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DiMarco remains hot, takes lead by six

A change in stance made Sunday continues to pay big dividends at the International.

By Associated Press
Published August 7, 2004

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. - Chris DiMarco's goal this week at the International is simple: wave to the crowd without playing the final hole.

DiMarco had four birdies to complete his first round and added nine more in the second for 31 points and a six-point lead before play was halted because of darkness Friday at the International.

At this rate DiMarco might be able to skip a hole or two and still win under the tournament's modified Stableford scoring system.

"I've always said my goal is to have enough points when I finish the 17th hole to just walk in," DiMarco said. "Just finish, walk off 17 and just kind of wave to everybody as I'm going down 18."

It could be a long time before he gets to that point.

Rain and lightning ended Thursday's first round, forcing half the field to return Friday. Two more rounds of storms hit Friday, setting up another marathon day for 72 players.

The second round will be completed this morning, and the top 70 plus ties continue to the third round.

"This course is a beast to walk, and to walk 19 holes, it's one too many," said Olin Browne, who was fourth with 17 points after playing 25 holes Friday. "You have to walk 32 holes, and you're ready to slit your wrists at the end of the day."

First-round leader Rod Pampling was second with 25 points through 11 holes of the second round. Bob Tway and Geoff Ogilvy had 18. Browne made the biggest move, tying the tournament record with 10 birdies in an 18-point second round.

But they might have a hard time catching DiMarco, who had 17 points in the second round of a format that awards anywhere from eight points for a double eagle to minus-3 for a double bogey or worse.

He had just 49 putts in two rounds, 22 in the second, thanks to a change in stance before Sunday's final round of the Buick Open. DiMarco finished that tournament tied for 15th after a final-round 66 then shot 63 in a pro-am this week.

DiMarco had six points through eight holes Thursday before the round was stopped, then added eight Friday morning to finish his first round.

He opened his second round with a birdie on the par-5 first, worth two points, and added three more on the front nine. He followed with birdies on 10, 12, 14, 15 and 17 before losing a point with a bogey on the par-4 finishing hole, tapping in a 1-footer after the first delay of 53 minutes.

[Last modified August 6, 2004, 23:55:17]


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