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“When you’ve got a strong faith in your swing and what you’re doing, three or four bad shots won’t affect you that much,” he said. “In my case, if I play three or four bad holes in a row, hit a couple of bad iron shots, drive in the junk, then all of the sudden I’m like, ‘Jesus, I suck. What am I doing out here?’”

His phone lesson with Peter Kostis before last week’s U.S. Senior Open allowed Calcavecchia to hit the ball “better than I scored.” He also liked how he hit the ball during a “quick 18” on Tuesday.

So will it be enough to defeat Langer? The defending 3M champion is the hottest player on tour with wins the past two weeks.

“He’s the guy to beat for sure,” Calcavecchia said. “I played with him the first two days last week, and he didn’t do anything spectacular. … It’s not like he’s hitting every shot perfect or anything. He’s just playing really smart, solid golf, and he hit a lot of putts. He made three or four bombs, and every 6- or 7-footer he needed for par he made.”

Coming off a tough travel schedule for the players, including an eight-time-zone change between the Senior British Open in Scotland and last week’s U.S. Senior Open outside Seattle, a few of the top names are sitting out this week: Couples, Watson and Corey Pavin.

Tom Lehman, a native of Alexandria, Minn., was scheduled to make his first appearance in the tournament. However, he withdrew on Monday with a right knee injury.

Thanks to strong sponsorships, admission to the tournament is free for the second straight year.

“I want everybody in Minnesota to come out and be part of the event,” said tournament director Hollis Cavner. “We want people to come see what we have and enjoy some great golf.”