Poor Play Sends DiMarco Packing

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PINEHURST, N.C. -- In his last two majors, Chris DiMarco was just a hair away from winning. In this one, he wasn't even close to making the cut.
 
DiMarco, a playoff runner-up at the most recent PGA and Masters, shot a 12-over-par 82 Friday in the second round of the U.S. Open to join Padraig Harrington as one of the few top contenders not able to stick around for the weekend.
 
DiMarco's score of 153 missed the cut by five strokes, and he did not make himself available for interviews afterward.
 
At the Open, the cut is the top 60 and ties, plus everyone within 10 strokes of the lead. That was 8 over par this year, and 83 players made it.
 
Among them was Davis Love III, who stood at 11-over after his first 27 holes and had every reason to believe his four birdies over the final nine holes wouldn't be enough to save him. Turns out, they did - with a stroke to spare.
 
Likewise, Mike Weir probably didn't think his birdie to close things out and finish at 7-over 147 meant much, but it did. The 2003 Masters champion will be around for the final two rounds.
 
'Whatever it does, it gives me something to build on,' Weir said following his round, hours before the cut line was established. 'Knowing you have to hit a good shot and to pull it off shows I've been battling. When my game comes around, I'll be OK.'
 
Others who extended their stay include two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, who finished at 7-over.
 
'I'd like to play on the weekend,' he said. 'If I can inch toward red numbers, who knows what can happen.'
 
Peter Jacobsen, the 51-year-old who won the U.S. Senior Open last year, is also staying, just seven strokes off the lead at 145. He made the cut for the 14th time in 16 U.S. Opens, although this was his first Open since 1996.
 
'I'm not surprised at all,' Jacobsen said. 'If you check my record, I'm pretty good in U.S. Opens. I drive it pretty straight. I'm real good around the greens, and I think the one thing that's in my advantage is attitude. I'm pretty patient.'
 
John Daly, Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer and Stewart Cink were among a group of 15 at 7-over. Frank Lickliter, Chad Campbell and J.P. Hayes were the most fortunate, finishing at 8-over and getting the chance at a paycheck, even though they were in a 12-way tie for 72nd.
 
The 83 making the cut were still 25 short of the record set in 1996, but still not enough for Derek Brown of Walnut Cove, the only native North Carolinian playing at Pinehurst this week. He finished at 9-over.
 
'This is all a learning experience for me this year,' he said before he knew what the cut line would be. 'It's just great to be here. If I make the cut, it'll be awesome. That was my goal for the week.'
 
Others going home include David Duval, Tom Lehman, Len Mattiace, Rich Beem and Ben Curtis.
 
Ranked 11th in the world, Harrington was probably the biggest surprise outside of eighth-ranked DiMarco, who extended his strange connection with Tom Watson in the majors.
 
DiMarco became the first player to lose two straight playoffs in majors since Watson in 1978-79. In the tournament after Watson's second loss - the 1979 U.S. Open - he too missed the cut.
 
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - 105th U.S. Open
  • Full Coverage - 105th U.S. Open

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