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DiMarco falls short despite numbers fun

By BOB HARIG, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 21, 2002


LAKE BUENA VISTA -- Chris DiMarco, who led after the second and third rounds of the Disney Golf Classic, did not post his second win of the year, despite many pains to do so.

LAKE BUENA VISTA -- Chris DiMarco, who led after the second and third rounds of the Disney Golf Classic, did not post his second win of the year, despite many pains to do so.

Orlando's DiMarco, in a word, is superstitious.

Sunday, he was using a Titleist ball with the No. 8 on it, following form. On Thursdays, he uses balls only with No. 5, followed by No. 6 on Fridays and No. 7 on Saturday. On the greens, he marks his ball with a 1965 quarter, and only with George Washington's head pointed toward the hole.

All of that helped DiMarco shoot 68 on Sunday, but he came up one shot short of winner Bob Burns despite a four-day total of 24-under par.

"I think that's the third time out here that I've shot 24 under and lost," DiMarco said. "So the guys are good. You have to take your hat off to Bob. He played absolutely phenomenal."

At least DiMarco birdied the 18th, gaining sole possession of second. He earned $399,600 and moved to 10th on the PGA Tour money list with $2,441,430.

MOVING UP: For each of the past seven seasons, and 11 of the past 12, Davis Love has qualified for the season-ending Tour Championship by finishing among the top 30 money winners. He's been no worse than 11th each of the past seven years.

But Love, winless this season, was 27th on the money list heading into the Disney Golf Classic and feeling none too secure about his position.

"I was just trying to protect my position so I had to play hard all week to at least make a little bit just in case I needed it," said Love, who began in a tie for 42nd but moved up by shooting 65 that included a hole in one at the 12th. He hit a 7-iron from 169 yards.

Love tied for 17th, earned $42,280 and moved to 25th on the money list with one event left before the Tour Championship.

LIMITED AIR TIME: There was a lot of irony associated with Tiger Woods and his charge up the leaderboard. ABC, which broadcast the tournament, showed just nine of his 63 strokes live -- two putts on the 16th, a birdie at the 17th (three shots) and four on No. 18.

The irony? Woods has an endorsement contract with Disney, which not only owns the tournament but also owns ABC. The network came on the air late because of the MLS Cup, which went to extra time.

CHIP SHOTS: In his first tournament since winning the Tampa Bay Classic last month and then having an appendectomy, South Korea's K.J. Choi shot a final-round 64 to tie for sixth and earn $119,787. He is 19th on the money list with more than $2-million. ... With two official events left, David Frost is on the hot spot -- 125th on the money list with $509,845. The top 125 are fuly exempt next season. ... Skip Kendall began two shots out of the lead, but shot the day's highest score, 76, and tied for 36th.

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