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July 14, 2011

Mark Calcavecchia


Q. Nice to have an early tee time?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I like it. I think Peter Dawson knows I like it, so I take it.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, I don't know how many years ago when Peter gave me the first tee time at St. Andrews, might have been 2000, I told him I enjoyed it so much because I get up early anyway, and he seems to treat me pretty well in that respect. Every year I'm usually first or second off.
Again, I don't have a problem getting up early. It can be a good-weather advantage like it was last year, especially on Friday, when I got done at about 2:00 or 3:00, whenever I got done, and then it blew about 50 the rest of the day. You know, it can be an advantage, so those two reasons. I don't have a problem getting up playing early, and it can help weather-wise.

Q. Every year you tell us how much you like this championship, but do you like it more every year?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, I've got nine years left, and I promise you, unless I'm lame or something, I'll be here every year. As time goes on -- I miss the other majors is kind of what I'm saying. I'm not in any of the other majors anymore and I miss playing in them. So when I get in this one until I'm 60, I'll appreciate it probably more and more every year until I'm 60 years old.
I do love this tournament. I've always told everybody it's my favourite tournament of the year, and I'm sure it's a lot of people's favourite.

Q. Why is it your favourite?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I just get fired up coming over here, and even if I hadn't won the thing once, I would have told you it was my favourite. Just like Troon, I tell everybody even if I hadn't won The Open there, I would tell everybody Royal Troon is my favourite course in the world. But just coming over here, the atmosphere, the one week here of links golf and wind and weather and bounces and the atmosphere, the stands, everything about it I love really.
Having said that, if you would have asked me that last year after Saturday, I would have told you I was ready to get out of town. But this one is different. Last year at St. Andrews when I got blown away from that left-to-right wind going out, here the holes go in every direction imaginable. So you've got every wind condition left to right, in, down, it's all over. So that's better for me. But I am using a driver now that curves a lot less left to right than the one I was using last year.
And as far as this course goes, I like it more than I thought I did. I only played five practise holes, but I remembered all the holes, and I remembered all the lines. So it didn't bother me. But it was so windy yesterday, and the other three guys I signed up with at 7:50, they all bailed out because of the weather, so I was by myself behind two foursomes. Being out there for five hours by myself in a practise round? No, played 1, 2, 9, 17, 18, see you. I played four holes at Augusta one year, 1, 2, 8, 9; that was enough.

Q. What was your preparation last night?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Actually just went out to dinner with my wife and David Yates and Ben Harrison, my agents/managers and had a nice dinner, a couple beers, and it was 8:30, 9:00, sleeping. My usual kind of routine.

Q. The courses on the rota, where would this one rank for you?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, probably second to last. I do like it. And I'm not just saying that because I had a decent day today. But I like it more than I thought I was going to. The stories from what I heard, Steve Marino told me Tuesday that between him and Hunter Mahan and the two other guys they played with, nobody would have broke 80 on Tuesday. Hunter Mahan's caddie said between the four of them they only hit three greens in the first eight holes combined. I'm like, oh, great. It's going to be one of these deals.
Although it was windy today, it was still -- Thomas is having a great round, and there's some good scores out there. It's still playable, but it's still plenty windy, but it's a lot better than it was the last two days.

Q. Is this a chance to come out and have fun this week?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I obviously want to play well the rest of the week and just take it day by day and see what the weather brings us. I think tomorrow is supposed to be decent and maybe some rain coming in. But I don't have any -- I guess the long-range wild-dream goal would be to win it obviously, but wherever I finish I finish. I promised myself I wouldn't get mad and just do the best I could every hole. So one day down and three to go.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: The one I just mentioned a few minutes ago. St. Andrews, I love the town and the atmosphere and all that. It's the kind of Augusta of Scotland. It's one of my favourite places to get to. But by the end of the week I've just about had enough of it.
When I first played it I loved it. You know, I obviously loved it the first couple days last year and then it just got blown away and played bad on the weekend. But all of them are different in their own way. I've really grown to like Lytham that we're playing next year, so I'll be looking forward to that. And of course Muirfield and Liverpool and I assume back at St. Andrews in '15. I'm kind of hoping we squeeze a Royal Troon in there sometime before I'm done.

Q. How was your form coming in here?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It's been good. I've been hitting it good most all year. Out there on that Champions Tour you cannot afford to have a mediocre stretch of holes at any point. You know, last week I lost the tournament by five and I made no putts on Sunday and bogeyed the last three holes at old Del Monte, which is ridiculous. So there's another one that was close that just slipped away.
But tee to green I'm hitting it fine. I'm not worried about it. Putting, you know, can be a mystery. It's streaky. But I feel like I've been putting decent most of the time.

Q. When did you get over here?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Just Tuesday at about noon. We got out of here at about 1:00 Tuesday, and I had designs on playing a few holes, but it was so windy. Oddly I normally sleep pretty good. I had zero sleep on the plane all the way from San Francisco over here via Houston. I just wanted to stay awake on Tuesday, which I did, and came out and hit some balls and that was enough. It was so windy, everybody was telling me -- they got done, and they were like, Jesus. I was like, all right, I'll wait until tomorrow to play, and then Stricker, Jerry Kelly and Mark Wilson all stiffed me. So next thing you know, it was a five-holer.

Q. Have you had time to find any good beers?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: You know, I tried a few the other day with some of the locals at the New Inn. I wasn't fond of that John Smith's. That was pretty gross. The Torrid's Best, I liked that, that was pretty good, and there was another one that was pretty good, but I generally stick to the lagers of some sort, the Kronenbourg's or whatever.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, when I was in there I saw the shot he hit into 15. He obviously likes it here. Yeah, that's an awesome score. I thought he was minus 5, but yeah, that's really good.

Q. Did you think that score was out there?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It's possible. I really didn't make much. Obviously he's made some putts and hit a lot of good shots. But no, that's exceptional. That won't be caught, I promise you.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: A few. My wife has some friends from London here and they came over, like they do every year, and we'll go to dinner. Yeah, I'll have a few beers and a glass or two of wine, just like always. I enjoy myself. It's fun. We hung out at the Crispin Inn last night and ate at that Fisherman's Wharf restaurant. A lot of caddies hung by. Brandt Snedeker was over having a beer and my buddy Eric Larson, who caddies for Jeff Overton now, and we stood around outside, and it's fun. It's a good time, shoot the crap just standing there having a beer or two.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I did switch gears on that. It's a long way, No. 1. No. 2, I am a 99 percent Champions Tour player now, and it's a big tournament, it's the Senior British Open, and it's here, it's close. It just didn't make any sense to go to Shaughnessy. I'll miss it. It is one of my other favourite courses in the world. I know Louis Oosthuizen is going over to play it and I talked to him about it the other day, and he's looking forward to it. Yeah, I decided on that pretty much at the end of last year.

Q. What is it about this event that brings out the elders? You, Jiménez is out there at 47, is it that you can run it down the fairway?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, I think length doesn't usually come into much of a factor. But you know, everybody in this game moves it out there pretty good. You can talk about Luke Donald not hitting it very far. He hits it plenty far, and most everybody does now. Really distance isn't a factor. I think it's just a little bit of experience, just playing in this tournament enough years in a row to know what might happen and what you're going to get. They've all won it. Watson obviously loves it. Norman and Watson probably should have won this tournament back-to-back at 59 and 60 years old. Heck, I guess I'm young compared to that. I'd like to think I've still got a shot every year I come over here.

Q. Talk about the greens.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: They're obviously not scary fast and not overly difficult to read, so that could have something to do with it.

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