Calcavecchia looks for consistency at 3M

By Associated PressAugust 5, 2010, 6:17 pm

Champions TourBLAINE, Minn. – When Mark Calcavecchia pulled into the TPC Twin Cities course parking lot and saw his name on a sign with “Champions Tour” above it, he felt he was at the right place.

His time has come to play on the Champions Tour, and his challenge now is finding the confidence and consistency he needs to stay competitive in the new environment.

Calcavecchia won 13 tournaments in 30 years on the PGA Tour. Just last month, a strong second round at the British Open put him in second place entering the weekend.

But his last win came in March 2007 at the PODS Championship in Florida. In 23 events last year, he had just three top-10 finishes. This year, he made only eight of 15 cuts. His average finish when qualifying for weekend play is 55.6.

“After I won in 2007 and had a good year when I was 47 years old, I think I just kind of took the next two years off mentally and just kind of checked out and waited until I turned 50,” Calcavecchia said. “Even though I thought I was trying and that I could … play well out there, I just sort of didn’t and I lost interest.”

Calcavecchia is preparing this week for the 3M Championship, his fifth tournament on the 50-and-over tour.

“The first two were about as opposite as you can get from the last two I played,” he said Wednesday.

Calcavecchia, who turned 50 on June 12, finished sixth at 12-under par in his tour debut at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in late June. He was 16th with an 11-under at the Montreal Championship in early July.

After shooting his first sub-70 score in 20 rounds since March 14, Calcavecchia found himself in second place at the British Open. But he shot 77 and 80 on the weekend and finished 73rd.

Calcavecchia returned to the Champions Tour to finish 14th at the Senior British Open one week later and tied for 24th at last week’s U.S. Senior Open.

He was a combined 12-over par at the two major tournaments.

“Overall, after four tournaments I’d give myself a C-plus. I’m playing OK, probably slightly above-average, but certainly nothing great. I haven’t had a chance to win yet,” Calcavecchia said. “It’s tough. These guys are still great players out here.”

Players like Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Nick Price and Tom Watson are who Calcavecchia wants to play now, in part because the Champions Tour better fits his laid-back approach.

“I’ve said for three years that I’ve been looking forward to getting out here,” he said. “The golf is still super-duper competitive, yet it is a little more relaxed. It’s not like just because you turn 50 all of sudden you’re not any good anymore.”

The mental part of the game has made him a streakier player than most, if not all, of his competitors.

“When you’ve got a strong faith in your swing and what you’re doing, three or four bad shots won’t affect you that much,” he said. “In my case, if I play three or four bad holes in a row, hit a couple of bad iron shots, drive in the junk, then all of the sudden I’m like, ‘Jesus, I suck. What am I doing out here?”’

His phone lesson with Peter Kostis before last week’s U.S. Senior Open allowed Calcavecchia to hit the ball “better than I scored.” He also liked how he hit the ball during a “quick 18” on Tuesday.

So will it be enough to defeat Langer? The defending 3M champion is the hottest player on tour with wins the past two weeks.

“He’s the guy to beat for sure,” Calcavecchia said. “I played with him the first two days last week, and he didn’t do anything spectacular. … It’s not like he’s hitting every shot perfect or anything. He’s just playing really smart, solid golf, and he hit a lot of putts. He made three or four bombs, and every 6- or 7-footer he needed for par he made.”

Coming off a tough travel schedule for the players, including an eight-time-zone change between the Senior British Open in Scotland and last week’s U.S. Senior Open outside Seattle, a few of the top names are sitting out this week: Couples, Watson and Corey Pavin.

Tom Lehman, a native of Alexandria, Minn., was scheduled to make his first appearance in the tournament. However, he withdrew on Monday with a right knee injury.

Thanks to strong sponsorships, admission to the tournament is free for the second straight year.

“I want everybody in Minnesota to come out and be part of the event,” said tournament director Hollis Cavner. “We want people to come see what we have and enjoy some great golf.”

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Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.

Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

“The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

“The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

Pay per view does that.

“You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

Trail date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

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Finally got it down lol

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But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

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How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

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If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.

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Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 4:20 pm

In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.

“Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.

Click here for a look at all three episodes in the series, as well as past Golf Lives films (check out the trailer below).

And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus: 


Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)

Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations. 


Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)

The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club. 


Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)

In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.