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July 2, 2000

Mark Calcavecchia


LEE PATTERSON: I know you're disappointed, maybe just the best you can, share some of those emotions with us and then we'll open it up for questions.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, I'm disappointed. I think anybody would be. You know, it wasn't looking good there for a while, and I definitely didn't -- my swing wasn't -- my driving was okay. I didn't really hit any drives. That hurt me. But I started off hitting my irons pretty good and then I just really didn't hit many good irons the rest of the day. Like that, you know 9-iron on 17; I almost missed it. Literally I thought it had to get over the water with one hop on the edge of the green which is the luckiest break I got all day. Call it tension, the pressure, I don't know what. But of course I did hit a lot of good shots, too. I'm not saying -- I ground out a 68 out there. You know, he didn't have to make six 25-footers on me, but he did, so I guess you could say he beat me.

Q. When you hit the drive on 15 and made the eagle, did you think -- did any momentum switch there after he missed the little short putt for par, brought you back into a tie?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, it just happened so fast. You know, he hit that unbelievable shot into 14, and at that point, I hit a pretty good shot, but I had a tough putt and at that point I thought it was pretty much over. That green is hard to hit back there with a pitching wedge let alone a 5-iron from 210 and he hit it right behind the hole. Really I looked up when it slid by the hole and missed and I thought, well, that was a surprise. I had pretty much written off at that point and was keeping an eye on Kirk Triplett for second; and he missed it and he hit just an unbelievable 3-wood on 15. I don't know how close it came to the hole, but I thought, "Well, there's another birdie." At that point, again, I was just kind of -- just trying to hit a good shot and get it on the green and make a birdie and just so happens I hit an incredible 3-wood in there six feet. And he blew it by and I was surprised when he missed the finish. And then all of a sudden, actually the putt got easier, because I figure even if I missed it, I was still, you know, I was still within one, which was -- which would have been great, because 10 minutes ago, I was looking at going 3-down and all and I made it and all of the sudden I'm even with him. Again, I just didn't hit the iron shots. 18, I got a bad break. I really ripped one and it flew right an inch into the side of the fairway bunker. An inch or two inches to the right, it would have been 50 yards down the fairway and it ricocheted across the bunker. We were both in there and hit pretty good shots and he made the putt. That was that.

Q. When you are in a head-to-head battle like that, do you prefer to be playing with that person?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It's probably, actually -- I don't know. I never really thought of it. It's probably about the same. Really probably doesn't make any difference. You know, sometimes it's nice to keep an eye on what your guy is doing and if he'd have been a group ahead of me doing all that, you know it might have been a little easier in today's case, because I watched him make all those putts. You know, I should have done better today. I really should have.

Q. In that final putt, when you were watching him on the 18th green what went through your mind? That was a long putt.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I didn't think he was going to make it. I saw where he was aiming and I thought he was aiming too far to the right. But he just had the ultimate speed on it. He obviously was aware that he didn't want to blow it four feet by, either. So, you know, I don't know, it went in and as soon as it went in, I didn't look at him, he just took off running the other way. So I don't know what he did, but I just kind of closed my eyes, and just -- second again. It's tough.

Q. Is this harder than ten years ago when you were ahead?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Probably not. At least I'm talking to you guys. (Laughter.) Where is Allen Greenberg? Is he still alive? (Laughter.) That was when Britney was just about to turn -- just under a year. There was an article the next day, I don't know, "Who had a bigger baby, Mark or Britney." I guess any time you give one away, it's more sickening. I'm really not going to look at this as the fact that I gave it away. I definitely did not play as well as I would have liked. But he didn't have to shoot 64, either. I would have to definitely classify this one as a tournament that he won, and I didn't lose. There's no shame in 68. But, again, I just -- my swing just wasn't quite there.

