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October 22, 2005

Mark Calcavecchia


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Mark, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. Obviously you were able to finish here before the delay at 4:17. Talk about the day out there and how you played and what you did well and we'll go into questions.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I did well all day except for 18. I missed a 3 footer there this morning. Just yanked my putt. Really that was my only bad drive today. It wasn't that bad. It hit a tree to get over where it got. I thought it would be on the inside edge of the tree line where I can shoot something up up the green, because the trees over there in the rough, they're actually pretty thin over there. It went way right, and I chunked it out of the wood chips over there.

All in all, 65 is a really good score on this course, so I'm happy with that. Hopefully we get to play tomorrow.

Q. Any part of you, knowing that the weather is supposed to be fluky, was paying attention to the leaderboard because of that?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Not really. The first time I thought about it was on 16, actually. I knew Beem was 19 under and I thought, well, I might as well make another one. I hit great putts on 16 and 17 and they didn't go in. I had every intention of birdieing 18 and pick a bad time to hit a bad drive and made bogey. Now we definitely need to play tomorrow.

Q. He just said that he hoped Mother Nature

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Somebody else will get to 19 or 20, so he better not root too hard. There is a whole boat load of guys at 18 under.

Q. What was the last time as a guy who admittedly is notoriously hard on himself that you felt this good about your golf game and yourself as a person and a player, all those other things that you beat yourself up about?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Probably 2001, when I had that great stretch early in the year. One in Phoenix, and then I had knee surgery and came back two weeks later and lost by a shot to Parnevik at the Honda. I lost by a shot. The wind was howling, but I forgot that all the bleachers and grandstands and sky boxes were shielding the wind from the green and just pured one about 60 feet long and then three jacked. So that stretch I had there.

I played pretty well at the TPC too. It was similar in terms of how I was playing and thinking. And then a couple of bad years make you forget about that.

Now I'm actually enjoying golf. I'm waking up and going, okay, it's Saturday, we have a couple more days left, let's go have some fun, not, Oh, shit, another day, I have to go to the course again. I'm not that bad, but sometimes you are kind of counting the holes down, ready to get out of town.

I'm actually enjoying the game. Obviously when you're playing good, it's easy. It's part of playing good. What comes first, having fun or playing good? I've never seen anybody have a good time shooting 74, quite honestly.

Q. You talked about playing good and thinking good. I get the impression when you're playing good, you're not thinking at all, just seeing flags. Is there a lot of thinking that we don't know about?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: That's a good point. When I'm playing good, I'm not thinking about the 10th hole when I'm on the 8th hole. I'm not thinking about trying to par 9 and birdie 10, 11, and 12. I'm taking one hole at a time and trying to I'm not thinking ahead. I'm not over thinking. I'm not getting in my way. I'm not getting nervous. I'm not putting pressure on myself to get to a certain score or shoot a certain number.

I actually forgot how many under par I was today at one point. I had to go back and think. I forgot about it. I'm just playing. Just playing.

Q. Do you see any similarities to you and Rich in your streaky nature on the golf course?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yes. Rich and I are good friends. We played in the Shark Shootout and finished dead last. Last year he couldn't hit the hole from two and a half feet on perfect greens. It was the worst display of putting I had ever seen, and I wasn't much better. We were dead last on the first hole. We had no chance, no chance. But we actually had a heck of a lot of fun finishing dead last. We knew we were going to finish dead last before we started.

We are quite a bit alike. We are streaky. And he's obviously very talented and it's good to see him playing good again. I was rooting for him there in Atlanta, and he didn't quite pull it off. I be rooting for me tomorrow. If I can't do it, then it would be great to see Rich win.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I don't know how that came about. I just was told I was playing with Rich Beem. It was like, all right, good. I saw his action early, and I knew it wasn't good. I'm not saying mine was any better. I stunk too. I couldn't hit an iron shot within 40 feet and he couldn't make a 2 footer.

Q. A question was asked of him, do you know when you have one of these streaks coming on. He didn't have an answer. He said no clue. Do you know when things are

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, I had no clue I was going to win in Canada. Nothing up to that point had indicated I was going to play great there. The only thing I can say is, I played in the Pro Am, which was the first time I saw the course. I shot even par and I felt like I played really good.

I did realize the course was hard, but I also realized it was a great course for me, and that's all I knew. That's what I told Brenda. It's a hard course. The rough is nasty and it's hard. But on the other hand, it's a great course for me because I drove it good in the Pro Am. I only missed one fairway in the Pro Am.

I got off to a good start, made a couple of putts early and then it snowballed. But I had no idea that was going to happen. I can see Rich's point. I don't think anybody put any money down on him in Vegas this week to be 19 under par in three rounds to have a chance to win. But he's streaky. He's very good, obviously.

