Category: Mark Calcavecchia

December 04, 2013

PGA Tour won't reveal drug violators to Vijay Singh

Posted at 5:03 PM by Pete Madden
Vijay Singh
Credit: Getty Images


In the latest twist in Vijay Singh's case against the PGA Tour, the Tour rebuffed Singh's sweeping discovery requests, including demands for documents and communications related to the "possible or acutal violation of the [Tour's Anti-Doping] Program" of five current professional golfers: Doug Barron, Matt Every, Mark Calcavecchia, Scott Verplank and Dustin Johnson.

In a letter to Justice Eileen Bransten of the New York State Supreme Court, the Tour's attorney, Jeffrey Mishkin of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, called Singh's discovery requests "overreaching" and "irrelevant," arguing that "these individuals have nothing to do with this litigation. Mr. Singh cannot and should not be permitted, in the guise of discovery, to engage in a fishing expedition that risks further harm to the interests of these and any other third-party golfers."

Singh's lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, contends that information about the way the PGA Tour treated other golfers suspected or accused of violating the Tour's anti-doping program "will evidence the full extent of the PGA Tour's disparate treatment of Singh."

Three of the five golfers named in discovery have had previously reported run-ins with the Tour's drug policy.

Ginsberg declined to explain why the other two golfers -- five-time PGA Tour winner Verplank and eight-time winner Johnson -- were included in Singh's discovery request or whether he will be seeking information about other PGA Tour players in the future.

Documents concerning other golfers are just one of four categories of information sought by Singh and his legal team. In addition to "all documents and communications related to any positive tests by any golfer for any substance listed as a banned substance under the Program," Ginsberg also requested information concerning the structure of the Tour's anti-doping program, membership renewal forms and stance on colostrum, a substance that contains IGF-1 (the same hormone in deer antler spray) but is not banned, an all-out offensive designed to force the Tour to bring the details of its anti-doping program out of the shadows.

"Vijay alleges -- and it is historically obvious -- that the PGA Tour has administered many facets of the business in an inconsistent manner," said Ginsberg. "The PGA Tour presently is attempting to keep from disclosure evidence of the manner in which it has engaged in that type of disparate treatment of players. One goal of the discovery is to force the PGA Tour to come clean with regard to how it administers the golf business."

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August 16, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Calc's deer antler spray banned by Tour

Posted at 1:32 PM by Michael Chwasky

If you thought professional golfers were free from worry regarding the use of PEDs, you were wrong. Believe it or not, Mark Calcavecchia, who has been endorsing a spray made from deer antler velvet, was recently told by the PGA Tour that the product did not conform to the Tour's anti-doping program. Evidently the product, called The Ultimate Spray, was found to contain an ingredient called IGF-1, which is a growth hormone currently banned by the World Anti-Doping Association and all major sports organizations. 

Mitch Ross, the founder of S.W.A.T.S. (Sports With Alternatives to Steroids), the company that manufactures the spray, said Calcavecchia informed him via text message that he had to stop using the product and that he wanted his testimonials removed from the company's website immediately.

"Got a call from the tour," the text read. "The Spray is officially illegal. Told me to stop (using) now."

Calc's friend Ken Green, who was also endorsing The Ultimate Spray, asked to have his testimonial removed from the company's website as well.

"I feel deceived," said Green.

Tiger likely to be picked for Presidents Cup

Despite missing the cut at the PGA Championship while playing some of the worst golf of his career, Tiger Woods looks to be a lock to be selected for the U.S. Presidents Cup team. Woods is nowhere near qualifying for the squad, but Fred Couples, this year's captain, has previously stated that Tiger will be chosen with one of his two captain's picks, if Woods feels physically ready to perform. Given that Tiger has already indicated he'll be playing in the Australian Open, which is held the week prior to the Presidents Cup, it looks quite likely that the former world's No. 1 player believes he'll be ready.

The unfortunate thing about this development is that, if Tiger does indeed play, another deserving player won't have the chance to do so, including the likes of Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Gary Woodland, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Moore, and others. The potential good side to Tiger's participation is the interest (and TV ratings) his presence will bring to an event that hasn't had a whole lot of heat in recent years. 

Pelz says belly putter is best

In the wake of Keegan Bradley's dramatic victory at the PGA Championship, it's a good bet that more than a few weekend duffers will be trying their luck with a belly putter. According to short game guru Dave Pelz, that's actually a great idea

“When you anchor the shaft in your tummy, and then you swing the putter, you can not break your wrists. There’s no wrist break at all, it’s all in the swing of the putter as determined by your hands. If you look at Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson or Steve Stricker … they swing their putters with their arms and they don’t break their wrists or rotate their forearms with the stroke.”

