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May 22, 2003

Mark Calcavecchia


JOHN BUSH: We'll get started. We would like to welcome Mark Calcavecchia into the interview room. Mark, thanks for coming by and spending a few minutes with us. A 5-under par 65, a great round. Your comments?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: A good start. I didn't have a whole lot of expectations coming into today. I haven't played much golf in the last week and a half. I can take this off now. I somehow hurt my wrist a week ago Wednesday. And didn't touch a club until Tuesday of this week and got 7 holes in before it started raining over at Los Colinas and then got 11 holes in yesterday. So I actually was kind of rusty. But I hit some good shots. I made a couple of long putts on 6 and 7 that kind of really jump started me. And then I hit it close at 8. So that all of a sudden I was 3-under. And I played okay on the back. I hit good shots at 16 and 17 and made birdie. But to get in at 5-under was really way better than I thought I was going to do.

JOHN BUSH: Can you take us through your round starting with the birdie on No. 2.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: On No. 2 I hit a good drive and a sand wedge to about five feet. Made that for birdie.

Birdied number 6. I hit another good drive and a sand wedge about 20 feet short of the hole. And made that one.

I birdied number 7. Another good drive and a terrible 8-iron about 40 feet right of the hole and I tapped that one in.

Then I hit a great shot on 8, par-3. Hit a 7-iron about four feet. Made that for birdie.

Number 10, good 2-iron, pretty good 8-iron about 15, 18 feet left of the hole. Made that for birdie.

Then I hit a great shot on 16. I hit a 6-iron about two feet. Tapped that one in. And then another real good shot on 17, 2 good shots and 17. 2-iron off the tee and a hard pitching wedge to about five feet and I made that for birdie.

JOHN BUSH: Great. Questions?

Q. With so many veterans breaking through this year and winning again and you yourself competing or contending at Houston, do you feel like this could be your week?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It could be. There's a long ways to go. I'm certainly not thinking about winning yet. I would like to get out and have a good day tomorrow. Get as many under as I can. Kind of like Houston, where I was in good shape, tied for the lead after two rounds in Houston. And that's where you want to be heading into the weekend. And then you set yourself up to play well on the weekend and maybe win the tournament. So ideally I would love for that to happen. I played some pretty decent golf this year. I only had one catastrophe a couple of weeks ago in Charlotte. But other than that I played pretty well all year and kind of has been the year of the veteran. Not too many first time winners, only a couple. So I think the older guys stepped it up a little bit this year.

Q. Since you are a veteran I hope you will understand why I'm asking these questions. I would like to ask a couple questions about just the significance, the symbolism of having Annika perform here today with the men in the PGA event. Your thoughts?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I think that there's certainly nothing wrong with it. It is what it is. And whatever she shoots, she shoots. Whether it's 71 or 81, there would have been reasons and excuses and people drawing all kinds of conclusions based on what she shoots. On the other hand it is just a game. It's just a sporting event. It's not like she's robbing a bank or something. I don't think any of the guys here feel threatened that she's trying to take money out of our pockets. So it's really not that big a deal. It's a great publicity for Colonial and Bank of America and is that right, Bank of America? Yeah.

Q. Right behind you.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, I got that right. So, no, I watched some of her golf this morning on USA and sure, I was intrigued to see how she would do. And I was nervous for her on the 10th tee, the first shot. Certainly didn't want to see her hit one straight right or dead left into the trees. I was nervous for her. So I'm, I thought she played great. Honestly. And I'm sure it could have been quite a bit better. From what I understand she made no putts. So it's definitely an interesting situation. I don't think we'll see a steady diet of it or a steady stream of women wanting to play the PGA TOUR all of a sudden. But for once in a while all these chairs are here because of her, not me.

Q. Could I ask you a follow-up. Do the men -- well I'll just ask you, you can't speak for your fellow golfers -- do you respect her as a golfer?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Oh, sure. I played with the ladies quite a bit through my career in various different events. I played with Patty Sheehan and Pat Bradley in their prime. I definitely respect the way they can play golf. On the other hand, playing the men's TOUR is a different too story. Playing the courses that they play and shooting the scores they shoot, they're a very talented group there. Week in and week out they would get killed out here, say if the top-10 women played. They would get run over week in and week out. For a one time shot, she is the world's best female player and she wanted to see where she stood in the game of golf, I guess.

Q. She hit every fairway but one. And she hit, counting fringes, all 18 greens. She had a birdie putt on every hole. Are you surprised she played that well?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Oh, definitely. That's great golf. The shots I saw her hit on the back nine which is her front nine were great shots. Quality golf shots. Right at the pins. Her length, Corey Pavin's won here twice and she probably hits it farther than Corey does. Sorry, Corey. But that's probably the truth. So I really didn't think the length issue was any big deal whatsoever. I saw some couple places where she drove it today, that's out there, she wasn't but a couple yards behind Dean Wilson, the guy she was playing with. So no, honestly, I thought that she is probably disappointed with her score. I'm sure she said she everything was great except for one thing and that was her score. Because I'm certain I'm sure it could have been better. I know she made no putts. I saw her make nothing.

Q. Two three putts.


Q. Given the sogginess of the course, was it kind of there for the taking today?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah. It was definitely there for the taking. It really can't play any easier. The harder and the faster this course plays, the harder it plays. Even though obviously it's short. Like I forget who it was I read hit a 5-iron into 7 yesterday in the pro-am. And I have -- it's been so hard in the past I have driven it down there 50 yards and 60 yards in front of the green. But when it gets that hard it's hard to hit the fairways. And the rough is just scraggly Bermuda and you're going to hit fliers all over the place. Hitting the fairways here is definitely the key and when the fairways are soft like this the course plays a lot easier.

JOHN BUSH: Anything else? Mark, thanks again for coming by.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Okay. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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