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November 10, 2000

Mark Calcavecchia


MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I had a pretty strong round in these conditions. I played real well today. I locked in about three 35-footers, which kind of helped. And I hit some real good shots, too. So yesterday was perfect; I didn't play very well. Today was tough, and I thought, "Well, maybe I could play a little better today." So it was a good day.

Q. Did you have an idea with a round about how low you had to go to put yourself back seriously?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, I was never thinking that. There's such a long way to go yet. Obviously, you know, I needed to come out and shoot a couple under par or something. To try to break on in the wind, I figured I'd pick up some ground. But 5-under was a good score. A little disappointing, I bogeyed the last hole. Hit every shot good, and made a bogey. But that happens in the wind. I just misjudged the wind on my second shot.

Q. Outside of the bogey, was this one of your finest rounds of the year? I mean, looking at it.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Maybe in comparison to the other scores. There are still a few good scores out there. Tiger's playing. I see he's 3-under with three or four holes to go. Monty had a good day. So the course is in such good shape. It is playing short because the fairways are so firm. So even in the breeze, if you can drive it good, there are still a lot of short irons out there. And a good score out here is possible, even in the wind.

Q. Any reason for the change over two days? Because people would have thought that yesterday was easier because it was nice conditions.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I just didn't make anything yesterday. I hit a 3-wood out of bounds on the 7th hole, easy par 5, that most guys would birdie. I made a double bogey. So coupled with that, and not making any putts, which was basically the story yesterday, I didn't have that many makeable putts, on top of not making anything. So I just didn't play that great. But ground out an even-par round. Even today, I hit a lot of good shots.

Q. Couple of seconds, couple of thirds in the year. You need that win.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I'm trying. (Laughing.) Year's not over yet. I played a lot of good golf this year. It's just -- winning is obviously what I'm out here to do. But if it happens this week, great. If it doesn't, I got a lot of good things going for me.

Q. It's coming to the end of the very close, exciting European Tour season. How do you assess that, your views on that?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: You know, it's been a great year for golf, period. Not only in Europe. I watch a lot of the European Tour tournaments. I live in Arizona and I get up at 6:00 and watch the tournaments sometimes. So it's been a great year. I know Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood have had a great year. And Monty's trying to win an eighth straight money title, I guess. And what Tiger's done in the States, guys are just getting better out here. Let's put it that way.

Q. Tiger is a huge draw to Europe. What do you think of his presence here?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: His presence adds -- it makes any tournament, whether it's here or if he was playing a tournament in Russia or the Masters. His presence is -- he's by far the best player in the world, and he's great to watch.

Q. His comments this week about possible exploitation of his image, what do you think about that?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I don't have much of a comment on that. He's right about one thing: He can pretty much do anything he wants and get paid for it. And he is.

Q. Do you feel -- some people say this is greed on his part. What would you say to that?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I don't want to get into that. You can ask Tiger about that.

Q. Generally speaking, though, do you ever see a day when there may be a sort of a power group of golfers that break away from the US PGA and form their own elitist group?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I don't think so. I don't think that will happen.

Q. Obviously, the Americans, there's much made about the fact that many of the top-ranked Americans did not come. Do you have a sense of carrying the flag for the American contingent?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, not really. You know, it's the end of the year. We have our TOUR Championship, which seems to me that's the way our year should end. And a lot of the guys that didn't come have been here before. It's a tough trip. It was time to go home. So I'm not going to say I agree with them or disagree with them, but that was their decision. I may do the same thing next year; you never know.

Q. Even without some of the headliners, though, there's still Americans on the leaderboard.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Oh, yeah. Well, any player playing this tournament has the capability of winning it with the exception of a few maybe. But all the Americans that came over obviously have played good golf all year long. So just because we're not as familiar with this course as the Europeans are doesn't mean that one of us can't win.

Q. Because of the Trent Jones course, is it a little easier to get familiar to it?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I'm still learning it. Two practice rounds helped. And I was actually, believe it or not, paying attention to what I was doing, which I generally don't do in practice rounds. The greens, sometimes you can't even tell when they're uphill or downhill. I'm still trying to figure the greens out. I made some putts today, so that was encouraging.

End of FastScripts...

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