Struggling DiMarco falls into tie for International lead

Posted: Sunday, August 08, 2004

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. Chris DiMarco had eight bogeys and only three birdies in the third round Saturday to drop into a tie for the lead with Rod Pampling in The International, setting up what could be a wild finish.

DiMarco, the second-round leader, appeared to headed toward a runaway victory with 31 points and a nine-point lead in the modified Stableford scoring system event, but ended up losing two points in the third round with his stroke-play 77.

DiMarco's collapse allowed 17 players to move within 10 points in a format known for huge swings of momentum from 8 points for a double eagle to minus-3 for double bogey or worse. Alex Cejka was two points back after a six-birdie round, and Tom Pernice and Bob Tway were tied for fourth with 26.

Half the field returned to the Castle Pines course early Saturday to finish the second round after three rain delays the first two days, and they were all chasing DiMarco who opened with 14- and 17-point rounds.

DiMarco got off to a good start, opening with a birdie on the par-5 first hole to match Pampling. Then things started to go wrong.

He pushed his tee shot into a cluster of trees on the third hole, leading to a bogey, and lost two more points after pulling iron shots on 4 and 5.

DiMarco seem to have settled himself with consecutive pars, but ran into trouble again. He hit into the woods with his approach on the par-5 eighth for a bogey, and dropped another point at No. 9 after hitting his tee shot in a pond.

Pampling was able to shake off a poor finish to his second round to get close.

He was within six points with seven holes left Friday, but gave three back with bogeys on three of his first four holes Saturday morning. Unfazed by his early struggles, Pampling knocked it to a foot for birdie on the par-5 first, then added another at No. 4 after nearly holing his tee shot on the 230-yard hole.

Pampling took the lead on No. 13 with a birdie after DiMarco bogeyed the 12th, then DiMarco took it right back with a birdie on the next hole. Another bogey on 15 dropped DiMarco into a tie, but he was back in the lead when Pampling had a bogey on 16.

Both players birdied the par-5 17th and DiMarco lipped out a short par putt on No. 18.

Cejka started his day with 12 points through 12 holes before the second round was called on Friday, and quickly started making up ground. He finished Saturday morning with 17 points, then birdied the first hole of the third round. A bogey on the difficult par-3 fourth set Cejka back a point, but he followed with birdies on Nos. 5, 8, 12, 14 and 18 to briefly take the lead.

Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic

SYLVANIA, Ohio Women's British Open winner Karen Stupples shot a 3-under 68 to take a three-stroke lead in the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.

The Englishwoman had an 8-under 205 total on the Highland Meadows course.

Marilyn Lovander, a 49 trying to become the oldest player to win an LPGA Tour event, was second after a 69. U.S. Women's Open champion Meg Mallon (74) was another stroke back along with Jeong Jang (68).

Se Ri Pak, attempting to match Mickey Wright's tour record of five victories in one event, topped a group at 3 under after a 72. Wright won the Sea Island Open in 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1963.

3M Championship

BLAINE, Minn. Tom Purtzer shot a 4-under 68 to take a two-stroke lead over Tom Kite into the final round of the Champions Tour's 3M Championship.

Purtzer and Kite (69) were tied through 16 holes, but Kite's bogey and Purtzer's birdie on the par-3 17th gave Purtzer a two-stroke lead. Both birdied the 18th, leaving Purtzer at 12-under 132. First-round co-leader Craig Stadler was third at 9 under after a 71, and Sammy Rachels (71) was another stroke back.

HP Open

STOCKHOLM, Sweden Sweden's Carin Koch and Wales' Becky Morgan shared the third-round lead in the HP Open, two strokes ahead of Annika Sorenstam.

Koch shot a 68 to match Morgan (69) at 7-under 209. Sorenstam shot a 69.

KLM Open

HILVERSUM, Netherlands Australia's Richard Green shot a 3-under 67 to take a three-stroke lead after the third round of the KLM Open.

Green had a 15-under 195 total. England's David Lynn (65) was second.

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