What they said: Mark Calcavecchia

May 07, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Regions Tradition transcript archive

MODERATOR: Mark, sort of a tale of two nines today, 32 on the front, 39 on the back, but you still maintain your lead after three rounds of the Regions Tradition. General comments about the round, then we'll go through it hole by hole.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I got away with murder on the front nine. I only hit a couple fairways and shot 4-under. Made some great up-and-downs, made some nice putts, chipped in on 5. You know, then I actually hit two really good shots on 11 and thought I was onto something, came right back and yanked the drive on 12.

And then what happened was kind of a fluke. I didn't even see the tree I hit because it was straight up. I was trying to get a 9-iron over the set of trees that I was looking at. Originally I had an 8-iron, which I could have flown into the middle of the green, but I thought no, just hit a 9-iron and make sure you get it over the tree, get it on the front of the green and try to two-putt from 100 feet. Well, I was on an upslope, but it was on dirt. This thing hit a tree. It never crossed my mind, I didn't even see that tree. I looked up and there's about a two-inch branch up there. I hit it solid, went over there left, made dub, and just kind of nothing good happened after that.

Anyway, I was kind of glad I ran out of holes and we'll start over tomorrow. I'll be a little bummed out for a while. Like I said the first day, some days you birdie the last three or four holes and you're happy as a lark and the other days you play your last seven holes 4-over and it's not such a happy time. But, you know, I'm still in a good spot obviously. I'll be looking forward to playing with Jay tomorrow and getting back at it.

MODERATOR: (no microphone.)

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Birdied 3, or hit actually a good drive, one of my few good ones of the day, and hit a 4-iron just on the front left edge of the corner of the bunker there. I was only about 25 feet from the hole, but I had to -- it was like a cliff going down to the bunker and I had to stand with my feet way below the ball and grip it halfway down the shaft on the metal and chipped it by about 10 feet, which wasn't bad considering the stance I had. I made that.

Then I hit a good looking iron on 5, but I hit it too good or the wind didn't get it or whatever happened. It went just over the green, but I still had a real tough chip and I flopped it down there and it broke and went in the hole.

MODERATOR: How far was that??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Probably 40 feet.

6, hit it in the fairway bunker, laid up, hit a nice sand wedge in there about 10 feet left of the hole and made that.

Then the next hole actually made a great par. Hit it in the lip of the fairway bunker, right under the face of it, had to blast out almost sideways and had a 9-iron to a foot, saved par there.

9, I hit a good 3-wood off the tee and 8-iron to about two feet, so made birdie there.

11, one of my other few good drives of the day, right down the middle and hit a 3-iron about 30 feet, almost made that, two-putted for birdie.

Then the 12th, I hit the tree, went over there left, chipped out, chunked the sand wedge, actually made about a six-footer for double.

Then the next hole I made the cardinal sin of kind of aiming 20-feet right of the hole, and a lot of times when I do that, I'll subconsciously yank it back at the hole and the last thing I wanted to do was yank it left of the green there and screw up another hole, so I kind of over-safetied, did the opposite, hit it dead right, right side of the green.

MODERATOR: What club??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: 7-iron, perfect club. I mean, I just, that was a mental error. That was just a stupid bogey. But I regrouped and hit a good tee shot, 3-wood off the next tee, beautiful wedge eight feet. I don't know how that one didn't go in.

Good tee shot, made a 30-footer on 16. Great drive on 17, so I'm fine, looking to birdie that hole. Wind's blowing pretty good at the time and 240 to the hole, 3-wood and just caught an absolute knuckleball, screaming, toe nonspinning -- the kind of shot you would love to hit off the tee with a 3-wood, but it wasn't what I was looking for. Even though it was into the wind, I was trying to just hit it in the air. Got back there by the TV tower. Shitty lie and I decided I was going to putt that one, so I putted that one over the hill, down the hill, up against the rough on the other side. Then I went to the old skull L wedge from there, six feet, misread it, it didn't break, parred the last hole.

MODERATOR: Mark, you had a good save at the fourth hole, right??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Fourth was another good save, yeah, made about an 18-footer maybe for par there. Hit it right, wasn't way right, just as far as Kenny's drive was. Every time I hit it in the woods, it hit a tree and goes backwards and further in the trees. One day I would like to hit it in the tree and have it fly out in the fairway. I don't know how you do that. Wedge over the tree short of the green, chunked the chip up there out of a horrible lie short of the green, mud, one of those nasty bermuda no-grass mud lies, but anyway, made 18-footer for par.

MODERATOR: Okay. We'll quickly do questions, just wait for the mic here.

Q. I mean, I know you're going to be bummed for a while because of the way you've hit it, but when you look up at the scoreboard, you're still in the lead. Pernice doubled on 18. I mean, is that some relief where you're not going to beat yourself over this kind of round??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, I'll be all right, I'll be all right. I've got a great opportunity tomorrow. It seems like kind of my whole career I've had a way of making things interesting. Every Phoenix Open I won a blowout; all the other ones I somehow tried to make close, which is probably why I have so many seconds, because I've blown some tournaments in my day, but everybody has.

But to answer your question, I'll be fine. I'll be ready and excited and happy as a lark tomorrow.

Q. Mark, you sort of got the birdie at 11. Were you aware that you were ahead by six and in such fine shape there??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I was aware of that. I happened to see the board right of the water at 11, it's the noisiest scoreboard in the history of golf, that makes an unbelievable amount of racket. I can't believe someone hasn't complained about that. You're getting ready to putt, it clicks changing scores.

But anyways, yeah, I didn't have anything to do with the tee shot, it was just another bad one. I've hit a lot of bad ones this week and got pretty lucky most of the time, to tell you the truth, and made some great saves.

But this one, you know, like I said, had I not hit it that high, it would have gone to the front of the green. I only had 140 to the front and a kill 9-iron would have got me in the front and I could have made par. I just never saw it. One of those things, you know, so it certainly was a momentum changer for sure, but it was a bad drive.

As I said, I've hit a lot of bad drives this week and most of the time I've gotten away with it. Made some good saves. Didn't work out that time and really nothing good happened after that, but I hung in there. Actually hit a lot of good shots the last five holes. In fact, I hit them all pretty good really. Yeah, I'm all right.