Mike Weir trying to end long Canadian drought

By Associated PressJuly 22, 2009, 4:00 pm
RBC Canadian OpenOAKVILLE, Canada ' Mike Weir is well aware that a Canadian hasnt won the Canadian Open in 55 years, and that it has been 95 years since the tournament crowned a Canadian-born champion.
 
Its our national championship, and all us Canadians, we want to put to rest that its been so long since one of us has won one, Weir said Wednesday, a day before the start of the 100th edition of the tournament.

Maybe the nineteenth time is the charm for Mike Weir to finally capture the Canadian Open. (Getty Images)
Pat Fletcher, born in England, was the last Canadian winner, taking the 1954 event in Vancouver, British Columbia. Carl Keffer is the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914. Albert Murray, also born in England, won in 1908 and 1913.
 
The odds are pretty much staked against us, said Stephen Ames, a naturalized Canadian citizen from Trinidad & Tobago. Fifteen playing this week in a field of 156. It makes things difficult to some extent, but at the same time, we have what we call the 15th club in our bag with the crowd.
 
Weir is making his 19th appearance in the national championship, back at Jack Nicklaus-designed Glen Abbey for the second straight year and 25th time overall.
 
The 2003 Masters champion, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, came close to breaking through in 2004 at Glen Abbey, losing to Vijay Singh in a playoff. Last year, Weir tied for fifth, five strokes behind winner Chez Reavie.
 
Weir missed the cut in his first nine starts in the tournament ' eight at Glen Abbey and one at Royal Montreal ' and also dropped out early in 2005 and 2006.
 
Just the experience of playing the course, I think helped me adjust. And I think my games just evolved over the years, the 39-year-old Ontario native said. I think a number of the rounds and cuts I missed here I was playing on the Canadian Tour, and I wasnt a PGA Tour-caliber player then.
 
He was never better at Glen Abbey than he was Monday in his charity pro-am event, playing the back nine in 9-under 28. He was 8 under on the final six holes, making two eagles and four birdies. I wish I could do that in a tournament, Weir said.
 
Nick Taylor and Matt Hill, the Canadians who hold the top two spots in the world amateur rankings, are paired together for the first two rounds. The top-ranked Taylor, the University of Washington player from Manitoba, was the low amateur at the U.S. Open and reached the U.S. Amateur Public Links final last week. Hill, from Weirs hometown of Brights Grove, won the NCAA individual title for North Carolina State in May.
 
Its cool to be in a PGA Tour event, but being back home in Canada with a bunch of people working and pulling for you, thats going to be fun, Taylor said.
 
Anthony Kim is back at Glen Abbey after tying for eighth last year. He closed with a 75 in a final-round pairing with Reavie after opening with rounds of 65, 69 and 64.
 
I like the golf course, Kim said. It sets up well for me and it really is a drivers golf course, and I feel like that is a strong suit in my game. If I can manage to keep the ball in play, it should be a good week.
 
In his pro-am round Wednesday, Kim holed a 4-iron shot from 200 yards on the par-4 eighth ' previously the first hole on the rearranged front nine.
 
Thats eight? I thought it was one, Kim said. I knew it was covering the flag, but even after it went in, I wasnt sure it went in until my buddy said it went in.
 
Kims agent, Chris Armstrong, is Canadian, and the 24-year-old American has tournament title sponsor Royal Bank of Canadas logo on his bag.
 
Carrying the RBC bag, Ill have a couple more fans following me, Kim said.
 
RBC is in its second year at the Royal Canadian Golf Association-run tournament, which didnt have a title sponsor in 2006 and 2007.
 
I dont recall a time in my tenure where weve had a better overall working relationship between ourselves, the title sponsor, RBC and the RCGA, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. It really is working very, very well.
 
Last year, Reavie won his first PGA Tour title, beating Billy Mayfair by three strokes on the water-logged course south of Toronto.
 
You never know when its your time, Reavie said. Youve just got to go out there and play as hard as you can every day. When you add them up, hopefully youre the lowest guy out here.
 
DIVOTS: Fred Couples withdrew Wednesday because of a back injury. Former Southern California star Jamie Lovemark is making his pro debut. Im coming off of a rib injury, the 2007 NCAA champion said. Its been a lot better than I thought it was going to be. In addition to the front-nine order, the course par has been changed back from 71 to 72, with the 16th playing as a 516-yard par 5.
 
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  • Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

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    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

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    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

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    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.