Dialing back on drivers, Mickelson is finding more fairways, and when his putter gets going, look out. A win here could give "Lefty" as many majors in the last 10 years as Woods, to whom he's always compared. That's a comparison Mickelson wouldn't mind having.
Each of the first two majors in 2013 went to guys that were due - Adam Scott at the Masters, Justin Rose at the U.S. Open. Both players retain solid form going into Oak Hill, with the big question on both ends whether their flat sticks can prove as good as their exquisite play with the rest of the clubs in the bag.
Maybe someone else gets that first major here. Maybe it's Lee Westwood, who had the 54-hole lead at Muirfield before Mickelson blew by him. So many times, Westwood has garnered major top-fives, and the question is whether the cumulative scar tissue affects his psyche, especially if he gets into contention again.
Or perhaps it's the turn of Hunter Mahan, who didn't take advantage of final-pairing appearances at both Merion and Muirfield, but hardly cared after racing home in the middle of the Canadian Open, where he was leading, to see the birth of his first child, a girl named Zoe. That's made Mahan quite popular, and he'll have tons of fans should he get another chance on the weekend here.
If the first-time major-winner theme recurs, there's other names to consider. Americans Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar both have won twice this season, and possess the fine all-around game Oak Hill requires. So does Swede Henrik Stenson, who's finished in the top five in his last three events.
Why not mention defending champion Rory McIlroy yet? Because his game has not shown much spark in 2013, or other times he's just proved ordinary. The controversial move to Nike has left McIlroy nowhere near the golfer that blew away the field at Kiawah Island one year ago, but it could also spring up at any time - like this week, for instance.