2006 Masters: Mediate derailed on 12th hole at the Masters

Augusta, Ga. | After two storybook days around Augusta National, surprise contender Rocco Mediate made an astute, and sadly self-fulfilling, observation.

“Nothing is safe here,” said Mediate, who was tied for second at the 36-hole break, three shots behind Chad Campbell. “There are too many bad things that can happen to you if you’re not playing good golf.”

Seems bad things also can happen to you at Augusta even if you are playing well.

Mediate, competing in his seventh Masters and in search of his first top-10 showing, first felt the sting of fate’s indiscriminate hand as he finished his rain-delayed third round in cool conditions Sunday morning. At first, it was just a pinch in his right hip that made walking and swinging the club uncomfortable. It’s an inexplicable ailment that Mediate said crops up more often than he’d like.

He rallied to remain in the hunt, however, and through nine holes Mediate was tied for the lead at 4 under. Three holes later, the pain had worsened.

At the par-3 12th, Mediate hit his 8-iron tee shot into Rae’s Creek. He hit two more balls from the drop

area into the hazard before finally launching his seventh shot into the back bunker. An awkward blast and two putts later, he penciled a 10 onto his scorecard.

The pain never let up.

“I wasn’t going to walk in,” Mediate said. “I did too much work to do that. It would have been easy for me to do that.”

Instead, the four-time PGA Tour winner willed himself to finish the round.

“It was just one of those things. I almost had to quit,” said Mediate, who finished tied for 36th after a closing 80. “That was the best 71 holes of golf I’ve ever played.”

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