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DiMarco a Good Bet This Week

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. ' Gambling goes hand-and-glove with golf. But when youre playing for high stakes on a weekly basis, sometimes money isnt enough. You have to bet pride.
 
Chris DiMarco lost a gentlemans wager in September and is publicly paying with his pride in October.
 
However, if things keep the current course, that loss of dignity may be compensated with a $666,000 paycheck.
 
Chris DiMarcoDiMarco followed an opening 64 with a 9-under 63 to take the lead through two rounds of the Disney Golf Classic.
 
DiMarco used the rules of lift, clean and place on the Palm Course to his advantage, birdieing five of his first six holes Friday and chipping in at the last en route to finishing at 17-under-par 127, a new 36-hole tournament record.
 
If I keep playing well, and keep doing what Im doing, Im going to be tough to catch, he said.
 
DiMarco is two strokes clear of fellow Orlando resident Scott Hoch, who teed off late on the Magnolia Course, where they did not clean and replace. The 46-year-old shot 65 to stay within reach of the leader.
 
'Two days in a row now I've played pretty well,' Hoch said. 'Started out kind of slow score-wise, and then finally when I got a couple to drop, then a lot of them started dropping.'
 
Overnight co-leaders Hidemichi Tanaka and Bob Burns kept themselves in contention. Tanaka shot 67 on the Palm to get to minus 14, while Burns had a 68 at Magnolia to move to 13-under.
 
Two-time champion Tiger Woods said he played better Friday, but his score wasn't indicative of that. Woods, playing with a new graphite shaft in his driver, wasn't able to the convert the putts he did in round one, and posted a 3-under 69. He's eight back, at 9-under.
 
The cutline fell at 6-under 138. The score in relation to par is the lowest in tour history.
 
'I was kidding saying (Thursday) that I think I need to shoot under par to make the cut. I was actually on the money,' said Woods, who opened in 6-under 66.
 
'This is just so low. I have never seen anything like that before - this many guys going that low.
 
'I just need to go out there and shoot one of (DiMarco's) rounds, and I will be all right.'
 
While DiMarco may have the honor of leading, a peculiar plush bird peering out of his golf bag has created a bit of ignominy.
 
DiMarco, an All-American at the University of Florida, is being forced to shield his driver at this weeks event with a Sebastian Ibis head cover ' the Miami Hurricanes mascot.
 
The good thing is its got orange and green in it. It kind of looks like a gator, DiMarco rationalized. And right now, the way the Gators are playing (theyre 4-3), I dont know if Id much rather have that on there or not.
 
DiMarco made a bet with Miami native Briny Baird that his Gators would beat Bairds Hurricanes in an early-season football game. The Gators lost ' badly, and it cost DiMarco.
 
The head cover is gone as soon as I sink my last putt on the last hole on 18, he said.
 
He may want to reconsider after posting a pair of brilliant rounds, consisting of 17 birdies, one eagle and two bogeys. But its not the offensive head cover that is producing the stellar play, its a confident putting stroke.
 
Ive been putting absolutely phenomenal. Im just seeing the line so good and my speed has been perfect, said DiMarco, who is averaging just 22 putts per round this week.
 
After his early birdie run Friday, DiMarco stalled with one birdie over a seven-hole stretch, before lacing a 3-wood from 271 yards to 10 feet and making eagle at the par-5 14th.
 
He concluded his day by banking in a birdie at the last from off the green.
 
Getting to this point doesnt mean I have to shoot, you know, Ive got my 63 and 64. So, you know, I dont necessarily have to shoot two more of those to win, he said.
 
DiMarco captured this years Phoenix Open, but has recorded only a pair of top-10 finishes since that January victory. He attributes his recent turn-around to avoiding the big numbers.
 
I bet you from June to the end of August I probably made 20 doubles and, I mean, I might have made five doubles all last year. You do that enough and its just not going to help your score, he pointed out.
 
And for the record, DiMarco wont be making any more bets concerning his alma mater.
 
No, he said. Not like the one I just made, no.
 
Full-field scores from the Disney Golf Classic