Thank you, Chris DiMarco

mulligan, 24 July 2006, Comments Off on Thank you, Chris DiMarco
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I was at a bar on Saturday night, talking to one of my buddies. He asked me who I thought would win the British Open. I said, “If you take Tiger out of the equation, then I think Chris Dimarco will win. He’s playing well and he has the most guts of anyone chasing Tiger.” Sergio has never shown up on a major Sunday (other than his coming out party at the ’99 PGA at Medinah), and Ernie Els played so poorly with his wedges on Saturday, that it did not look good for him. Furyk and Cabrera would have to go low, but I doubted they would.

My friend wasn’t satisfied with my response — I had to pick one. I did. I said Tiger’s my pick (I’m not stupid), but if there’s one guy who can challenge him, it’s DiMarco.

Well, sure enough, that’s exactly how things panned out. When DiMarco hit his bomb of a birdie on 14, he closed the gap to 1 behind Tiger. For all of the firepower on the leaderboard (Els, Garcia, Furyk, Cabrera, Scott), only Chris DiMarco — the guy who’s been injured, hasn’t played well this year, and who lost his mother two weeks ago — put any pressure on Tiger. But I can’t take too much credit for my prediction because we’ve seen this before from Chris DiMarco at the 2005 Masters. And we’ve seen his gutsiness and mental fortitude at the Ryder Cup. Chris DiMarco does not back down, not even to Tiger. Yesterday was a testament to DiMarco’s mental toughness. (If only DiMarco could erase that triple bogey on 7 from the first round.)

Thank heavens that the second place finish pulled DiMarco up into the Top 10 for the Ryder Cup. The U.S. team will need him, sorely.


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