Sun Sentinel
PGA Tour
Mediate escapes with Open title

San Martin, CA (Sports Network) - Rocco Mediate holed out for an eagle for the fourth straight round Sunday, and he needed every one of those strokes to earn his victory at the Open.

After coughing up his three-stroke lead, Mediate birdied 16 and holed out for eagle on 17 to shoot two-over 73. It was good enough to give him a one-stroke win at 15-under-par 269.

"I was having a tough time with the weather. It was busting me up," said Mediate of the cool, wet conditions players faced on Sunday. "I couldn't hit it. After it calmed a little, I got mad a little bit."

Bo Van Pelt (71) and Alex Prugh (69) shared second place at minus-14. They played alongside Mediate in the final group and both could have stolen the win for themselves.

Van Pelt had three birdies over the final seven holes at CordeValle Golf Club to end one back, while Prugh nearly had the shot of the week.

Prugh's tee ball at the short par-four 17th landed within a foot of the cup, but trickled three feet by the hole. If it had gone in, it would have been the second ace on a par-four in PGA Tour history. He settled for a tap-in eagle, and also birdied the last to share second.

U.S. Ryder Cupper Rickie Fowler had three birdies between the 12th and 17th en route to a two-under 69. He took fourth at 13-under-par 271 for his fourth top-five finish this season.

Mediate seemed to be in control from the outset. Even though he had three bogeys on the front nine, Mediate still made the turn with a two-stroke lead.

The 46-year-old stumbled to back-to-back bogeys from the 11th to cough up his lead. Mediate managed to stay in contention with three straight pars from the 13th.

After Van Pelt took the lead with a birdie on the par-five 15th, Mediate joined him at 13-under with an 18-foot birdie putt on 16.

Mediate, as he had done all week, played a safe tee shot into the fairway on the short 17th. After Van Pelt drove the green, Prugh nearly dunked his tee shot for an improbably hole-in-one.

Every thing shifted in Mediate's favor with one swing of the club.

He holed out for eagle from the fairway to jump two strokes clear of Van Pelt.

"It was 116 (yards), and it was a funny thing. I had Alex mark his ball because it's in your head a little bit," stated Mediate in a television interview. "All of a sudden, when I hit it I went, 'Oh that's gotta be good.' And when it went in, it was the same reaction, 'You've got to be kidding me.'"

Earlier in the week, Mediate holed out for eagle on the third (first round), fourth (second round) and 15th (third round).

"No, heck no, never," said Mediate when asked had he ever holed out four times in a tournament before.

Van Pelt three-putted for par and Prugh kicked in his eagle effort. Both were two behind and would need help from Mediate at the last.

For the first time all week, Mediate played up the right side of the split fairway on the 18th. His approach from the first cut of rough stopped 36 feet from the hole.

Mediate elected not to putt out after his birdie effort stopped four feet away. That only added to the suspense.

Van Pelt ran home his 38-footer for birdie to get within one. Prugh poured in a 10-foot birdie effort to join Van Pelt at minus-14.

It was all up to Mediate, who had missed several short putts earlier in the round. This time there was never a doubt. He knocked his par putt into the middle of the cup and gave his caddie a huge bear hug to celebrate his first victory in eight years.

Mediate had been in danger of losing his PGA Tour card as he entered the week No. 182 on the money list. The win gives him a two-year exemption and he also soared to 72nd on the updated money list.

NOTES: David Duval all but locked up his PGA Tour card for next year with his tie for sixth place. That moved him to 99th on the money list with the top-125 getting their tour cards for next year...There are just two official events left with Martin Laird scheduled to defend his title next week in the first of the last two events, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals For Children.

10/17 20:39:41 ET