Q. Streaky is a word that's going to apply to you in 20 years. How do you stay streaky for 20 years? It doesn't last that long?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I don't play that much to be consistent. I never have and I never will. I don't like practice. I don't like to workout. There are a lot of things that I don't like to do that I should be doing. I was blessed with a God given talent to play golf, is all I can say. I understand how to play golf and I know when it's funny, when I'm hitting decent and putting decent, my brain kicks into gear and I'm pretty good. I guess that's the definition of streaky.

On the other hand, the weekend at American Express, I hit seven greens each on Saturday and Sunday. I was grinding as hard as I could because I wanted to make every penny I could to make it to the TOUR Championship. I couldn't hit the green with a wedge. Just thinking of everything, racking my brain, just streaky bed.

I putted good to shoot 5 over on the weekend. You only pick off 14 out of 36 greens, 5 over is not bad on a pretty hard course. I stunk. I didn't touch a club until I got here. Fixed it.

That's another definition of streaky. When you can't hit the green with a wedge, screw it. Put them away and start over two weeks later and hope it's better.

Q. Did you play a practice round here?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Heck no. Are you kidding me? I got up here Tuesday and had an outing Wednesday and I played two holes. I cannot lie. I went over I came out here Wednesday afternoon and registered. I went over to the Ping trailer to get my L wedge regripped. They gave me two new G 5 drivers. I took them out and lasted about five drives off of one and 10 drives off of two and drove back in.

This is Wednesday afternoon about 2:00. My outing got over at 1:00, thankfully. I liked one of the drivers, gave one back, threw the new driver in, a new G 5 driver, and I'm driving good with it.

I can't tell how far I made it, because I played with Freddie the first couple of days, and Harrison Frazar today, who is insane, how far he hits it. I'm bumping it out there about five yards ahead of Nick Price, so I figure I'm doing okay.

Q. With your personality, if you had practiced harder and worked harder, et cetera et cetera, would you have lasted as long in the game?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yes, I think I would have been better. I'll definitely say I'm not an underachiever, but I should have won more and I could have and should have been better, because I didn't practice hard enough. I know that, but it's just not my personality. I'm like Carlos Franco, I don't like to practice. I do it on occasion when I have to. But an hour of practice is a good session for me. That's it.

Q. How long did you stay on the range?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I've hit balls with Butchy, back when I worked with Butch Harmon for a couple of hours at a time. Your hands get blistered up, have lunch, take a break, hit balls for another hour. I've put in 5, 6 hour days before, but it's not something I like to do.

When I'm on my own, if I hit 100 balls, that's good. But I pay attention to what I'm doing when I practice. I don't stand on the range and bullshit with everybody that walks around, like a few other people I know. I have rapid fire. I'm grinding on every swing. I can sometimes fix myself. When I think I need to go hit balls, I'll go hit balls. I will run through a few things and hit five in a row perfect, out of there. That's it. I've got it. I just need one thought for the next day.

Most of the time I do my practicing, I won't say in the bathtub again, but when I wake up in the morning, I lay there for a good 20 minutes and concentrate and think and get my mind right and think about what I want to do when I get to the range in the morning.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: A lot of people call me up and tell me it's a bad visual, though.

Q. When did you move down here to Florida, and do you kind of consider yourself Floridian?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yes, I moved here when I was 13. My father had Multiple Sclerosis, and the winters in Nebraska, he couldn't move. The cold weather completely locked him up. And all his brothers and sisters were down in Miami and West Palm and Lake Worth anyway. We had taken vacations down to Florida, so I knew it was like. It was 1973. I was 13.

Q. Were you surprised when you came down here there weren't better players and you pretty much crushed everybody when you were a youngster?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Palm Beach County Junior Golf Association, at that time and it probably still is, the best junior golf association the country. I can start naming names. I mean a lot of these guys have been on and off the TOUR over the years. They are rankers, tons of guys.

I mean, it was good. We played a lot of great courses. A lot of people couldn't believe that some bucked tooth kid from Nebraska could come down there and beat them, but I was pretty good when I was 13.

Q. Who is the best Florida player? Counting you as a local since you spent enough time here, who do you think is the greatest Florida player?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I will have to think about that for a while.

Q. It's probably Duvall. You would think there would be acres of them, and there's really not.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: We could start with Jack Nicklaus. I don't consider him an Ohioan. Some of the older guys, a lot of the Florida guys, Andy Bean, Andy North, Mark McCumber, a lot of those guys. I don't know. That's a good question.

Q. Typical final round is a shoot out tomorrow. You're the oldest gun fighter on the street. What do you do now?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I hope we get out there. I will be ready. I'm going to take something pretty low again. There's so many guys right there. You know somebody is going to shoot 6 or 7 under for sure. Hopefully it's me. If it's not, I will grind for every stroke I can get and shoot the lowest score I can shoot and see if I can bump myself up the money list a little bit so I can get to Atlanta.

End of FastScripts.

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