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April 27, 2002

Mark Calcavecchia


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: I would like to welcome Mark Calcavecchia to the media center. Thanks for coming in. Two consecutive 69s, 13 under par, second behind Rocco. Make some thoughts about your round today and maybe some thoughts about tomorrow.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: My round today is very similar to the last two days. I did achieve my main objective. I managed to hit 11 fairways today, but still couldn't hit it on the green. My short iron game wasn't very good. Thankfully I hit one close to the last hole, but I hit some good shots, a couple nice wedges, and the few others the wind grabbed it a bit. I hit a lot of fringes, which is why I didn't hit many greens. As I was the last two days, I'm very happy with the score I shot, considering the way I played.

As far as tomorrow goes, I've heard it's supposed to be windy, which is going to be tough for everybody. So I'm going to have to wait and see which way the wind is going and how hard it's blowing and what the conditions bring us. A lot of pars might be good tomorrow. You just never know. I'm looking forward to the challenge of playing with Rocco.

Q. What kind of wind player have you been in the past?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I wouldn't say I'm great. I'm sometimes good in the wind and sometimes not, like a lot of guys. In strong wind, you know, a lot of luck comes into play whether you catch a gust or what have you, but I've won some tournaments in strong wind and had bad rounds in strong wind. I would say I'm just probably occasionally really good and sometimes not.

Q. So you're looking forward to playing with Rocco. What kind of challenge does he present?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Rocco, he's a good guy. He's obviously won here. He loves to play here and when he gets going -- it looks like he's playing great. He played behind me the first two days and in front of me today, and I turned around and looked at him a lot in the last couple of days, the first two days, a saw him right down the middle of every fairway, so I knew he was obviously hitting the ball well and he was obviously putting well. He's fun to play with. His personality, he's always smiling. Of course when you're 15 under it's easy to smile. Making eight birdies out there, I'm sure he was grinning up a storm today. That kind of attitude rubs off on you, and that's why he's as good as he is, because he's got a great attitude and he's a good guy.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I don't have very many, as I said, I haven't hit very many greens, but honestly today thought I hit the ball better than I did the last two days, especially off the tee. I drove it better. I must have hit four or five fringes and another three or four or five holes where I was a couple of feet off the fringe, not that far from the hole. I think if you check the stats at the end of the week, you will find that 50, 60 percent, if you hit 9 or 10 greens, which normally isn't very good, I bet it would be about average this week. These greens are very small and hard to hit and they're firm. And the same with putting. However many putts I got, I haven't even counted them, I guarantee you there are a lot of guys that are averaging around 25, 26 putts just because it's hard to hit these greens.

Q. May I ask you, Mark, I'm trying to remember, but I think you you've been behind on a couple of tournaments that you've won and just came on like a heard of horses. Do you like the challenging of coming from the back or would you rather be leading?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I would rather be leading. There might be a little bit more pressure on Rocco. I know, depending on the conditions, that I have to probably be the aggressor. We'll just kind of see how things unfold on the front nine, basically. If Rocco makes a mistake or two, if it's a tough day conditionwise, then par -- you might be able to pick up some ground with pars. On the other hand, if he gets off to a great start and makes a couple, three birdies early in the first four or five holes, that could be game, set, match. So really, I think the first four or five or six holes will really kind of tell the tale on how aggressive I have to be, and depending on what Rocco is doing. I don't mind be two behind. I would rather be two ahead, but there's been a ton of golf tournaments won from two behind so I still have a good chance.

Q. Can you talk about how long you've known Joe LaCava. He's had success here in the past.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I've probably known Joe since I'm going to say the early to middle '80s. Meeting him through Ken. Probably '85 might be a good guess. Yeah, he caddied for Ken for quite a long time and then started working for Freddie, and he's caddied for -- because Fred doesn't play that much, but he's caddied for John Cook and Jay Haas. He's caddied for a lot of different guys, and I grab him a couple of times a year. He's a heck of a caddie and a good guy. He's fun to have on the bag. He'd done a great job.

Q. Mark, you used the claw and Rocco has the upright. What does that say about the styles of putting?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It says there is more than one way to get it done. It's what feels good. Rocco went to the long putter I don't know how many years ago. He won Doral with it when he beat Curtis Strange in a playoff I think the next day, whenever that was, back in the '80s, wasn't it? At any rate, he's been good with that thing for a long time. I started with the claw just over two years ago. I pretty much stuck with it. I went to the belly claw for a couple of weeks. And that's history, the belly button thing for me. I can't do it. And then some guys, David Peoples, went to it and finished second in Tucson. Kevin Sutherland went to it and won the next week in the match play. Tim Herron has been putting pretty good with it. Craig Stadler's career has revived with it. I honestly think we'll see more people going to the claw here in the near future. It's just gotten to the point where you've just got to find something to get the job done, no matter what it is.

End of FastScripts....

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