Calcavecchia at home in Canada, on Champions Tourtext sizeJuly 01, 2010
Marty Henwood, Special to PGATOUR.COM
MONTREAL, Canada -- As Canada Day dawns across this sprawling land Thursday morning, don't be surprised if Mark Calcavecchia gets in on the festivities. Pours a little extra maple syrup on his pancakes. Hangs the ol' red and white Maple Leaf flag from the car. Belts out a few notes of "O Canada."
Surely, with two PGA TOUR wins and a record-setting round on his Canadian resume, Calcavecchia was aware of Canada's birthday on July 1, right?
"I did not know that," he laughs.
Oh, well. Then again, given his success north of the 49th, Calcavecchia couldn't be faulted for at least applying for dual citizenship. If wins at the 1997 Greater Vancouver Open and 2005 Canadian Open weren't enough, Calcavecchia re-wrote the PGA TOUR record books last summer by racking up nine straight birdies at the RBC Canadian Open.
O Canada, indeed.
"I was thinking of that earlier, I've played a lot of great golf in this country," Calcavecchia added. "A lot of great things have happened to me here. You never know -- it could just be one of those countries where I just excel. It's a special place for me."
As the inaugural Montreal Championship presented by Desjardins gets set to lift the curtain Friday morning at scenic Club de golf Le Fontainebleau in suburban Montreal, Calcavecchia is looking to add another piece of Canadiana to his rather impressive trophy case.
In just his second Champions Tour start, coming off a tie for sixth at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open, Calcavecchia has found a new home away from home.
In more ways than one.
"I feel like I am a part of this group," says Calcavecchia of his Champions Tour colleagues. "It will take a few weeks to get in the swing of things, but I think I'm going to love the Champions Tour. This suits my game, my personality."
The change of scenery is also a welcome change for Calcavecchia, who admits all he could think about was making the cut in the past couple of years on the PGA TOUR.
That's a worry he doesn't have on the 50-and-over circuit, and Calcavecchia sees it as a fresh start of sorts.
"You know you're going to be golfing on Saturday and Sunday, and I hadn't known that in my head for a couple of years," he says. "It seems like for a year and a half I've been just hoping to make the cut.
"Out here you start fresh on Friday, go out there and just have some fun. You're still playing Saturday and Sunday, no matter what. You have to be aggressive and go after it. If you do well, great, if you don't you start over next week. Just knowing you're going to be here all week is a huge difference for me."
Needless to say, Calcavecchia is raring to go in Montreal as he chases his third career win on Canadian soil. Both his PGA TOUR wins came in British Columbia.
Now he's hoping to bring that magic a few thousand kilometers east.
"The crowds are going to be great this week, everyone is fired up to have a tournament here," he says. "This is going to be a lot of fun."
Probably one of the last places on earth you would expect to find Mark Calcavecchia is among the teenyboppers and 20-somethings at a Lady Gaga concert, but that is exactly where he was with his family Monday night as the pop sensation performed at Montreal's Bell Centre.
And no, he didn't need to pull out the earplugs. Calcavecchia may be a rock and roll kinda guy at heart but, while he wasn't exactly going gaga over Gaga, he was duly impressed.
"I can only tell you it was nothing short of outstanding," he says. "There were some interesting-looking people there, that's for sure.
"There were plenty of guys there that looked like me -- most of them were taking their daughters," Calcavecchia adds with a chuckle. "I'm a little more comfortable at a Rush concert or AC/DC or Metallica show, but it was great entertainment value."
Now it's time for Calcavecchia to get down to work in a country he may as well call home.