The 2008 US Open runner-up revealed that he gave up alcohol in October 2017 after years of drinking every day
Rocco Mediate Reveals Alcohol Struggles
Six-time PGA Tour winner and 2008 US Open runner-up Rocco Mediate has revealed that he was once a “habitual alcoholic” in an interview with the Golf Channel.
Mediate, now 56, says he gave up alcohol completely on 23rd October 2017 after drinking every day for years leading up to then.
“I couldn’t tell you since last October, years before that, a day I went without having a drink,” Mediate said whilst speaking to the Golf Channel’s Vince Cellini in the latest episode of PGA Tour Champions Learning Center.
“I knew at the time that eventually it was going to get me.”
Mediate is, of course, famous for that close playoff loss to Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines in 2008, where the pair played a total of 91 holes from Thursday to Monday to decide the fate of the trophy.
He came up just short and is mostly remembered for that, but he was an accomplished winner with six PGA Tour victories and three PGA Tour Champions titles since turning 50, including the 2016 Senior PGA Championship.
However, even during competitive rounds of golf, Mediate says he was drinking.
“Absolutely I have (played while drinking). Because it was just normal for me. It was just a daily ritual, let’s say,” the Pennsylvanian told Vince Cellini.
“You can put it in a lot of places. A lot of places. Was it every time? No. But most of the time when the pain came in, it wasn’t not going to happen.”
Mediate suffered with back pain throughout his career and that was one of the reasons why he drank.
The American was asked about Tiger Woods’ 2017 DUI charges, which he was sympathetic to due to his alcohol struggles and back struggles.
“When that happened, I went, ‘Mm-hmm, yeah. I just didn’t get caught.”
He also said that he gave up drink on the spot after a discussion with his wife.
“I didn’t need alcohol, I just wanted it. I enjoyed it. Simple as that. If I woke up and I was like, ‘Oh God,’ then we have some serious problems called rehab. Didn’t want to have to do that. Had a small headache for about four hours, and that was the end. Done.”
Mediate had seven top-10s on the PGA Tour Champions last season and was T20th in his first start of 2019.
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