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Golf-Runner-up Calcavecchia has reason to smile

ATLANTA, Sep 17 (Reuters) Mark Calcavecchia had a broad smile on his face after tying for second behind Tiger Woods at the Tour Championship.

The 47-year-old American was the oldest player in the 30-strong field at East Lake Golf Club and had no expectations at the start of the week.

''I was clearly the favourite to finish 30th this week and tying for second is pretty good,'' Calcavecchia told reporters yesterday after shooting a one-over-par 71 in the final round.

''I had no expectations coming in here and I'm glad I made that putt on the last hole,'' he added, referring to the five-footer for par that gave him a 15-under total of 265.

''It was a battle for second, really. Tiger didn't get off to his normal start, but you know it's just a matter of time with him.

I played today like I've been playing.'' Calcavecchia, joint runner-up with Masters champion Zach Johnson, trimmed Woods's three-shot overnight lead to two when he rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt at the first.

That was the closest he got, though, as the world number one went on to fire a five-under 65 and blow away the field by eight strokes.

''That was a pretty easy 65,'' said Calcavecchia, who played with good friend Woods in the final pairing.

''He's driving the ball good. He missed a couple of drives but he just sets up his game by driving it well.

''When he bombs it down there in the fairway, his distance control is so good and his short irons are so good and he controls his spin. And putting, he's the best ever, period.'' Asked to rate his own 2007 PGA Tour campaign, Calcavecchia replied: ''I've got to give myself an A.

''I've had some bad stretches, but any time I win a tournament and have five or six other top 10s and tie for second in the Tour Championship, that's good for me. I'm happy with that.'' Calcavecchia, the 1989 British Open champion, won his 13th PGA Tour title by one shot at the Tampa Bay Championship in March.

Reuters BJR RS1018

Story first published: Monday, September 17, 2007, 10:37 [IST]
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