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December 9, 2007

Woody Austin

Mark Calcavecchia


THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome the champions of the 2007 Merrill Lynch Shootout, Mark Calcavecchia and Woody Austin. Woody, we'll start with you. Great putt there on the last hole. Just get your thoughts on winning.
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, you know, winning is great. I haven't won enough to think that it certainly comes easy, so I know how important it is whether it's a two-man team tournament or what have you.
Things have to go your way and you have to play well. Fortunately I had a perfect partner this week and we gelled really good. I started to put Greg and Bubba on my Christmas list the way we were giving the holiday season away there at the end. Still came out on top, and that was the key.
THE MODERATOR: Get your thoughts, Mark. Your second win at the tournament.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, I mean, I enjoyed it. When I found out I was playing with Woody I was excited because I knew we would have a good time one way or another. Turns out we both played really good, especially the first couple days. I wasn't any good today, but just enough.
I had a good vibe form on that last putt and kept it interesting for the fans. I like to look at it that way.

Q. Putts on 15, 16, and 17, can you give me the reads on each one them individually? You guys looked lost.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: 15 it just broke more than we thought. I hit my putt left edge and it broke and he said it sniped. He played a good ball out, maybe even a little more. As soon as he hit it I knew he hit it right where he wanted to. It just horseshoe lipped out. That was to go two ahead.
I somehow hit a great 3-iron into 16. Then we had a six-footer that was straight to left center. Woody pushed it a little and I pushed it a little and mine broke a little right to boot, so we missed that, again to go two ahead.
Actually, I didn't think his drive was in the fairway bunker on 17. I thought mine might have got there, but I thought his was perfect. Obviously we would have made four had it been in the fairway. So that was a little bit unlucky. Screwed that hole up. But, hey, it all came down to the right guy making the right putt.

Q. After you guys hit your approaches into 18, were you figuring, Oh, boy, you know, where they were, this is not a good situation?
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, absolutely. Especially like he said, the way the last four holes had gone. I mean, we've got it in the middle of the green on 14 putt putting for three, and they got it over the green. Bubba chips it in for three. So instead of staying two ahead we go to one ahead, and then we miss two in a row that we should have made for sure to go ahead again and we don't.
Like I said, I thought 17 I hit a perfect drive there. And to be in the fairway bunker with a 3-iron, that's just -- I don't care how good you are, that's not the easiest shot in the world. We just got a little unlucky there. And then to hit it, I don't know what were we, about 35 feet on the last hole?
WOODY AUSTIN: So to hit it that far, I think that's the longest we were away from the hole all week.
WOODY AUSTIN: So you're not feeling too good. Especially him with a wedge. Yeah. I certainly wasn't feeling good after I hit my shot.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Me neither. I thought one of them would hit it in there -- a pretty good chance, one of them would hit it in there ten feet or closer and force us to have to make it.
When we have they didn't hit good shots it was like new life. Woody put it right in there, so perfect.

Q. Talk about the last putt. Did you think when you hit it was tracking?
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, again, the good thing about the format and everything is you got your partner there in front of you. What people don't grasp or whatever is his putt was just as vital as mine. It was perfect face on the line that we had read originally, and it broke just a little bit more. It did everything we thought it did, so I didn't have to second guess or think, Well, he didn't hit it hard enough or he pulled it.
So I gave -- just made the read that much easier, and when I got it started and it got halfway to the hole and it got where we wanted it to after his, it looked good from a good 10, 15 feet short of the hole. Looked good the hole way the rest of the way.

Q. Was what the adjustment on the putt?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I had to give it another four, five inches more break.

Q. What were you thinking with Bubba's putt tracking there towards the end?
WOODY AUSTIN: I personally thought it was in if it got there. It looked like it would go in if it got there. I think it just ran out of pace.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I thought when he hit it he hit it a little bit easy and he might have left it short. It was trickling up to the front of the hole and it might just fall in. Just needed a hair more speed.

Q. (No microphone.)
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I was too excited that Woody made his putt. I was like, Okay, the worst we can do playoffs. They were 25, 22, or 23 feet, whatever. You don't make those every day, even when two of you are putting and you know the read.
He just needed to hit it a hair harder, but we were top of the leaderboard all week so it was fitting that I think we ended up there.

Q. Any regrets about keeping Greg from his first win in a long time?
WOODY AUSTIN: Absolutely not.
WOODY AUSTIN: Took me 13 years to get invited, why the heck would I be? He's had 19 tries.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: We're already invited back. That's the good news. First entrants into next year's tournament.

Q. Great season for both of you?
WOODY AUSTIN: Absolutely. And, again, not trying to harp on our positions as far as age and whatever, but when you get -- especially the way the game is changing, when it's changing to the Bubba Watsons and the power and whatever. It's great for guys that really still remember how to play golf in an aspect of feel and control, can still play the game. Any win is a great win.
THE MODERATOR: Let's go through the card. Birdie on No. 1.
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, it really -- we played this first hole perfect every day. We hit a good drive and 3-wood right short of the green. They really had some interesting pin placements. They had a lot of down-grain, cross-grain stuff. Even though we had a simple pitch straight up the hill, it was one where if it got hole it wouldn't stop.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Switched to down grain and went straight downhill.
WOODY AUSTIN: Mark left his about four or five feet short. I chipped mine. I thought I hit it a little hard, but I didn't think -- my ball ended up ten yards over the green on a chip shot. But it was -- we got off to the start we had to get off to as far as that goes.
Then we kind of stumbled today. We didn't do the things that we had done the first couple days. But I think obviously the front nine for us, we both hit probably the worst shot we hit all week on No. 3 and were over the green left on the shells or cart path dirt or whatever.
We're just trying to make four, and it's not like they're stuffed in there. They still got 30 feet, and I holed it off the cart path over there, 25 or 20 yards maybe.
WOODY AUSTIN: So I hole that, and now we're thinking what a big turn around. Norman knocks it right in the middle anyway. I think that was a big key because that kept us ahead on the front nine when we were struggling a little bit.
Two tap-ins in a row. Mark hit his sand wedge on 6 to a foot and a half. I hit sand wedge into 7 to about a foot, I guess. I didn't know how far it was, and then I hit a really good 8-iron on 8 to about eight feet below the hole.
That was the only putt we made all day until the last hole. Everything else was 2-footer, 3-footers. So we made that 8-footer. We missed about a little 10-, 12-footer off the fringe on 9, and then I chipped it to like two and a half, three feet on 10.
I hit 9-iron to about three feet on 11.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I was doing all the tapping in. I said, Keep hitting them to two feet. I can make those.
WOODY AUSTIN: Then unfortunately, like I said, when we hit it 15, 20 feet we didn't make any, so we missed a couple good chances on 12 and 13 to take average an advantage. Then 14 we got it in the middle of green 30 feet for eagle, so that was a 2-putt.
Like I said, as we said on 15, 16, we missed two just easily makable putts to really spread it out and make it pretty much a no contest. Then I make a 35-footer on the last hole.
THE MODERATOR: All right guys, thanks a lot.

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