What they said: Mark Calcavecchia

May 05, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Regions Tradition transcript archive MODERATOR: Mark, 68 and then nice way to celebrate your anniversary today.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yes, it was. My wife pointed out to me I made six birdies and this is our sixth anniversary, so I guess that was the good news. I pointed out to her, six years ago in Italy I shot 78 and then we got married, so today's a little bit better.

Yeah, it was a good day, especially considering I doubled the first hole right off the bat. I just hit it a foot into the right rough and I was in a divot in the rough, and it never crossed my mind, you know, because it's sitting in dirt, that I'd hit a flyer. I hit this thing, it took off like a shot out of a cannon, airmailed the green. If you've ever walked over that green, you're pretty much screwed. I chipped it across the green into the bunker anyway, missed a 5-footer, made 6.

Other than that, I told myself there's 71 holes left. Every player in this tournament's going to make one double bogey this week. Well, maybe not every one but there's a good chance of it somewhere along the line.

So I forgot about it, moved on. Really played good. I didn't drive it as well as I'd like, but I hit a great drive on the last hole so I might be onto something. If I hit my driver a little bit better the rest of the week, I should be okay.

MODERATOR: Birdies starting at number 3, do you remember shot sequence?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yep. Third hole, I pulled my drive into the fairway bunker, hit an 8-iron out of there, had 103 yards to the hole and hit a sand wedge to about five feet, made that.

Birdied the 6th hole, another par 5, drive in the fairway, driver, 15 yards short of the green there. I knew I couldn't get there. It was kind of a risky shot to hit a 3-wood, but the pin was kind of back left and even if I hit it in the right rough, it would have been fine, so that's what I figured. Hit a perfect 3-wood just short of the green, about 10 feet short, and made that.

Tenth hole, I was in the left trees and hit it on the front of the green about 30 feet short of the hole and luckily made that one. It was going about six or seven feet by. It was up the hill. The pin's right on top of the hill, kind of a tough pin placement really but I lucked that one in. That was nice.

Then I birdied the last three holes. Sixteen is probably one of the hardest holes of the day, or will be. Pin's back left back there and I hit a 5-iron about 18 feet left of the hole there on the edge of the green and made that.

I had to lay up on 17 after a bad drive, hit a sand wedge in there about eight feet, made that. Finally hit my best drive of the day by far on 18 and had a perfect yardage for a 9-iron from 147 and zipped it in there to about 10 inches. I just tapped that one in there, good way to finish.

MODERATOR: Okay. Questions?

Q. Can you just talk a little about in the year since you've come out, just where things seem to have gone, where you seem to stand, especially now, off to a good start in this round? I know you haven't had a victory yet since you've been out here.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Right. I really enjoy this Tour. This is where I belong, I know that now. You know, I went through a little bit of a stretch last year where I kind of missed the PGA TOUR, sometimes this year. I was actually going to play last week in New Orleans and forgot to commit, but it's the second time I've ever done that in 30 years, so maybe that was a sign, I don't know. I've forgotten about not winning out here. I'm kind of in a mode where if you play well, that'll take care of itself. I'm not putting pressure on myself to do it because it's not an easy thing to do unless you're a certain handful of players that seem to win quite a bit, and I'm not as good as those guys are and I know that. So if I win and when I win, that'll be great, but for now, I'm just, you know, doing the best I can out here and just seeing where they all add up. I love this Tour and this is where I belong, so I enjoy it out here.

Q. What did you hit on the first shot -- second shot on the 1st hole??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It was a pitching wedge. Had 132 yards and I was going right at it. It was in a divot but it wasn't a bad lie and it was just sitting in the dirt. There was some rough around it, but I didn't skull it because I hit it way up in the air. Thought I hit a hell of a shot, then I thought maybe that'd better sit down a little. It flew 20 feet past the hole but it landed right on the downslope. There's a ledge and this thing went 30 more yards. I thought it might be in a hazard back there. I didn't even know what was back there. There's no way you could even hit the green if you put it on a tee from back there. I tried to bump it in, run it through the hill and it hopped over the hill, went down in the bunker. Good bunker shot out about five feet, yanked it, six.

Q. Would the younger Calc have had a hard time getting over that or no??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, I still have a hard time getting over it sometimes. I kind of thought to myself yesterday in the pro-am, I played well and only made one bogey all day and that was just because I was tired toward the end of the day. I thought to myself, how do you hack it around in a pro-am and not really concentrate and make one accidental bogey, then you come right out and double the first hole in the tournament when the bell rings. But I got up to the second hole and hit a good drive, the second hole's a pretty hard hole, and a good iron shot. I was fine after that.

Q. You mentioned that you still have a hard time getting over things like that. Finishing the way you did though, what does that do mentally for you after today??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: That's always a good thing. When you finish great like that, it certainly makes the rest of the day go good. You know, anniversary dinner, a little bit nicer tonight. We've got a big night planned at Hooter's or Lloyd's or Chili's or something. I'm taking her to a nice place; she doesn't know where yet, but I am. Actually, I don't even know where yet but anyway, yeah, it's always fun to do that, finish like that. It makes the rest of the day so much nicer. You go through stretches where sometimes you seem to get in the habit of finishing good and then other stretches where you bogey the last hole two or three or four days in a row. Golf's weird like that. It does -- it runs in weird cycles. It's been like that with me. I've been a streaky player my whole life. I get on good streaks where I finish like that and I get on other streaks where I don't, where it goes the other way. I loved finishing like that, it was nice. Actually, I told Brenda on 16, we were walking off the 15th green, I said, Okay, we've got to birdie -- I want to get to 3-under, we've got to birdie two of the last three. So then I birdied 16 and 17 and she says to me, Well, you might as well birdie the last hole while you're at it, so we did and it was nice.

Q. (Inaudible regarding Children's Hospital visit.) What was that experience like?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It was great. It's never something that is easy to do, but once you get there and we went with -- Brenda and I went with Russ and Jackie Cochran, and Jackie used to be a nurse. We were kind of a little shy and it was kind of quiet. A couple of the kids -- you couldn't bring cameras. The cameras were there and you couldn't bring them in. Jackie was just phenomenal. She's got such an outgoing personality and she really got the ball rolling and that kind of loosened up me and Russ and Brenda a little bit. Then we must have saw 10 kids and there was this guy there that had all these quilts, so we gave T-shirts and quilts and stuff. Some kids didn't say much, and other kids, this one kid was just unbelievably excited, told us we made his day. Most of them were in there for the storm last week, tornado victims. One kid was in there, 14-year old boy had to have some sort of major back surgery from football.

So we saw a little bit of everything. The last little kid, little five-year old boy really kind of moved us. I won't get into the whole story, but Brenda, she kind of lost it and just got all emotional. It's an emotional thing. You feel good after you do it. You know, they kind of gave us a little bit of, or me, a little bit -- I thought of that today, a little bit of an attitude boost. You know, it's not so tough out here playing golf when you see what they're going through.