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Mediate back in town to have fun

Rocco Mediate’s stay in Las Vegas last month was brief.

The popular PGA Tour veteran withdrew after one round of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open with sinus issues. Mediate is back in town today and while his visit won’t be any longer than his recent stay, it could be far more lucrative.

Mediate will team with U.S. Ryder Cup members Kenny Perry and Stewart Cink to represent the PGA Tour in the $1 million Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge at Rio Secco Golf Club.

They will square off against the LPGA Tour’s Natalie Gulbis, Cristie Kerr and Helen Alfredsson, and the Champions Tour trio of Jay Haas, Nick Price and Fred Funk.

The winning team could split $500,000. Play starts at 8:30 a.m. and admission is free. The event will be televised by ABC on tape delay Dec. 13-14.

“This is my silly time of the year,” said Mediate, who had one of his best season in his 24 year on the tour, headlined by his head-to-head playoff loss to Tiger Woods in the U.S. Open on June 16. “It’s an honor to be invited to play in these events, and Wendy’s has a great cause in helping adopted kids.”

Mediate, 45, is also scheduled to play in the Skins Game this month. Last week he participated in the ADT Skills Challenge. He figures he’s entitled to some fun after going one-on-one with the game’s best player.

“It’s been an amazing year,” said Mediate, who earned $1,420,875, good for 74th on the tour money list and his best showing since 2003 when he made $1,832,656 and finished 31st. “I’ll never forget it. The U.S. Open was my greatest day on the golf course ever. I would have loved to have won, but it’s something I’ll always remember.”

Of course he’ll remember. Every day people come up to Mediate to remind him.

“It never stops but it’s really cool,” he said. “It’s fun. People are great. They’ll come up to me and say they’re sorry to bother me. Sorry? Tell me more stories about that day.

“It was truly a special day for golf because it showed people that the game is supposed to be played with joy. How could you not enjoy playing against Tiger in a playoff at the U.S. Open?”

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@ reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913.

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