American golfer Mark Calcavecchia has plenty of landmarks to look back on over his 41-year professional career.
For example, the 61-year-old has 13 PGA Tour wins, spent 109 weeks in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking between 1988 and 1991, and in 2001, set a then Tour scoring record of 28 under par in the Phoenix Open, with 32 birdies across the four rounds.
In 2009, he set another PGA Tour record with nine consecutive birdies in the second round of the RBC Canadian Open. He’s also played in four US Ryder Cup teams, and has one Major win to his name. More recently, he has four wins on the PGA Tour Champions.
By almost any standards, Calcavecchia has had a remarkable career, but this week, he can add another milestone to his lengthy list of achievements – his 1,000th Tour-sanctioned start. When the Nebraskan tees it up at this week’s inaugural ClubCorp Classic in Dallas, he will become only the 23rd player to reach the landmark number.
Speaking to PGA Tour Champions Digital, Calcavecchia reflected on the achievement, saying: “It's pretty cool. It shows my longevity and how I was able to keep my card for 25 straight years basically without ever losing it. I had a good PGA Tour career, which also enabled me to be on this Tour for as long as I want to play."
Despite the incredible achievement, Calcavecchia isn’t quite done yet, and still has one more Major appearance to look forward to. He had been due to bow out of Majors at the 2020 Open Championship, with his eligibility for the tournament expiring once he turned 60. However, the tournament was cancelled because of Covid. Then, last year, he missed out because he’d had back surgery. Undeterred, Calcavecchia wrote to the Open committee to ask to be considered for the 150th Open at St Andrews in July – a wish that was granted.
“They got right back to me and said: ‘Let me bring it up to the championship committee.’ And not even a few weeks later, I got an email back. The decision by the 25 committee members was unanimous: ‘We'd love to have you play your last Open at St Andrews. We love to take care of our past champions.’"
Calcavecchia’s sole Major win came in the 1989 Open Championship, so the occasion will undoubtedly mark a fitting end to his participation in golf's flagship events. Before then, though, he has this week’s rather less celebrated, but for Calcavecchia, no less significant tournament at Las Calinas Country Club to look forward to. There, he will add yet another landmark achievement to what has been a long and remarkable career.
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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