Sorry folks. Need to write this. I still feel the goosebumps two hours after watching Tiger made another clutch putt to force a play-off in Final Day of US Open 2008 at Torrey Pines. And because of that, the ‘Final Day’ needs an extension. Tiger will meet Rocco Mediate in 18 holes play-off tomorrow.
Believe me, I’m a Tiger fan. But judging from how he played today, I myself had a doubt whether he could force the play-off. Trailing by 1 stroke going to final hole, Tiger hooked his tee-shot to fairway bunker on the left. From there, he was forced to lay up. But what a bad shot he made. He hit his second shot to the rough about 100 yards from hole. And any golf fan, know how the rough look like in US Open. And also, it’s not only because of the rough, but also because of the pin location which was on the edge of the green. There was very few room to work with.
And this was the start of (another) greatness. I texted my 2 friends who watched the live telecast just like me. One of them is with Maya (who is happen to be my boss as well :):
Me: “Tiger will lose. It’s hard to get up and down for birdie on that rough”
Maya: “Tiger will do it”
Me: “No, I don’t think he will. He’s human after all”
Maya: “No, he’s Tiger. Not a human” (rightly so)
Then Tiger hit his approach shot perfectly. It somehow landed softly about 12 feet from the hole!!
Me: “Wooooowww!!!” (Lesson for me: Never write Tiger off! Not yet)
It made Tiger next stroke a makeable birdie putt. But still, I’ve seen more often than not, professional golfers miss that putt from that distance. Especially on the defining moment.
Just like Lee Westwood. Playing under exactly similar terms with Woods going to 18th hole (trailing 1 stroke, and need birdie), Westwood hit his approach shot approximately similar distance like Woods. And his birdie putt never had a chance. It lacked of power, and missed to the right. He had to settle in third place.
And now is Tiger’s turn, with Rocco Mediate watching whether this can be his maiden victory in major soil. Tiger took few times stepping back, made sure his line was correct. It took forever. I, the TV announcer and the gallery were muted waiting for him to putt. During that moment I texted again:
Me: “My heart is pumping hard”
Maya: “Cool Down. Play off!”
And again, Maya was right. It was a curler, 12 feet birdie putt that almost lipped out the right side of the hole. And it DROPPED INTO THE HOLE!! Tiger made another dramatic clutch putt!! The gallery roared, I myself screamed alone in my house (my maid must be surprised). My other friend (Gian, a fellow golfer) called me, apparently couldn’t stand not to share this moment of greatness to anybody. I was almost in tears.
This guy never stop to amaze us. He delivered one magical moment to another. I thought he ran out his moments after 2 Eagles and 1 Chip-in Birdie yesterday. But he’s far from running out a gas.
And tomorrow, on the 18 holes playoff, I guess it is Rocco Mediate who needs the MAGIC to defeat Tiger. We’ll see.