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‘He Was Bewildered’: Tiger Woods’ Former Caddie Sheds Light on Rocco Mediate’s Mind Games at the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines



The 2008 U. S. Open is considered one of the greatest tournaments in the history of golf. It is said one can’t simply forget the intensity and the unpredictability of the event that year. But what is most remembered from the tournament is Rocco Mediate wearing the iconic colors that his opponent, Tiger Woods, wears on Sundays as a tradition in the playoffs.

“Can you honestly believe what he’s got on?” Tiger Woods could only wonder when he saw Mediate wear red and black to the playoffs. The 15-time major winner’s former caddie Steve Williams recalled the moment from the 2008 U. S. Open on the podcast ‘Chasing Majors.’

“I said, ‘that’s pretty ballsy,’” Williams explained what he said back then to his golfer. “He (Tiger) was bewildered,” Tiger’s former caddie added. “I don’t know if anybody else would do that.”

Red is inseparable from Tiger, who has worn a similar one while playing competitions on Sundays. There have been a few changes made concerning the plan of the attire. By and by, the variety has remained the equivalent 100% of the time. The justification behind it? His mom believes red and dark to be his “strong varieties.”

Before the 2008 U. S. Open, Woods had won all his 13 majors while sporting the same colors in the final rounds. It had by then almost become his trademark colors. Yet, Mediate chose to wear red and black on the playoff day at the U. S. Open in 2008.


“It just added to the whole excitement,” Williams remembered how he and Woods felt then. “The whole drama and everything,” he further added.


Tiger Woods vs Rocco Mediate, the drama at the 2008 U. S. Open
Woods entered the 2008 U. S. Open just two months after going through arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Yet, fans believed he could win the major as he was the reigning World No. 1 back then.

Meanwhile, Rocco Mediate was World No. 158 when he entered the field at the Torrey Pines. Despite having an upper hand in the tournament, it took 91 holes for Tiger to win over Mediate.

The regular rounds of the major ended them tied with each other with an overall score of 1-under 354. The event led to the 18-hole playoffs to determine a winner, which again got extended to another 1-hole playoff.

Eventually, reminding everyone why he is regarded as the GOAT of golf, Woods emerged as the winner of one of the most intense tournaments in the sport’s history.