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Tiger and Rocco Back in the News, 5 Years Later

Let’s be honest, the two weeks between the PLAYERS and the Memorial aren’t that exciting. Sure, the best in the world are still teeing it up, but the Byron Nelson and Colonial aren’t exactly marquee events anymore. So let’s talk about something that is sure to get some run in the coming weeks.

In an interview for the Golf Channel, Rocco Mediate told a very interesting story about Tiger Woods, five years after their battle at the 2008 US Open. Read the story if you like, but I will give you the gist. Basically, a year after their epic US Open playoff, Rocco asked Tiger for an autograph on the pin sheet from said playoff. This is a pretty cool piece of golf memorabilia if you ask me. For a normal tournament there would be hundreds of pin sheets printed. But it was just Tiger and Rocco in that playoff, so the pin sheet from that day is a pretty rare item.

Rocco was hoping for Tiger to sign the sheet with some witty comment so he could frame it and display it in his house somewhere. This seems like a reasonable request, so Rocco placed the sheet (with a note) into Tiger’s locker at the 2010 PLAYERS Championship. Instead of granting Rocco’s request, Tiger returned an autographed picture of himself and left the pin sheet untouched.

So, what do we make of this? I can see it from both angles, but I am thinking this is just a simple miscommunication.  

On the one hand, you have a perfectly reasonable request by Rocco. He just wanted an autograph on a historic piece of sports memorabilia. In theory, this should have taken Tiger a few minutes. It’s easy to get on Tiger for this one. Just write a funny one-liner and move on.

On the other hand though, Tiger gets TONS of autograph requests. As we know, Tiger is in his own world when he is competing in tournaments and signing autographs might be the last thing he wants to do. But he will. So it’s possible that Tiger didn’t really read Rocco’s note and just signed a photo as he probably does hundreds of times a week, assuming it was a run-of-the-mill autograph request.

This has to just be a misunderstanding, right? Tiger can’t be that big of a douche, can he? (/checks the Internet…oh he can? Okay then.)

Douche-ness aside, I just don’t think Tiger could be that cold-hearted. I don’t think he would purposely disregard Rocco’s request like that. Maybe I am giving the guy too much credit, but it just seems absurd that Tiger would do Rocco like that. It you ask Sergio Garcia, I am sure he would have a different take.

With it being a slow time on the golf schedule, this will most likely be talked about for a few days and then forgotten about. I just find it interesting that this was brought up on a nationally televised show. I get it though. Rocco has always been a guy that enjoys the spotlight and he has placed himself right in the middle of it again. Was he trying to put Tiger on blast? Or was he simply trying to finally get that autograph? I hope it was the latter. As Rocco goes on to say in the interview, he remains a Tiger fan.

It will be interesting to see if this story continues or if it just fizzles out in the coming days. Hopefully, when the Memorial gets underway next week, we can talk about golf again. I like golf and not passive aggressive media cat fights. 

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