Pelz adds that in his trials with hundreds of students, the best results came from the belly putter, with the long putter second and the conventional putter last. 

Tweet of the Day

Gmacpresser_bigger @Graeme_McDowell: RT @Inspired_Ones: Choose a job you love, & you will never have to work a day in your life. -Confucius


July 30, 2010

Truth & Rumors: Feherty says Tiger will return to form

Posted at 2:05 PM by Mike Walker

David Feherty has a simple explanation for the problem with Tiger Woods’s game: It’s his marriage, stupid. Speaking at the South Dakota Make-a-Wish Foundation golf tournament in Sioux Falls, Feherty told Terry Vandrovec of The Argus Leader newspaper that he expects Woods to return to form once he gets his personal life settled.

There's nothing wrong with his swing, there's nothing wrong with anything except the head full of slamming doors that you have when you go through a divorce -- especially when there's children involved. It affects everybody. I think he'll recover from it faster than most people because he's so mentally strong, but golf is a game that's played with long periods of time between shots -- it's not a reaction sport. That's a lot of time for your mind to wander and anytime you get children involved it's a rough time in your life.

People ask me all the time, 'You think Tiger will be back?' Yeah. I think so. I've never seen anything quite like him. I know he's human now. For a while there I even doubted that. But he'll be back.

Feherty also shared some insights about how golf can attract more fans and TV viewers.

I'm hoping over the next few years -- there's a new TV contract that will be negotiated shortly -- that we will see more interaction, we learn a bit more about who these players are, that they're encouraged to show a little more emotion. There's been a long period of time now where players have been encouraged to kind of do the opposite. 'This is a civil sport, it's a gentlemen's game.' Nobody loses their temper, nobody throws clubs anymore. Frankly, that's not good TV. People like to see people losing their minds, being real people.

I'm out there and I'm walking for five hours sometimes with the players and I have great conversations with them. There's stuff that could be on (the air). We could make that decision. You wouldn't put stuff on that's going to burn anybody, but just allow the viewer to know these players a little bit more.

Arnie in grandson’s army
Who says the PGA Tour’s new West Virginia stop at the Greenbrier lacks star power? On Thursday, the tournament landed the game’s biggest star, Arnold Palmer. The Charleston (WV) Daily Mail reports that the King returned to the site of his first Tour win in 1955 to watch his grandson Sam Saunders.

The well-spoken Palmer saw plenty of areas he could have helped his grandson, but couldn't coach from the gallery.

"I whisper to myself what he should be doing, but he isn't hearing me," said Palmer, who earned his first professional victory at The Greenbrier in 1955. "He can hit it and he can play. It's just the question of getting in the right lane. Little things, like the little, quick, start away. Things that are absurd.

"If I was a month younger, I would like to caddy for him. If I could carry his bag, I would."

Saunders, playing on his final sponsor's exemption of the year, shot a 3-over 73.

Tuesdays with Darren
Darren Clarke has always been one of my favorite players to follow during practice rounds because he so obviously enjoys himself on the course and it’s clear that his group has something extra on the line. After playing with Rory McIlroy at the 3 Irish Open on Thursday and posting a 66 to best McIlroy by a stroke, Clarke joked that while his fellow Northern Irishman might have passed him in the rankings, Clarke can still get the better of McIlroy some days, especially in a practice round.

Q. When did you last play with Rory, and do you take extra pleasure from beating him?

DARREN CLARKE: We played together on Tuesday.

Q. In a tournament.

DARREN CLARKE: You didn't say in a tournament, Mr. Garrod, did you. I don't know when is the last time we played together in a tournament. But we do play quite a bit, and you know, I'm usually very good Tuesday and Wednesday golfer, and he's usually better Thursday to Sunday. So I play him for a few quid on Tuesdays and things. He's got enough money, he can afford to give the old man a few quid but last time we played together I'm not quite sure.

Stray Shots
Some things we saw while wondering if ESPN spiked any stories about Tiger Woods in Las Vegas nightclubs...

The Duramed Futures Tour reached a confidential settlement with golfer Sarah Brown after wrongly disqualifying her from a tournament last week. Confidential? Really? The Duramed Futures Tour is taking itself way too seriously. Where is Wikileaks when you need them? (Via Lehigh Valley Live)

The Greenbrier’s jacket-required policy at the casino is a problem for super-casual American Tour pros, but Sergio Garcia brought one. I don't know who will win the Ryder Cup, but it’s a lock that the Euros will be better dressed. (Via Golfweek)

Quote of the Day: Mark Calcavecchia on difficult pin placements at the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club near Seattle.

