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October 24, 2007

Mark Calcavecchia


DOUG MILNE: Thanks for stopping in. We just wanted to chat with you for a few minutes. You're playing well. T2 at the Tour Championship; T14 at Frys.com, just a couple general comments about the state of the game. Obviously, you played well today, just a couple comments...
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I did. I kind of got back on track today. Grayhawk last week, I was just kind of out of it. I don't know what happened there. I really got flustered on the greens. A lot of guys had trouble putting them. They were tough to read and they were grainy. Tough to get the right speed.
I didn't watch much of it on TV in the weekend, but I noticed some other guys missed putts, too. It wasn't just me. So I forget about that, and, you know, it was good to get back to Florida. I played great today. I liked the course. Today was my first look at it. Other than the obvious distance between the greens and tees, I thought most of the holes were nice holes. I thought it was a pretty good course.
DOUG MILNE: Well, you've certainly had success in Florida. Two Honda wins and then most recently the PODS back in March. And obviously your Gator ties.
DOUG MILNE: Just a couple comments on playing in Florida and excited to be back here?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, definitely. Winning the PODS or whatever this year was, you know, it was pretty great for me and set up my year for me, which was nice, and a couple of Hondas. I tend to play pretty good at home, other than last week being the exception. I usually play fairly well at Phoenix.
Although I guess I missed the cut at the Honda too across the street. Looking to get back on track. You know, I do enjoy staying at home and I like when all my friends come out to watch. I tend to play a little bit harder and I enjoy playing in front of the home crowd, so to speak.
Florida's been good to me. I said four weeks ago when I said I was going to play the last four I wanted to win another one of them and turn a great year into a really great year.
So I got two left. I'm going to play next week at Disney, and looking forward to a couple big weeks I hope.
DOUG MILNE: Great. We'll turn it over to questions.

Q. You said you were a going to play the last four, because your year at that point was already strong. You could've walked away at that point with a pretty strong year. What was the thinking and motivation at that point behind that?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: As far as Vegas goes, I haven't played good there since the late '90s. I had like in '96, 7, and 8 I had a fourth, third, and a second or something in Vegas and hadn't played any good there since and even skipped it a couple times.
And then the reason I played there was out of sheer boredom. I was tired of sitting on my ass in Phoenix. Like my elbows had leather -- they were rubbed raw from my chair. I had to go do something. Of course, Vegas is Vegas, so that's fun. That speaks for itself. And turned out we had a great time.
And then Grayhawk and here are home tournaments and Disney I played well the last two years, so Vegas was the only one I didn't need to play that I did out of sheer boredom, and I was always going to play the last three anyway.
So plenty of time to sit around in November. Couple tournaments in December: The Shark Shootout and Tiger invited me to his event, which was a great surprise. That'll kind of get me kick-started over Christmas and get me ready for the start of the year. Then head right out to Hawaii on the 30th of December and start all over.
It's just kind of what I do. I like time off, but I golf, so that's why we play.

Q. Just talk about your year. I know the last couple years have been frustrating for you. How important was it to have this kind of year and get your confidence back with the game?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, last year was, you know, was bad. Winning in '05 helped. '04 kind of stunk. I've been kind of an every-other-year type guy. After a bad year I guess I tend to sit around and really make sure I don't have another one, because I don't think I could mentally stand another bad one.
So I think I really -- I won't say work a little bit harder, but I think it's just sheer determination to not have another back-to-back bad year sort of thing. So now that I've had another good one this year after a bad one last year, I'm going to really try to get off to a good start and get going early next year.
You know, take this thing right on up into my 50th birthday and keep playing well and see what happens after that.

Q. They put a new tag only this: The Fall Series. What's your impression on that?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I think it's a good tag for it. It's interesting. It's almost like a mini FedExCup, if you will, with the Money List and guys -- some guys are playing some great golf under some pretty pressure-packed situations. Much to keep their cards. Each of the last three or four weeks there's been somebody, starting with Michael Allen finishing second at Turning Stone, to keep their job for next year.
So it's interesting to see these guys playing great and come up with some big checks when they need to right down to the nitty-gritty. So it's kind of fun to watch. I don't know what's happening with TV and who really cares once football starts, but everybody out here, the players, we know how other players are doing. It's nice not to see Tiger and Phil and Furyk and Vijay and all the same guys every week actually.
Kind of exciting showing up knowing that if you play well you don't have to dust off the top ten in the world to have a chance.

Q. That being said, you and Robert are the only top 50 in the World Rankings here. Do you have any suggestions on how to try and improve some of the late-season fields, or is that just how it's going to happen?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I think that's just how it's going to happen, especially after the schedule and -- although it's slightly different next year, everybody kind of forgot about the Bridgestone and the British. So between the British, the Bridgestone, the PGA, the two FedExCup things and then a week off and then the Ryder Cup and then the TOUR Championship, it's still, six out of nine weeks for all the top 50, 60 players in the world, or seven out of nine even with the week off.
So you know, a couple of those guys are still going to skip a tournament in the FedExCup thing even though there's going to be a week off. I think after all that, you know, all the World Golf Championship and all the majors, it's just those guys are really -- I guess losing interest might be a good word.
Just don't want to come out and play the last seven or eight events. That's just the way it's going to be. Like I said, that's fine with me. I really don't think there's anything they can do. Money is not an issue. If every one of these tournaments was an $8 million purse, they still wouldn't be here. I think that's nice, though. That's a good idea as far as I'm concerned. I think a lot of other guys would enjoy that, too.
You know, I'm thankful Frys stepped up to the plate and some of the people we have that really came in and helped us out. Ginn this week. Really lucky we had a couple tournaments from what I understand.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah. Kind of seems like it's coming to that a little bit, that we're kind of struggling to find a few new events and a few new sponsors here and there. You know, a few tournaments, 84 and International hit the road, so you never like seeing that happen, but it's nice that Frys and Ginn stepped up and gave us tournaments to play in.

Q. You talked about the mindset of the big guys not showing up. Do you see that in the younger players, their attitude changes a little bit with the field is like this, that they feel they can win?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, I do actually. That's a good point. I think that it's more of an -- I won't say Nationwide TOUR feel, but I think it could be definitely less intimidating for some of the younger guys and down there 140 or 50 on the Money List that they just feel it's a better opportunity for them to make a move and have a good tournament and get over the hump.
Having said that, I've always said no matter who is and isn't here you still got to play great to win. Whoever wins this week is just going to play great, period, whether Tiger or Phil are here or not.
It's not like just because the field is weaker it's going to be necessarily easier. But mentally you feel like you might have a little bit better chance to do well.

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