Golf

What Happened to Chris DiMarco?

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Chris DiMarco circa 2006

For a few years in the early-to-mid-2000s, Chris DiMarco was one of the greatest golfers on the planet. And part of what makes his career so interesting is that he played his best golf after earning the three PGA Tour victories on his resume.

DiMarco, like so many others, had the unenviable task of trying to beat Tiger Woods in the prime of his career. And, honestly, had it not been for Tiger, DiMarco would likely have more wins to his name, perhaps even a few major championships. But such is life for a golfer in the Woods era.

Nevertheless, the Florida native still had a solid career and made plenty of money. So what’s Chris DiMarco up to these days?

Chris DiMarco somehow won only three times on the PGA Tour

Chris DiMarco circa 2006
Chris DiMarco | Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Following a stellar career at the University of Florida, Chris DiMarco turned pro in 1990 and first made a name for himself on the Canadian Tour, winning the Order of Merit in 1992. He joined the Nike Tour (now the Korn Ferry Tour) the following year and finished ninth in the standings, earning his PGA Tour card for the 1994 campaign.

He bounced back and forth between the two tours for the next few years and finally broke through on the PGA Tour with a win at the 2000 SEI Pennsylvania Classic, a victory that vaulted him into the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time.

In 2001, he took down David Duval in a playoff to win the Buick Challenge. And just a few months later, he won the 2002 Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. And, somehow, that was DiMarco’s last win on the PGA Tour.

But it’s not as if he wasn’t relevant over the next few years. He was a member of two Ryder Cup teams and two Presidents Cup teams and even made the clinching putt for the U.S. in the 2005 Presidents Cup.

And he was certainly stellar in major championships, nearly winning several of them.

He twice finished second to Tiger Woods in major championships and had three runner-ups overall

From 1998 through 2003, DiMarco made 16 major championship appearances and only finished in the top 10 once, that being a T10 at the 2001 Masters, where Tiger Woods finished off his historic “Tiger Slam.”

In 2004, however, DiMarco cracked the top 10 in three of the four majors. After tying for sixth at the Masters, he tied for ninth at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. He struggled at The Open Championship at Royal Troon, tying for 63rd, but bounced back at the PGA Championship.

After 72 holes at Whistling Straits, DiMarco found himself tied with Vijay Singh and Justin Leonard, which sent things to a three-hole aggregate playoff, which Singh won.

At the very next major championship, the 2005 Masters, DiMarco was again in the mix and played in the final group on Sunday alongside Tiger Woods. Woods, of course, hit one of the most famous shots in Masters history that day, holing a miraculous chip on the par-3 16th. But what many don’t remember is that DiMarco nearly won the tournament with a chip-in of his own on the 18th. Tiger ultimately won in a playoff.

Despite the loss, DiMarco’s second-place finish moved him into the No. 7 spot in the world rankings. He’d reach the highest point of his career, No. 6, about a month later.

At the 2006 edition of The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, DiMarco again got himself in contention. But once again, he finished second to Tiger.

DiMarco struggled in the years that followed as a chronic shoulder injury hindered his career. By the end of 2008, the last year in which he competed in a major championship, he was outside the top 200 in the world rankings. And by the end of 2012, the last year in which he attempted a full-time PGA Tour season, he was outside the top 400.

The last PGA Tour event he played was the 2016 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he shot 74-77 and missed the cut. But, again, Chris DiMarco certainly had an outstanding career, one in which he pocketed more than $22 million.

What is Chris DiMarco doing now?

With his days on the PGA Tour behind him, DiMarco became a consistent contributor to the Morning Drive program on the Golf Channel while also serving as a co-host on Sirius XM’s oPINionated.

He’s also focused on his son’s golf career. Cristian DiMarco, his only son with longtime wife Amy (they also have two daughters, Amanda and Abigale), turned pro in 2018 and has played events on the PGA Tour Canada and the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

As for Chris DiMarco, he’s now in his 50s and has started playing more and more events on the Champions Tour over the last few years. While he’s yet to win a tournament, he’s recorded four top-10 finishes.