My Shot SI was wrong to rip Rocco Mediate (above) and an event that raises millions for orphans

January 15, 2001

Alan Shipnuck's article blasting the Wendy's Three-Tour Challenge
and Tour pro Rocco Mediate (SI, Dec. 4, 2000) was inaccurate and
inappropriate. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED could not have selected two
less-deserving targets. Through the Three-Tour Challenge, Dave
Thomas and Wendy's have raised more than $7.5 million for
adoption programs offering hundreds of abandoned and orphaned
children the love of real families. Would SI prefer that these
unwanted children go without homes if Tiger Woods doesn't want to
play in the Wendy's event? Ridiculous!

I was even more dismayed by the personal attack on Rocco. Your
mean-spirited criticism of one of the most talented and popular
players on Tour not only is without foundation but also comes
from a writer who apparently knows nothing about Rocco. You seem
to think that Rocco didn't deserve an invitation to the
Challenge. Horse hockey! If you had glanced at the World Ranking,
you would've noticed that Rocco is ranked 31st. In the last two
years, he has won more Tour events than Sergio Garcia, Davis Love
III, Greg Norman and Mark O'Meara combined. Rocco was honored to
be selected for the Challenge and has always supported any
charity that helps needy children.

In addition to Mediate the other players in the Challenge were
among the best golfers of our generation. Obviously, they were
motivated by something other than money, a point missed in your
arrogant and insensitive article. Also, Shipnuck conveniently
forgot to mention that Phil Mickelson and his two "bottom-feeder"
partners outplayed their opponents by a country mile. The next
time you pop off about something as worthwhile as the Wendy's
Three-Tour Challenge and someone as popular as Rocco, consider
those you hurt.

Glenn Cohen is Mediate's attorney in Jacksonville.

COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK

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