In just a couple weeks, Mark Calcavecchia will turn 50, meaning he's the latest in a line of distinguished golfers making the leap from the PGA Tour to the Champions.
Calcavecchia will close the door on his PGA Tour career at the Memorial next weekend. As the AP's Doug Ferguson reports, he was pleased to get an exemption into the Memorial, and is looking forward to his 24th straight year at the tournament.
Calc is a 13-time winner (and 27-time runner-up) on the PGA Tour, and has a major to his credit, the 1989 British Open. (For that victory, captured in a playoff over Greg Norman and Wayne Grady, he's got another 10 years' worth of Open play ahead of him, and that's if he doesn't pull a Tom Watson and finish in the top 10 during that time.) Sure, he doesn't look much like an athlete, but as his results show, looks don't mean much if you can put the doggone ball in the cup. And he hasn't stopped rolling; last July, he set a PGA Tour record with nine consecutive birdies at the RBC Canadian Open.
He's also one of the best quotes on tour. To close, a few samples of his handiwork from one of his final PGA Tour press conferences:
"I'm not sure if they gave the exemption to me or to [wife] Brenda."
"I've got to find a way to make money, or the house is going up for sale."
"Someone asked me if I was excited to be going out there to the Champions Tour. 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."
Congrats on a fine career, Calc. Don't beat up on the old guys too badly.