Chris DiMarco, ranked 23rd in the world, signed autographs for fans after shooting a 66 in his pro-am round yesterday.
Mom is on DiMarco's mind
SILVIS, ILL. » No one would blame Chris DiMarco if he took at least another week off and withdrew from the John Deere Classic, which starts today.
No one, that is, except his mother, Norma, who died of a heart attack July 2.
"She would want me to be here, without a doubt," said DiMarco, who pulled out of last week's Western Open. "I know she's going to be watching every shot I hit. Obviously my mind-set is perspective ... I mean, I'm going to go out and try and give it my all and be there, but bad shots aren't going to matter so much as they used to."
DiMarco shot a 5-under 66 in yesterday's pro-am, despite not playing in three weeks.
"Just getting my legs under me again was hard. A couple of (the amateurs) came up to me and said sorry about it, which was nice," the 2005 Masters runner-up said. "I still did what I normally do. I tried to help them with their swings and just tried to have fun with them."
DiMarco is the highest-ranked male player in the field at No. 23 in the world. He's already qualified for the British Open, but felt he needed to play this week.
"If I took more weeks off, I wouldn't play the British and probably wouldn't be able to qualify for the Ryder Cup. I've got to show Captain (Tom) Lehman I'm still giving an effort. I know she will be right on top of my golf bag if I play for my country."
Michelle Wie spoke with her mother, Bo, on the 18th hole of yesterday's pro-am round.
Wie bit of a strain:
went to the medical trailer after her pro-am round for a leg massage, her father, B.J.
Wie suffered a slight leg strain while taking a swing on the 14th hole, but continued to complete a round of 3-under 68.
After receiving treatment, she practiced, seemingly with no ill effects.
"It's a very common thing," said Ross Berlin, her agent.
Was that really David Duval
chatting with his pro-am partners and giving them advice yesterday?
The former world's No. 1 player used to be known as "The Ice Man," partly for his aloof attitude.
"I don't know if it's that I've changed or that I've grown into a different person, married, family, children," Duval said "So I am not the same person I was 13, 14 years ago."
Duval was also personable and cordial at the Sony Open in January, where he made funny faces to his baby in the gallery between shots and finished tied for 31st.
He is in one of the most interesting playing groups today and tomorrow, partnered with Kirk Triplett and Jason Gore.
Take it or leave it:
Despite his current No. 25 ranking on the money list, Camilo Villegas
needs to win or be the lowest-scoring non-exempt player this week to qualify for next week's British Open.
If the rookie of the year candidate doesn't make it, he said that's OK. He's ready for a break.
"If it happens, good," Villegas said. "If it doesn't, it will be two nice weeks off. I need it, it's been a long year."