Mediate claims Greensboro Classic
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2002 Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic | Wrap | 29 Apr 2002
I suppose there had been a lot to suggest that this may have been Rocco Mediate’s week. A previous winner and a man who, as recently as the Players Championship, had finished 3rd it appeared that a win was not far away. Only thing bugging me is that I did not see the warning signs.
For Mediate this was his fifth win on tour in the fifteen years since joining in 1986. He now has career earnings of more than $US8,500,000 and if not for persistent back problems may well have been one of the leading players in the game.
His caddy Pete Benda plays a significant role in the decision making on course and it appears to be one of the best player/caddy relationships out there. Benda was with Baker-Finch when he won his British Open and with Norman when he won his first of two British Opens.
Mediate started the last round with a two shot lead over Mark Calcavecchia but after just a few holes they had drawn level. Calcavecchia then proceeded to bogey three holes between the fifth and eleventh and that was effectively the end of the challenge. Mediate went on to win by three from Calcavecchia, Johnathon Byrd and Chad Campbell. Byrd and Campbell are both graduates from last season’s Buy.Com Tour, Campbell by way of the Battlefield Promotion, and Byrd via an eighth place finish on the money list. Campbell was also the leading money winner on the secondary tour last year.
Jonathon Byrd had the extra satisfaction in knowing his good friend Charles Warren was winning on the Buy.Com Tour in an event that Byrd himself had won last year.
Calcavecchia needed a twenty foot putt at the last to beat an unbelievable 72 hole putting record that has stood for thirteen years that being 93 putts set by Kenny Knox back in 1989. Calcavecchia missed but now holds the record with Knox. That represents 23 putts per round over four rounds. Not bad for a player who grips it with the claw grip and a style that most would have scoffed at three years ago. He and Di Marco have made it fashionable and look out at your local club for more converts.
Stuart Appleby produced his best finish of the year for 14th after his worst start to a season in his five years on the PGA Tour. Maybe this will be what he needs to get things underway again.
Frank Nobilo was 23rd, Phil Tataurangi after a disappointing weekend 30th, John Senden and Geoff Ogilvy 38th, Mattie Goggin 48th and Steve Elkington 64th.