Sports Outside the Beltway

Mark Calcavecchia sets PGA Tour record with 9 straight birdies

The previous streak of eight consecutive birdies had been done by six separate individuals. From AP-

Mark Calcavecchia birdied nine straight holes Saturday in the Canadian Open to break the PGA Tour record.

In perfect morning scoring conditions at rain-softened Glen Abbey, Calcavecchia opened the delayed second round with two pars, then reeled off the nine straight birdies. His nine birdie putts were from 15 feet or closer.

With 15-year-old son Eric working as his caddie, Calcavecchia shot a 7-under 65 to finish two rounds at 8 under. He was five strokes behind leader Jason Dufner entering the third round, postponed until Sunday after heavy afternoon rain.

The round was played using the lift, clean, and place rule. That will always optimize the chances for birdies.

In the 2001 Phoenix Open, Calcavecchia broke the PGA Tour’s 72-hole record with a 256 total — shooting 65-60-64-67 to finish 26 under at TPC Scottsdale. Tommy Armour III broke that record in the 2003 Texas Open, finishing at 254.

Calc, who lives a half hour up the road from me and has 13 career tour victories, has always had a knack for shooting lights out. His early days as a professional golfer were more of a struggle. One year he played in the Honda Classic after working the previous Honda as a caddie.

Calcavecchia broke the record set by Bob Goalby in his 1961 St. Petersburg Open victory and matched by Fuzzy Zoeller (1976 Quad Cities Open), Dewey Arnette (1987 Buick Open), Edward Fryatt (2000 Doral-Ryder Open), J.P. Hayes (2002 Bob Hope Classic) and Kelly (2003 Las Vegas Invitational). Hayes played alongside Calcavecchia on Saturday.

Out of those players, only Goalby won the week they made tour history. Due to rain, there will be a 36-hole finale tomorrow. That gives Calcavecchia, who stands five shots back at this moment, a chance to join Goalby as a winner.

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