With Woods out, fans will have to follow Rocco

It has been a long time since a golf match created as much day-after buzz as yesterday’s epic battle between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate in the U.S. Open playoff round.

And as much as fans were understandably pulling for the 45-year-old underdog, Woods’ accomplishment in holding off a determined and tenacious competitor with a victory on the 91st hole was just as worthy of applause considering his not-yet-healed left knee that was operated on in April to repair cartilage damage.

That Tiger allowed after the match, “This is probably the greatest tournament I've ever had," speaks volumes about the physical challenge of his knee and unrelenting press of competition from Mediate.

It’s unknown how long Woods will have to shut it down since he obviously didn’t do that knee any good from Thursday through Monday. It wouldn’t be surprising if he missed the British Open, which is in a month. And you even have to wonder about the PGA Championship four weeks after that.

And who knows when the next time will be that Rocco Mediate makes another charge to the top of the leader board. Maybe it’ll be at the World Series of Poker where he played pretty well three years ago. Well, probably not this year – his thrilling struggle against Woods has made him a pretty hot name in golf for now. And with Woods likely on the shelf, he’s the guy the galleries will want to follow.

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