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September 8, 2005

Mark Calcavecchia


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us in the media center at the Bell Canadian Open. Great round today, 5 under par, that ought to feel pretty good. Why don't you talk about your round and the conditions on the course since you're the first player in from the afternoon.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I drove it phenomenal in the Pro Am yesterday, I hit 13 out of 14 fairways in the Pro Am and the one I missed, I missed by about a foot. That gave me a lot of enthusiasm coming into today's round because if you don't drive it well here, you're cooked. I hit a couple of bad drives. I think I hit ten fairways today but still drove it pretty good. I had a really good day with the putter for a change. That was nice.

As far as conditions go, the course is fabulous. Some of the greens were getting a little bit bumpy around our second nine, but overall the course is in fabulous shape and very little wind. So I think honestly this is about I hate to say it's easy as the course can play because this is a hard golf course, but things will certainly get harder for sure.

Q. Stats are showing that the meat of the golf course is 1 through 5. You played it backwards, so you had a little momentum when you made the turn?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Actually I agree with you. I think the front nine is quite a bit harder than the back. The back nine really once you get to 12 tee, 12 through 17, you can think about actually making birdies on those holes. I think the meat of the course really is 8, 9, 10 and 11. If you can get by the first 11 holes fairly well and get to 12, you feel like you can make a few birdies after that.

I almost bogeyed both par 5s, so if you miss the fairways here, get tangled up in the rough around the greens, you can make a bogey or double out here. And if we get some wind or something, you're going to see some pretty interesting shots for sure.

Q. How close did you hit it on 9?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Two feet right of the hole. As good as I putted today, it was highly missable for me. I missed enough of those this year that I still can't quite shake the bad vibes of missing a 2 footer on the last hole. It was a right edger, a sidehiller. Wasn't an easy putt, might have been 2 1/2 feet, but right in the middle so that felt good.

Q. You won here in '97 obviously. Do you draw upon any of that when you come to a city where you've had some success?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Without a doubt. Even though it's a different golf course and one we've all seen for the first time this week, a lot of times every player has a certain area of the country that they play well in repeatedly. Some guys always play great in Texas. Some guys always play great in Florida. A couple of times I played Sahalee, I didn't play great, but I had a win and a third and a couple other good finishes over at Northview. I had a couple close calls over at Glen Abbey. I think like Canada in general as far as playing golf.

Q. At the PGA you talked about your putting would hes and how you're struggling on the greens, and you were talking about abandoning the Claw.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I did it for two holes. At the PGA I made every putt I looked at for the 27 practice holes I played. I wasn't even lining them up and 30 footers were going in from everywhere with a conventional grip. Then got out there Thursday on the first hole and had a 5 footer for bogey and just yipped the heck out of it. Missed the hole by eight inches. All right, stick with it; next hole, had a 10 footer for birdie, and it was ugly. I just yipped the heck out of that one, too. I cannot putt I just cannot relax with my conventional grip. Practice rounds, Pro Ams, whatnot, I'm fine. When the bell rings, my right hand, I get a little twitch in there, so I have to putt with the Claw. That's basically the only option rest of my career, so when it doesn't work, I'm pretty much S.O.L.

Q. Do you think that would surprise a lot of people, the doubts and things like that, you know, that top level, professional golfers go through?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, I think it would surprise a lot of people. Even the great players we go through streaks. I couldn't believe my ears on the TV the other day when I heard Mike Weir was 178th or something in putting this year. I think he's got one of the purest strokes I've ever seen. Obviously you start missing them and you lose your confidence and it's hard to get it back. So it's just a train reaction thing. Even Ernie was complaining a couple of years ago at the British Open that he's got this bad guy that sits on his shoulder and puts bad thoughts in his head. Ernie else doesn't know what a demon is, believe me. Yeah, we all go through it at one stage or another. I wouldn't doubt even if Tiger Woods does. He'd never admit it, but, you know, that's just the nature of the game.

