Rocco Mediate caused a stir in golf circles when he said he was “disgusted” with what’s going on with Tiger Woods’ swing, saying his physical motion is strong criticism of Woods’ most recent coaches, Sean Foley and Hank Haney.
Mediate didn’t back away from his opinion Tuesday, although he made it clear that few others are rooting harder for Woods to return to dominance. And he believes Woods will again get back to No. 1.
“If he gets his golf swing back, that game’s over,” Mediate said. “Because he knows that once he figures out where his ball is going, it’s over. He’s already proved it a million -- how many times? -- 71 times, and 14 majors.
“If he can find his ball again, if he gets that club up where it belongs, trust me. He’s not done yet.”
Mediate said he has not spoken to Woods and didn’t expect to.
They are linked by their playoff at Torrey Pines in the 2008 U.S. Open, where Woods made a birdie putt on the last hole in regulation to force extra holes, then beat Mediate in a 19-hole playoff despite playing with a shattered left leg.
Mediate appeared to contradict himself at one point.
He said Woods’ problems are 100 percent physical, and that his sole problem is the swing.
“He owns the mental side of it,” Mediate said. “But on the physical side, here’s what I would say. You can mentally think certain things in golf, but if you physically can’t do it … if the club is in the wrong place, the ball won’t go where you’re looking.”
Later, however, someone asked about Woods beating him at Torrey Pines on essentially one leg. Woods made double bogey on the first hole three times during that U.S. Open.
“And if you think about it, how did he win that event? Did he win it physically or mentally?” Mediate said. “Think about what he did. I saw shots from that man at Torrey Pines that I couldn’t even imagine hitting. But he just kept walking, whatever. That’s greatness.”