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Mediate ismedia darling

By Carlos Monarrez

Detroit Free Press

GRAND BLANC, Mich. — A case, and a compelling one at that, could be made that Rocco Mediate’s runner-up finish to Tiger Woods in the U.S. Open did more for Mediate’s career than it did for Woods’.

After all, Woods simply took one more step toward his inevitable march into history and is now laid up somewhere recovering from knee surgery while he sits out the rest of the year.

Mediate, meanwhile, at age 45 and in his 24th year as a pro, is hitting the celebrity circuit. After his 19-hole playoff loss to Woods at Torrey Pines on June 16, Mediate was a guest the next day on NBC’s "Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

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Mediate played in the Buick Open pro-am round Wednesday at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club and afterward he said he had been on a whirlwind tour the past week. He hasn’t even been able to keep track of all the interview requests.

"I don’t really know how many — a million requests, 25 or a million, one of the two," he said. "We went to the studio on Tuesday and did all the news stuff, and then the Leno thing on Tuesday, which was a blast. He’s a great guy. We had a great time.

"Then nonstop since, just radio and TV. I was home in Pennsylvania Friday and Saturday, did some stuff there. I haven’t slept much."

Mediate played in a three-day charity event that ended Tuesday in Massachusetts. The affable golfer was engulfed there by fans and their support, just as he was Wednesday.

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