Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate on Monday, both in red.
Robert Beck/SI
Monday, January 23, 2012

Aside from both playing the same sport, suffering from male-pattern baldness, and wearing the same outfit Monday, Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate could not be more different. Herewith, a tale of the tape:

Tiger is 32. Rocco is 45.

Tiger is the embodiment of fitness (Men's Fitness called him the fittest guy in America earlier this year), but has had a hurt knee this week. Rocco is usually at the mercy of his bad back, but has been fit this week.

Tiger has played in five Ryder Cups and five Presidents Cups. Rocco has played in the World Series of Poker.

Tiger, ranked number one, has won 64 tournaments on the PGA Tour. Rocco, ranked 158th coming into this week but guaranteed to move up to at least 47th (27th if he wins today), has won five.

Tiger is a Jack guy; he grew up in Southern California idolizing the accomplishments of Nicklaus. Rocco is an Arnold guy; he grew up in western Pennsylvania idolizing Palmer.

Tiger puts his pants on one leg at a time, although it's hard to remember that. Rocco pulls his pants up to his bellybutton, like Grandpa Simpson.

Tiger plays golf right out of Sun Tzu's Art of War. Rocco wore a peace symbol belt buckle on Sunday.

Tiger has an electrifying fist-pump. Rocco has an infectious laugh.

Tiger tolerates the media. When he worked as an on-course reporter for the Golf Channel last year, Rocco WAS the media.

Tiger used to run cross-country, and his dad used to play baseball. Rocco used to play baseball, and his dad used to cut hair.

Tiger needs no introduction. Rocco wears his player ID badge everywhere he goes.

Tiger authored at least four unforgettable shots over four days in getting to the Monday playoff. Rocco arrived at the same score without a single potential ESPY entry.

Tiger went to Stanford. Rocco went to Florida Southern.

Tiger used to have trouble gaining weight. Rocco used to have trouble losing it.

Tiger casts a long shadow — with a win today he'll be just the second player after Jack Nicklaus to win the career Grand Slam three times. Rocco swings a long putter — he became the first to win with one at the 1991 Doral-Ryder Open.

In 13 U.S. Open appearances coming into this week, Tiger has recorded two wins and earned just over $3.6 million. In 12 U.S. Open appearances coming into this week, Rocco has recorded two top-10 finishes and won just over $500,000.

Tiger is headed for the Hall of Fame. Rocco is headed for the biggest upset of all-time if he pulls this off.

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