Q. I assume you would have liked to have gotten off to a better start; didn't really come out of the gate real quick. You were making 20-footers to save par.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Actually, I hit good shots on the first three holes. I drove it in a divot on the 2nd hole. Really, I had bookend Dudleys, when you leave a putt short, you say, "I left it right in the heart short." So he calls it: "Left it right in the Dudleys," for Dudley Hart. Anyway, same thing on 1 and 2. I had bookend Dudleys. 1 and 2, I left two putts dead center short and I did the same thing on 17 and 18. Then I birdied 3, I wasn't disappointed in my start. Then I somehow parred four 5 and 6. I made three really good up-and-downs. But, I don't know what happened.

Q. You made the eagle to come back in the 15th, what did you use on that eagle shot?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I hit a 3-wood I think which is the first time I ever hit a 3-wood on that hole. I can hit my 3-wood pretty far. Notah, from the crowd reaction, had probably just rolled it over the back fringe because they were still clapping. I had the driver out and I thought, well, just smash a 3-wood and if it doesn't get there, you know, it gives me an easy chip at the front of the green. But I kind of knew that if I hit it really solid, I would get it there and it just turned out beautiful.

Q. Did you feel like it was match play those last few holes?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, because if it was match play he would have probably beat me about 4-3. But, you know, once, obviously, once I eagled 15, I knew it was between me and him. So, yeah, it was basically match play the last three holes. I wasn't sure what Kirk Triplett was shooting out there. In fact, I thought he made that 6- or 8-footer on 14 for birdie. I don't know if he did or not but I thought he was like 17 or 18-under and I got up to the tee and he was 16 under. And I was watching and I noticed he didn't birdie 15, and at that time I was still kind of in competition with him for second; so I was aware of that. Then all of the sudden, I eagled 15 and Notah pars it, and obviously, then I knew it was either me or him.

Q. What do you think about his competitive nature? Is it unique? Does he have a certain fire in him?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I don't know. I mean, he's one of the -- how old is he? 30? 27. He's one of the young guys, you know. He's got a knack for -- obviously for winning golf tournaments, because it's not easy to win golf tournaments, and he had to shoot 64 to do it. But, yeah, he's good, obviously. He's won four tournaments in the last year. Actually kind of reminds me of what I did, you know, back in the end of '88 and '89 type thing. I won about five tournaments in about an eight-month period. It's just harder than it used to be.

Q. That being said, I know you were saying the other day, you said, you know, you're a 40 guy like we are; do you take something out of this saying, "I still have the game, I can still win even though I'm fighting all these young players out here, as confident as they are"?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: You know, this is a confidence-booster for me. There's no doubt about that. Milwaukee is also a good spot for me. You know, there's obviously some goals I want to reach, and, you know, winning again is one of them. When you've only won -- I've basically won twice in the last -- '95, '98 and '92. I've basically won twice in the last eight years. So I wanted to get back there again. But, you know, I know I can still do it. So, it's in there. Just got to bring it out a little more often. But, saying that, you know, this putting grip I'm using is just -- it could be a career-reviver for me, because that's where -- there's been so many rounds that I've played in the last five years where I was just totally not fired up to play golf, because my putting was so bad. It's just so frustrating, hitting good shots and just knowing you're going to miss them. Now, I can putt again. I'll do some damage the rest of the year.

Q. Is this the first tournament you've used that new putting grip?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No. I've been using it since Friday at TPC back in March. I really had not hit the ball very good until this week. I had a third in Greensboro and I got seventh or a sixth in Colonial, but then that was all putting. I really didn't play that good. It reminded me of the old days where I just really putted good just to do what I did. And obviously, this week, I putted good all week, but the first few days, I hit it a lot better than I did today. I think I only hit eight greens. I probably only had 24 putts. If this would have happened last year, I probably would have shot about a 76.

Q. Did you feel good over the putt on 15?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, I felt real good over it. Left-center putt. And again, I hit it a little easy and it just kind of snuck in there, but the greens are so good. They really are. They are just beautiful all week. You know, you've got to give a lot of credit to the greens superintendent and his staff, because the course is just in great shape. It was fun to putt on these greens. I would love to putt on them every week.

End of FastScripts….

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