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December 8, 2007

Woody Austin

Mark Calcavecchia


THE MODERATOR: We've got our leaders, 60 today and currently at 20-under, 124. Mark, once again, great playing out there. Just get some opening comment if we can.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: You know we started off great. Got off to a good start, which was kind of what you're looking for in a best ball. You don't want to par a bunch of holes early and start pressing, so we birdied three of the first four. 5 is -- nobody may have birdied 5.
That's a hard hole. Just kept it going. The holes that I kind of hit off into the -- I hit some crooked ones today and didn't hit as good as I did the other day. Woody was right there on the holes that I was out of. Good all-around team day. Heck, that's a heck of a score in best ball for sure.
THE MODERATOR: Woody, some comments from you on the say.
WOODY AUSTIN: Like he said, we partnered it up perfectly today. We did exactly what we had to do. We got off to the quick start. That was important. You saw playing with Freddy and Sluey they got off to the slow start and you could see they never could get into the rhythm and get it going.
Whereas we got off to a good start and got through 5 at 3-under through 5 and birdied 6, 8, and 9, or 6, 7, 8, and 9. All four of them. And then we birdied 10. So we made five in a row after that.
We were in just a great rhythm. We actually stumbled a little bit on the back 9 until 17. So leading up to about No. 12 I thought we could break 60 there for a while.
THE MODERATOR: Mark, just talking about tomorrow's round, having Greg right there two shots back adds a little bit of excitement to it obviously.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Sure it does. In last year's tournament we played with Greg the last two rounds, although we were duking it off for last or second to last year, so it'll be a little bit better this year. Over the years I've always enjoyed playing with Greg. Played some of my best golf with him and was lucky enough to edge him out in the British Open playoff in '89. We go back a long ways.
Bubba's a young potential superstar the way he can hit it. So you know, if Bubba hits it straight tomorrow, we'll be hitting first into every green, which is okay. We're hitting our irons good and we got a two-shot cush which is nice.
We're just going to forget about where he hits it and play our games and we'll have a bunch of short- to medium-range birdie putts. If we putt good we'll be in good shape.

Q. Woody, who's your coach?
WOODY AUSTIN: I'm my coach. I'm self-taught. That's why I don't have a coach. I grew up in Tampa, Florida in, a little public golf course called Babe Zaharias. It has no driving range. I learned the game by playing rounds of golf. When I started playing in 8th and 9th grade, I would go out on Saturday and Sunday and play as much holes as I could play because that was how you learned. There was nowhere for me to hit balls.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Exact same with me. Never had a lesson until I was 26. Entirely self-taught.
WOODY AUSTIN: We're more kindred spirits than anyone knows. We're so alike it's amazing. I thoroughly believe in that little adage or paralysis by analysis, especially this day and age. It's almost like everybody is looking for an excuse or a reason as to why things aren't working, as opposed to look internally and just dealing with what you've got of yourself.
The fact that I can go out there, after not playing for a month I can go out here this week, and even though the swing doesn't feel right, I can deal with because I'm a feel player. As opposed to going on the range and going, You know what, I got to get the club here. It's got to go over here. It's got to be here, there.
There's no way I'm going to get it there this week because I haven't been playing. But I know how to deal with it, and I think a lot people miss out on that.

Q. The ability to live within your own skin?
WOODY AUSTIN: Sure. Absolutely.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: We talked about this yesterday. The guys that go to the range for two hours after shooting 66, we don't understand that. I've never done that in my life, and he hasn't either. If you need to hit ten minutes worth of putts, if you missed a three-footer, you know, go putt around for 15 minutes otherwise go home.
WOODY AUSTIN: But if you're on the golf course for four and a half to five hours in the heat and you go and shoot 5, 6, 7 under why do you have to go to the range? You hear all the reasons. Well, I want to keep the rhythm. Well, I think you can get out of rhythm. Why?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: You get tired and throw yourself off.
WOODY AUSTIN: As the old adage, if it ain't broke don't fix it. It wasn't broke if you shot 66 or 65. Why go out there and mess with it?

Q. Talk about the eagle on 17, how getting that late in the round -- you know, you were tied I belive at that point.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, I had hit a couple of drives off to the right and I was kind of struggling a little bit. We had kind of parred a couple holes and birdied 13 and 14, which you should do. Parred 15 and 16 and needed a good finish.
I just managed to hit a good drive and had perfect yards for a 5-wood. Had a little chat with my caddie. I won't tell you what it was about, but at my rate he fired me up a little bit and I hit a great 5-wood in there. It was kind of funny. I don't know if you saw it on TV, but you kind of jumped in there for the read.
WOODY AUSTIN: Wanted it solidify the bet.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: She wanted to jump in there like, It's not going to break as much as you think. It's only left center. I was like, Okay. I was like -- I thought it was kind of cool and it actually relaxed me a little bit. I felt like I was going to make it and hit a nice putt and made it.
So that was a nice three there. Came at a good time. We nearly made birdie on the last hole, so it kind of gave us a little bit of a boost going into tomorrow.

