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January 17, 2007

Mark Calcavecchia


JOE CHEMCYZ: We welcome Mark Calcavecchia. If you can just quickly talk about your round and we'll open up to some questions.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Okay. Very happy with it. Obviously it's a good score on this course. There was five or six holes out here that are real hard holes, and the rest of them, you know, you've got a chance of birdieing. But got through the hard holes pretty good, and made some putts which is nice.
I really didn't have any expectations, I missed the cut by one last week in Hawaii and still pretty rusty. Just hoping for something in the 60s to tell you the truth and things started going to the right way, so it was a nice surprise.

Q. Classic Club, Dudley Hart was just in here and he shoot 66 and you shot a 65. He said he thinks the scoring should be lower here because the course has changed and matured from last year; do you see any of that?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: You know, I don't remember that much about last year. I know it's pretty windy on Sunday and I think the greens were harder it seems like. I had a flashback on 17 on Sunday, I hit a real nice shot and couldn't hold the green with a 7-iron or 8-iron or whatever I hit.
I just think the greens are a little more receptive.
They seemed a little slower than they were last year. I don't know if that's just me or what, or getting late in the day they seem kind of airy to me.
You know, the course is in fabulous shape. The fairways are incredible, and the greens are holding good shots. You can definitely shoot a good score. You just have to play well. Some of these holes out here like 10 and 11, you can rip off a double or something in a hurry on one of those two holes with a bad shot. I don't think it's an easy course.

Q. You hold the distinction in this tournament in being the only guy to reach 30-under twice and not win it.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Thanks. (Laughter).

Q. But that indicates a pretty good record in this tournament. You come here feeling pretty confident off of those past performances?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, I like playing here. I always -- you can get some confidence going here and you know, the greens are usually perfect, the weather is usually perfect. You know, granted if you get stuck shooting 71, you're going to get killed. So you've got to go low. That's why some guys don't like playing it. They don't like having to get to 25-under or 30-under to have a chance to win. That's a lot under.
I just enjoy Palm Springs. Some of our favorite restaurants are here and my wife loves it here. It's just a good spot for us.

Q. And you've never been afraid to go low.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Not afraid; I panic sometimes. (Laughing) Sometimes I just get lucky.
The older you get, the harder it gets. Last year, if you look at my record last year, I don't think I shot better than 5-under par until Disney World any one round.
So I didn't go low once last year except I shot 9-under on Saturday at the Magnolia. But I know it's in there. I still have a lot of good shots in my bag and I can get on a roll and keep it going I think.

Q. As you know, and everybody knows, this is a go-low tournament. A guy shots 12-under as Allen by does the first day, is anybody taken aback at all or they say, it's the hope?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Any time anybody shoots 12-under, even out here, that's quite an exceptional day for sure. It's hard to make that many putts and hit that many good shots. It doesn't happen very often for sure.
Robert Gamez shot 12-under last year, didn't he? Pat Perez, I meant. He followed up with a smooth 76 or something. I know he finished down towards the bottom. I think I beat him. (Laughter).
You know, it's a long tournament. There's a lot of holes out there and there are a lot of birdie holes out here, but it's a great start for sure. He's going to play out here one of next three days, and if the wind is blowing, like I said, the course is no slouch.
JOE CHEMCYZ: They are trying to verify that 60 right now, and it looks like it's going to be 63.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: See, he just made a triple. (Laughter) I told you it was going it get harder for him.
First day, another thing about this tournament you is really don't pay attention, if somebody shoots 60, that's great, great score, but everybody's all over the place and you've got to kind of wait until Sunday to get everybody in the same spot and see where you're standing. Forget what the score board says and just try to birdie every hole is basically the object out here.

Q. The winners so far this year have been both over 40. Is there the thought that this is a young man's game kind of a fallacy with guys like yourself and Corey shot low today and with Vijay and Paul winning?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It helps to be young. I didn't know John Rollins was only 31. That actually pissed me off. I thought he was older than that. I'm like, lucky piece of shit, I'd love to be 31 again. (Laughter).
Those guys, Charles Howell, those guys have got a lot of time and certainly a real bright future. You know, golf's a game where us old guys can still get it done every now and then and if everything lines up right, we can still do it.
So, you know, my case, it's just as far as my game goes, I don't feel like I'm 46. My body, my back and whatnot feel it. I'm not quite as good as I used to be, but it's still there. I'm still the same guy and I've got a ton of game. So it's just a little harder to bring it out as often as I want to, is basically the only thing with age.

Q. Do you think though that in that situation, like last week, experience is going to serve you better than maybe youth will?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I think it can. Especially depending on the kind of course we're playing. Like a couple of years ago in Canada up at Shaughnessy, I think some experience helped me, especially with my golf game on how to deal with a golf course like that. Some guys, it's hundred percent balls-out every shot and there's still a lot of finesse shots you need to play.
Charles Howell is a great player, but, you know, I'm sure he's better now than he was four or five years ago when I first played with him. He was trying to hit pitching wedges 170 yards. He had one gear and it was hit it as far as he could possibly hit it. He's a hell of a player for sure, he was then, I'm not harping on him. But I think a lot of the younger guys that hit it so far just really have one gear, and I think some of us older guys know how to kind of manipulate the ball around a little bit more, especially around the greens.
JOE CHEMCYZ: Thank you.

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