Calc an Unlikely Record Holder

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Mark Calcavecchia was his usual self ' a kid in a grownups suit. He wasnt feeling so good this weekend, and it wasnt just because Rocco Mediate nosed him out at Greensboro. The place can be full of pollen. When he tried to explain it, it came out all wrong. Mark looks gruff, but he isnt. He is going to answer your question first and fill in the niceties later.
 
This isnt an excuse, Calcavechia began, but all that pollen flying around almost killed me on the front nine. I mean, literally, snot was dripping down my nose. I dont know how you want to phrase that.
 
I sneezed like eight times on the seventh hole. My eyes were so fogged over from sneezing and watering and itching, I could hardly see and then, it would kind of fly down your throat and gag you. Everybody was coughing and hacking out there. It was tough. My eyes feel like Ive been awake all night.
 
Kind of like his experiments with the belly putter. You want debutant, you go to the cotillion. You want descriptions, you come on over to Calc.
 
More than anything else, its just not me, Calcavecchia began. I dont know whether my belly is too big to use it, or what. I mean, Ive got a big ol belly button. I plug it in there. It just aint me.
 
Actually, hes having a superb putting season, whatever style he uses. He is No. 3 on the tour in putting average, and at Greensboro he tied the record for fewest putts in a tournament. Hes used a standard grip, hes used this claw thing, and hes used something he called the belly claw with the butt of the putter jammed into his navel. Tthrough it all, hes stayed right there amongst the leaders.
 
But now its back to a straight claw, which really doesnt look so goofy anymore once youve seen that weird-looking long shaft stuck into your stomach.
 
Last week after I got done with the pro-am at Hilton Head, I just ' you know, the belly thing was ' I tried it two or three months ago, and it didnt feel great, he said. I tried it again at the TPC (Players) and I really opened my stance and I thought I was onto something and putted pretty good the first three days.
 
And then it all went south when my foot got hurt on Sunday (plantar fasciitis). And I took it to the Masters and I just couldnt deal with it on those greens.
 
So, that was the end of the famous belly claw. Now its just the claw. Are you into pretty? Neither one is close to pretty. The embarrassment of wielding a putter like a mechanic trying to get at a hidden screw is just too much for some people. Not Calc, no siree. He would putt standing on his head if he thought they would all go in the hole.
 
You know, it doesnt bother me, he said. Ive never been afraid to try things, whether its that or the long putter. Ill do whatever it takes to get the job done as best I can, no matter how it looks. Ive never been a fashion stud, you know. Im not worried about how I look.
 
Oh, about the record ' Calcavecchia says the reason for it is because he was missing the greens all week by an inch or two. It doesnt count as a putt when you roll it from off the green. A ball can be 20 feet from the hole, but if you stroke it and it was off the green, you only count the second putt as official.
 
I never thought about it all day, said Calcavecchia Sunday of the record 93 putts over four rounds. I was aware I didnt many have putts. I read in the paper or somebody told me I had only 67 putts though three days, and then I kind of went back and thought, How can that be? And I thought of all the greens and the fringes, and I must have putted 10 times in four days from an inch off the green.
 
Left unsaid is that of all the hundreds of thousands of rounds that have been played on tour, there have undoubtedly been tens of thousands that the golfer was barely missing the green. Calc set the record, and if it was partly due to the fact that a lot of the putts were not official putts, still it is an impressive figure.
 
Its luck, obviously, he said, then thought a second and stated the obvious: I did putt great all week. I wont deny that. But to miss as many greens as I did is almost impossible on top of that.
 
Hey ' a record is a record, right?
 
Right. And a description by Calcavecchia is a description unlike any other.
 
Right?