The phenomenal display of talent displayed at the U.S. Open in Torrey Pines provided oversized entertainment and oversized lessons about life.

Rocco Mediate and Tiger Woods battled for 91 holes and left us with these tutorials that are seared into my memory:

Number 1 – Competition and excellence. Competition takes your performance to new heights. Mediate stated that he threw everything at Tiger Woods except the kitchen sink. Woods answered every challenge and commented that this was probably his “best ever” performance even though in pain from a left knee needing reconstructive surgery.

Number 2 — Belief in yourself. In one television interview Mediate stated, “Even if you are outranked and outgunned, you can still win.” He believed in himself and his abilities and he lost by a tenth of a second in Olympic terms. His unusual attitude made him a winner in his own right as media swarmed to interview him.

Number 3 – Competitors and respectful friends. Even in the midst of fierce competition, you can still be friends. I had to pause for a moment and let the hug between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate sink in. After being fierce competitors for the coveted trophy, at the end of the match there appeared no animosity between the opponents, only mutual respect.

These three life lessons are monumental for anyone in a daily quest for excellence.

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