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July 25, 2009

Mark Calcavecchia


NELSON SILVERIO: Welcome Mark Calcavecchia. Also had a pretty decent run, I would say, nine birdies. Why don't you get it started, just talking about maybe what clicked, and take us through those nine holes.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Okay. Yeah, that was certainly fun. I just got on a great streak. I knew I needed to play a good round just to make the cut, obviously. Made no putts on Thursday.
And I started on 12. I hit a good 5-iron in there about four or five feet, and made that. And then -- do you want me to go through every one of them? If I can remember. I can't remember which hole is which on the front nine anymore. I keep thinking 9 is 6. Anyway.
12 was a good 5-iron, 5-footer, we'll say, for birdie. 13, I laid up, kind of chunked the sand wedge on the front edge about 12 feet short, made that. Good drive and a 7-iron on 14 to about eight feet, made that.
15 was a little 9-iron to about 10 feet, made that. Two good shots on 16 on the green, two-putted. Good drive and 8-iron into 17 about 15 feet, made that. Great 5-wood at 18 about 12 feet, and I missed it. I left it short for my seventh birdie in a row.
And then at that point I knew the record was eight. And I knew the pin was easy on 1, and I hit a good drive and a nice little 9-iron in there about four feet, and I was a little nervous over it, but I hit a great putt.
As I said, I knew what the record was. And then the second hole in the Pro-Am I hit it dead left in the trees and yesterday in the first round -- well, two days ago in the first round I hit it dead left in the tall rough, made a 6. So Super Caddie over here says, "don't hit it left." (Laughs).
So I hit probably the best drive of the day, and hit a nice little 5-wood right where I wanted to in the middle of the green and liked my putt down there to a foot. I didn't want any stress on the next putt. I didn't really -- I mean I was trying to make it, but I was also making sure -- it was kind of a little downhill. It was an easy putt to get close, putted it down there like that, tapped it in for the 9th one.
After that, I think adrenaline kicked in a little bit, even more than it already was. And the par-3, I just was licking my chops in mid air on an 8-iron and flew the green into a back trap. It flew 175 yards. I cannot hit my 8-iron 175 yards. So it was just one of those things, and then after that, I couldn't come close to another birdie.
NELSON SILVERIO: I believe it's Super Caddie's first job, right, this week, on your bag?
NELSON SILVERIO: Questions, guys?

Q. Mark, how lucky do you feel that you even had a chance to get this kind of momentum going because of the way things have been so far, and this tournament continues to get interrupted. Do you feel pretty lucky to be able to do what you did?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah. The weather is unfortunate. Two years in a row here, it's a shame. I know Bill Paul, and everybody works super hard here.
But I did know -- I watch the weather a lot on the computer and the TV, and I knew the weather was going to be great this morning, at 5:30 in the morning, it looked like the weather was going to be great till about at least 1. I said, okay, we're going to have a great scoring position out there, and I knew I needed at least probably 3-under to make the cut. I don't know if it's going to go to 4 or not. But I wanted to make the cut certainly, and then we just got on that roll, and it was fun for both of us. He was getting a kick out of it as well as I was.

Q. Could you talk about the course? How soft was it playing?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It was as soft as you can possibly get. I had casual water a few times. There's still quite a few puddles out there, but the drives were plugging and the iron shots, 3-irons were stopping dead.
So it's just as opposite as you can get of last week. It's just fly it right to the stick. If you got a short iron, fly it just past the stick, so it's all in the air, and the scoring is -- you give the guys out here no wind and greens that are plugging, you're going to see a lot of low scores.

Q. At what point were you starting to count up how many birdies you had? You said you knew what the record was.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Not really till 18, which was my 7th. It was nice to get on that streak, and I hit a good 3-wood into 16, and I knew that was 5, and I really wasn't thinking much about it other than I was playing well. And I had two good shots on 17 and made a great putt, had about a left-to-righter about a 6-inch breaker and made that right in the middle, but the second shot into 18, that one will get your attention anyway. I pushed it a little, but I hit the 5-wood and it just never left the flag. It flew about five feet right behind the flag and had about a 12-footer for eagle that I left short.
At that point I knew that was 7. And I knew the pin was easy on 1. Knew if I hit a good drive, I was probably going to have an 8 or 9-iron in there. Sure enough, I hit a 9-iron right where I wanted to just left of the hole, knocked that one in for eight and hit the two good shots on the par-5.

