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October 31, 1997

Mark Calcavecchia


LEE PATTERSON: Just a couple thoughts about today and into the weekend.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, obviously a good day for me. Got off to a nice, fast start, which was -- my day was kind of set up through the 5th hole. I birdied one, two, three and five. Not that I was hanging on from that point, I wasn't. I was trying to be aggressive and make birdies, but I knew I was hitting it and driving it good enough where I wasn't going to regress back to even par or something. Kept plugging away. Got in 5-under. So 5-under on any course is a good score, especially the champions. So it was a good day for me, happy with it.

Q. Do you like the greens this big?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Not usually (laughter). Tell you, if we had to play greens this big every week, the greens in regulation statistic would be going up. Thing is, if we know exactly how far it is, you try to focus in on the pin. Generally they're kind of over front right, in a corner anyway. So, you know, that cuts the greens down quite a bit. You know, I hit all 18 greens today in regulation. There's probably three or four that I would have normally missed. You know, I had three or four 40 to 50 footers that weren't very good iron shots, but they got on the green. It's okay.

Q. Mark, you mentioned the quick starts setting the tone for today. How important was that going into this weekend and you positioned yourself for the final two rounds?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, you know, I found myself after the 3rd hole when I birdied the first three, kind of a little tension setting in. It's like, wait a minute, I've only played 21 holes here, we have another 51 to go. I just told myself to relax and enjoy it, such a long ways to go. I did a good job after that afterwards. Starting out, I really wasn't thinking, "Okay, I'm going to get off to a fast start, birdie the first three holes or the first two or whatever." It just kind of happened that way. Made some nice putts, hit some good shots. You know, it's a hitter's course, really. Haven't putted great in two days, but I've hit it nicely. Feel like my swing is in good shape. I'd like to think if I can get some putts in, I'll continue to shoot good scores.

Q. Mark, the course played a lot shorter yesterday than in practice. How was it today?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, it played pretty short again today, really. The weather's just been, you know, great. Been not a whole lot of wind to deal with. You know, that's another reason the scores are so good. But, you know, then again, 300 is only tied for ninth. Tied for ninth is not bad. 3-under is not that low. You know, this is a hard golf course. Just happened to catch it on a couple perfect days of weather, great shape with that.

Q. What do you think it's going to take the final two rounds to get into a position where you can be up there among the leaders? Is it going to take one specific thing from you?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It's hard to tell. It really depends on how much wind we get. I guess Sunday is supposed to be kind of cool, but sunny. So if it gets breezy, you know, there are some good pins left out there. You've got to continue to drive up the fairway. Scott McCarron, every time he drove on the fairway, great, hit three or four bad drives, bogeyed every one of those holes he missed the fairway on. I think the driver is the most important club in the bag this week. That's probably the only time this year that's happened, because the putter is always the most important club in the bag. But this week, if you don't drive it well, I think you can forget it.

Q. Mark, came in here playing pretty well. Were you be expecting this kind of play out of yourself?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, knew I was going to play good, actually, because I knew it was what I call a hitter's course. I took four weeks off before Las Vegas. It reminds me a lot of the start of the year, actually. Took all of December off, then practiced for a week, came out of the Hope and shot 32 under, then I finished fourth the next week in Phoenix. So it was a lot like December of last year. I took four weeks off before Vegas, didn't touch club -- played once in three-and-a half weeks, then I practiced for about five days before I went to Vegas. Really had a chance there. Had a good tournament. Same sort of thing. I'm still playing well, hitting some nice iron shots. It's nice when you can kind of look up and they're heading in the right direction (laughter). Yeah, I was expecting to -- I'm not thinking about winning yet or I wasn't two days ago. I knew if I just continued to play halfway as decent, I ought to be able -- I thought I could be in the Top 10 for this tournament.

Q. Did your family come with you?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah. Well, my little boy and our nanny came with me on Monday, so I had him for the last three-and-a-half days. He flew home to go trick or treating. My wife flew in on Wednesday afternoon. Now it's just my wife and I. My mom is here. She came up from Florida. He really didn't want to go home. I knew once he got there, he'd have a good time. He's going to be Jeremy row Nick, the hockey player. He's going to roller blade with his Coyote's jersey on. It was either that or Superman. But he decided he wanted to roller blade. He's only three. The kid can roller blade and ice skate. He's going to be Jeremy Roenick. How he got to be him, I know Jeremy, I took him to a Coyote's practice before the season opened. Jeremy brought us into the locker room, signed a stick for him with all the other guys. Jeremy Roenick is his hero. He's going to be Jeremy Roenick tonight.

Q. Do you have any plans for Halloween? Do you have any superstitions?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No plans tonight. We play early tomorrow, so the usual, you know, a couple beers, some dinner, get a good night's sleep. I have enjoyed Halloween in the past with my kids. I usually get dressed up as something. Last time I got dressed up, I was Goofy kids thought that was pretty good. Went up to the door with my kids, say trick or treat, a couple people look at me and kind of give me the "little old for this, aren't you, mister?" Just put the candy in the bag. Dressed up as Goofy trick or treating, damn well better get some candy for the effort (laughter). We have some friends that are going to take the kids, the whole neighborhood thing. I told them to take a lot of pictures, movies, the whole thing, see it when we get home.

Q. Mark, what is your schedule for the rest of the year, if anything?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Got a lot going on. I'm playing in the Sarazen World Open next week, fourth year. I play there every year. Nice tournament. Then the Shark Shootout with Andrew Magee the next week. Then I have a week off. I'm going down to the Australian Open. My fifth trip down to Australia. I enjoy it down there. I'll come back for one more week off, then the Diners Club with Jeff Sluman. That's a lot. That's another reason for taking a month off right before Vegas, so I can be rested up for this finishing stretch, so to speak. Then by then, you know, it's December, whatever, 15th or something, two or three weeks off and start right back up over again.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else? Go over those birdies for me.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: 1st hole I hit a 7-iron in there about 12 feet, made that for birdie. 2nd hole, I hit a pitching wedge from the left rough about 20 feet. Made that for birdie. 3rd hole I hit an 8-iron about ten feet. Made that for birdie. Parred 4th. 5th hole, great bunker shot from the left bunker, long shot, hit it up there about eight inches. I could probably still be over there with a bucket of balls and not get that close again. That was nice. Then just a bunch of pars through 10. Birdied 11. Hit a 7-iron about four feet. 3-putted 14. Blew my first putt about 20 feet, so that wasn't good. Then really didn't have much of a shot for birdie until 18. I just hit probably the best iron of the day, 5-iron, from 187 yards. In there about two-and-a-half feet left of the hole. Made that for birdie.


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