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Memorial to be Mark Calcavecchia's last PGA Tour stop
May 26, 2010

Mark Calcavecchia has teed it up 736 times on the PGA Tour, winning 13 tournaments and earning just under $24 million in a career that has not had very many dull moments.

Calcavecchia turns 50 on June 12, and he was thrilled—as thrilled as he ever gets—to get an exemption to the Memorial in what likely will be his final time playing a regular PGA Tour event.

“I started thinking about turning 50 when I was 47,” Calcavecchia said Tuesday.

The Memorial is an appropriate send-off.

He moved from Nebraska to south Florida when he was a teenager and immediately got involved in the junior golf scene. Calcavecchia competed throughout high school against Jack Nicklaus II, whose father often came out to their junior events.

“We lived about two miles from each other,” he said.

Calcavecchia first played Muirfield Village in 1987, the year after his first PGA Tour victory, and this will be his 24th consecutive year at the Memorial. The closest he came to winning was in 1995, when he tied for second behind Greg Norman.

But there’s more.

His wife, Brenda, grew up in Columbus, and her brother plans a party on Saturday. A few weeks ago, she wasn’t even sure if they would have reason to be in Ohio.

“I’m not sure if they gave the exemption to me or to Brenda,” Calcavecchia said with his typical sarcasm. “It will be the last Memorial for me, though, and it was nice of them.”

What to expect on the Champions Tour? Calcavecchia might not look like the model athlete, although his hand-eye coordination is superb. It was no fluke that he won 13 times, including the 1989 British Open, or that he was runner-up 27 times.

He plans to play 11 of the 12 events on the Champions Tour, starting with the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in upstate New York. He must be feeling good to want to play that many tournaments, right?

“No, I’m feeling horrible,” he said. “But I’ve got to find a way to make money or the house is going up for sale.”

As for his chances against the 50-and-older set?

“Someone asked me if I was excited to be going out there to the Champions Tour,” Calcavecchia said. “I said I would be excited if the hole was bigger. But I think it’s the same size out there, so I’m not that excited. I can miss ‘em out there same as I can miss ‘em out here.”

It won’t be the last time Calcavecchia tees it up against Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson. He plans to go to St. Andrews for the British Open, where he is exempt for another 10 years.


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