Q. Those of us who play golf wouldn't get nine birdies in an entire summer. What's it feel like for you, just a player and as a pro to make nine in one round?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It might sink in a little later. It was exciting. I mean it was a lot of fun. It was just fun to hit good shots every hole.
You know, you spend most of your year -- or stretch of your year really struggling, and you know, when you realize you're swinging well and you're kind of on track, and I started to make some putts -- I made no putts the first day, so when I started to make a couple of those 15-footers, it felt great.
So that's the whole idea. You don't pay attention to how many under you are. You just need to keep the pedal down, and I've been able to do that at times during my career where I can shoot some low scores.
Now, am I disappointed with a 65? Yeah, a little bit. I played my last seven holes 2-over. But had you told me I was going to make nine birdies and shoot 7-under, let alone nine in a row, I would have definitely taken it. So I gotta look at the bright side.

Q. Did 59 enter your mind?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No. Actually after I made bogey, it did. You know, that pissed me off enough that I stopped to think what happens if I birdie the last five. Then what do I shoot. I figured out it was 59. But then when I didn't birdie the next hole, I figured, oh, well. Not while I was making nine in a row it never did.

Q. Last week you talked about having your wife on the bag. Now your boy's on the bag. What do you say to her today?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, she's going to be excited for both of us. Might rough him up a little bit for carrying a small bag today. (Laughs).
But that was my decision. He carried the big bag in the Pro-Am and sloshed it around. We were out here for 15 hours on Thursday. So he was fine with it, but I just -- if we were going to play 30 holes or whatever today, if there was no delays, you know, that's hard to do for anybody, especially, you know, he's only 15. He's super strong, but that bag gets heavy, and Brenda knows it gets heavy. So I think it was a good idea.

Q. What do you think about what your dad did today?
ERIC CALCAVECCHIA: Pretty cool. Like I said earlier. It's exciting.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Man of many words over there.

Q. A week ago you led through 36 at Turnberry, and you know what Watson did, and here you come and set the record today. Always been hearing for years that golf's a young man's game. Is it still or --
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, golf's a power game now. It's the future of the game is J.B. Holmes and Bubba Watson and all the guys who can play at 330. It's not much of a finesse game anymore, especially this week.
It's all about bombing it. And, you know, J.B. Holmes hit a driver on the 9th hole. There was no fairway. I mean he was just trying to get it as close to the green as he can and hit a 60-yard shot on the green.
So kind of a strange way to think. You know, potentially hitting it in the rough, but you know, that's what he did. So I think a lot of guys kind of just play like that now.
But we're lucky. We're in a game where we can play -- if my back holds up, I'll be able to play till I've completely had enough. So we're lucky to be able to do that.

Q. (Indiscernible).

Q. Eric, were you getting nervous at all during that birdie streak?
ERIC CALCAVECCHIA: I kind of noticed it at four. I said we're getting four in a row.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah. He was pretty excited after the fourth. (Laughs).
ERIC CALCAVECCHIA: And then once he got to eight, I kind of realized, we could break the record in one more. So I kind of wanted him to make eagle on 2, though. That would be pretty cool.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah. That would have been. You know what, I mean Tommy Armour broke my 256 scoring record at Phoenix two years later, so records are made to be broken. Could somebody make 10 in a row? Sure. If I would have hit the fairway on three, I think the way things were going there might have been a pretty good chance I might have had a real nice looking birdie. It would have just been a 7-iron, had I been in the fairway. And I pulled it five yards. So it's doable. Jason Dufner is going berserk out there. There's no telling what he's shooting today. So it wouldn't surprise me if some guy whips out 10 birdies in a row sometime this weekend. Really wouldn't. These guys are good.

Q. That sounds familiar.

Q. Mark, what's your immediate plans? I mean you're 49 now. Are you looking at the Senior Tour for next year?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Definitely. Yeah, just trying to round out this year and make some money and get in a few playoff events for sure.
I turn 50 June of next year, and J.B. asked me that. I said, yeah, I'm going to test it out, see what I think and play whoever knows how many, seven, eight, nine, senior events at the last part of next year. Kind of evaluate the situation.
I've got two full years of exemptions left out here on career money, so I'm lucky to be able to say, okay, maybe in a year or two, maybe I'll use, when I drop from 13 to 22 or 3 in the current money, I'll be like, okay, I'll take my exemption and maybe play some more back out here and do both.
So I'm pretty lucky to be able to have the option to play on any Tour I want.

Q. (Indiscernible).
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: At times, for sure.
NELSON SILVERIO: Mark. Thank you.

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