By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- It has been nearly three years, but Mike Weir finally posted consecutive rounds in the 60s in the same PGA TOUR event.
Weir, the 2003 Masters champ who has struggled with his game and health issues in recent years, shot his second consecutive 2-under 68 on Friday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
That leaves him at 4 under for the tournament. While the twin 68s may not seem like much compared to all the other low scores being shot at the TPC Four Seasons Resort, for Weir, the two rounds are certainly another indication that he's on the upswing.
Not since the 2010 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial has Weir put together at least two rounds of 60s in the same week. All four of his rounds at Colonial that week were in the 60s as he shot 9 under to tie for 33rd.
He hasn't had a better result since that time. He tore a ligament in his right elbow later that year, was sidelined for a half-year and has fought to get back into competitive shape since that time.
For the next 2-1/2 years, shooting even one round in the 60s had been difficult for Weir. In the 79 rounds after the 2010 Colonial to the end of the 2012 season, Weir shot in the 60s just four times.
Including his first two rounds at the HP Byron Nelson this week, eight of his 32 rounds this year have been in the 60s. That also includes two rounds at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am when he finished tied for 50th.
On Friday, he walked off the course tied for 15th. If he maintains that position the rest of the week, it would be Weir's best result since finishing sixth in the 2010 Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.
WEIR SINCE THE 2010 CROWNE PLAZA INVITATIONAL AT COLONIAL
|Year||Starts||Made cuts||Missed cuts||Total rounds||Rounds in 60s|
*Does not include this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship
On Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. EST, TSN will air a special feature on Canadian TV focusing on Mike Weir, who 10 years ago this week became the first Canadian -- and first left-hander -- to win the Masters. Check out the promo below and be sure to read Bob Verdi's column in which Weir looks back at his win at Augusta National (Click here for Verdi column)
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Mike Weir, who made his first cut since the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, withdrew after 11 holes Saturday, citing a rib injury.
This was Weir's ninth start of the year. He is listed in the field for next week's Shell Houston Open.
Weir is also slated to play in the Masters -- it's the 10th anniversary of his win at Augusta National in 2003.
Brandt Snedeker will need to rebound this weekend to buck a nasty trend for first-round leaders. (Dunn/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
So many storylines: Tiger Woods trying to win for a seventh time at Torrey Pines (actually eighth, if you count his U.S. Open victory there); Charles Howell III off a third and second in his last two starts with 14 career runner-up finishes looming over him and in contention again; defending champion Brandt Snedeker trying to recover from a rocky second round.
More on that and what else to watch for in this week's Five For Friday to set you up for what should be a big boy weekend of golf.
1. This is Woods' 13th start in the Farmers Insurance Open. As mentioned, he's won six of them. The other six? He finished in the top 10 five times. He enters the weekend in contention again and that's where the story begins. Last year, Woods was second in scoring average before the cut. After it? He ranked 44th and 30th in third and fourth-round scoring, respectively. Will it be more of the same? The way he's hit the ball the first two days, it doesn't look like it.
2. One other thing to remember about Woods: He holds the South Course record, which he set in 1999 with a 62. That's a long time ago, but there's an awful lot to be said for horses for courses, especially when it comes to Woods, who has racked up multiple victories on the same course a handful of times.
3. Through the opening round, Brandt Snedeker had played 23 rounds at Torrey Pines in 52 under. He struggled Friday on Torrey's tougher South Course but he's been a regular near the top of the leaderboard there the last few years with three top 10s, including a win last year.
4. Last year, Mike Weir missed the cut in every one of his 14 starts. His road back from a tendon injury in his elbow has been a long one, but he's showing progress. After two more missed cuts to open this season, he'll finally be around for the rest of the weekend.
5. A little trivia (and some not-so-good history for Snedeker). Question: Who was the last first-round leader to win the Farmers Insurance Open? Answer: George Burns in 1987. He opened with a 63 and went on to win by four.
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Tiger Woods is clearly in his element Friday as he lengthens his lead to three strokes at the Farmers Insurance Open.
The six-time tournament champion birdied the first and second holes on the North Course, his 10th and 11th of the day, to get to 10 under for the tournament. Woods has played his last four holes in 5 under -- thanks in part to that eagle on the 18th.
Charles Howell, who has finished third and second the last two weeks, continues his red-hot play. He heads a group at 7 under that also includes K.J. Choi, Luke Guthrie, John Senden, Luke List, Billy Horschel and Ross Fisher.
Mike Weir, who appears poised to make his first cut in 18 starts, is among a group of eight players at 6 under. He's even par and is playing the more difficult South Course.
Also at 6 under are Harris English, Nick Watney, Erik Compton, Tag Ridings, Vijay Singh, Josh Teater and Justin Hicks. Of that group, Compton has the best round going -- he's 5 under through 10 holes on the North Course.
There are currently 70 players at 2 under or better. That number does not include San Diego's favorite son, Phil Mickelson, who has made two birdies and two bogeys in his first six holes on the South Course to remain at even par for the tournament.
Robert Allenby joined Jason Kokrak in withdrawing after nine holes. citing an injury to his left hip. Troy Kelly and Blake Adams withdrew prior to the round.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- One of his daughters is a teenager now. His other one turns 13 in April.
