Mark Calcavecchia Saturday Masters Press Conference Transcript
Q. Did you feed off Darren at all? Until he had that double, he was doing pretty well, as well.
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Darren got off to a good start. He was a couple under through five and played great on the front. Had a few birdies but a bad break on 7 when he made a bogey. You know, he's such a nice guy, and we're friends, anyway. You know, when you hit a good shot, he'll tell you, 'Good shot.' We had a few laughs out there. But as far as feeding off him, not really. I was still trying to get around there as best I could. When I birdied 10 and 11, I realized I set myself up to have a good day with those two holes. I got one birdie on 13 and was kind of looking for another one or two coming in, but that was in.
Q. It looked like the last four holes, you had birdie putts and two of them looked like you pushed them, on 18 and on 15?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Exactly. I sure did. I had them read both perfectly, too. That was one of the couple putts I was talking about. I had about a seven-footer on 15, just a right-center putt just straight up the hill. Yeah, I pushed it. 16, I just didn't hit it hard enough. I had it read right. It was a big sweeper right-to-left. On those sometimes you know it is going to be fast down by the hole, but because you are putting it up into the hill before it starts breaking, it is actually almost uphill first and the second I hit it I knew I didn't hit it hard enough. 17, I hit a great putt and I just misread it. I didn't think it was going to break that much. 18, I was all over the read there, and I pushed it about a ball, and that's about what it missed by.
Q. There are three guys up there with you and DiMarco and Rocco who use unconventional putting strokes. Given the nature of this golf course is it about technique or about confidence?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Goes to show you, there's a lot of different ways to get it in the hole on the green. I learned that a long time ago. I even remember when everybody looked at Rocco like he was nuts, ten or -- however many years ago that was when he won at Doral with a long putter. He said the same thing. He says, 'I don't care what I look like. I just want the ball to go in.' It's more about what, you know, and it's about what you feel you can do your best with. Yeah, between me and Chris and Rocco, we've got a couple of funky grips and a long putter. So, it's interesting.
Q. You've waited a long time to get back in position going into Sunday with a chance to win, probably since 88. What does it feel like now that you are there?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: It feels good, basically, because, you know, I am 40, and although I do have a lot of good golf left in me, assuming my body doesn't completely fall apart, I wanted to have a shot to win another major championship eventually. You know, depending on what Tiger does in the last three -- whether I'm two, nine, or three behind or whatever he does, you know, I'm I know I'm going to have to play a great round tomorrow, but I do have the chance to do that. The confidence that I have in my putting and my swing, now -- I get confidence in a hurry. It only takes me about two or three good shots in a row and all of the sudden I feel like I can play again. I hit a lot of good shots today. What's even more important, I knew I was going to hit them good before I hit them. So I have the capability to shoot a good score tomorrow.
Q. What's the difference between you in 1988 and today on this course, and the way you play?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, not much, really, on this course. 1988, I'm sure I hit the ball better tee-to-green now than I did in 1988, but in the late 80s, I was pretty much amazing around the greens and putting. My short game was just phenomenal for about a three or four-year period there, from '87 to 90. That's pretty much what got me through. Now, my short game is very good again, but my tee-to-green game is probably the best it has ever been. So, that's the main difference. The only thing that I really have a hard time doing, obviously is hitting draws with my driver, which does hurt me on occasion, and it hurts me on a few holes out here, but I can go ahead and turn my 3-wood a little bit and get by that way.
Q. Since then, has your short game been peaks and valleys?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, it's -- you know, throughout the 90's it was average, at best for three or four years, and then from about '95 or'96, really, through '99, it was down-right bad. My putting was horrific, three or four years in a row, I finished 170-something on the Tour in my putting stats. It was so bad, even when I putted good, I could not get any confidence, because I knew I was going to start putting bad eventually sooner or late. Now when I have a bad putting day, it's like, well, I'm just having a bad putting day, but I'm still putting good. That's the big difference. I've always been pretty good around the greens as far as chipping and bunker shots and things. But it is all about putting out here. It really is.
Q. How many teachers, grips putters, etc., Did you go through during that stretch?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I've just been with Butch Harmon since '94 and Peter Costas from '85 to '94. So really only a couple of teachers. But I had a lot of suggestions in the mail, gadgets and things. Like Tom Watson, he gets a couple hundred putters sent to him one year from people thinking they had the answer for him. I kept searching, tried a lot of grips, cross-handed, split-handed, the whole thing. Finally, when I came up with this grip, it felt good immediately.
