An 18-hole playoff wasn’t enough to decide the tie between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate today. They both shot even-par 71 over the first 18 holes, and headed to the par-4 seventh for sudden death at about 4pm EST Monday.
Woods blew a three-shot lead and trailed by one, but got onto the par- 5 18th hole in two and made a four-foot putt for birdie. Mediate had a chance to win the tournament with a 20-foot birdie putt of his own, but he missed and had to make a testy three-foot comebacker to stay tied.
This marked only the third time a U.S. Open playoff has gone beyond 18 holes. The last was 1994, when Ernie Els and Loren Roberts played to a draw, then went two extra holes before Els won his first championship.
Mediate trailed by three heading into the 11th hole, but made three straight birdies on Nos. 13, 14 and 15 to grab the lead and force Woods to birdie the 18th to stay in the tournament.
Woods did the same thing Sunday on No. 18 to force the playoff and stay in contention for his 14th major. He has never lost when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead, as he did heading into the final round this time.