Mark Calcavecchia Shares Best Tiger Woods, John Daly and Gambling Stories

May 19, 2016

It was story time with Mark Calcavecchia on the podcast this week. The 13-time Tour winner joined Alan Bastable to discuss his career, John Daly joining the Champions tour, reflecting on Tiger Woods, and more.

Calcavecchia, who has his own SiriusXM radio show called “Golf According to Calc,” shared some incredible stories about both Daly and Woods. Below are some of the highlights.

1. Tiger Woods won the 2000 British Open before he even teed off.

Calcavecchia played two days of practice rounds with Tiger Woods during the week of the 2000 British Open, which Woods won by eight strokes. Woods and Calc played a total of 30 holes together over two days, and Calc recalled getting back to this hotel and trying to count how many birdies Woods made. The number is alarming.

“I counted it up and he made 17 birdies in the 30 holes that we played…it was just spectacular golf,” Calcavecchia said. “I just thought to myself ‘If there was ever a tournament that was over before it started, it was that one.'”

That bit begins at the 22:04 mark in the embed below.

2. After a missed cut, John Daly smashed the windshield of his RV

“I saw the end result of it,” Calc recalled. “He passed us in his bus, or I passed him. His entire windshield of his bus was shattered. And he was driving it kind of looking out the bottom left of it. I heard he took a 3-iron and just started wailing on the front window of his bus.”

3. He once bet on himself at a British Open.

“It’s kind of a funny story and you’re not supposed to do something like this, but it was a long time ago,” Calcavecchia said. During a visit to a local betting parlor Calc placed a wager on himself, which required him to beat the two other players in his group. As these things tend to go, one of his playing partners holed a bomb on the last hole of the round.

“He makes a 60-footer for birdie and I about died on the green,” Calcavecchia said. “All I was thinking about all day was beating these two guys. I wasn’t even really thinking about my score. I was so shaken up, I barely two-putted from 20 feet to tie.”

4. He thinks he’ll never get in the World Golf Hall of Fame, and thinks about it every April.

Calcavecchia was on the losing end of the 1988 Masters, when Sandy Lyle birdied the 72nd hole with a memorable shot from a fairway bunker.   

“I think about it every April when the Masters rolls around and I’m not in that tournament…all [Lyle] had to do was catch it a little thin and hit the lip and make a bogey. Then I would have won the Masters. I would have had two majors and that certainly would have gotten me in the Hall of Fame…

“That would have been nice. Every week when I play on Tour with Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw or Hale Irwin and they announce them as World Golf Hall of Fame member when they’re teeing off, that has a nice ring to it.”

5. He thinks he can be competitive at this year’s British Open at Royal Troon, where he won in 1989.

“[In 2004] I played in the Scottish Open the week before, made the cut on the nose and shot a pair of 78s on the weekend to finish dead last — was playing horrible and kinda miserable,” Calcavecchia said. “We pulled into the parking lot at Troon Monday for a practice round and my spirits went from 0 to 10 just driving into the parking lot…

“I feel I can go over there and have a good week.”

6. He thinks Tiger Woods will return at the Memorial Tournament.

“I’m going to call Muirfield as my prediction,” Calcavecchia said. “I think that’ll be a great place for him to come back, with his success there and the wide fairways…that’ll be a great place for him to come back.”

For all those stories and lots more, listen to the podcast below. To hear more of Calc, check out his radio show Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.