Archive for Monday, July 24, 2006

DiMarco grieving for mom

July 24, 2006

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— Chris and Rich DiMarco stood at the edge of the 18th green, a grieving son and father who began to heal at the British Open.

As Chris waited to receive his runner-up prize, both of them glanced up at the gray, puffy clouds hovering above Royal Liverpool. They whispered something to each other. Chris smiled. Rich's lip quivered a bit, then he rubbed at his left eye.

They thought of the woman who seemed to be watching down on them all week. They wondered what she would have said about this one. They wished she could have been there to give them both a big hug when it was done.

"I know my mom would be very proud of me right now," Chris said a short time later, his emotions bubbling just beneath the surface. "I miss her and I love her and I have great memories of her. That's the hardest part - that I know I'll never see her again. But I know if I close my eyes, I see her."

Norma DiMarco died suddenly on the Fourth of July during a family vacation, leaving behind her husband of 46 years and the bulldog of a son she helped mold into one of the world's best golfers.

Throughout the week, Chris felt as if he was being helped along by divine intervention. He was stunned when he got to the tee box Saturday and found out that the woman keeping score from his group was named Norma. He couldn't help but wonder what forces were at work as he played better than he has in months.

Alas, it wasn't enough to catch another golfer dealing with his own heartache. Tiger Woods had a one-stroke lead at the beginning of the day, a two-stroke advantage when it was over and hoisted the claret jug for the second year in a row.

"It just helps knowing that she was a big part out there today," Chris DiMarco said. "I know I'll have her with me the rest of my life."

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