Q. If Tiger is up two or three shots, what are the odds on you and the other guys catching him?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well I've got to be honest with you, I would not mind seeing him stay at 12, or 11, even -- I don't know if I should say that. Anyway, say he finishes at 12-under, that means somebody, unless Cabrera makes a birdie or Chris or whatever -- Chris did birdie 16. Anyway, we've got to beat him by 2 or 3- to win the tournament, and that's -- that's very doable. Tiger is a human being just like the rest of us and he's going to be out there nervous, also. However, he is the best in the world and he has that going for him - (Laughter.) - Which is nice.
Q. Have you been in any tournaments where you and Tiger have played coming down at the end at all?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No, we haven't. Last year in Spain, we were paired in the last group, and we both basically had a shot. We both birdied 10 and 11, and I think at that time was tied for the lead and one back with Mike Weir or whatever it was. So we both had a shot there, but we basically both self-destructed on 17 and 18. But that was the only time.
Q. Haven't you and Tiger become pretty good friends and how did that evolve?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Yeah, we're good friends. I think a lot -- it helps, obviously, to have the same teacher in Butch Harmon, because we play practice rounds together. It's good for me, even though Tiger likes to play before the sun comes up in his practice rounds, it's good for me because Butch is there a good amount of time, especially the big tournaments. Any time I can get in with Butch to make sure my swing is in decent shape is good. And I think he kind of gets a kick out of me, in a way, somebody that's a little bit different, a little bit off the cuff, so to speak. We get along real well. I'm not afraid to, you know, tell him what I think.
Q. Do you appreciate this place more now than in 1988?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: That's a hard question. I mean, sitting here in this chair right now, I might say, yeah, but had I shot a pair of 77s, I would have told you no. I've always said, hey, wherever you are playing good, I love. If you asked me what my favorite tournament is, I've got to say the Phoenix Open, especially like the day after. (Laughter.) But I always loved playing here. I missed playing here last year. I definitely missed it. I wished I was here. Turns out I ended up going skiing with my kids in Sun Valley and that was fine. But this is where I wanted to get back to. I realized this is a tournament that, you know, the most prestigious tournament in the world most likely and easily the funnest tournament to watch on TV. What happens on the back nine is just really exciting and it is fun to be part of that again.
Q. Have you guys played a practice round or two this week, you and Tiger?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: We didn't. Phil Mickelson asked me to play. He called me Monday and asked me to play with John Huston on Tuesday and we teed off early. Turns out we only played six holes because of the bad weather. But Tiger and Mark and Notah Begay teed off right in front of us, and Tiger I think thought I would join him. I knew he would be out here early, he always is, and I am, too. Then we got rained out, too, so naturally, at that time, I was rubbing Phil through the first six holes, so we had to continue the match, which he probably birdied eight of the last 12 on Wednesday. So that took care of me there. No, I didn't play with Tiger this week.
Q. No inner-group rivalry going on?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: No.
Q. You've been one of the Top-50 money winners since '87. What is the significance of that for you?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: That's good. I think I've only missed three, TOUR Championships since 1987, you know, which is also good. Kind of a tribute of the way I play tee-to-green, because even when I was putting bad, I was still good enough to, you know, get by. I was not winning any tournaments. I only one, you won one in '92, one in '95, one in '97 one in '98. A few in seven years isn't that much, really, at least by my standards. It's a nice stat/number, but that's all it is.
Q. When Chris showed you the grip, did you just not like the hand that way and you changed it?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: He didn't even really show it to me. I saw it from about 90 yards away and I knew how he gripped it and I was putting horrendously at the TPC last year and I tried it and I thought, well, that feels a little queer, and I just gradually -- instant under, because I had a case of the yips, so to speak, especially the short ones. I was twitchy. I could feel it. And I just got my wrist under here so far, got the normal left-hand grip that I just locked it in there, so I didn't have a case to do this (indicating shaking) because it was just in there like that. Right off the get-go, I made a 25-footer on No. 1 Friday at the TPC; and then a 15-footer on the next hole; and a 10-footer at the next hole. And I just had this big old grin on my face that I pretty much knew that I had found my putting grip.
