Rocco Mediate Reveals Alcohol Struggles

The 2008 US Open runner-up revealed that he gave up alcohol in October 2017 after years of drinking every day

Rocco Mediate Reveals Alcohol Struggles

The 2008 US Open runner-up revealed that he gave up alcohol in October 2017 after years of drinking every day

Rocco Mediate Reveals Alcohol Struggles

Six-time PGA Tour winner and 2008 US Open runner-up Rocco Mediate has revealed that he was once a "habitual alcoholic" in an interview with the Golf Channel.

Mediate, now 56, says he gave up alcohol completely on 23rd October 2017 after drinking every day for years leading up to then.

"I couldn't tell you since last October, years before that, a day I went without having a drink," Mediate said whilst speaking to the Golf Channel's Vince Cellini in the latest episode of PGA Tour Champions Learning Center.

"I knew at the time that eventually it was going to get me."

Mediate is, of course, famous for that close playoff loss to Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines in 2008, where the pair played a total of 91 holes from Thursday to Monday to decide the fate of the trophy.

He came up just short and is mostly remembered for that, but he was an accomplished winner with six PGA Tour victories and three PGA Tour Champions titles since turning 50, including the 2016 Senior PGA Championship.

However, even during competitive rounds of golf, Mediate says he was drinking.

"Absolutely I have (played while drinking). Because it was just normal for me. It was just a daily ritual, let's say," the Pennsylvanian told Vince Cellini.

"You can put it in a lot of places. A lot of places. Was it every time? No. But most of the time when the pain came in, it wasn't not going to happen."

Mediate suffered with back pain throughout his career and that was one of the reasons why he drank.

The American was asked about Tiger Woods' 2017 DUI charges, which he was sympathetic to due to his alcohol struggles and back struggles.

"When that happened, I went, 'Mm-hmm, yeah. I just didn't get caught."

He also said that he gave up drink on the spot after a discussion with his wife.

"I didn't need alcohol, I just wanted it. I enjoyed it. Simple as that. If I woke up and I was like, 'Oh God,' then we have some serious problems called rehab. Didn't want to have to do that. Had a small headache for about four hours, and that was the end. Done."

Mediate had seven top-10s on the PGA Tour Champions last season and was T20th in his first start of 2019.

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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x