Mediate withdraws from Buick Invitational

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Already missing Tiger Woods as he recovers from knee surgery, Torrey Pines lost the other half of its U.S. Open memory when Rocco Mediate withdrew Monday from the Buick Invitational.

The Buick Invitational starts Thursday at Torrey Pines, the public course that staged a riveting U.S. Open last June when Woods birdied the final hole to force a playoff against Mediate, then rallied the next day to beat him in 19 holes.

Woods is the four-time defending champion at the Buick Invitational, but he is not expected to return to competition until the end of the month at the earliest. Mediate, whose appeal increased because of his everyman qualities, cited personal reasons for pulling out.

The Buick Invitational still features British Open and PGA champion Padraig Harrington and Phil Mickelson.

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