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CHAMPIONS TOUR/2013 CHARLES SCHWAB CUP


“I’m really having a good time out here,” Mediate said. “I’m laughing a lot and talking a lot to everybody. Maybe it’s more laid back than the PGA TOUR, but we shouldn’t make it any different.


This should be the norm on every tour, because the sponsors are the ones who are paying the big money for us to be out here and doing something we love. Why shouldn’t we be nice and interact with everybody? That’s not a new thought to me, I’ve been doing that forever.”


out


Forever includes his six PGA TOUR victories, his epic playoff loss to Tiger Woods in the 2008 U.S. Open, four other professional golf victories and now his sudden success on the Champions Tour.


A POSITIVE ICON


His fellow players have been quick to notice Mediate’s injection of competitive golf energy and outgoing personality on the Champions Tour.


Tom Pernice, Jr., Corey Pavin, Mark Calcavecchia and Fuzzy Zoeller, another fan favorite, have all said the image of Mediate walking with fans and having his name near the top of the leaderboard can do nothing but help the Champions Tour.


nothing but enthusiasm


“His relaxed personality and the for our


tournaments is


nothing but a positive for the Champions Tour,” said veteran player and five-time winner, D.A. Weibring. “I think


Champions


having Rocco Tour


is an . “His on


addition,” Pavin added. “His interaction with the fans is very enjoyable.”


Mediate said he’s just glad to be


playing with his friends and fellow golfing competitors. “I saw Tom Watson changing his


shoes in the locker room when I got to the tournament the first week,” Mediate said. “How cool is it to be playing golf with Tom Watson again? I haven’t been with Hale Irwin forever, people like Jeff Sluman or Mark Calcavecchia. This is great.” Finally freed of the back troubles


which have bothered him much of his career, Mediate is rested, healthy, happy with a new marital engagement and


www.pgatour.com


« COMPETITION IS HEALTHY. IT MAKES YOU WORK HARDER AND


STRIVE FOR MORE AND TRY TO FIND THAT EXTRA ONE OR TWO PERCENT IN YOUR GAME THAT


YOU COULD POSSIBLY IMPROVE. » BERNHARD LANGER


ready for his second career.


“If you had told me in 1986 that I would still be out here and would have won six times, I would have said you’re nuts,” Mediate said. “That is more than I ever thought possible. Now I think I can play another 10-15 years.”


MEDIATE’S INSPIRATION


Mediate said he has been inspired by the longtime consistency of players like Irwin and Watson and stars like Langer, who, through March, had won 19 times in six-plus years on the Champions Tour, including the week after Mediate at the Ace Group Classic.


“Competition is healthy. It makes you work harder and strive for more and try to find that extra one or two percent in your game that you could possibly improve,” Langer said of his old, now new Champions Tour rival Mediate. “Some of the guys are in great shape, some of the guys are in decent shape, but you can just look at


guys like Hale


Irwin and know they haven’t lost it,” he said. But


for the new the excellent


Bernhard Langer has been a consistent winner during his six-plus years on the Champions Tour.


rookie, there definitely has been an adjustment to his new tour for someone who spent 27 years on the PGA TOUR. “It’s weird starting on a Friday (for a 54-hole event),” Mediate said. “I’ve been so used to doing the same thing for so long. You’ve got to put the pedal to the metal and coming out firing on Friday to have a chance.”


He didn’t waste much time putting


those lessons into practice. He opened with a 67 in his first Champions Tour event, then zoomed to the top of the leaderboard with a


course-record,


second-round 61 at the Old Club at Broken Sound in Boca Raton (FL), en route to a one-shot victory over Pernice. Mediate became the 16th Champions


Tour player to win his Champions Tour debut, joining Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lanny Wadkins and Gary Player as winners of their first Champions Tour events and said the winning feeling is still the same.


PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE 2013 29


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