An Interview With: Chris DiMarco

JULIUS MASON: Chris DiMarco, ladies and gentlemen, final round of the PGA Championship. Some thoughts on your round today.

CHRIS DiMARCO: This was the hardest the course played for sure. First four holes out of the gate played brutal and last four or five holes coming in played hard.

I'm proud of myself. I had a very disappointing weekend last week, and to hang in there this weekend put two good scores up, shoot 71 on this course on Sunday, proud of myself. I had a chance on 18, left it just a hair short.

JULIUS MASON: Let's go through your card. Talk about the playoff and we'll go to Q&A.

CHRIS DiMARCO: Well, I parred on everything on the front. Made a bunch of good 3- and 4-footers for pars up front to keep my round going and birdied 9. Hit a 3-wood and a wedge about eight feet, made that.

And then 11, I hit a good drive, laid up with a 6-iron and hit a sand wedge to about 15 feet and made that.

12, I hit a wedge right at it about two feet and made birdie there.

Had a really good chance on 14, a good look at it, probably about eight feet and hit a great putt. I don't know how it didn't go in. It was looking dead center about eight inches to go, six inches to go, and just lipped out. Made a great bogey putt next hole, about eight feet, and I made a great par save on 17 from 12 feet.

18, I hit a great drive and a 6-iron about 15, 16 feet, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous, and I hit a good putt, just a little bit short, just a little tentative with it. Obviously my tendency when I am nervous is to come up just a hair short on it. I hit it dead enter. It looked quicker than it was.

Q. Not trying to minimize the pain of this, but how does it mix with the elation of playing your way on to the Ryder Cup Team?

CHRIS DiMARCO: I don't know how Hal was thinking at all this week. I know that all of you guys never mentioned me the whole week, that's all I know. Everybody kept going right to 14 and stopping at 15, so you guys were my motivation for sure. I tell you, Golf Channel, they always stop at 14. Brandell Chamblee is the only one that mentioned me here and there. Only being 40 points out, being in the Top-10 the whole week, I'm proud of myself that I went out and did it and got it done.

Q. Congratulations on a great tournament. Is this course worthy of hosting another major in your mind, and can you talk about the fans, the people and the State of Wisconsin?

CHRIS DiMARCO: The fans were phenomenal. It was great. I would think that there would have to be�-- I don't know, I would have to say the 18th green might have to be a little revamped. You know, it's a very good golf course. It's a very, very difficult golf course. I'd hate to see the USGA here and have rough out here about six or seven inches because it would be almost unplayable.

Q. Just talk about, you were tied for the lead, just trying to get off the golf course basically and facing that last closing stretch into the wind on those long holes and just trying to survive.

CHRIS DiMARCO: It was really tough coming in. When I made that turn around, I hit 2-iron, sand wedge into 13, and the first day I hit driver, 7-iron.

So, that's how much the wind turned around. And I hit driver on No. 14 and had to hit an 8-iron in. So, it really played hard. I know Ernie smoked a drive on 15 and smoked a 2-iron and hit a great shot and made birdie.

Those holes were brutally tough. I mean, you had to hit the fairways, and unfortunately, I missed two fairways coming in and resulted in bogeys.

Q. The putt on 18 in regulation, how certain were you that that was going to be the win, or what were you thinking, playoff?

CHRIS DiMARCO: I knew it wasn't for the win. Obviously I wanted to get myself one more shot in, would have been nice.

Again, when I stepped up there, I looked at my caddie and I said, "I love this putt." I really did. Again, I just didn't hit it. It was dead center, too. I putted really good all week. You know, unfortunately, one short.

It's nice to be in a major championship with a chance to win, though.

Q. At what point did you go from thinking Ryder Cup and making a statement there to trying to win this golf tournament?

CHRIS DiMARCO: Not until I made the second putt on 17, really, to tell you the truth. Because I'm sitting there, I don't know what anybody's doing, and I just went bogey, bogey. I'm thinking gosh, if I go bogey, bogey and finish 6-under, I don't know if that's going to be good enough.

Once I made that par on 17 and hit my driver in the fairway on 18 and hit my 6-iron on the green, I looked at my caddie and said, "That is good enough for sure." Those holes were playing brutal coming in. They were tough.

Q. Did you ever consider going out to hit balls? You had a little bit of a wait.

CHRIS DiMARCO: If you know me, I don't hit balls, period. So I just came off the course maybe 30 minutes. I took a good practice swing on the 10th tee and I actually ripped it right down the middle.

It's hot out there. I was loose. I didn't just sit down, I kept pacing back and forth watching these guys come in.

Q. The leaderboard was backing up all afternoon, but you were charging. How do you explain that?

CHRIS DiMARCO: I just had a good feeling. It just happened. As poor of a feeling as I had last weekend, my feeling this weekend was very good. I felt very much in control of my game. I was hitting my irons phenomenal. I was driving the ball very good and I was making all of the 5-footers and in, which you need to do.

Q. You've said a couple of times you're proud of yourself. How much does that outweigh any disappointment that you have?

CHRIS DiMARCO: You know, my goal this week, obviously, like it is every week, is to try to win.

With the weekend I had, my confidence obviously wasn't as high as it should have been going into the weekend. I worked with a guy named professor Gio Valente from Rollins College. I talked to him every night this week. I called him up Sunday night after my round and told him, "ok, let's talk about it." He said, "Chris, one thing, don't think that you choked. You did not choke. You just peaked early."

We talked every night this week. He helped me out. He told me what to focus on. I can promise you, I did not hit one shot this week that I wasn't ready to hit, and that's what I was getting myself into before.

Same thing with putting. I had a great preparation before my putts. My pre-shot routine, I was taking a couple deep breaths before I hit every putt just to relax myself, and every stroke I hit was a nice, relaxed stroke, which is what you need to do.

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