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July 25, 2007

Mark Calcavecchia


THE MODERATOR: Thanks for coming in for a couple of minutes. Obviously, the '05 Championships is a little far away from here. But you got a chance to see the golf course this morning, what are your initial thoughts on the redesign and how it's playing?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I went out and saw it yesterday morning. I've played a practice round so, I've seen it twice now. It's beautiful, phenomenal shape. But I think the main part of this event is going to be on the greens.
The fairways are pretty wide, so if you're driving it good, you ought to be able to hit most of the fairways. But they can come up with some really tough pins, and if you hit it in the wrong place on the green, you're going to have a hard time to two-putt. Not to mention there are some pretty good fall-offs on some sides of the green. So, you know, you're going to have to hit good iron shots as well. So if there's a little bit of breeze, you know, it could play pretty tough.
THE MODERATOR: Let's open it up to questions.

Q. Just wondering what your primary motivating factor is in coming here? Is it the FedEx points? Is it you're defending champion? Could you just rank, 1, 2, 3 why you're here?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, actually I won two years ago. But having won two years ago, I skipped it a few times here and there. I always played at Glen Abbey, but didn't go to Royal Montreal the two times it was there, and I didn't play here in '02. But the number one reason I'm here this week is this fits nicely in my schedule, number one.
I've had a lot of time off in the last three weeks, I mean, three months. I've really only played two tournaments or three tournaments in two or three months, so I've had plenty of time off, and I need to, you know, play. I'm a lock all the way through Chicago, so obviously, I want to stay in the top 30 on the FedEx Cup thing, and given the Tour Championship, see what happens there. So all of the above, really. Just time for me to start playing again.

Q. Having been a member of a number of Ryder Cup teams and President's Cup team in 1998, how would you describe Jack Nicklaus as the captain, as compared to some of the other captain's you've played for?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I think Jack is a little bit lower key, actually, than some of the other captains, like Raymond Floyd, or who else? Dave Stockton. Jack's not quite as fiery as some of those guys, or maybe even Gary Player, I don't know.
But Jack's very serious, you know. We all know for sure that he wants to win it badly. And, you know, it's not real rah-rah-rah, go get them, slap you on the butt and get fired up and that sort of thing. He's just sort of Jack. And he's kind of quiet and wants us to go out there and play our games.
He's a good captain, you know. He's Jack Nicklaus, for crying out loud. Can't get fired up playing for him, you're probably dead.

Q. In light of Gary Player, do you believe that anybody is using any banned substances on the PGA Tour?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I'm not sure where Mr. Player came up with those statements last week. I know of no one. And all I say, as long as they don't ban Celebrex and Aleve, I'll be okay, and beer, you know. Those three combos pretty much numb me up good, and that's about all I need.
But I've always said, you know, if you're goofed up on something out here, you're not going to be out here very long. And there's been some guys that have had some drug issues over the years that I've known. You know, haven't heard from them in 15 or 20 years. So you've got to have your head on straight to play this game, and you know, taking drugs or whatever is not going to get you anywhere out here.

Q. Not to dwell on it, but do you think something like Beta Blockers might be an issue type of drug that causes peoples nerves and stops you from shaking?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Got any? That's not bad. That's why I use the claw, I've got the itch. Maybe I ought to get some. Again, maybe years past, you know, I'm not going to start naming names, but there were a few players that might have been rumored on Beta Blockers. But I think that's more to calm guys personalities. You know, they're just that way.
There are guys that are pretty jumpy out here, and Jerry Kelley's one of them. You know, I played with him last week, and that guy's got a lot of energy. You know. He's snapping around, you know. Everybody has their own different personalities.
And, again, I don't know, you know. It's just, like I said, I eat a couple of Aleve, and sometimes a Celebrex, and hope that's good enough when I go play, and have a few cocktails with dinner and call it a day. That's pretty much my schedule, and a I think a lot of guys are on that schedule.
You know, there's nothing wrong with a couple of beers or a martini or some good red wine. I can't make it awake past 8:30 at night. So, you know, I go to bed early. I like having what I have, and go to bed, and get up and feel good the next day.

Q. This week's routine, switching from a really hard course to here at Angus Glen, is this just a routine change or is there something different coming from a place like Carnoustie?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It's kind of like going from Augusta to Hilton Head. You know, there's an ease in pressure. You know, Carnoustie is such a battle. You come here, and we're used to it. You come here, and you know, the fairways are more forgiving. You know, a lot wider. You're not going to get goofy responses like you're going to get over there.
It's just we're used to the change, but it's nice to come and get back to it. Although, this is a national championship as well, don't forget, as is the British Open. But it's definitely a little bit more relaxed atmosphere. And, you know, more relaxed stage, so to speak.

Q. I heard one player tell his caddy after they played the back nine first, and after the back nine he was joking that there could be somebody who doesn't miss this fairway this week. Is it really like one of the easiest, one of the most forgiving courses you've seen on the tour?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: The fairways are pretty wide. But, no, I mean, if you have a good day driving the ball, you could easily hit every fairway here. But no, I mean, the guy who leads the week in driving accuracy, I think will probably miss between 6 and 8 fairways for the whole week. They're pretty wide.
But on the other hand, you know, there's some holes like 10, 11, and 12 where you don't need to hit driver. Even though 11's a par 5, but you can. The fairways are still wide. But they narrow up the farther you go. Like I hit on 11, I hit a 3-iron on a par 5, because the fairway's wider than where the fairway ends up, and you can still reach. You can have a 5 or 6-iron down wind. But, you know, it gets narrower.
There are decisions off the tee whether it's a driver or 3-wood, but, you know, it roughs up, if you miss the fairway, the rough's pretty thick in spots. So it's always important to drive the ball well. But I think the battle this week will be on the greens.

Q. You weren't here in '02, so you have no idea what the course looked like before Davis did the changes. Have you seen any evidence of where it might have been before? And can you imagine how wide the fairways must have been before?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: They're narrower now than they were?

Q. Much.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Are they really. Oh, pretty forgiving for the members, I guess. You know, I can't really -- I can't tell because I don't know what it looked like before. But, you know, I think it's a beautiful course. There are some pretty good lofts and seasoned greens and things. You know, the rolling hills, it's a beautiful piece of land. And I enjoy playing courses like this.
So I like it. It's visually appealing to me. I've always said, you know, you have to like the way a course looks to play it well. Because if you can't see where you want to go or see the shots you want to play, it's very difficult to play. And I can -- the course sets up well for me. It's really visually appealing to me, so that's why I like it.

Q. (Inaudible).
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I'm feeling pretty good, actually. My back is a little tight in the mornings. So last week on Sunday it was really bad for five or six holes it was raining so hard on the first hole, I hit an okay drive and went down to hit my 6-iron, and thought when I got down an inch on the ball it just grabbed, and I backed off of it and hit four inches behind it and made double. But then fought my way through it, and actually ended up playing a hell of a round the rest of the way out.
But other than little things like that, I'm nearly as good as it gets, despite being, you know, fat. That's another reason I need to play a lot now. I tell you what, sitting at home is brutal on me. I just go straight from the recliner to the refrigerator, about every 20 minutes I go see what else is new in the refrigerator. Like something's going to miraculously pop in there from the last time. You're going to look in there hoping you're going to find something you didn't see last time. So I need to get on the road and get some exercise. It feels good walking up and down these hills and get a little workout. I don't do it at home, I tell you that.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Mark.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Good to be here. Thanks, guys.

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