What they said: Mark Calcavecchia

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November 03, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Charles Schwab Cup Championship transcript archive

THE MODERATOR: Like to welcome Mark Calcavecchia. You're coming in on a nice roll since basically July. You had your first win, and looks like seven or eight straight top 10 finishes, including a ninth finish in San Antonio a couple weeks ago.

Maybe just talk about where your game is right now and looking ahead to the next four days.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, it's been a good stretch. I was saying earlier, you know, if I played like I played this year for the next nine or eight or seven years or whatever have you, I would be ecstatic with it.

Been overall very happy with pretty much all aspects of my game this year. Another win or two would have been nice, but, you know, sometimes -- you know, both seconds that I had I played well and just got beat.

Actually, the one in Alabama I had a pretty good grasp on that one at the Regence Tradition. I probably should have been able to get that one.

Anyway, all in all, very consistent year, which is nice. Not too many things went haywire. You know, I felt okay, so physically hung in there. Nothing really collapsed either - yet.

Having said that, my back is not feeling too good this week. I was digging up some grass yesterday, or Monday, you know, which turned out to be a mistake. But I'll try not to do that again.

So other than that, though, kind of ready to go.

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Talk about the course.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: The course was awesome. Ten times better condition than it was last year. Fairways are really, really good; the greens are beautiful. They're tough to read still. I didn't read 'em very good last year, although I did make a clutch 20-footer in the last hole to tie for 29th. Tied Joey Sindelar so I could get out of the solo DFL for a tie for DFL.

Today I hit some putts that seemingly broke uphill, but I don't know if that's just me. I thought the scores were pretty low last year. I know Michael Allen shot 61 and whatnot.

Anyway, the course is great. Hopefully it won't rain too, too much and it'll stay firm like it is. The greens are nice and firm and it's perfect right now.

Q. It's was really sloppy out here last year with the lift, clean, and place rule.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Every day, yeah.

Q. How tough was that? With more bad weather a possibility this week, can the bad weather be a benefit having dealt with it here before?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Maybe a little bit. Last year it was just -- you know, there wasn't really much grass on the fairways. It looked green to the general public, but when you got out there the grass was really thin. There were some instances where you couldn't even find a piece of grass within a club length.

It was kind of mucky. We had to play it up last year just because every ball was caked with mud when you got out there in the fairways. It was just one of those things where the weather -- they just couldn't grow any grass last year. I know the weather has been really good coming up to this point -- in the last two or three weeks anyway out here. I heard the course was in a lot better shape.

When it's like that, it's no big deal. It's just -- I think the main thing this year, the main difference is the firmness of the greens as opposed to last year.

There are some pretty long par-3s, and you've got to fly it quite a ways short of the hole. Your 5-iron is not stopping within 30 or 40 feet of where it lands, which is kind of nice.

The greens from Seattle were rock hard. I hit it pretty high and spin it as much as anybody, so rock hard usually works pretty good for me.

Q. How are you approaching all the scenarios with the Charles Schwab Cup? Are you paying any attention to that stuff, or do you just go out and do the best you can and let the chips fall where they will?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Pretty much. If I have a chance to win the tournament heading into Sunday or even the weekend -- the first couple days you just see what happens and where you're standing. If I have a chance to win come Sunday, then I'll pay attention to what Tom's doing and kind of figure out the scenario.

I know what needs to happen as of now. Basically, I've got to win have to have any chance. Or I can finish solo second; Tom's got to finish tied for 12th or worse.

You know, after that, it doesn't really matter. I think all 30 of us are here basically, number one, to try to win the tournament. I think that's everybody's goal.

Then wherever you end up in the Charles Schwab Cup, which is everybody's second goal -- obviously I would love to win it -- but mainly just want to try to win the tournament and see what happens after that.

Q. You referenced digging up grass. Was that at home in Jupiter? Was it a gardening mission that Brenda sent you on?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah. She gave me a choice. She said I could either help clean out tree in the middle of our driveway or dig up the grass, which wasn't about as big as this table, to make it easier to get that big ass bus that I now own into my driveway.

The gate a hitting the sod, and if I dug up the grass and smooth that out, the gate would open up about another foot. So I thought it was a good idea, and I was doing great on it until a chunk of sod would not come out. I got the shovel up under it and gave it the heave-ho up, and then my back gave it the heave-ho.

Then I just basically leaned on the mailbox and almost cried for about a minute. It felt like something just snapped, like a rubber bands just went twang. Immediately gave up on my mission and went in and laid on a bag of ice for about 20 minutes.

I think I'm okay. It's all right.

Q. Has anybody told you you make a great Rickie Fowler??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It was a funny, old, fat Rickie Fowler, yeah. In case you don't know, I was Rickie Fowler for Halloween. The most amazing Halloween party ever thrown or that I've ever seen -- guy hired Universal Studios to come into Elin Woods' house that she is going to tear down on the beach there and turned it into a haunted mansion. It was like the haunted house at Disney World.

It was amazing. Everybody was all dressed up. Really one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Yeah, I looked all right as Rickie. I had to cut all any hair off. My hair was kind of long because this wig I had I couldn't get over all my hair. I mean, I didn't quite go Rosenthorpe short over there, but...

Q. (No microphone.)

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: You know, actually, me and Brenda and her friend were in a Golf Galaxy in Columbus, Ohio. We stopped up there after Louisville, and they had this big giant stand of all Rickie's stuff, all Puma gear. I just grabbed one of his hats and put it on. It was a big one.

They started laughing at me and they go, You ought to be Rickie Fowler for Halloween. And of course Brenda went as Natalie Gulbis, so, yeah, that was pretty funny, too.

