The veteran PGA Tour player is best known for losing to Tiger Woods in an 18-hole playoff at the 2008 U.S. Open.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
February 06, 2019

Rocco Mediate used to be a "habitual alcoholic," the PGA Tour veteran told Golf Channel on Wednesday.

Speaking with Golf Channel's Vince Cellini, the 56-year-old admitted that he at times drank during competitive competitions before he gave up drinking on Oct. 23, 2017.

"I couldn't tell you since last October, years before that, a day I went without having a drink," Mediate said. "I knew at the time that eventually it was going to get me."

Mediate is perhaps best known for losing to Tiger Woods in an 18-hole playoff at the 2008 U.S. Open. He struggled with back issues throughout his career, citing the pain as one of the reasons for his drinking problem.

"Absolutely I have (played while drinking). Because it was just normal for me. It was just a daily ritual, let's say," Mediate said. "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 won six times on the PGA Tour, his first victory coming in 1991. In April 2017, he was cited for DUI in relation to several prescription medications. He performed poorly on the course that year and decided later to quit drinking.

"I actually didn't know what I was going to feel," Mediate said. "I was hoping that I didn't need to have it. 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 now plays on PGA Tour Champions.

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