Q. Were there any pin placements in particular?

MARK CALCAVECCHIA: 9, 8, 5, 3, 1, you know, 17, 16, 15, 11, 12, 13 -- I'm telling ya there were at least 13 tough ones, it was unreal.

June 04, 2010

Truth and Rumors: Monty pulls a Tiger

Posted at 12:14 PM by Alan Bastable

Et tu, Monty?

First Tiger. Now Colin Montgomerie. The Fleet Street tabs are atwitter over word that the European Ryder Cup captain has confessed to cheating on his wife with his ex-lover Joanne Baldwin. According to the Mirror:

Monty, 47, has now ended the relationship in a desperate attempt to ensure his wife Gaynor Knowles stays with him.

He said in a statement last night: “I have put my marriage under ­considerable strain but we are working through these problems. I am very sorry for the hurt I have caused to the ones I love so much. I would ask that my family and I are given the space and privacy to continue trying to resolve the issues. I will be making no further comment.”

If this an elaborate ploy by Monty to take attention off his players in the run-up to the Ryder Cup, kudos to el capitan. Though we're guessing not. More likely is that he has yet to read Paul Azinger's new book on Ryder Cup strategy, in particular Chapter 12: Don't Cheat on Your Wife Four Months Before the Ryder Cup (Especially If She Helped You Pick Out Your Uniforms). Still, Montgomerie's indiscretion does inject some additional drama into the event, as we'll now obsess over both his captain's picks ... and his date.

Cutthroat golf Down Under
If the PGA Tour's regimented, grind-it-out format has you clicking over to Man vs. Food reruns on Saturday afternoons, a new tournament sanctioned by the Australian PGA Tour may be more your style. Dubbed the Surfcoast Knockout — which kicks the pants off, say, the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew — the cutthroat event will be held Jan. 20-23 just outside Melbourne, reports the Herald Sun.

A full field will play traditional stroke play for the first three rounds, including a halfway cut, before the event's revolutionary selling points.

A second cut will be made after 54 holes, reducing the field to 32 and setting the stage for knockout matchplay on Sunday. These matches will be played over just six holes with sudden-death playoffs to split ties.

PGA officials have also arranged course routing — the challenging six-hole out-and-back loop of holes 10, 11, 12, 16, 17 and 18 — to maximize crowd involvement and set up for another first with prime-time TV coverage of the semi-finals and final.

Tough to speculate how the pros will react to the format -- my guess is they'll love it -- but the tournament has already attracted some big names. Among those Aussies already committed to play: Stuart Appleby, Peter Lonard, Craig Parry, Stephen Leaney and Peter Senior.

It's 10 o'clock. Do you know where your American LPGA stars are?
For all the hype surrounding the surge of lethal 20-something Americans on the PGA Tour, the LPGA -- as if we need another reminder -- can't buy a U.S. star. Kevin Currie of The Sports Network spells out Mike Whan's headache:

The LPGA Tour is one-third of the way through its season, and there has only been one American winner, with that lone victory coming in an unofficial event.

The perception is that there are more quality American women golfers then ever, yet a quick glance at the top of the Women's World Golf Rankings, and you will find just 20 Americans among the top-100. In that group are Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis - huge names to be sure - but that fame hasn't translated to a lot of titles lately.

Wie owns the last win by an American, last November, which was 10 official tour events ago. Creamer is easily the most accomplished of the above trio, with eight LPGA Tour titles, but has basically missed the entire season after withdrawing from the first event with an injury. In the midst of her ninth season, Gulbis has been the poster girl for the tour since her first appearance. However, she has won just one event thus far.

But, hey, look at the bright side: Christina Kim wrote a book!

Calc looks forward to "screwing up" on senior circuit
With the list of Champions Tour newbees (F. Couples, M. O'Meara, B. Langher, T. Lehman) starting to resemble a PGA Tour leader board from 1994, the geezer circuit is becoming an increasingly attractive product -- to both fans and media alike. The next big-name rook to joins the ranks? Mark Calcavecchia, who turns 50 on June 12 and is sure to draw crowds on the senior loop, if not on the course then certainly in the interview room. Calc's long been one of the best quotes in golf, and he gave the Canadian Press some gems this week:

"It's a great change of pace," he said [of the Champions Tour]. "New courses, new towns, new holes to screw up. I'm tried of screwing up the same holes every year."

The Memorial will be his 737th PGA Tour event. He's won 13 times and made 516 cuts while cashing almost US$24 million in cheques. Those stats speak to his longevity, his talent and his competitiveness.