Q. You've played this tournament a bunch of times and sometimes haven't done well. A lot of factors. Everyone who does well comes in here and talks about the incredible value of chemistry. Have there been times where you might be able to point to maybe a lack of a great flow maybe has been part of the problem, and how important is it obviously for what you guys are doing?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, I mean, good play always fixes everything. I've known Woody a long time and we've played golf together a long time. I know what kind of player he is. I've done it tournament a lot and I've been with -- won it with Elky and finished second to dead last with Elky. It's fun to get off to a good start. The first day is so important.
If you kind of get yourself behind the 8 ball the rest of the week you're kind of pressing. It's still fun though. Don't get me wrong. I knew we were going to do well this week. It's just -- golf with Woody and me is a feel situations and I just felt like we were going to do well. I just knew it.

Q. Can you talk about the ruling on 18?
WOODY AUSTIN: We're going to have to bring Brad up on charges or something, because former player, you know, and he's acting like this is the TOUR Championship or something. Like we're trying to get some kind of a deal out of it.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: And if it was the TOUR Championship I would have taken a little bit of a wider stance. I would have stretched my arms out a little bit more. I'm right on the edge of this drain.
WOODY AUSTIN: And then we would ask for a second opinion, which we're allowed to do. Probably got somebody else in there.
WOODY AUSTIN: Not only were we a little bit -- Jeff Sluman and Freddy were shocked that he didn't give it to us. Just something we could banter about and added to the highlights of the day.

Q. There was a tossing of something?
WOODY AUSTIN: I threw my water bottle at his cart just for the fun of it. It never got near him.

Q. Both of you are feel players and both of you have had ups in your careers and dips and back up. If you're a feel player and you don't have that second set of eyes rule for your swing, what do you do to find it?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, we kind of have a go-to shot. With me it's kind of a (indiscernible) cut. Even when I'm struggling I can get it around. You know, my best option is to take the left half of the golf course out of play. That's what -- actually, my first ever lesson with Peter Costas in 1985. We tried to work on that, and obviously it was successful.
Woody is the same way. He can eliminate on half of the golf course. What's amazing about him is he hits it both ways. He cuts irons, he draws irons, he cuts and draws his driver. I'm pretty much a cutter with my driver, and I will draw some irons every now and then. But it's just talent. We're just lucky, honestly.
WOODY AUSTIN: Again, I don't know about not having a second set of eyes so to speak, because my caddie, Brent, is a former professional and a good player. If I can't -- after I've played a really bad day he can see all my tendencies. He's been with me six years. He can throw in his two cents. He knows I'm going to listen to bits and pieces of it and deal with it as best I can.
Like I said, my big thing as far as certain guys nowadays, it seems like they can't go out and actually practice on their own. They can't do things on their own. The coach has to be there tell them if they're doing it right or not.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It's really unbelievable.
WOODY AUSTIN: It's like, how old are you? Can you not just go and --
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: -- hit balls by yourself and figure it out.

Q. You guys feel like it's your tournament to win now? Only one team within real close distance.
WOODY AUSTIN: Any time you're two shots ahead you got to like your chances, otherwise you wouldn't have any confidence in yourself. Not only do I have confidence in myself, I have confidence in my partner.
But irregardless (sic) of how well Greg and Bubba play tomorrow, it's still our tournament to win or lose if we play way we're capable of playing. That was the whole idea of his eagle on 17, to give us that cushion and that position.
We go out and play the way we played the first two days and I think we like or chances.

Q. Is there a sanitized version of the conversation?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Let's put it this way, every now and then there are bonuses that come into play.
THE MODERATOR: Without going through all ten of the birdies, any of those stand out?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Without going through all of them, really the lucky one was on No. 7. We were all over the first 6 holes really good, and then on 7, Woody -- only missed fairway that I've seen him miss in two days and only missed green I think. He hit it right and then over the green right and I was kind of lucky my 3-wood found the fairway.
Hit the wrong club 40 feet short and I had an uphill five-foot, right-to-left breaker and I made it. Woody says, Just go ahead and make it and I'll pull it out of the hole for you. So I made that one and that was the only -- I looked like Brad Faxon on that one. I did.
WOODY AUSTIN: Went in just like Brad Faxon's did. It really did.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: When he promptly hits it three feet the next two holes. I made a nice 15-footer on 10. Just good stuff. What we have been doing pretty much.
THE MODERATOR: All right guys.

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