ENDICOTT, N.Y. – Mark Calcavecchia turned 50 June 12, and he’s about to become a human cash machine on the Champions Tour. He is at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open at En-Joie Golf Club this week, where he will make his Champions debut on Friday.
To celebrate, he was given a cake on Wednesday (“I don’t really need the cake,” he joked, patting his midsection), and soon he’ll be off and running.
He remembered visiting En-Joie years ago, playing the old B.C. Open when he first got out on the PGA Tour. It was 1982, and back then, he even shared a hotel room with Bill Sander. He played pretty well, shot 6-under 278, and earned $6,600, “which, at the time,” says Calc, “seemed like $600,000 to me. I thought I was loaded.”
He said he won’t miss the grind of the regular tour, where it took so much out of him to make cuts lately that he had very little for the weekend. (“I mastered the tie for 55th, or whatever it was, and that’s no good,” he said.) With the over-50 set, he ought to be in contention regularly, though he’s not putting any pressure on himself to win right away. He said he’ll take it slow. He’s enjoying this week with his 16-year-old son, Eric, on the bag.
“I could finish anywhere between first and 78th,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll finish last, but you know, you never know.”
Calc finishing 78th this week? I’ll take the ‘under’ on that one.