Memorial gallery reprimands 6-year-old
Finally, a cute story yesterday from The Memorial, where Tiger Woods' approach to the sixth green doinked a sprinkler head and bounded over the green. According to a Columbus Dispatch dispatch, when the ball came to rest in the gallery, 6-year-old Kaleb Hoch dashed over and picked it up, much to the dismay of his fellow fans.

They yelled for the boy to drop it, grandfather Tony Bonfiglio said.

His mother Andrea Hoch said that Kaleb was on model behavior before he "ran to the ball like a rabbit." Woods asked for a ruling, but because the marshal did not see the original lie, it was ruled a drop. Woods went on to bogey on the par-4 hole.

"You wouldn't do something like that again would you?" Bonfiglio asked his grandson.

Kaleb shook his head no.

New Rule: If you're under 10 years old and you find a ball a PGA Tour event, it's yours to keep.

July 16, 2009

Watch Mark Calcavecchia Friday at the 2009 British Open

Posted at 11:25 AM by Michael Bamberger

TURNBERRY, Scotland -- Mark Calcavecchia, 49, won the British Open 20 years ago. After a first-round 67, and an early-morning, four-hour round, he's in position to win another. Except for one thing: he doesn't think he can. Well, I'm not so sure. Yes, his putting is iffy, and he's not as strong out of the rough as he used to be, but he hits it unbelievably well. Fade shot after fade shot after fade shot, the man's in play. Maybe he can't win, but he can contend, funky putting and all.

In his postround remarks, he spoke of his beer-and-Advil formula for keeping his bad back in check. It aches all the time, and goes into spasms now and again. He spoke of a dream he had Wednesday night in which he was playing golf again with his old buddy Kenny Green, the Champions tour player who recently had his leg amputated. He talked about hitting hybrids for the first time in his life. He talked about preparing for the senior circuit.

He talked about everything except his chances to contend. I think he can. But to do so, he's going to have to back up his 67 with another strong showing in round two, something under 70.

- Follow Calcavecchia's round on our leaderboard

Video: Marck Calcavecchia Thursday at Turnberry

Posted at 8:22 AM by David Dusek

Marck Calcavecchia took advantage of ideal scoring conditions Thursday morning to shot an opening-round 67.

March 07, 2009

What To Watch For Sunday at the Honda Classic

Posted at 7:56 PM by Michael Bamberger

For Sunday's final round of the Honda Classic, I'll have one eye each on two leather-necked veterans, both former Ryder Cuppers: Mark Calcavecchia and Davis Love III.

Love has shot 73, 69 and 69, and starts the final round in a tie for 37th place. I hear you yawning.

This is why the Sunday round matters: he's trying to make Fred Couples' Presidents Cup team, and a 67 or a 68 will likely get him a top-10 finish and get him that much closer to making the team in points.

Calc goes into the final round in a tie for seventh, courtesy of his spectacular Saturday 65. He's lived in South Florida most of his life, he plays the same rip game he's always played, his putter is balky at the most unfortunate moments and chances are good he'll be there when the shadows get long at PGA National. I am sure Couples would give Calc a really hard look for the Presidents Cup team if he wins this year, despite his putting woes.

Plus, if he wins, Monday's mail, electronic or otherwise, will have an invitation to the Masters. Watching Calc at the Masters is always a treat. Watching Calc play any course with water hazards is a treat. If he can keep his ball dry on Sunday, and make everything within five feet, I'm guessing he wins.

But that's asking for a lot.

Yang leads Honda by 1  | Scores Photos 

January 28, 2009

Calcavecchia: Enough of Amateur Hour

Posted at 11:10 PM by Cameron Morfit

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Mark Calcavecchia gave the most entertaining press conference of the week so far after playing in the FBR Open pro-am on Wednesday.

"I'm starting to feel better every day," Calcavecchia said, alluding to an Oct. 14 operation on his knee that he characterized as minor. "Of course, it will be nice to play golf [Thursday] with two other pros for a change. Jesus. Five days in a row of chops. Four days at the Hope--mind you, they were all a bunch of nice guys, but I've seen enough bad shots in the last five rounds I've played to last me all year."

Calcavecchia said he was quickly up and walking around after his arthroscopic surgery, but that the knee led to a few swing problems that he's currently trying to fix with instructor Peter Kostis.

"I'm trying to correct those, and the knee feels pretty good," Calc said. "Not great mind you, but really from the knees down are my main problem right now, and of course from the neck up is always a problem, too. And my belly could be a little smaller, too. Other than that, I actually feel pretty decent."

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