WHO LOOKS FORWARD TO turning 50? Those rookies on the Champions Tour, that’s who. Mark Calcavecchia is one of them. Calc couldn’t wait to jump off the PGA Tour and have his ticket punched for the Champions Tour, a transcontinental gravy train for golf’s graying set with shorter back swings and thicker waistlines. Mark fits right in.
“I started thinking about 50 when I was 47,” Calc told The Associated Press in May.
The context was that he was joking. He might have chuckled when he said it, but it sounds about right to me. Except for late bloomers like Kenny Perry and Fred Funk, I would think a lot of those mid-40 players who have been grinding on the PGA Tour for years dream about the Champions Tour most nights.
Calc could really play, too, into his late 40s. He was 49th in the OWGR in 2007 and won just shy of $3 million. Still, 28 years on the PGA Tour will put an ache in your step and a twitch in your putting stroke.
The Champions Tour has so much to offer a frisky 50-year-old: Shorter courses. Fifty-four hole events. Going against Frosty instead of Lefty.
After shooting 64 and 66, Calcavecchia is poised to get his first Champions Tour win at the 3M Championship in Minnesota. He’s tied with David Frost at 14 under. He left the course mad today because he bogeyed the last two holes. He still shot 66. Tomorrow might be his day. If not, it’s coming because for Calc and those other freshmen on the old guys circuit, 50 is younger than 47.
−The Armchair Golfer
(Image: Steve Newton/Flickr)