What they said: Mark Calcavecchia

March 17, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE: Toshiba Classic transcript archive

DAVE SENKO: Mark, another 67 today, 8-under, just a quick run down on your day and then we will get some questions.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: You know, that's a good score. I don't think there was any better today. It was tough out there at times. It was raining heavy. Obviously, right before the delay was the hardest time. You know, cold, I can handle pretty good. And wind I'm all right. But cold, wind and rain is a pretty wicked combo.

So it was pretty bad for a few holes there right before the delay, and then I was kind of off and on after that once we went back out. But, you know, all in all I hit it pretty good. I hit 16 greens today. The two bogeys I made were both 3 putts. So it was pretty solid, really.

DAVE SENKO: Where were you when they blew the horn?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: On 7 green. No, 6 green. I made a great par on 5 when the weather was at its worst. 6, I hit probably the two best two shots of the day, driver, 3-iron on the front edge. I hit a driver and 9-iron on that hole yesterday. And Mark McNulty, he doesn't hit it far, but he hit driver, 3-wood short of the green. So that's how bad it was. Then, of course, we went back out, I putted it up there about three feet short and missed that. So it wasn't a very good way to start the restart. Then I got right back and birdied the next hole. So after that it was good.

DAVE SENKO: What was your birdie at No. 7 ? Do you remember how long the putt was?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: 7 was about five feet. 9 was a nice little 35-footer.


MARK CALCAVECCHIA: 15 feet. 15, four feet. 18, 2 inches.

Q. Good save on 17.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, I didn't hit a great shot. It was one of the greens I missed. I flew it 25 feet right of the hole. It came within a foot of going in the water. It started, it spun back. McNulty hit the exact same shot and his stayed there. Any ways, it spun back, trickled down the hill, through the fringe, into the bunker and the bunker is like running about 8 right now on the stint. It was packed, hard sand. Luckily, I guess, although it was unlucky I ended up there, over where the water is, the actual sand ran up a little bit before the railroad ties.

Otherwise if it would have kept going this way it would have been in the water which would have been about the workplace in history. Any way, a tough bunker shot, and I kind of blasted it about 18 feet by, almost off the back of the green there, and I made the downhill 18-footer for par.

DAVE SENKO: What did you hit?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: 7-iron off the tee.

Q. You were confident, you made a lot of putts??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yes, these greens are tough. Everybody will tell you anything outside of 18 inches is missable. That's the nature of poa annua. Just like Pebble Beach all of those years, the same sort of thing. But, you know, it helps playing with Larry Mize, a guy like that who has got such a smooth stroke, just watching his tempo helps me. I just try to stay smooth like Larry. That was really one of my putting thoughts. Although I've missed four 4 footers, I guess you could say. I missed 2 of these both days, I think everybody has. Even Larry missed a few. And Mark McNulty putts great, too. He missed a 2-footer today. Saw Frosty miss, it couldn't have been 2a 18-incher yesterday. And that kind of stuff happens on these greens.

Q. Obviously it's frustrating, do you just go in knowing that that might happen??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Pretty much. I told Billy Ray, he said, what's your strategy for tomorrow? I said, just try to leave myself with a lot of tap-ins. I am hitting it good. The same thing tee to green. There is quite a few birdie holes out here. But I try to par the hard holes and take your birdies where you get them. And if you get, you know, anything outside of 15 feet, really, just get it up there where you could tap it in, that's about it.

Q. Sunday mornings when you are in contention on this Tour, do you have the same feelings that you would have on the PGA TOUR??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I would say no. There is no way near the nerves and the stress. Obviously I blew the tournament in Boca because I got nervous, and I missed a little putt. Everything kind of went wrong from there. But I learned from that. If I miss a few little ones tomorrow, I'm not going to worry about it. This is the Champions Tour. Crying out loud, it's not the U.S. Open or Masters.

Everybody out here wants to win. A lot of guys want to win really bad, and I am one of them. But I won't be overly nerved out in the morning. I'll be fine. I'm not sure when the tee times are going to be. I keep hearing different things about the weather. I know it's going to be colder. I heard the weather was supposed to be better in the afternoon than the morning.

DAVE SENKO: Windy 20, 25.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Supposed to rain off and on, possible?

DAVE SENKO: Yes, nothing specific.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: The last thing I saw when I left this morning that it looked like it was going to be okay after around 1:00. So we'll see.

Q. What determines whether you putt well or not? Is it all mental for you?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yes, mostly. I know a lot of guys would probably consider me a pretty good butter. But I have a tendency to get a little shaky. I've always been kind of streaky. But last year I thought I putted really good almost all year. And there wasn't a whole lot of self bad talk like, you suck, and I am the worst putter in the history of golf and all of this other stuff that's been rattling through my head in the last month. I looked him, and I said, Larry made another nice putt.

I said, God, it would be nice to putt like that.

I putt okay. I get pretty down on occasion when I start missing. As most guys probably do, but they probably just don't tell themselves they suck as much as I do, or something like that. But to come right back and make one on the next hole, all of a sudden, okay, and that kind of happened when I missed the little ones coming out of the 3-footer on 7. The next hole I had a five-footer. The next hole on seven, I had a five-footer downhill left-to-right and peered it right in there.

The hole before, I'm serious, it was this far, I just shanked it. It missed the hole by an inch. A mortal shank of a putt. 4th hole I had a four-footer for par and dead yanked it. The rest of the day I putted good.

Q. Everybody talks about technology and golf, and I know there is new putters, much technology there, has putting be more consistent with technology??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: For sure. Absolutely. Mark McNulty is using a 1970 bulls eye. There is nice putters and putters that guys think roll the ball better and all of this other stuff. Whether you belly putt, you are up here, what have you, it's between your ears and you got to hit it right and hit it with the right speed.

There is a lot of that goes into putting. You could make putts, like I said, with a lady's putter, an old Cash In from the 60's and putt good. That's it. How much could go wrong? A lot.

Q. One thing I've heard TV announcers say about you, never about other golfers, when you make a couple of birdies, he might get on a roll, he is not afraid of having five or six in a row. Are there other pros scared of having five or six birdies in a row? For some reason they say you are just not afraid.

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: That might have been more of a factor, a popular saying 20 years ago when I was sort of in my prime and I could shoot a lot of low numbers. As time goes on now, none of these kid are afraid of going low. There used to be a time, or you might get 4 or 5-under, and you go, oh God,, make some pars, keep it here, and get it, instead of trying to get to seven or eight or 9-under or what have you.

But I think on this Tour, there is really know hold on. You got to keep going. That suits me. You need to play aggressively out here. I knew this Tour would suit my personality and my game because you got to just fire right at it. And you got 54 holes, and you just got to -- most of the time we have six or seven tournaments that are four rounds. Six tournaments, I think. But all of the rest of them you got to take it to him.

Q. Can you say real quick how you felt about 18??

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Today? Great, I hit 2 perfect shots on a great putt and made a 4. So it was a nice way to finish. Couples was making a lucky par on 17. As it turned out, making that putt, it was probably going five feet by. So I could have made a 5 there, possibly and got away with a 3. I hit a real good putt, I was above the hole. I knew it was fast. I talked about it. I didn't want to leave myself a 3-footer coming back, and I hit it right where I wanted to, perfect execution, it just missed. So it was a good way to finish for sure.

DAVE SENKO: Thank you.