Phil didn’t pass the green jacket on to Chris DiMarco, but perhaps he did pass on the epithet, Best Player Never to Win a Major. What are the qualifications to hold that title, anyway? Surely DiMarco is at least in the running.
Check out these stats: He's been in the top 20 of the PGA money list for five years straight. He entered the final round of both the 2004 and 2005 Masters in the final pairing. He's finished in the top twelve in three of his four Masters appearances. In 2001 he led after 18 and 36 holes, and scored a 65 in the opening round. He was in a three-way playoff at the 2004 PGA Championship. He earned a spot on the 2004 Ryder Cup Team and was the U.S. competitor who brought home the most points (2 1/2 out of our total of 9 1/2, the only American to earn more points than he gave up). His wins are nothing to scoff at: the 2002 Phoenix Open, the 2001 Buick Challenge, and the 2000 SEI Pennsylvania Classic.
Maybe 2005 will be his year. But like Phil, he's having to deal with some heartbreakingly close calls meanwhile.
The clincher for drawing the Mickelson/DiMarco comparison: They both have three kids (two girls and a boy) and a wife named Amy. It's really kinda spooky.