Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

DiMarco Getting Grip at Disney Classic

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

DiMarco Getting Grip at Disney Classic

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits, Times-Union sports writer

LAKE BUENA VISTA -- Chris DiMarco, a former University of Florida golfer who used to drive from one Tour site to another in a blue-and-orange van, will tolerate the color red for one reason: when it's representative of birdies on the scoreboard.

And through 36 holes in the Disney World Classic, DiMarco has posted the most red numbers in a tournament on a pace for some of the lowest scores in PGA Tour history.

DiMarco birdied his first three holes and five of the first six to shoot a season-low 63 yesterday at the Palm Course, taking a 2-shot lead over Scott Hoch at 17-under-par 127. His score is one shot off the Tour record of 18-under over the first 36 holes, set by Mark Calcavecchia in the 2001 Phoenix Open.

Hoch (65) birdied his last three holes at the Palm Course to get to 15-under. Hidemichi Tanaka of Japan (67 at the Palm) is third at 14-under and Bob Burns (68 at Magnolia) is fourth at 13-under.

The world's No. 1-ranked player and two-time Disney winner, Tiger Woods (69 at Magnolia), is 9-under.

The 6-under cut is a Tour record. The previous record was 5-under on three occasions, including last year at Disney. Among the cut casualties were David Duval and Rocco Mediate of Ponte Vedra Beach, and three of the last four Disney champions, Jose Coceres, Duffy Waldorf and John Huston.

DiMarco, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, is ending another good season since he won for the first time at the 2000 SEI Pennsylvania Classic. He's 18th on the Tour money list entering this week, has already posted his third consecutive season of earning $1 million or more and won the Phoenix Open in January, one of his 10 finishes among the top-20 or better.

However, he's still hungry for another victory.

"My goals are to get to the Tour Championship [in two weeks, reserved for the top 30 on the money list], and win a tournament and get to the Mercedes Championship [the first event of the PGA Tour season, for winners during the previous year]," DiMarco said. …

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