So Mike Weir would like nothing better than to once again play the kind of golf that enabled him to win the 2003 Masters as well as seven other PGA TOUR titles. Weir's last victory came at the 2007 Fry's Electonics Open.
"They see their dad work hard every day, so they're very encouraging and positive," Weir said. "Even if I have a bad week, they're like, come on, Dad, next week. So that's nice to have that support.
"The last time I played really well, they were pretty young, so I'd like to show them what their dad can do."
Maybe the Farmers Insurance Open will be the week. Weir, who has fought through elbow injuries and swing changes as he missed his last 17 cuts, fired a 66 on the North Course at Torrey Pines on Thursday that left him one shot off the lead.
Weir, who ranked second in putting on Thursday with 24, plays the traditionally more difficult South Course today. The par 4s on the 7,698-yard layout are quite long for a man who ranked 192nd in driving distance last year but the par 5s give him a chance to score.
"If I can take advantage of the par 5s and shoot something under par, I'll be pretty happy," the Canadian said.
Weir says he doesn't quite feel 100 percent just yet, but he's happy with the progress he's making. His love of the game and his competitive nature also keep him motivated, and Weir has no doubt that things will eventually turn around.
"Even as poor as I was playing, I knew it was in there," Weir said. "So if I didn't have the desire to wake up every morning and keep working hard, I wouldn't have done it, because it's very difficult. But I still have the desire to play, and I want to win.
"I'm motivated by all the great players of the past, really to tell you the truth. I've talked to a number of guys and they were very encouraging. I take all of those things together and having a great support system around me has really helped too."
Charles Howell III, who matched Weir's 66 on Thursday, knows how determined his friend is. Howell, who is also trying to end a victory drought that stretches back to 2007, can empathize wih Weir's battle.
"It shows a few things," Howell said. "It shows, No. 1, how difficult golf is. It shows you should never take anything for granted and it also shows his perseverence and how tough he is. It also shows, people forget he's battled back from injury, too, and the injury had a big part of that. So you've got to give the injury credit as well.
"Listen, I would love nothing better than to see Mike Weir fight his way back and play good again."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Mike Weir hopes he has finally turned the corner. And Thursday's 67 in the first round of the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation was certainly a step in the right direction.
The round of 5 under was Weir's lowest since he shot 68 to open the 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -- a span of 25 events. The Canadian, who didn't make a cut in any of the 14 tournaments he played in 2012, has only recently begun to feel completely healthy after tearing a ligament in his right elbow.
"I would say (I'm) 90 percent," Weir reported. "So I'm almost there."
The futility of the last two years has been tough to swallow for the eight-time PGA TOUR champ. After all, this is the man who won the 2003 Masters Tournament and was a regular contender wherever he played.
"It's tough to play poorly when you know that you can still compete and that," Weir said. "But it just shows you, you can't compete 50 percent out here, especially a player of my length. I have to be more of a precision player and when you're playing 50 percent, you just, it's nearly impossible. So I tried to do it, but I'm glad that I'm over that hump and ready to play some good golf now."
The avid skier, who lives in Sandy, Utah, has kept his full attention on golf during the offseason. In fact, Weir has been so focused he hasn't hit the slopes once.
"And it's right in my backyard, so that just tells you," he said. "I went to Hawaii almost two weeks before the Sony Open to just keep working and keep practicing. And so I had some mixed results there, played okay, shot even par. But this was a much better start, so hopefully I can keep building on it."
A better start, indeed. Weir, who won the Humana Challenge in 2003, hit 12 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation. One of the things that pleased him the most, though, was the way he stayed in the moment and concentrated on the shot at hand.
"I made one bad swing today, hit it in the water on the third hole, the par 3, I over cut one," Weir said. "But I was able to hit a nice wedge in there and save bogey. And those were the kind of things that, if you're in that mindset, you can do. If you're not, you're going to make a triple bogey. So really the mindset is kind of my goal this year, really."
Weir is using his top-25 career money exemption to play this season. So unlike in the past two years when he was on two different medical exemptions and played on past champion status, the veteran can now plan his schedule -- and playing regularly will be a big boost.
"That was a lot of uncertainty last year, not knowing when I was going to play," Weir said. "I would play a week, be off a month. Play two weeks, be off another month. Things like that. So it was tough to get any flow and rhythm to the season at all. So this year I'm going play a lot and looking forward to playing a lot."
This cut will go deeper than most for Mike Weir.
For the 11th straight start, the Canadian failed to make it to the weekend -- this time at the RBC Canadian Open.
“I don't know,” Weir said when asked to put his second straight 2-over 72 into perspective. “I need a little time to think about it, and see what I can draw on it and see what we can get ready for next week.”
Pat Fletcher, who was born in England, was the last Canadian to win this event. Carl Keffer is the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914.
Weir, who has yet to make a cut this season, has failed to break par in his last seven rounds on the PGA TOUR. He has struggled since tearing a ligament in his elbow in 2010.
Other Canadians were more fortunate this week. David Hearn, Matt McQuillan, Albin Choi, Matt Hill and Graham DeLaet all advanced to the weekend.