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November 4, 2011

Mark Calcavecchia


THE MODERATOR: 3-under par 68 today. You played your way right into contention after 36 holes. We just had Bernhard Langer in here. It's not easy for anyone out there, it appears. You're right there with 36 to go. A few thoughts about your round.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, it's good, man. The course is playing tough. There are a few birdie holes out there. There's some really tough ones. I think the greens are difficult to read.
As far as my game goes, it was two opposite days. Yesterday I shot a 71. Probably could have been a 75 or 76. Actually made a lot of putts. Then today I shot 3-under, flew a sand wedge in the hole, but made zero putts, so it could have been a 65.
Been kind of a weird two days. The good news is I hit it a lot better today. Threw a new driver in the bag. Ping shipped one overnight because I drove it so crappy yesterday. It was the only driver I brought. I thought the head was loose on it, but it's probably my head that's loose (laughter). It was going all over the place. Threw a new one in the bag today and drove it great.
I just made no putts today. But good news is, like I said, holed out a wedge and had a couple close tap-in birdies, shot 3-under, which is always good in here.
THE MODERATOR: Take us through the round before we go to questions.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Birdied 1 again, which was nice. Good drive. I sand wedged to about 10 feet. That was my long putt of the day, by the way. Made that one.
Bogeyed the next hole. Missed a 5-footer for par.
Fifth hole, great hook, 3-wood, around the trees, hard sand wedge two feet. Tapped that in for birdie.
7th hole, 5-wood off the tee, 106 to the hole, flew it in right there. Didn't even damage the cup. It was amazing. Just flew right in and stayed there. That was nice.
9th hole, hit it in the edge of the bunker, but it was in the grass, short right of the green, had a tough up-and-down. Great flopshot to about six feet and lipped that one in barely.
Made a bunch of pars until I 3-putted 14.
On 16, I hit a driver just left of the green in the rough, hit a nice flopshot out to three feet. Made that for birdie.
On 17, I plugged it in the face of the bunker. Hit a good bunker shot out to six feet and missed that.
THE MODERATOR: How long was your 3-putt at 14?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: From 35 feet. I blew the first putt about eight feet by.
THE MODERATOR: We'll go to questions.

Q. The hole before that on 13, looked like you had a 3-footer. Did that linger with you for a while?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It did. I hit a great 8-iron in there. It was about three and a half feet tops. Bernhard said it hit something. I played left center, didn't hit it hard enough. It broke a lot and I missed it. I couldn't believe I missed it, to tell you the truth. I thought I was going to make it.
But next hole I hit a great drive. I was fine. 7-iron, pulled it a little bit. I just blanked out, blasted that one eight feet by. Hit a good putt there and it didn't break. The one on the hole before broke and missed, then the 3-putt it didn't break.
I mean, it definitely could have been better. 17, missing that putt pissed me off. Then I don't know how the putt missed on 18.
One of those days. Yesterday, like I said, I turned a 76 into a 71. Today I probably turned a 64 into a 68. So I'm probably right where I should be.

Q. Mark, when did you decide during the round that you needed another driver? Did you contact Ping during the round?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I decided on the 10th hole yesterday. Actually, I hit a drive on 9. I never hit one like this before. This thing took off about 60 yards left, heading straight for one of those vans in the parking lot. Hit a tree, otherwise it was going out of bounds by 40 yards. I thought, There's something wrong with my driver.
Then on 10, I hit a 50-yard snap slice. Now I'm looking for my buddy who was supposed to come out here who has his phone. He finally shows up on 15. I get ahold of him. I have him call Chance Cosby from Ping. I told him, when he gets ahold of Chance to say that Mark thinks the head on his driver is loose, he needs a couple drivers built to get here ASAP, as fast as possible in the morning. This was probably maybe 2:30 in the afternoon or 3:00. Plenty of time.
Ping whips together two drivers. They were here at 8:00 this morning. Took one of them out to the range and I felt good with it, went with it. Thank you Ping and FedEx. It's kind of amazing.
I got it just in time and threw it in the bag, so...

Q. It worked?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I drove great with it. Only hit one bad drive with it today.

Q. Is that the G20?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: G20, yup. Almost the same shaft. They gave me one I think with a little less torque. It's got some numbers on the side of it. I get this question all the time from amateurs. What torque do you use? How many grams? I say, I don't know. I grab a driver, if it feels good, I'll go with it. I'm really not technically up on specifications.
The other one said 60, which I know is the grams. It says 3.4, then stiff. This one says 2.9. I'm guesstimating that's the torque. It feels a little bit stiffer, so maybe the torque is less or more. I don't know.

Q. Are you one of these guys, you hit it well today, but you wake up, your body might feel different tomorrow, do you have to adjust for that? Are you going to go with it?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, I'll just go with it for a little while. You're right, everything does feel different every day you wake up. Today I had a mystery left hip pain on the range. Then my right wrist and thumb went haywire on the back nine. Stuff falls apart left and right with me.
But, you know, you adjust, you adapt and you just go with it. Depending on how you're hitting it, if tomorrow I hit a few right, I'll try not to hit it right on the next hole. You just go with it and adapt and try to adjust and get yourself around the golf course.

Q. As far as the Schwab Cup, do you keep track of how Lehman is doing? Do you peek?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, not yet. We played yesterday. He made no putts yesterday. Shot 1-under, two birdies, one bogey. He's steady. He's solid. I don't know what he shot today. I saw he was 1-under or something like that, 2-under. I don't know what he shot.
He's hanging around. He'll be there at the end. I'm not going to pay attention to him or David Frost or anybody else. There's two rounds left. We'll see what happens with the weather. The course is playing tough. But I'm in a good spot. First and foremost I'm going to try to win. If that's enough to win the Schwab Cup, then that would cap off a great year for sure. If not, and Tom wins, I don't win the Schwab Cup, that's fine, too, he deserves to win it.

Q. What was the final verdict, club head or your head was the problem?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Brenda said it was my fault. My caddie says it was me, that I just sucked with it. I think the driver's okay. I think I was just in another place. It was weird, though. It was weird.
You know when you make a horrible swing, you can feel it. This one I hit on 9, it took off literally 45 degrees sideways and it was high. It was the strangest thing. It just felt like the club head twisted when I hit it. Luckily it hit a tree. Like I said, it was heading for the vans in the middle of the parking lot. It was 50 yards out of bounds. Hit a tree and dropped.
I think the driver is probably okay.

Q. You were talking about your mystery hip thing. No relevance to the things you did with your motorhome that you were talking about the other day?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, no. No aftereffects on that. Just one thing or another with me. I'll be okay. See how I feel tomorrow. Hopefully the weather will hang in there for us the next couple of days and it should be an exciting finish.

Q. How do you deal with pain? Is it Advil?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: One Celebrex and one Vicodin usually do me in, quite honestly. Celebrex before I leave the hotel room and a Vicodin on the range. That usually lasts till about 15. Then the last four holes I just tough it out, so... That's my cocktail. Of course, that's only on tournament days. Pro-ams and practice rounds I tough it out because I don't want to waste good painkillers.
THE MODERATOR: Mark, thank you. Good luck the rest of the week.

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