Q. This year or last year?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Last year.
Q. Will the conditions have to stay the same for the other guys to have a chance? If they get tougher does that just play into Tiger's game?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: That's a hard question to answer. Obviously, Tiger is great in any kind of weather, but I would probably say if conditions were fairly tough, you know, like if we had some breeze, like we did earlier in the day, really, the first five or six holes it was blowing pretty good out there, and then it pretty much laid down. But if conditions were more on the tough side, it might be more to an advantage of us guys trying to chase him.
Q. During that whole Phoenix thing when the birdies are coming left and right, did you believe what was going on?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Well, I do remember thinking to myself: 'Well, I'm doing something special here.' I didn't slap myself, but I said, 'Oh, forget it. Don't worry about what kind of special thing you're doing. Just go out and keep doing it.' I knew I was playing well coming into that tournament. I told my mom, 'I've got it,' type thing. I'm not hitting it as good as I was then, but I'm very comfortable with what I'm doing now, and it kind of reminds me of the way hit it that week. This isn't the Phoenix Open; it's the Masters. We'll see what happens out there tomorrow. But I'm really, really confident right now with my swing.
Q. Is it better for you to be in the final group tomorrow with Tiger or in the next to last group -- not that you have a choice?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I'd like to play with him in the last group. When we played -- we were not in the last group in Spain. We were about the third-to-last group, I think. Maybe second-to-last. But it was the same sort of feeling, I felt fine. I got right up on the first hole and just bombed one down middle. Tiger doesn't make me nervous himself or his presence or anything else. But that would be a hoot to be in the last group with him.
Q. You talked about having a case of the yips. How bad did it get at the worst point?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: I think a putt from here to here, these two water bottles, there's about a 50/50 chance of me making it. In other words, anything outside of 18 inches was 50/50. That's how bad it was. (Laughter.)
Q. You said yesterday that this was a place that you are always in a hurry to get to, but sometimes in a hurry to get out of. How much has this place been a test of your ability to control your emotions and a test of your temperament?
MARK CALCAVECCHIA: Obviously, I've gotten a lot better at that. Doesn't mean I still don't get mad, and I do, and we all do out here. I did do a real good job of mentally preparing myself; although, my swing wasn't where I wanted it in the early part of the tournament. And I double-bogeyed the first hole right off the get-go-go. That certainly wasn't what I needed to start off with, but just hung tough and made a bunch of pars because I knew I really didn't have it. Lucked in a couple of putts. In the next round, I was back to even; considering doubling the first hole and not playing very well, was pretty good. So I did a real good job in the early part of the week of bracing myself up to be super patient.
Maguire's storied Duke career comes to an end
STILLWATER, Okla. – After losing in the quarterfinals here at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Duke coach Dan Brooks gathered his team and walked back toward the 18th hole. He wanted to get away and deliver a parting speech to senior Leona Maguire, one of the most important players in program history.
“I feel like I didn’t say enough, and I feel like I didn’t say it right,” he said afterward. “I guess that’s inevitable when dealing with a player who has meant so much.”
Maguire’s heralded Duke career came to an end Tuesday when she and her teammates dropped their quarterfinal match to Southern Cal, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2. Maguire did her part, winning, 1 up, against USC’s Jennifer Chang, but it still wasn’t enough.
Maguire will go down as one of the best players not just in Duke’s storied history, but all time in college golf. She’s a two-time Player of the Year. She finished with the best scoring average (70.93) in Division I women’s golf history. She had a record 32 competitive rounds in the 60s. She spent 135 weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, another record.
The 23-year-old from Ireland is the rare collegian who turned down guaranteed LPGA status to return to school to earn her degree and try to win a NCAA title with twin sister Lisa, the team’s No. 5 player. Ultimately, they never reached the championship match.
“I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said softly outside the clubhouse. “The experiences, the memories, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Maguire said that she’s turning pro soon and has a full schedule upcoming. She’ll play the ShopRite LPGA Classic and then try to capitalize on her full status on the developmental Symetra circuit.
Asked about her potential at the next level, Brooks said that Maguire can be a future Hall of Famer.
“She’s the hardest worker and the smartest player I’ve ever coached,” he said. “I’m really going to miss her.”
Notes: Ogilvy moving family to Australia
Geoff Ogilvy's immediate future involves fewer golf tournament and longer flights.
Ogilvy has been contemplating in the last few years moving back home to Australia, and after discussing it with his Texas-born wife, Juli, they plan to return to Melbourne shortly after Christmas.