Q. (No microphone.)

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, yeah, about three months ago. Whenever Louisville. It was in May, wasn't it? Yeah. Then we kind of forget about it. Then once we found out about this party -- because we weren't going to do anything. Then once we found out -- Mia Parnevik called us up and told us we were invited, so we started scrounging up -- I couldn't find any orange pants. I was going to do the all-orange pants and the orange shirt and the hat and the wig.

Rickie thought it was pretty funny. He was there. He got a good laugh out of it.

Q. (No microphone.)

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No one could really figure it out. He looked like a white Steve Urkel kind of. I don't know if he was supposed to be a nerd or what, but -- yeah, a nerd.

Q. Tom was talking about after he got into the Champions Tour he believes that most of the golfers at this point in their life understand that this is still a game, maybe having a little bit different perspective. Talk about your perspective now and how you approach the game maybe differently as you understand where you are??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: You know, that's true. For some reason, it's the same game. I played six tour events this year and didn't have a very good time in all six of 'em.

Two weeks ago in Disney, the hole seemingly shrunk up on me. I don't know what happened. I putted terrible. I played a good round on Friday. Just like I been doing the last he three years, trying to make the cut. Made it right on the number.

Just miserable. Couldn't get anything going on the weekend. Just didn't have any fun. I don't know what it is. It's the same game. I think just out here I'm more in my element, I'm comfortable, I'm with guys I know instead of turning around ans looking at everybody's bag like who the hell is that guy?

My new favorite is that Gomez guy -- or, yeah, the long hair and the thing and the flat head going and the shades. I'm like, Who is that? Everybody said he's just hysterical, super nice guy. I don't know anybody.

Anyway, yeah, I just have more fun here. Treat it more like a game here. Not as serious about it. Although I am but it doesn't seem like it, you know what I mean? I don't know. It's a comfort zone thing, I guess, just knowing that I don't have to be bummed out on a Friday after missing the cut, you know.

Q. You were talking about not having played an tour, and you had your usually pretty good British Open. Good start. Obviously that's a links course. When you play regular tour tournament or out here, is distance a factor? In other words, you're a good sized guy. We're talking about a 5-iron to a par-3, would you hit the same club you're playing here or there? Do you notice any difference in guys here on this tour and the other tour?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: You know, not much. Very little really. You know, at Disney I played every day with Jeff Overton, which is a couple-shot penalty. I ought to be given a few shots off my score. (Laughter.) No, it was fine.

Anyway, he's about a half an iron longer than me. Played with Jerry Kelly and Overton on Sunday, and Jerry hits it the same distance I do. He's actually shorter off the tee. Distance isn't a factor for me. I can still be competitive out there distance-wise.

You have your group of guys that hit it miles and hit their 8-irons 180, whatnot. That's fine. They're exceptions. But that's not a reason that I feel like that I can't play that tour anymore. I know I can tee it up any given me, and if I play great, I can have a chance to win out there.

But I've been through that. You know, hopefully next year I'll get in three, four, five tournaments. Brenda and I were talking last night, and we were maybe trying to see if I can get into Sony.

I thought, Screw it. If we don't get into Sony, we'll go over to Hualalai a little early and hang out and have fun, you know. I don't need to play some of these tournaments that I played the last 25, 30 years.

Q. (No microphone.)

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Right. No, length really has no factor there. You know, none of the courses are super-duper long. Like I said, the ball rolls pretty good over there.

I had a great time. I really enjoyed Royal St. George's. I just got off to a horrible start Friday, it was windy, and that was the end of that. We went to Paris over the weekend and had a great time. I actually love Walton Heath. Got back in my comfort zone and almost won that one. Finished second.

So all in all, I still love the British Open. I love playing golf over there, so it's going to be fun for the next, you know, hopefully nine years that I'm in the regular Open that the Senior British is the week after.

Look forward to that two-week stretch every year for sure.

Q. You got any good buss stories? Why did you buy the bus? Is it really cost effective to you after all?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Actually it is. We were just talk this week. I don't miss the packing up and getting to the hotel and throwing your shit on the hotel shuttle bus. That didn't do my back good either.

It was just nice have to all your stuff there. Just got off a month in North Carolina, two weeks in Texas, Disney stretch, and had the dogs with us. It was just a blast.

It seems to work I think really well for this tour for the most part. It really is fun to drive. It's just comfortable. It's truly your home on wheels. You know, Brenda is not a good flyer. She's been talking about it for five or six years. I didn't think she was half serious most of the time, but she was. Finally she talked me into it, and I really took to it. I like it.

But it's not for everybody. Yeah, a motor home, the first bus we bought was a Tiffin Zephyr, a 45-footer. It was electrically cursed, so we got rid of it. Now we own a -- naturally we upgraded to the Prevost Millennium, which is pretty much the rock star bus.

I haven't hit anything with that yet. Took out my gate, the one that I just tried to widen by digging up the grass, with the other one. That wrecked quite a bit. I'm only the driver. Yep, I'm it.

Q. How many flat screens do you have in it??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Four. Plenty of TVs.

Q. (No microphone.)

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I don't know. We don't even know how big it is. It's a hell of a lot bigger than the hotel room we're in right now, I can promise you that. There is no bar in my hotel room either. Your got to go down to the lobby. That's a pain in the ass.

So you got your movies, your stereo, bar, refrigerator, two bathrooms in the thing. Got butt washers in it. What else do you need? It's unbelievable.

Q. (No microphone.)

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, that would be nice on occasion. Of all the miles we put in this summer, there were a couple days I didn't feel like driving. Like I said, I can get anywhere in a couple days. I can drive 800 miles a day. Doesn't bother me.

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