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August 2, 2007

Mark Calcavecchia


NELSON SILVERIO: Looks like we're halfway into your round today, but how about just some thoughts on it in general. You seemed to put yourself in a good spot the first day.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, I actually played phenomenal in the 13 holes I played Tuesday and the nine I played Wednesday. Hit every fairway, made a hole-in-one on 12 yesterday. I mean, I had every iron shot going right at it. Sure enough, today I got up and my driver never got up (laughter). I swear I didn't miss two fairways in two days, and then today I hit about four the whole day. I got lucky today.
I had a phenomenal L-wedge and putting day is basically what happened. It's a great score. I'm not complaining, for sure. I'm very happy with shooting 2-under out here. But I've got to hit more fairways the rest of the week, otherwise I'll be in the black in a hurry.

Q. What do you do with all these aches and pains? What do you do for them? Can I ask that question?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, when I get up I've got one of those foam rollers that's about this big, it's a hard piece of foam that I travel with. I roll up and down on that. I can get anywhere from five to ten cracks every day when I get up. I roll around on that for about five or ten minutes and I stretch on the floor, and then I come here and I take a couple of Aleve and half a Celebrex, and that's it. That's my medicine for the day.
Some guys take four or five Advil or whatever, a couple of Advil, two, three, Aleve, whatever it is. You know, and that does me for the day.

Q. Is this all from golf, the strain of golf?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, I'm 47, been at it for 27 years. You know, my belly is not in the best shape. You know, obviously the more you're carrying around up there the harder it is on your back, and I don't work out. I pretty much get what I deserve.
You know, I've tried being in a little better shape, but as long as my back is good enough to the point where I can play, then that's fine with me. I'm never going to feel great, let's put it that way.

Q. So you're just not a big workout guy and it wasn't for you?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, I tried it a whole bunch of times. I did a lot in the earlier days, but I've gone through stretches where I've gone at it pretty hard, and the last stretch was at a place called Athletes Performance in Tempe where all the world-class athletes go there, spent six weeks there, didn't lose a pound and felt worse, two and a half, three-hour workouts for five days in a row. That was it, right there, surrendered. Flew up the white flag, never again. Walking 18 holes around here is a good enough workout for me.

Q. How did the course -- they said the greens were unbelievably fast.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I said that. I even texted Tiger on Tuesday when I was out there playing after I putted a couple off the green on the 2nd hole because he was down at Southern Hills or something. I said the greens are as fast as Augusta's. I've never seen them this fast. I didn't realize they were as slopy as they were, either, because when they're slower you don't notice the slopes on them. K.J. putted one off the green today on 12, and they're really fast.
Having said that, I think they actually slowed them down a skoch from yesterday, I really do. I think they put a good amount of water on them last night. They were pretty soft this morning. I think they might have watered them a little heavier than a couple nights before, but they're super-fast and the rough is deep. You're better off ten yards off into the trees on some holes for sure than just one yard off the fairway.
K.J. hit one on 4 and didn't move it six feet out of the rough and I did the same thing on 9, took a lash with a 7-wood and moved it this far (indicating two feet).

Q. How many degrees on your L-wedge?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: My L-wedge is a 59-degree.

Q. How far would you ordinarily hit that?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Ordinarily about 85 yards. You know, no wind. Downwind I can hit it a little bit further. About 85, 90 is the farthest I'll try to hit it with no wind. I pretty much try to use it exclusively from 85 and in. Only time I use my sand wedge is on a real, real long greenside bunker type of thing, like a 35, 40-yard bunker shot, then I'll use any sand wedge. But it was a good L-wedge day, holed out a bunker shot on 4, great up-and-down on 3, some other ones saved me today; 13, over the right of the green, flop shot straight up in the air, got that up-and-down, so it was a good day today.

Q. Do you use that in the bunker, as well?

Q. On No. 4, was that for a birdie?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, it was. I actually hit a good drive there. The fairway slopes pretty good to the left, and it just rolled into the first cut. I kind of chunk hooked my 5-iron into the front left bunker. It wasn't a very easy bunker shot, really. I zipped it right in there and it trickled right in, so that was nice.

Q. About how far was that shot?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: 35, 40 feet because I was in the front of the bunker and the pin was eight or ten on or something. Yeah, probably a 40-foot bunker shot.

Q. Don't take this wrong because I'm older than you, but are these the kind of days that keep you going when you're battling these 30 year olds all the time?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, no. I mean, I do love to play golf. Buying a $2 million lot and building a $2 million house motivated me. I've got about $200,000 in the bank and $5 million in debt, that motivates me, so I've got to keep going.

Q. What motivated you to buy a lot and build a palace?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I love my wife (laughter). We found a beautiful spot in Tequesta right on the river. Actually we want to get a boat.

Q. Where is this?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Tequesta, Florida, right on the edge of the Loxahatchee River there on the Jupiter inlet. Olin Browne lives right up the street. A lot of guys live there. That's where we're going to live in a couple years, and that will be our end-all spot.

