Weir Hopes to Return a Winner

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04 Bob Hope Chrysler ClassicThe 2003 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic was the beginning to an unimaginable stretch of golf for Mike Weir.
 
After playing prudently and bettering Jay Haas at La Quinta, Weir did the same to Charles Howell III in a playoff two starts later at the Nissan Open. Less than two months thereafter, his consistent brilliance led to his maiden major title at the Masters.
 
For a stretch of two months, Weir was the best player in the world. Now hes enduring another stretch ' one without a win.
 
Weir has gone nine months without a victory of any kind. His player-of-the-year momentum gradually lost steam after his Augusta triumph, and his 2004 campaign started with a tie for 24th in the 30-man field at the Mercedes Championships.
 
Recent Bob Hope winners have all had to endure winless stretches.
 
Fred Couples Bob Hope triumph was a part of a two-win 1998 season. He didnt win again until last years Shell Houston Open.
 
David Duval shot 59 in the fifth and final round to win the 1999 Bob Hope. He won two more times that year, but then suffered a back injury in 2000 from which he has yet to fully recover. He won once in 2000 and earned his first major title in the 2001 British Open. The last two seasons, however, have been a miserable collection of missed cuts, withdrawals, and physical and personal pain ' and no wins.
 
Jesper Parnevik was a regular in the PGA Tour winners circle when won the 2000 Bob Hope and Byron Nelson Classic. He captured the Honda Classic the following year, and hasnt won since. His ranking on the money list has dropped from eighth in 2000 to 31st to 63rd to 118th.
 
Joe Durant set a 90-hole PGA Tour scoring record with his 36-under-par 324 winning total in the 2001 Bob Hope. He won again that year at Doral, but was shut out in 2002 and 2003.
 
And then there is 2002 Bob Hope champion Phil Mickelson. He entered 2003 ranked second in the world, and now is trying to rejoin the top 15 after going winless last season.
 
Other past Bob Hope winners include Kenny Perry, who went over six years without a win after his California victory, and Mark Brooks, who still has yet to win a tour event since 1996, the year he won the Bob Hope.
 
All this said, that doesnt mean anyone will be shying away from the winners circle come Sunday.
 
First place offers $810,000, and the winner gets the standard two-year tour exemption which will give him plenty of security should he have to endure a couple of cold seasons.
 
Sadly, this years event will be without its eponymous host.
 
Bob Hope, the legendary comedian whose name has headlined this event since 1965, passed away at the age of 100 in July.
 
This is the 45th edition. Arnold Palmer won the inaugural event in 1960, and four times after that.
 
He is the most notable of those to suffer a dry spell after winning this tournament. Palmers last Bob Hope victory, in 1973, was his last on tour.
 
This is the first of two five-round events on tour (Las Vegas is the other). The Arnold Palmer Private Course at PGA West is the host venue. It is played once by everyone over the first four days and again on Sunday. Players will also compete at Indian Wells Country Club, LaQuinta Country Club and Bermuda Dunes Country Club.
 
All courses are a par 72.
 
Each of the 128 professionals in the field will play with a different set of three amateur partners each round over the first 72 holes. Sunday, the low 70 pros and ties will play the final round without amateur accompaniment.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Bob Hope Chrysler Classic