Hailing from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, golfer Rocco Mediate turned pro in 1985. He has logged 11 tour wins in a career highlighted by an 18-hole playoff against Tiger Woods in the 2008 U.S. Open. Now 50 years old, Mediate finished 17-under to win the Allianz Championship in his first outing of 2013.
What question are you asked most by fans?
Is Rocco your real name?
What is the biggest misperception about you?
People think I’m not from the United States. “Are you from Italy?” No, I’m from Pittsburgh.
If you were a talk-show host, who would be your first guest?
I’d probably say Jack Nicholson. I love his movies.
What was the last thing you Googled?
Roberto Clemente. Rick Smith and I were talking about baseball swings, so I Googled him. He was my idol as a baseball player when I was a kid. But I don’t use Google that often. I’m not a computer guy.
What is your most irrational fear?
That I won’t be able to compete anymore.
What song has been stuck in your head lately?
Pretty much anything from Rush, the rock band from Toronto. “Headlong Flight” is in my head right now.
What was the best vacation you ever took?
Kapalua in Maui. I went with my family a couple years ago.
What was your favorite Halloween costume?
I was Spider-Man once or twice when I was a kid. Spider-Man was my guy, my superhero.
If you could go back and change one decision you made in your life, what would it be?
If I had stayed in better shape in the early ’90s, maybe my back wouldn’t have gotten so bad. So I’d change that.