Last night I set up my alarm clock at 00.00 midnight. Went to sleep at 10.30 pm, somehow I did not wake up when the alarm rang. Shut it off and slept again. Until suddently I woke up at 2.45.
I jumped out of the bed and ran to the TV room. “Sh*t, hope I still can catch Tiger’s victory”
Indeed, I was.
When I turned on the television, Tiger and Rocco just finished the 16th hole in their 18 hole playoff. Surprise, surprise, Rocco led by 1 stroke! Oh boy, what I’ve just missed?
9 text messages on my phone, apparently.
My friends tried to wake me up. Shared me their emotion. Wished Tiger fail. Told me the roller coaster ride Tiger had been through. Leading by 3 strokes by 10th hole, it looked like Tiger was destined for easy victory. But then couple of mistakes by Tiger and excellent play by Rocco, gave Rocco 1 stroke lead when I woke up.
Me texted to Maya: “Haaaa I just woke up. And Tiger on danger? Oh my. Oh my”
But I learned my lesson from yesterday. Never write off Tiger. Not yet.
So I texted her again: “Believe believe believe”
After Tiger and Rocco both had par in Hole 17. They went to Hole 18, which could be the last hole of this thrilling 90-holes duel. Tiger needs to shot 1 stroke better than Mediate to force an extended. It’s a birdie hole, so Tiger needed Eagle to really save his tournament.
Apparently, under such immense pressure, Rocco hit the tee shot to the left rough. Tiger on the other hand nailed a perfect tee shot on the fairway. I started texted again.
Me to Maya: “God woke me up to witness this historic moment”
Then Tiger ripped his long iron shot to reach the green in two. His ball safely landed on the green.
Me to Gian: “This is the start of greatness”
And it was. Tiger sank another brilliant putt to level his score with Rocco, and took the match to extra hole, sudden-death hole, 91st hole of the tournament! Rocco on the other hand, quite remarkably held the pressure and made his par putt.
And the rest was history. On the first sudden death hole, Rocco Mediate proved how strong Tiger’s mind is. Rocco hooked his tee shot to fairway bunker, he sailed his approach shot to the gallery, and ultimately he missed the par putt which would have taken the match to “Double Overtime”.
He could not do what Tiger did yesterday and on the 18th hole. Tiger won his third US Open, needs “only” 4 more majors to tie Jack Niclaus’ record of major victories.
Some of us may take for granted Tiger’s effort to do this clutch shots and putts. For me, I know how hard it is. Try this drill at home: on your putting mat, try to hole 10-footer putt (3 metres) for 10 consecutive putts. If you miss the putt, you have to start all over again (from first put). I swear to God, my heart was pumping after I sunk the 9th putt and going to 10th putt, knowing if I missed the putt I would start all over again.
And I did miss. To the left. Pulled the putt.
So, believe me. This magic from Tiger is once in a lifetime. Maybe once in a century. It’s worth to watch on every minute.