Certainly the playoff between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate to determine the winner of last year’s U.S. Open was full of intriguing elements.
Woods, perhaps the greatest golfer ever, was playing on a torn knee and a broken leg. Mediate, certainly one of the most often-injured contemporary pro golfers, seemed to be playing about eleven feet above his own head.
The eighteen-hole playoff, a feature peculiar to the Open, failed to settle the issue. On Monday’s 19th hole, form finally prevailed, and then Woods lifted the trophy over his head, smiled for the cameras, and shut down his golf game for the better part of a year.
You’ll notice that I have not mentioned a long drive, a four iron drawn toward a fiendishly placed pin, or a curling putt that drops, almost reluctantly, into the back of the cup. I hate shot-by-shot descriptions of golf. I feel the same way about hole-by-hole descriptions. There are plenty of both in John Feinstein’s book, but, happily, he also devotes considerable time to good stories about both players.