Their daughter, Phoebe, turns 12 in October and will be starting the seventh grade in Australia. They have two sons, Jasper (10) and Harvey (8). The Ogilvys figured that waiting much longer to decide where to live would make it tougher on the children.
''We just talked about it, for lots of reasons, and we kept making pros and cons. Juli was strong on it,'' Ogilvy said. ''We're excited. I'm at the point where I'm not going to play 27 times a year. It's going to be brutal to play from there. But you've got to choose life.''
Ogilvy won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and he counts three World Golf Championships among his eight PGA Tour victories. He also has won the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship and has reached No. 3 in the world.
His last victory was in 2014, and Ogilvy has slipped to No. 416 in the world.
He has been dividing some of his time with a golf course design business with projects that include Shady Oaks in Fort Worth, Texas, (including a ''Little Nine'' course that opened last year), a renovation in China and a 36-hole course called Peninsula Kingwood in Melbourne.
Ogilvy, who grew up at Victoria Golf Club, still has a home on the 14th hole of the West Course at Royal Melbourne. If he didn't move back home, Ogilvy figured he would be spending six months in Melbourne and six months in Scottsdale, Arizona.
''It's a feeling more than anything,'' he said. ''Scottsdale is dreamy. We live a great existence. I know what I'm getting there. If we didn't move back, we'd be a six-and-six family. The kids get out of school, and they're bounced back and forth. It's not good for continuity.''
As for golf?
Ogilvy narrowly kept his full PGA Tour card last year and this season has been a struggle. He hasn't sorted out what kind of schedule he would keep, understanding it would involve long trips from Sydney to Dallas.
The immediate goal would be to play a heavy fall schedule and miss most of the West Coast swing to get acclimated to the move.
''And then we'll start working it out,'' he said.
US OPEN QUALIFYING: The U.S. Open likes to consider its championship the most democratic of the majors, and it has it just about right again this year. With the addition of 23 players who became exempt by being in the top 60 in the world ranking, 77 players in the 156-man field are exempt from qualifying. That number could go up slightly with another cutoff for the top 60 the Sunday before U.S. Open week.
The U.S. Open is the only American major that does not offer automatic exemptions to PGA Tour winners. Five such winners from this season still face qualifying, including Patton Kizzire, who has won twice (OHL Classic at Mayakoba and Sony Open). The others are Austin Cook, Ted Potter Jr., Andrew Landry and Aaron Wise.
Kizzire is at No. 63 in the world, followed by Wise (66) and Landry (69). All have three weeks to crack the top 60.
Until 2011, the U.S. Open offered exemptions to multiple PGA Tour winners since the previous Open. It leans heavily on the world ranking, as do the other majors. It also awards recent major champions and top finishers from the previous U.S. Open, along with the Tour Championship field from the previous year, to reward a consistently strong season.
''All of the tours around the world have bought into the official world golf ranking rankings,'' said Jeff Hall, the USGA's managing director of rules and open championships. ''And this provides just the right place for us to be with exemptions. We don't have to get into the weighting of one tour over another, this championship versus that event, a week-to-week event. We focus on the official world golf rankings and it seems to get us the right players for our championship.''
FICKLE GAME: Careers can change quickly in golf. No one can attest to that as well as Michael Arnaud.
The 36-year-old Arnaud had never finished better than a tie for fifth in his 49 starts on the Web.com Tour, and that was three years ago. His career earnings were just over $130,000. He had only made it into one previous event this year, and he wasn't in the field at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina last week until Kent Bulle withdrew on the eve of the event.
Arnaud tied the course record with a 60 in the second round. He closed with a 63 and won by five shots.
He won $126,000 and moved to No. 13 on the money list, giving him a reasonable chance to reach the PGA Tour if he finishes the season in the top 25.
''A lot of people kept pushing me when I wanted to step away from it,'' Arnaud said. ''My wife was one of those that told me to take the chance and go. Low and behold it really paid off.''
SHINNECOCK SAVANT: Rory McIlroy is excited to get back to Shinnecock Hills for the U.S. Open, a course he already has played a few times.
Equally excited is his manager, Sean O'Flaherty, who knows the course on New York's Long Island better than McIlroy.
O'Flaherty spent two summers as a caddie at Shinnecock Hills.
He went to college at Trinity in Dublin, had friends in the Hamptons and came over during the summer months in 2002 and 2003 to work as a caddie.
''I got to know a lot of members,'' O'Flaherty said. ''I can't wait. To me, it's the best course in the world.''
