January 16 2011
HONOLULU -- Chris DiMarco came to Oahu with a string of 14 consecutive cuts made, which is tied for the fifth longest active streak on the PGA TOUR.
He'll extend that string to 15 after shooting his second straight 67 in Saturday's second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii. That left him at 6 under for the tournament and tied for 12th.
"It's a positive," DiMarco said about his streak. "If you're not playing the weekend, there's nothing positive about that."
But now it's time to start turning those made cuts into big paydays.
Despite the string of made cuts, DiMarco finished outside of the top 125 on the money list last season. That forced him to use his one-time top 50 career money list exemption in order to keep his playing status this year. He previously had used his top 25 career money list exemption.
As a result, he's under pressure this year to finish inside the top 125.
"Obviously this year taking my top 50 career money, knowing this is a year that I need to pretty much dedicate everything to it -- it's hard," DiMarco said.
"Sometimes this game you have to be selfish, and when you have a family it's hard to be that. I dedicated myself to playing hard this year and getting back to where we need to be."
In the last two years, DiMarco has made 39 cuts in 54 starts. But he had just one top-10 finish in that time. That came in the Reno-Tahoe Open last year when he tied for 10th. It's his only top-20 finish in his current string of consecutive cuts made.
"I was always finishing around 40th," DiMarco said. "Obviously you need to throw a few top 10s in there."
An encouraging performance at the Shark Shootout with partner Anthony Kim last month gave him some confidence entering this year.
And he thinks Waialae is one of the few courses on TOUR that is still reachable for him. In 2003, he finished third here.
"There's not many now that if you're not overly long that you can still get on, and this is one of them," DiMarco said, "so I felt very good about coming here."
He'll feel a lot better if he nabs a big paycheck Sunday. – Mike McAllister