June 3 2011
DUBLIN, Ohio -- On the comeback trail after a series of nagging shoulder and wrist injuries, Chris DiMarco needed a sponsor's exemption to make the field for the Memorial Tournament.
And now he's showing Jack Nicklaus -- his coach in two Presidents Cups -- that his faith was rewarded.
DiMarco is even par through nine holes in the second round and two shots out of the lead held by his playing partner, Josh Teeter. DiMarco has made two birdies and a pair of bogeys as he embarks on the back nine.
DiMarco actually thought he was going to earn his spot on merit, but finished a few positions shy. So he joked that he reminded Nicklaus that he made the winning putt in a 1-up win over Stuart Appleby at the 2005 Presidents Cup to sweeten the deal.
"Presidents Cup helped," DiMarco said on Thursday. "There were a few things that were good, there was no doubt about it. I kept reminding him, Remember that putt I made in the Presidents Cup? I could use a spot here."
DiMarco has only had two top-10s in the last three years. He came close to another earlier this year when he tied for 11th in Puerto Rico and the 42-year-old feels a putting change has been key.
"I'm lifting my putter off the ground and it's really helping me smooth things out," DiMarco said. "... I don't do it all the time, but when I feel like I'm pushing the putter into the ground, so to speak, like putting pressure on it, it's hard to get the putter back.
"So by lifting it off the ground, it's not so much different than what Charlie Wi does with his putter where he kind of bounces, it's the same type of thing. You're just trying to get the putter started going back."