Originally created 09/18/00

DiMarco wins Pennsylvania Classic



PAOLI, Pa. -- Chris DiMarco doesn't have to worry about getting respect anymore.

DiMarco shot a 2-under-par 69 Sunday to win the inaugural Pennsylvania Classic by six strokes and earn his first victory on the PGA Tour in 159 career starts.

It was the first tour event in Pennsylvania in 20 years.

"You get respect from certain guys out here, and until you win I don't think you get the utmost respect from the top-notch players," said DiMarco, who had two second-place finishes this year. "For me to kind of break through and be part of that, another elite club... I'm extremely proud of myself that I achieved that.

DiMarco started fast and was never challenged in the final round at Waynesborough Country Club. He had one eagle and three birdies to score in the 60s for the fourth straight day and finish at 14-under 270.

"It's been such a long journey," said DiMarco, who earned $576,000. "Me and my wife have been through so much and my family has been through so much. Being so close so many times...it's just never been easy."

Scott Hoch shot his best round of the tournament, a 65 that included 4-under on the back nine, to finish in a five-way tie for second at 276.

Chris Perry (70), Brad Elder (70), Jonathan Kaye (71) and Mark Calcavecchia (72) also finished at 276.

The tournament was missing many of the big names, including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els, as none of the top seven money-winners competed.

DiMarco's quick start Sunday included an eagle on No. 3 that gave him a four-stroke lead over the fast-charging Kaye, who birdied Nos. 1 and 2.

DiMarco nailed an eight-iron 143 yards directly into the hole for his only eagle of the tournament. He shrugged his shoulders in disbelief as the gallery roared.

"It was right at it. I heard a clank and I didn't know if it hit somebody or went in," DiMarco said. "It was awesome. It was extremely lucky, but it's where I was aiming."

Calcavecchia, Loren Roberts and Frank Lickliter, who each entered the last round three strokes behind, struggled early and never threatened.

Roberts closed with a 74 to tie for eighth at 278. Lickliter, who went 48 holes without a bogey, bogeyed three of his first four holes and six on the front nine. He finished with a 76 to tie for 12th at 280.

Calcavecchia missed a putt for birdie on No. 18 that would've given him sole possession of second place.

"Chris deserved to win. It was his day," Calcavecchia said. "It was obviously a difficult day for me. I never seemed to get in rhythm."

DiMarco bogeyed No. 4 and No. 9 to stay even as he made the turn. He got his first birdie of the afternoon with a 6-foot putt on No. 12, and added birdies on the 15th and 18th.

"The birdie on the 12th was probably the biggest because at that point I think I only had a two-shot lead," DiMarco said.

The last PGA Tour event to be held in Pennsylvania was the IVB Philadelphia Classic in 1980. The Pennsylvania Classic will alternate between the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas each year, with Waynesborough and Laurel Valley in Ligonier as venues.

Divots:

DiMarco is the ninth first-time winner on the PGA Tour this year. The six strokes were the largest margin of victory for a first-timer. ... Hoch birdied Nos. 11, 12, 14 and 16 to move up from 23rd on the final day. ... Roberts, coming off a solid round of putting Saturday, missed short putts for birdie on No. 2 and for par on the next two. ... Grant Waite, who finished second behind Tiger Woods at last week's Canadian Open, had a 71 to finish in a tie for 33rd at 284. .... Brian Claar shot a 10 on the par-3 14th hole to ruin a solid round and finish with a 74.