DiMarco 36-Hole Leader at International


The International 2004CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Chris DiMarco figures he has messed up every hole at Castle Pines Golf Club in nine years of playing The International.
Its the kind of knowledge that can come in handy.
DiMarco had four birdies to complete his first round, then added nine more in the second for 31 points and a nine-point lead Friday before play was suspended because of darkness.
Once youve played here enough and done well on every hole and screwed up every hole, theres really nothing else that you can do, DiMarco said. So, you just go out and play the golf course.
Rain and lightning ended play Thursday, forcing half the field to return Friday for up to 33 holes at hilly Castle Pines. Two more rounds of storms hit Friday, setting up another marathon day in the altitude for 72 players.
The second round was completed Saturday morning, with 72 players advancing to the third round.
This course is a beast to walk and to walk 19 holes, its one too many, said Olin Browne, who was fourth with 17 points after playing 25 holes Friday. You have to walk 32 holes and youre ready to slit your wrists at the end of the day.
First-round leader Rod Pampling had 25 points through 11 holes before darkness hit Friday, but struggled after coming back to complete his round Saturday morning. He had a bogey on his first hole back, No. 3, and added two more to drop to 22 points.
Bob Tway and Geoff Ogilvy were third with 18 points each. Browne made the biggest move of the day, tying the tournament record with 10 birdies in an 18-point second round.
But they all might have a hard time catching DiMarco, who had 17 points in the second round of a format that gives players anywhere from 8 points for a double eagle to minus-3 for a double bogey or worse.
DiMarco had six points through eight holes Thursday before the first round was stopped, then added eight more Friday morning to finish his first round.
He didnt stop there.
DiMarco 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 Nos. 10, 12, 14, 15 and 17 before losing a point with a bogey on the difficult par-4 finishing hole, tapping in a 1-footer after the first delay of 53 minutes.
If DiMarco maintains this pace, he might get a chance to test the tournament rule that requires players to give their best effort on every hole.
Ive 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 Im going down 18.
But with a scoring format that rewards aggressive play, the tournament is far from over.
Browne proved that anything can happen at Castle Pines, firing at flags in the soft conditions after struggling in the morning.
He finished his first round at minus-1 after two bogeys on his final seven holes, but it didnt carry over. Browne opened his second round with consecutive birdies and finished with four straight, finishing two points short of the tournaments single-round record.
I just dont understand it sometimes, Browne said. I just dont understand this game.
Tway stayed steady during his 27-hole day, getting three birdies in the morning to finish with nine points. He added five more birdies before getting stuck in the thick rough on No. 18 and close with a bogey.
This week, you have to drive the ball in the fairway because you cannot play in the rough, Tway said. Thats the No. 1 priority.
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