June 16, 2008
Hey! Free golf! And on a workday, no less! If you're stuck and can't follow the Tiger-Rocco matchup, no sweat -- we've got you covered. And if you're sitting around with nothing to do but chill on the sofa and watch golf, share your good fortune with us. Hang here and chat live at the Golf Experts Blog. We begin at noon. See you then!
UPDATE (2pm): Folks, we appear to have broken the chat system with all of the people online here. We will do our best to get it back online. But at the turn, it's Rocco down to 2 to Tiger.
UPDATE (2:05) All right, here's what we're going to do. If and until the chat comes back, we'll do updates right here to keep you apprised. I'll add in some commentary on each hole and update you after every hole. To answer some of the questions that were popping up in the chat before it died: Tiger started grimacing at his knee on 9, Rocco's belt buckle isn't visible, the golf is being televised on NBC, and Tiger is up 2 after 9.
HOLE 10 (2:10pm): Tiger hit it wide right, and Rocco hit the fairway. Rocco had an opportunity for a two-shot swing, with Tiger potentially bogeying and Rocco potentially birdieing. But Rocco chunked it from right off the green. (These guys have hit just 4 of 10 greens in regulation.) But it was not to be--Tiger par'ed it from ten feet out. Rocco missed from about six, and Tiger now has a 3-stroke lead.
HOLE 11 (2:20pm): Tiger buried a shot in the right sand trap, the third time he's done it today. Rocco, perhaps feeling the love from the absolutely gigantic crowd, stuck one right by the pin; it rolled away for about a fifteen-foot birdie putt. Tiger, naturally, dropped his chip shot right by the pin. But Rocco missed his birdie, and Tiger--amazingly--missed a par putt. After 11 holes, Tiger +1, Rocco +3.
HOLE 12 (2:38): Off the tee, Tiger ripped it into a fairway bunker. Rocco was considerably farther back, but in the fairway. Knee still doesn't seem to be a major problem for Tiger. This 505-yarder is a BEAST, and yet Rocco put it on the deck for a birdie chance. Tiger really blew his fairway shot, and screamed "GODDA-" before NBC cut him off. His third chip-up was weak, leaving him 20 feet from the hole. Rocco, meanwhile, missed his birdie shot ... can't keep doing that and expect to beat Tiger. Still, Tiger bogeyed the hole, giving Mediate the opening ... which Mediate took advantage of. After 12 holes, Tiger +2, Rocco +3.
HOLE 13: Both guys just wound up and pounded the ball on this par-5. Tiger stuck it on the green with his second shot. Rocco, from the bunker, popped it up onto the green and is set up well for a birdie shot. Tiger very nearly had a back-breaking eagle, but tapped in for birdie. Rocco made a birdie as well; he's not flinching. Still, he's got a long way to go. After 13 holes, Tiger +1, Rocco +2. (2:50pm)
HOLE 14: Rocco put his tee shot right below the edge of the green on the par-4 14th, then chips to within a foot of the hole. He taps in for birdie. Tiger putted right off the edge of the cup, and missed his birdie putt. (3:04pm)
So, after 14 holes: Tiger +1, Rocco +1.
HOLE 15: Rocco puts his tee shot into the fairway, while Tiger puts his into the right gallery. Rocco drops his second shot about twenty feet from the pin. Meanwhile Tiger, coming out of a fairway bunker, drops it about five feet from the pin. Un-be-freakin'-lievable. Rocco drains a monstrously long birdie right in Tiger's face...and Tiger misses his putt! Rocco has a one-shot lead going into the final three holes. After 15 holes: Rocco E, Tiger +1.
And all of a sudden, Tiger ain't lookin' so invulnerable anymore.
UPDATE: The live chat has, again, gone south just at the moment we needed it most. Very sorry about this, folks. (3:56)
UPDATE: Tiger and Rocco are both on the 18th green. Tiger's eagle putt ends up just a bit right, two feet away. Rocco has a putt to win the Open.
UPDATE: And it's not to be, at least on that putt. He misses the long putt, and now Tiger has a short birdie putt. He drains it, and now it's up to Rocco to match him or lose the U.S. Open.
UPDATE: And we're going to sudden death! Par-4 7th, Par 3 8th, and the 18th, if needed.
UPDATE: Sudden-death--Tiger to win, and leaves the putt millimeters short. Rocco to putt now...and misses. Tiger wins! Unbelieveable.
And thanks to all who persevered through this chat session. Glad to have you here--come on back tomorrow!