In a attempt to get ready for the Presidents Cup, Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples and Jim Furyk are among those who will take part in this weekend's 84 Lumber Classic. This is Mickelson's first start since his PGA Championship victory last month, and even if his motivational tank isn't full this week in southwestern Pennsylvania, he might feel comfortable at Mystic Rock GC, another in the long line of venues which cater to guys who hit it long and high.
So pardon me for going against the grain this week and picking Chris DiMarco, whom I think will grab his first PGA Tour victory since early 2002. DiMarco's relative lack of power and modest ball flight aren't ideal for Mystic Rock, but he finished T-3 here last year and had a solo second in his last start (NEC Invitational), even if it was four weeks ago. More significantly, he'll be working harder than most for the upcoming showdown between the United States and the Internationals. DiMarco takes great pride in representing his country and knows a weekend in the hunt would serve as the perfect form of Presidents Cup preparation.
A lot of guys have something to play for at this point in the year, but DiMarco needs a win more than any premium player in the field. His three runner-up finishes in 2005 only underscore such an urgency. The 84 Lumber is a very good opportunity for him to get it done.
John Hawkins is a senior writer for Golf World magazine