger’s on in two, not clearing the drink by much.
3:58: Rocco’s on in the center of the green; he’ll have a long putt for no less than a tie.
4:01: If Tiger puts this in, it may be the best putt ever.
4:02: Tiger’s putt wide right by two feet, and his birdie isn’t a gimme.
But this is Rocco’s moment.
4:03: Like so many putts off Rocco’s flat stick today, that never had a chance.
Tiger’s turn to feel the weight of the world.
4:06: Tiger, to ensure no less than a playoff. In.
4:07: And now Tiger becomes nothing more than the clubhouse leader.
Rocco Mediate will not die. Let’s go play the 91st.
4:08: From CRM:
Fans have been behind the 18th green since 6am. Hope nobody needed anything done on the West coast today.
Seriously, there are times when bosses need to just write off some time…
4:13: Sudden death double secret overtime. Wow.
And Johnny Miller has now criticized Tiger’s eating and drinking between holes. More wow.
4:14: Stolen from Sobel, each player’s 7th history this week:
1:09 p.m.: Here’s what each player has done at No. 7 each day:
• Thursday: Par
• Friday: Par
• Saturday: Birdie
• Sunday: Par
• Monday: Birdie
• Thursday: Bogey
• Friday: Par
• Saturday: Par
• Sunday: Par
• Monday: Birdie
Tiger’s literally at the first cut of rough on the right side of the fairway.
And Rocco’s in the bunker, and they’re speculating on the position of the ball, whether it’s under the lip or not.
4:18: The lie in the bunker doesn’t have any lip problems, but it’s a difficult one for Rocco’s trademark hook. And a disastrous shot, past the cart path. Par might be an achievement.
Also, you didn’t think Johnny Miller could sneak in the reference to his round? He just said the USGA official in charge of setting up the course “shot four 63s this week.”
4:21: Tiger’s second is to the front of the green, about 20 feet shy of the hole. He will be able to two-putt for par or plug one in for the birdie and the outright win.
4:24: The “Let’s go, Roc-co!” chants roll from the stands as the underdog will take an incredibly difficult shot to keep the dream on life support…
…and it will roll twenty feet past the hole. He’ll have that for par.
4:26: Tiger Woods, to win the U.S. Open…
…he leaves it at the doorstep and leaves Rocco Mediate in the glimmer of light between the door and glory.
4:28: Rocco Mediate, to force another hole…
4:29: Your 108th U.S. Open champion, Tiger Woods.
4:30: Rocco calls Tiger “unreal,” says “They wanted a show, they got one,” describes himself as “nervous as a cat,” and tells Jimmy Roberts, “I never quit,” and “I got what I wanted.”
The Tigerbole (n., hyperbole surrounding American golfer Eldrick “Tiger” Woods) will drown this out over the next few days, and, certainly, Tiger won this as much as Rocco lost it, but that’s the noblest underdog I’ve ever seen. You won me over, Rocco Mediate, and you won America, too. Congratulations.
4:34: And Tiger, the greatest gifts you have are at your side and on your shoulder. You could have the most bloated of egos, and are the fiercest competitor to a fault, but you are, essentially, good.
Congratulations, champion, and congratulations, husband and father.
4:43: Tiger speaks eloquently and emotionally on his family and his father, Rocco will be able to go home to his three kids after giving them the best Father’s Day possible.
It’s appropriate that the epic music from Requiem For a Dream takes us out. A phenomenal day for sports, a tremendous competition, and competitors who will go down in legend: This was something great.