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April 19, 2007

Mark Calcavecchia


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thanks, Mark, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Great start to the week, a little different pace than you took for Tampa, but is it continuing on? Are you doing the same things you were doing well in Tampa this week?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I am doing the same things. The last couple weeks, The Masters and Hilton Head, part of those conditions were -- I still felt like I was hitting it good and driving it good, it's just hard to putt at Augusta for anybody. I mean anybody. Those greens are treacherous. Hilton Head's are just tough to read, and I really did not make anything. I just stuck with what I was doing, and I got some putts to go in today, and that's the whole difference between a 66 and a 70 or 71.

Q. How did these greens roll today for you?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Greens are nice. I can read them fairly well, which is nice, you know, and that's what it's all about. When you're standing over a ten-footer and you feel like you've got the right read, then you feel like you can make it.
Just the opposite, last week at Hilton Head, I had no clue, honestly. My caddie would say, "Just outside the lip," and I would say, "What lip?" I didn't have a clue. It was like that thing I was talking about, I was blind. But I can see these greens pretty well, and it's a good course for me. I really like this track.

Q. Did you do anything different with your putting stroke?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, just stuck with the same thing and just found a set of greens that I like. There's a lot of nice chipping areas around these greens, and I think -- I think the course is really good. I don't know what it was like in '05; I didn't play here. But I'm enjoying it now, and the weather is going to be perfect.
It's just going to kind of depend on the TOUR staff, how much water they put on them, because like the 3rd green and the 6th green were pretty much rock hard this afternoon. So if the greens get hard, scores will go up. But if they put a little water on them, they'll still be pretty good.

Q. How many putts did you have today?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I had a chip-in and several other putts from six, eight inches off the green. But I putted nicely.
The only bad putt I hit was on 7; I dead pushed a five-footer for birdie. That was the only bad putt I had, so I can't complain about that at all.

Q. How did the wind play in the afternoon for you?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: The wind? It was -- it would come up a little bit here and there, but it was pretty much out of the same direction. After what we've been through the last two weeks, it was like dead calm. It was a non-factor. It was nice to be able to play normal golf shots and not hit 6-irons from 120 yards. It was a beautiful day to play.

Q. You didn't play here in '05 and then you played Masters and Hilton Head. Why did you want to come here?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, I played last year. I came back last year for the first time in a while, and we had a great time. My wife had never been to New Orleans -- well, I take that back. She was years ago, but we thought we'd come back and have a good time. The casino is here, which has a personal impact on my decision (laughter).
But honestly, the food is amazing. We had a great time last year. You know, I wanted to come back and play again just to support the tournament. We love New Orleans, and I like the course to boot, so it's a total bonus.

Q. Do you know anything about the leader, Kyle Reifers?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I know he's from Ohio, or at least I think he is. Actually I think my wife has played golf with his mother at some point or somewhere. She knew him before I did.
I know he plays Ping. I know what he looks like and I've talked to him. I've introduced myself to him in the Ping trailer, and that's about all I know about him.

Q. This tournament has a history of producing a lot of first-time winners. Kyle is in the lead by a couple strokes.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: That's a great round. Obviously there's a long way to go, but obviously he's a great young player.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Let's go through your birdies.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Started on 10, hit a nice 3-wood and a wedge into 10 about 15 feet, made that.
12th hole I birdied, a hit a great drive and an 8-iron to about 12 feet, made that for birdie.
I birdied 15 with another great drive and a 7-iron to about three feet.
Birdied the 2nd hole, 3-wood over the green, chipped back to about four feet, made that for birdie.
3, I chipped in, hit it just over the green. That's one of the greens that was rock hard, and I chipped in from about 30 feet.
And then I birdied 5 was my last birdie, 8-iron to about 12 feet.

Q. How did 17 play for you?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, you know, you're just trying to keep it out of the water. Anywhere on the green -- I wanted to get it over the middle hump, and I did that. I pushed it a little bit and it went over the hump, and I was just right of the green with a 5-iron. It's a pretty hard hole. I putted it up there and made par, which is good.
Same with No. 9, similar type of hole, you're just trying to keep it dry and get on the green, and I hit a pretty good 6-iron about 40 feet short right. I was kind of in between clubs and I was happy to get out of there with par.

Q. What had you heard about this course since you hadn't played it before? What had you heard coming in, some of the comments you heard from guys?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: You know, I didn't watch a shot when Tim Petrovic won a couple years ago. I didn't know he won in a playoff. I really didn't hear anything about it.
I had heard some of the lines off the tee were a little goofy and they put a bunch of money into it and fixed some of the holes. I don't see any problems with this course whatsoever. You know, that's all I can say. I think it's a heck of a course.

Q. Rough played fair today?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, rough is not long but it's fairly thick. You can get some pretty nasty lies or you can get a good one, so everything is very fair.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you.

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