DiMarco needs high finish in PGA Tour finale

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A putting tip from his 13-year-old son could help Chris DiMarco earn his 2010 PGA Tour card.

DiMarco’s son, Christian, was caddying for him in the Father/Child Tournament earlier this week when he noticed that his father’s putter head was lined up about 4 inches left of his target. DiMarco was playing the event with his two daughters, Abigale and Amanda.

“My eyes were deceiving me,” Chris DiMarco said. “All of a sudden, my stroke’s kind of freed up.”

photo

Chris DiMarco needs a top-10 finish at the Children's Miracle Network Classic.

The advice helped him start this week’s Children’s Miracle Network Classic, the final event of the PGA Tour season, with two consecutive 68s. When he walked off the golf course Friday morning, DiMarco was tied for third place.

He needs to finish in the top 10 this week to crack the top 125 on the money list. He started the week at No. 138, $112,599 behind No. 125 David Duval. A top-10 this week would be his first of the year; he has just three top 25s.

“It was one of my old rounds,” DiMarco said about his play Friday. “It wasn’t the greatest, but I hit enough good shots and made enough putts to turn a 71 into a 68, instead of the other way around.”

The top 125 on the money list earn fully-exempt PGA Tour cards for 2010. Nos. 126-150 are conditionally exempt. If DiMarco doesn’t crack the top 125, he said he will not play Q-School, nor use a one-time exemption for being in the top 50 on the career money list.

Much attention is paid this week to players trying to crack the top 125 on the money list. For a long-time Tour player such as DiMarco, it has limited importance. Finishing in the top 125 would earn DiMarco a spot in next year’s Players Championship, but would be worth only a handful more starts.

Rich Beem, like DiMarco a popular player, finished 140th on last year’s money list, but made 26 starts this season. Like Beem, DiMarco should be able to count on his fair share of sponsor exemptions to fill out his schedule.

DiMarco played this year under a one-time exemption for being in the top 25 on the career money list. He finished 146th on last year’s money list, the first time since 1995 that he finished outside the top 125 after playing a full PGA Tour season.

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