Mark Calcavecchia

July 17, 2010 by staff 

Mark CalcavecchiaMark Calcavecchi:Mark Calcavecchia made five birdies in his round bogeyless seconds after being the first player out on the Old Course at 6.30. Photograph: Peter Muhly / AFP / Getty Images

Mark Calcavecchia, winner of the 1989 Open at Royal Troon, may not be the most talented player to lift the Claret Jug but it is surely the most terse – a professional worker with a swing of blue collar and blue-collar sensibility.

What Scottish beers you particularly like, was asked this morning after signing a five-under par 67. “Almost all of them,” he said with a shrug of shoulders – hardly the kind of response one would expect from the titans of the modern game obsessed gym.

However, there is no denying the talent of the 50-year-old American. It is now a full member of the Champions Tour in the U.S. but he can still play with the children, as he proved in the path of his way at the Old Course, with 13 pairs and five birdies. That left him seven under par for the tournament and third, where he was likely to remain throughout the day, given the conditions in the afternoon holders were about to face.

In general, he was more inclined to speak of his good luck that his good play. “I am happy to have a game of golf tomorrow,” he said, before extolling the virtues of the departure time early in the morning (it was the first player out on the track, hitting his opening shot a 6.30). “The R & A is good enough to know that I like to play fast and certainly know I will not support anyone.”

Oh, Calcavecchia is one of the last starters for the third round. However, there will be no consolation, not least that, while a victory come Sunday afternoon is probably not outside the bounds of possibility. Ask Greg Norman and Tom Watson.

“I’ve been feeling real old for a long time, I have some arthritis in my knuckles. It hurts like hell,” he said. “But this game is about confidence. You see someone like Watson nearly won last year and you know he was playing very well because I had confidence. Really does not matter how old you are if you feel good about what you are doing .

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