Calcavecchia eyes strong Tour finish in Tiger's absence

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MIAMI, Oct 25 (Reuters) Mark Calcavecchia plans to make the most of being the headline act at this week's Ginn Classic in the absence of big names such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

The burly American is one of only two players in the world's top 50 competing in Port St. Lucie, Florida in the penultimate event on the 2007 PGA Tour schedule and sixth of the inaugural Fall Series.

World number one Woods, like many of his heavyweight counterparts, ended his campaign at last month's Tour Championship, the final event of the regular season.

''It's nice not to see Tiger and Phil and (Jim) Furyk and Vijay (Singh) and all the same guys every week actually,'' former major winner Calcavecchia told reporters yesterday.

''Kind of exciting showing up knowing that if you play well you don't have to dust off the top 10 in the world to have a chance.'' World number 42 Calcavecchia has flourished this year, whether or not the game's players have been in the field.

The 1989 British Open champion has piled up six top-10 finishes in 26 PGA Tour starts and lies 12th in the money list with career-best earnings of MIAMI, Oct 25 (Reuters) Mark Calcavecchia plans to make the most of being the headline act at this week's Ginn Classic in the absence of big names such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

The burly American is one of only two players in the world's top 50 competing in Port St. Lucie, Florida in the penultimate event on the 2007 PGA Tour schedule and sixth of the inaugural Fall Series.

World number one Woods, like many of his heavyweight counterparts, ended his campaign at last month's Tour Championship, the final event of the regular season.

''It's nice not to see Tiger and Phil and (Jim) Furyk and Vijay (Singh) and all the same guys every week actually,'' former major winner Calcavecchia told reporters yesterday.

''Kind of exciting showing up knowing that if you play well you don't have to dust off the top 10 in the world to have a chance.'' World number 42 Calcavecchia has flourished this year, whether or not the game's players have been in the field.

The 1989 British Open champion has piled up six top-10 finishes in 26 PGA Tour starts and lies 12th in the money list with career-best earnings of $2,993,332.

He won his 13th Tour title by a stroke at the Tampa Bay Championship in March and tied for second behind Woods at the elite Tour Championship in Atlanta.

''Winning the PODS (the Tampa Bay Championship) was pretty great for me and set up my year,'' said Calcavecchia, who is competing in the final four Tour events of the season.

''When I said I was going to play the last four, I wanted to win another one of them and turn a great year into a really great year.

''Now I got two left. I'm going to play next week at Disney and I'm looking forward to a couple big weeks -- I hope.'' BIGGEST INCENTIVE The biggest incentive for most of Calcavecchia's rivals at Tesoro Club is to climb into the top 125 in the season-ending Tour money list to secure full exemption for 2008.

''This Fall Series is almost like a mini FedExCup with (the focus on) the money list and some guys are playing great golf under pressure packed situations to keep their cards,'' the 47-year-old said.

The inaugural $4.5 million Ginn Classic starts on Thursday.

REUTERS TB RN1010 ,993,332.

He won his 13th Tour title by a stroke at the Tampa Bay Championship in March and tied for second behind Woods at the elite Tour Championship in Atlanta.

''Winning the PODS (the Tampa Bay Championship) was pretty great for me and set up my year,'' said Calcavecchia, who is competing in the final four Tour events of the season.

''When I said I was going to play the last four, I wanted to win another one of them and turn a great year into a really great year.

''Now I got two left. I'm going to play next week at Disney and I'm looking forward to a couple big weeks -- I hope.'' BIGGEST INCENTIVE The biggest incentive for most of Calcavecchia's rivals at Tesoro Club is to climb into the top 125 in the season-ending Tour money list to secure full exemption for 2008.

''This Fall Series is almost like a mini FedExCup with (the focus on) the money list and some guys are playing great golf under pressure packed situations to keep their cards,'' the 47-year-old said.

The inaugural .5 million Ginn Classic starts on Thursday.

REUTERS TB RN1010

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