During a long career as a professional golfer, Rocco Mediate has never been very far from his clubs, his caddy and another essential: Alcohol.
In a recent interview with Golf Channel, Mediate, 56, admitted that he was a "regular alcoholic" during his career at the PGA and Champions Tours before dropping him completely on October 23, 2017 .
This included drinking every day – on occasion during the events of the Tour.
"Absolutely I did (played drinking) because it was just normal for me – it was just a daily ritual, say," said Mediate at Golf Channel's Vince Cellini. "You can put it in a lot of places, many places, was it every time, no, but most of the time, when the pain came, it would not happen."
Mediate has suffered many back injuries throughout his career, including six wins on the PGA Tour and three more on the Champions Tour. He said that alcohol was something that helped him manage his pain.
Then, in 2017, with a top 10 in 18 events, he and his wife came to the conclusion that it was time to stop smoking.
"In fact, I did not know what I was going to feel, I was hoping I did not need it," he said. "I did not need alcohol, I wanted it, I liked it, as simple as that."
Quitting smoking has transformed his life – and his game of golf. "Since then, I have not even sniffed, looked, wanted" alcohol, he said.
Mediate is ranked seven of the top 10 in 23 Champions Tour events in 2018.
SPORTS, BOOKS: Get the latest news right in your inbox!
Mediate is perhaps best known for his loss to the Tiger Woods in the American series at the 2008 American Open at Torrey Pines.
Back problems are another thing in common. And Mediate said he could sympathize with Woods, who was using prescription medications to relieve pain when he was summoned to drunk driving in May 2017.
"When that happened, I went," Mm-hmm, yeah, I just did not get caught, "Mediate said. "But when it comes to this type of pain, you'll do everything you can to say," Oh, it's better. ""
Follow Gardner on Twitter @SteveAGardner