Rocco's Coming! (To Rhode Island)
Rocco Mediate withdrew from the Travelers after his grueling loss to Tiger Woods in a 19-hole playoff on Monday at the U.S. Open out in San Diego. However, golf's newest folk hero will be nearby next week.
Mediate will play in the 10th annual CVS Charity Classic in Barrington, R.I. on Monday and Tuesday. The two-day event, hosted by Rhode Islanders Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon, features 20 players in 10, two-man fields. Mediate will be paired with Brandt Snedeker, who made a lot of new fans with his play at The Masters.
"We've got the darling of the Masters with the darling of the U.S. Open together, which is kinda cool," said Andrade.
Mediate was a late addition to the CVS. Boo Weekly, who was also slated to play in the Travelers, had to withdraw from both since his wife was due to give birth this week.
"I called him after Sunday's round and wished him luck for Monday," said Andrade. "Then I called him after Monday and told him the scenario -- Boo dropped out, would you like to come to Rhode Island next week and play? He said, 'Oh yeah, I'm in.' Which is great. He's such an added addition at such a late time. To do that for us really means a lot for the tournament.
It'll be the first time Mediate plays in the charity event. He should have a blast -- guys named Rocco normally feel pretty comfortable in Rhode Island.
"You would think," Andrade admitted. "He'll have a lot of protection."
Andrade also noted that Faxon, who withdrew from the Travelers earlier this week due to knee pain from offseason surgery, should play in the event using a cart.
"Swinging the golf club doesn't bother him, just the wear and tear of walking," Andrade reported.
We also asked Billy about how his longtime close friend, Roger Clemens, is doing these days. Andrade didn't want to comment, only saying that he has spoken with Clemens since the infamous Congressional hearings in March.
"Just awful," is how Andrade described the entire situation.
-- DAVID BORGES