Sunday, January 22, 2006

DiMarco Guns Down
The Swinging Swede


Sunday morning at The Abu Dhabi Championship had all the makings of a balls to the wall slobber knocker between some of the worlds best. Chris DiMarco and two time European Tour winner Henrik Stenson of Sweden had the honor of being the last group of the day while Sergio Garcia, Ricardo Gonzalez, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Colin Montgomerie were all in the hunt for a winners check of $333,170. But between you and I, I’m kicking myself for not buying Chris DiMarco stock on Thursday morning.

The win at the inaugural event marks DiMarco’s first since the 2002 Phoenix Open. It’s hard to believe that such a stellar player has gone looking for the well for four years, come close so many times, but still come up dry.

All that changed this past Sunday afternoon as Chris DiMarco’s thirst was finally quenched by edging out The Swede during the final round of play at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club. It looked as if we were going to see a serious battle between these two, especially after Stenson holed out a bunker shot at 11 to make birdie and tie DiMarco for the lead. However, Stenson’s brilliance was short lived as DiMarco answered right back with a birdie of his own to reclaim "Head of the Pack" status and accumulate some fiery gusto to which he held onto for the remainder of the round. Even with a personal best of 62 on Saturday, The Swinging Swedes’ momentum couldn’t stand and deliver during his final round of play.

This tournament was perhaps some of the greatest golf I’ve seen from Chris DiMarco thus far, with the ‘05 Presidents Cup and ‘05 Masters not far behind.

With his wife Amy on the bag for all four rounds, I have no doubt that she was a great encouragement for the former Gator. Chris read all his own putts and yardages without the assistance of his matrimonial caddy.

For interviews and a recap, check out the broadcast at the European Tour website.

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