Q. As far as you know?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, for me. That's it for me (laughter).

Q. You got in here through Tampa; is that right?

Q. Do you like being here? Is it almost a measure of how you're going?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, it's a great spot to be. It's not an easy tournament because the course is hard. You know, it's a grind out there. You get in a stretch where you're not driving it so great and you keep hitting it in the rough, and it has U.S. Open similarities to it in the sense if you don't hit a good drive, you're looking at bogey.
But it's nice playing a limited field, no-cut deal and a World Championship golf events, and more FedExCup points. My goal for the year when I started was to get to Atlanta, to the TOUR Championship, and that's still my goal. If we get there, then I'll be happy with the year.

Q. Where are you now?

Q. So you look every week?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Oh, yeah, absolutely.
Like last week, I was 50th or something, but I was kind of rooting for either Furyk or Singh to finish 1 and 2 because they're already ahead of me. They can't pass me because they're already ahead of me instead of some other guys jumping up. As it turned out they were 1 and 2. But you pay attention. I think a lot of guys are paying attention where they're at. They want to get in as many tournaments as they can get in under the playoff system.
And the race for the TOUR Championship has always been like that, you're coming down the last two, three, four months of the season, you're looking at your position on the Money List, well, prior to this year, now it's the points list, but you want to be in the Top 30, have exemptions for all the majors next year, all these great tournaments, so Top 30 is good spot to be.

Q. Can you see as many years as you've been around on TOUR a real low number being shot today given the conditions today?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, it's definitely possible. The greens are soft. The course is hard, but if you're driving it good and playing well, you can attack the pins. You know, you can shoot 63 or 64 around here. It can definitely be done once. You might be able to fire a couple of 66s. Maybe twice. You're not going to get it every day. Reminds me a lot of Shaughnessy when I won the Canadian Open a couple years ago. There were a couple 65s and 66s. Might do it once but you're not going to get the scores day in and day out. If you shoot around 69 or 70 every day here, you've had a great week consistency-wise.

Q. Strick said something the other day that made me wonder, I don't have your schedule memorized inside and out, but it seems with places like Quail Hollow and Congressional, Innisbrook, what have you, that it seems like there's one tough setup, challenging course after another, almost a bunch of mini-majors sprinkled throughout the schedule. Was it always like that or have you noticed it getting that way?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I think it's gotten that way a little more as time goes on. It seems like years ago it was just kind of easy, the rough was never this deep week in and week out. I think the pin placements have gotten touchier over the years. Obviously we're playing courses longer than we ever have. They're trying to combat technology a little bit with course conditions and course setups. And certainly Quail Hollow is a real hard course and so is Innisbrook, the ones you mentioned, Congressional, so we're playing some tough courses. But that's kind of a good thing, to not know you have to go out and shoot really low.
Even Milwaukee this year, I played there, it's opposite the British, but the cut is usually 5- or 6-under there. So evidently they set that place up super-tough and there was a little bit of a breeze. Even the shorter, smaller courses that we have now, they're starting to find ways to make them harder.

Q. Is this a good way to head into next week, or is there a chance you're going to get beat up this week?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: There's a chance you're going to get beat up and tired, but I definitely won't over-prepare at Southern Hills. I'll play nine Tuesday and nine Wednesday if I'm lucky.

Q. That much, huh?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, that much, exactly. I've played there. I know what it looks like (laughter). I've played 12 here and 8 here on Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm not a practice round guy anyway.

Q. With all the aches and pains and everything, do you ever reach the point some days where you'd like to say the hell with it, just bag it?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, not really. I can't honestly -- I mean, there's days when I knew I couldn't play or I was upset that I was hurting as bad as I was hurting, but there's been times where I probably shouldn't have tried to play. A lot of times I can kind of tough my way through it, and other times when I just go ahead and play bad.
PGA last year was a case. I was injured. I had a couple of ribs out, and I was just flinching at every swing. I was about 20-over through 27 holes and finally had enough.
I mean, there's some times I shouldn't even try, but, you know, I always figure what the heck, you might as well try. It's just pain.

Q. How do you swing through sore ribs?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: You just flinch, close your eyes and take a deep breath and say this is going to hurt like hell, go ahead and hit it. Then you hit it, and you're like, okay, next, and then you limp up to your ball and you try and recover for the next.
A lot of guys go through it, whether it's your wrist or your fingers or your elbows, there's a lot of little aches and pains out here. Certainly chopping it out of rough like this is conducive to injury, as well. When I took that last one on No. 9, I definitely felt my back seizing up a little bit. I had a little mini-spasm. You've just got to kind of shake it off and regroup and go to the next one.

Q. Brenda from around these parts?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Brenda is from Columbus, a Memorial girl. Went to Ohio State. She had one of her friends come up today, a couple more coming up tomorrow, so we had to have a bunch of tickets this week. Five or six of her friends are going to come up, so that will be fun.

Q. When you have that house built do you think they'll come and see her there?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah. That's why we're not building a guest house.

Q. That would have taken more expensive land.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, that was out.

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