Calcavecchia seeks home advantage in Disney finale

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MIAMI, Oct 31 (Reuters) Florida resident Mark Calcavecchia is banking on home advantage at this week's Disney Classic in Lake Buena Vista, the final event on the 2007 PGA Tour.

The burly American, who lies 12th in the Tour money list, has triumphed three times in the Sunshine State and relished playing in front of his home fans.

''Florida's been good to me and I'm looking forward to a big week,'' the 47-year-old told reporters during preparation for tomorrow's opening round at the Walt Disney World Resort.

''I tend to play well at home and I'm looking to get back on track,'' added Calcavecchia, who withdrew after the opening round of last week's Ginn sur Mer Classic because of vertigo.

''I like it when all my friends come out to watch and I tend to play a little bit harder in front of the home crowd.'' The 1989 British Open champion has flourished this season, piling up six top-10 finishes in 27 PGA Tour starts for career-best earnings of 2,993,332 dollars.

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 in September.

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

Also competing part this week is Orlando resident Daniel Chopra of Sweden, who clinched his maiden PGA Tour title at the rain-delayed Ginn sur Mer Classic on Monday.

Victory apart, the biggest incentive for many of the players in the Tour's season finale is to secure playing privileges for 2008.

The leading 125 in the final money list automatically earn full exemption for next year and American Ted Purdy holds the 125th spot going into this week with earnings of 758,734 dollars.

Hot on his heels are big-hitting J.B. Holmes, with 4,616, and beefy Kevin Stadler, with 737,276 dollars.

Holmes dropped out of the top 125 after being disqualified from the Ginn sur Mer Classic for missing his second-round teetime. Stadler slipped out after missing last week's cut.

Joe Durant defends the title he won by four strokes last year over fellow Americans Troy Matteson and Frank Lickliter II.

The .5 million event is being played over the par-72 Palm and Magnolia courses.

Reuters BJR VP0428

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