Bring it on.
Fast greens, firm fairways, thick rough — that's how Rocco Mediate wants to see Omaha Country Club during next week's U.S. Senior Open.
“Then we have an amazing test of everything,” Mediate said Tuesday after a practice round at the club. “Looking at this course, it isn't a patsy.
“I love USGA setups. They can't make me mad, anything that they do. It doesn't affect me at all.”
Mediate sides, too, with the United States Golf Association in its decision to ban “anchoring” with the long putter — he was the first on the PGA Tour to win with a long putter, at Doral in 1991.
The PGA Tour, initially opposed to the ban, reversed itself Monday and will join in enforcing it beginning in 2016.
“It's all overblown,” Mediate said. “It doesn't make anything easier or harder. It makes it easier on your back, because it did for me, but I didn't make any more putts because of it.”
“Whatever they say, we got to do. I didn't care either way and still don't. What I was shocked about is they gave the guys three years (to comply). If you make it illegal, make it illegal tomorrow. Enough all ready. They have three years to get used to it. If you can't get used to it in three years, find another job. It's not that hard.”
Mediate hasn't used a long putter in more than three years and didn't use one in his famous playoff loss to Tiger Woods in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
While that tournament will be an interview topic for him the rest of his career, Mediate said he's thankful it's not how his time on the regular tour ended.
“When I won the Fry's.com Open two years later, that saved me because the U.S. Open wasn't my last anything,” he said. “A lot of people don't know that, but I do. And that's the only thing that matters.”
That win, at age 48, also validated his switch to a standard putter.
“That was my first tour win with a shortie,” he said, “which was cool because I always wanted to do that.”
Also high on his cool meter was a win in his Champions Tour debut, at the Allianz Championship in February. Among the 15 who also won their debuts are Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.
“I don't really belong near any of those names, but this is cool that I did that,” Mediate told the Palm Beach Post.
He stayed hot, finishing in the top six in his next three tournaments. Since then, a tie for 12th is his best finish and he's been tied for 20th, 35th and tied for 22nd in the first three senior majors of the season.
“I definitely miss the regular tour, but I love this tour,” he said Tuesday. “The competition is as good as any. The guys play great and we should play great. We've been playing our whole lives and we should really be good at it.”
The Champions Tour packs its five majors into eight weeks, but Mediate said it doesn't bother him. He likes the 72-hole championships over the 54-hole non-major events on the tour schedule.
“Scores are ridiculously low for the 54-holers,” he said. “Four days is what I'd rather play. U.S. Opens, they're always fun for me to compete in.
“I got here this morning and went, 'This is cool.' Everything is different. Not to be disrespectful to anything else, but the Senior Open should be the hardest, most nasty test all year, and it will be.”