Originally created 09/17/00

DiMarco takes lead at Pennsylvania Classic



PAOLI, Pa. -- Chris DiMarco is taking an aggressive approach into unfamiliar territory.

DiMarco, who has never won a PGA Tour event or even led one after three rounds, has a three-stroke lead entering the final round of the inaugural Pennsylvania Classic.

"I'm certainly going to have a lot of pressure on me," DiMarco said. "I've never won. I'm going to be in a situation where everybody is going to be looking at me and trying to catch me, and I've never been there before. If I shoot 66 or 67, I'm going to win. I need to take care of me and not worry about anybody else."

DiMarco shot a 5-under-par 66 in chilly and windy weather Saturday for a three-stroke lead over Frank Lickliter, Loren Roberts and Mark Calcavecchia in the first PGA Tour event in Pennsylvania in 20 years.

DiMarco, coming off a 67 on a windy Friday, had six birdies and one bogey for a 12-under 201 total in the difficult conditions at Waynesborough Country Club.

He took the lead with a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 14 as Lickliter got his first bogey of the tournament on the same hole.

"I'm hitting the ball really good, driving it good, hitting my irons extremely solid and I'm making a lot of putts," DiMarco said. "I'm just going to try to get a seven-or eight-shot lead, just push it ahead."

DiMarco's biggest shot of the day was a 5-foot putt for par after hitting his drive into the trees on No. 9, the toughest hole of the course.

"That was the turning point for me," he said.

Roberts shot his best round of the tournament, a 66, to move from 10th to second at 204. Lickliter, the co-leader after two rounds, had a 70. He bogeyed No. 17 to fall three strokes behind.

"I'd rather be seven shots ahead of DiMarco, but I'm happy with where I am," Lickliter said. "I have a chance to catch him. All I want is a chance."

Calcavecchia, who shared the lead with Lickliter after two rounds, fell back after consecutive bogeys on No. 6 and No. 7. He birdied No. 18 to finish with a 70.

Roberts, enjoying a fine season with seven top-10 finishes, including the U.S. and British Opens, overcame three bogeys with eight birdies.

"I'm seeing the line good and making a lot of birdies," said Roberts, who won the Greater Milwaukee Open in July. "Every time I hit it close, I make it."

Roberts sank an 18-footer for birdie on No. 11 and came back with an 8-footer for birdie on the 12th.

DiMarco, who didn't make the cut last week at the Canadian Open, has two second-place finishes this year.

"Spot me three tomorrow, I like that," he said.

Jonathan Kaye (68) was four strokes behind at 205. Chris Perry (66) and Brad Elder (68) were five strokes back at 206.

Perry moved up from 28th with six birdies, including four of the last five on the front nine.

Perry, who blew a one-stroke lead in the final round to finish second in the Buick Open last month, has four top-10 finishes this year and no titles since winning the B.C. Open in 1998.

Divots: Emlyn Aubrey, the co-leader after the first round, is six back at 207 after a 71. ... Danny Briggs, the other co-leader after the first round, shot a 76 and is even at 213. ... Steve Pate shot a 73 to fall seven behind after starting third-round play a stroke behind. ... John Rollins (66) heads a four-player group at 208. ... The winner will receive $576,000 of the $3.2 million purse.