Q. This morning there was quite a lot of dew on the course, how do you have to change your game, if at all, playing in the morning?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, other than the fact that it will be a little cooler, a little colder, the ball will probably go a little bit shorter. So you have to be aware of how heavy the air is and what the weather is doing in the morning. It's supposed to rain a little tomorrow afternoon maybe I heard, iffy. It never rains here this time of year, it will be perfect. Other than that, I'm a morning guy anyway. I get up super early every day at home in Phoenix. We're in the same time zone, so I'll be up at 4:30 raring to go and wide awake and ready to go wide awake when I ge there. Hopefully par 1, 1 is an extremely tough hole and get it going from there and try to keep it going.

Q. You're getting to that age where guys find it more difficult to win on the PGA TOUR. You obviously feel like if your putter cooperates, you've still got the game to win out here.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, definitely, tee to green, I'm streaky, but I'm still very good at times. You know, my short game, as far as bunker game and chipping is still pretty good. You know, I don't think everybody has ever won a tournament without putting great. It rarely happens, believe me. There's just so many good, young players, and guys that are in great shape that can stay out here, play 18 holes in the morning and stay out here until 5:00 in the afternoon and practice for four hours. I can't do it. I don't want to do it. But I can't, even if I wanted to, I couldn't.

Olin Browne, Fax the last couple weeks, guys in their 40s, it's uplifting. I was very happy for both those guys, and you know, certainly if they can do if, I can do it and I know that and everybody else 45 or 50 knows that, too. We've still got a lot of game. You never know. That's why we enter these things.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the course? You mentioned the rough, a lot of guys seem to like this style and it's not one you see, can you talk about the way it's been received in the locker room by the guys?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It's been received great. I didn't play until yesterday in the Pro Am, and I was having lunch and Craig Bowden and Glen Day and a couple other guys were going, oh, man, the rough is brutal around the greens, the greens are tiny, there's going to be some big numbers. These guys were making it out to sound like the hardest course they have ever seen. And it can be. If you get off with your driver and get struggling or put it in the wrong area around the greens where you're chipping downhill, the rough is real bunchy and kind of gnarly.

You know, it's a great course. But on the other hand, you know, it was a nice day and the greens were still, I wouldn't call them soft, but fairly receptive and there's always going to be good scores when the weather is cooperative like this and the course is in great shape. So that's a heck of a course, and I think you ask everybody in this field, there might be a handful of guys that don't like it, and that's probably because they shot 79 or 80 today.

Q. Do you get the sense at all that guys would like to see more of this style on TOUR?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Without a doubt. Without a doubt. How that's going to happen, I don't know. Luckily we keep playing the Canadian Open on good courses, but all of our course rotations are pretty much set. We've got to play the same places every year. Every now and then we get a new courses, but they are new, they are TPCs and they are something new. It would be wonderful if we could go play a Marion or Winged Foot or something for a regular PGA TOUR event or a nice, tree lined northeastern golf course or northwestern, you know, they have always been my favorite. People ask me what my favorite courses are in the country and I usually say I love the courses up in the northeast.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Can we go through your birdies and bogey, starting with No. 11.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No. 11, driver, 6 iron to about six feet. Made that for birdie.

12, I hit an 8 iron about 20 feet left of the hole and made that.

16, terrible pitching wedge 40 feet long left and tapped that one in.

3, hit a beautiful 6 iron. Rolled it right down below the hole about 12 feet. Putt straight up the hill and made that from 12 feet.

4, pitching wedge to about five feet right underneath the hole and made that.

5, put it in the fairway bunker right under the lip with a wedge, crappy stand wedge on the green, 20 feet and 2 putt.

9, probably my best drive of the day. It's probably a 3 wood hole but I said screw it and just bombed a driver over around the hill and just a pitching wedge in there about two, two and a half feet.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thanks, Calc.

End of FastScripts.

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