While many fans north of the border began the week with hopes of one of Canada's rising stars breaking through at the RBC Canadian Open, it was instead arguably the country's greatest golfer of all time who turned back the clock Friday at Glen Abbey.
Still in search of his first win on the PGA Tour since 2007, Mike Weir surged up the leaderboard early Friday with a flurry of birdies, ultimately finishing his round in a tie for 23rd after a 5-under 67. The only Canadian man to ever win a major, Weir got to within two shots of the lead after birdies on seven of his first 15 holes, and despite three bogeys over his closing four-hole stretch he remains in contention at 4-under 140 heading into the weekend.
Including multiple injuries, Weir's struggles over the last few years have been well-documented. He has not won on the PGA Tour since the 2007 Frys.com Open, and last recorded a top-10 finish at the 2010 Bob Hope Classic; after being ranked inside the top 10 in the world as recently as 2005, Weir's world ranking plummeted to 1,547th earlier this season.
Recently, though, the 43-year-old has shown signs of a comeback, notably with his T-28 finish at the U.S. Open last month that included a final-round 69. Weir also tied for 27th at the John Deere Classic earlier this month and after missing the cut in each of his 14 PGA Tour starts in 2012, the veteran has now played the weekend in five of his last eight events.
Weir is also no stranger to success at Glen Abbey, where in 2004 he lost in a playoff to Vijay Singh after beginning the final round with a three-shot lead. He headlines the group of Canadians who will advance past the 36-hole cut this weekend, each hoping to become the first Canadian to win his country's biggest tournament since Pat Fletcher in 1954.