DIVOTS: Justin Thomas won the Honda Classic on Feb. 25 at No. 4 in the world. No one from the top 10 in the world has won a PGA Tour event since then, a stretch of 12 tournaments. ... Guy Kinnings is leaving IMG after nearly 30 years to become the deputy CEO and Ryder Cup director of the European Tour. He will report directly to European Tour chief Keith Pelley. ... The LPGA tour will play in China during its fall Asia swing at the Buick LPGA Shanghai at Qizhong Garden Golf Club. The tournament will be Oct. 18-21, one week before the men play the HSBC Champions at Sheshan International in Shanghai. ... Alice Chen of Furman has been selected for the Dinah Shore Trophy, awarded to top college women who excel in golf, academics and work off the golf course. ... The Irish Open is going to Lahinch Golf Club in 2019, with former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley serving as the tournament host.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Matt Kuchar, Peter Uihlein and Jhonattan Vegas are the only players to compete in all five Texas events on the PGA Tour this year.
FINAL WORD: ''The sum of his shots seems to add up to slightly less than the sum of the shots from another guy.'' - Geoff Ogilvy on Jordan Spieth.
Arizona's run continues, knocks off top seed to reach semis
STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 1 seed in match play has still never won the women’s NCAA Championship.
That dubious distinction continued Tuesday at Karsten Creek when Arizona knocked out top-seeded UCLA on the final hole of the final match.
With the matches tied at 2 apiece, the anchor match between Arizona junior Bianca Pagdanganan and UCLA freshman Patty Tavatanakit was tied on the 18th hole, a par 5 that’s reachable in two shots by many.
Tavatanakit was just short of the green in two and Pagdanganan, the Wildcats’ hero from Monday when she made eagle on the last hole to give her team a shot at match play, blasted her second shot onto the green. Tavatanakit failed to get up and down – missing a 4-footer for birdie – and Pagdanganan two-putted for birdie to give Arizona the victory.
“We’re lucky to be in match play,” Arizona coach Laura Ianello said. “Let’s ride the highs. Why not?”
Arizona will now face Stanford in the semifinals. The Cardinal, the 2015 champion and 2016 runner up, has qualified for match play in each of the past four seasons. They beat Northwestern, 3-2, in the quarterfinals to advance.
USC will face Alabama in the other semifinal, meaning three Pac-12 teams have advanced to the Final Four. The Crimson Tide had an easy go of it in their quarterfinal match against Kent State, winning 4-1. The decisive victory gave Alabama extra rest for its afternoon match.
USC beat Duke, 3-1-1, in the other quarterfinal, pitting teams that have combined to win nine NCAA titles in the past 20 years. But neither team has had much success in the past four years since the championship turned to match play. Not only has neither team won, neither has even reached the championship match.
Duke’s Leona Maguire won the first match and the second match was halved, but USC swept the last three matches with Gabriela Ruffels, Alyaa Abdulghany and Amelia Garvey all winning to propel the Trojans into the semifinals.
Alabama (2) vs. USC (3)
2:30PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (A) vs. Jennifer Chang (USC)
2:40PM ET: Kristen Gillman (A) vs. Amelia Garvey (USC)
2:50PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (A) vs. Allisen Corpuz (USC)
3:00PM ET: Lakareber Abe (A) vs. Alyaa Abdulghany (USC)
3:10PM ET: Angelica Moresco (A) Gabriela Ruffels (USC)
Stanford (5) vs. Arizona (8)
3:20PM ET: Emily Wang (S) vs. Gigi Stoll (A)
3:30PM ET: Shannon Aubert (S) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (A)
3:40PM ET: Mika Liu (S) vs. Haley Moore (A)
3:50PM ET: Albane Valenzuela (S) vs. Sandra Nordaas (A)
4:00PM ET: Andrea Lee (S) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (A)
NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times
The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.
After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals were contested Tuesday morning with semifinals in the afternoon. The finals are being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.
- Semifinals: Alabama vs. USC
- Semifinals: Arizona vs. Stanford
- Quarterfinals: Alabama def. Kent State, 4-1
- Quartefinals: USC def. Duke, 3.5-1.5
- Quarterfinals: Arizona def. UCLA, 3-2
- Quarterfinals: Stanford def. Northwestern, 3-2
- Individual stroke play
TV Times (all times ET):
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals (Click here to watch live)