Weir to Raise Canadian Hopes Once More

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 6, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Bell Canadian OpenAs the season begins to wind down and with a lull in between the WGC-NEC and the Presidents Cup, the PGA Tour heads north into Canada for this week's Bell Canadian Open in Vancouver.
 
But make no mistake, this isn't just some ho-hum tournament on the 2005 schedule - at least, for one man it's not.
 
And that man is Canada's own Mike Weir.
 
Without a champion of their own for over 50 years now, Canada's hopes rest squarely on the diminutive shoulders of Weir. Having played in 14 previous Canadian Opens, the 2003 Masters champion has never had a good showing in his native country's national open.
 
That is, until last year.
 
Holding a three-shot lead heading to the back-nine and possibly tasting victory, Weir stumbled down the stretch with three bogeys to fall into a playoff with Vijay Singh. Singh ultimately won the tournament on the third extra hole leaving Weir with mixed feelings.
 
'For whatever reason I could never get comfortable on the greens, but outside of that, it was a tremendous week, something I'll never forget,' said Weir. 'You know, I'm disappointed not only for myself, but obviously for everybody who was out there supporting me. It was really special.'
 
Weir, whose maiden PGA Tour victory came, ironically, at the 1999 Air Canada Open, might not have Singh to deal with this year due to back problems that caused him to pull out of the Deutsche Bank Championship last week.
 
For the fifth straight year, the Bell Canadian Open will be played at a different venue. This year, the event comes to Shaughnessy Golf Club in Vancouver, marking the first time since 1966 that the club has hosted the tournament.
 
Though only 18 of the 95 Canadian Opens have been decided by playoffs, three have come in the past three years.
 
The purse for the event is $4,200,000 with $756,000 going to the winner.
 
Five for the title:
 
Mike Weir
Despite blowing an opportunity to win last year, the good news for Weir is that he has improved upon his previous year's finish for five straight years. With his second place a year ago, that gives the lefthander only one place to go - to the winner's circle.
 
Chris DiMarco
Mr. Runner-Up is coming off a - you guessed it - runner-up finish to Tiger at the WGC-NEC Invitational. Hasn't won since 2002 but in the process has racked up five second place efforts. Currently ranks seventh on the money list and with Presidents Cup just around the corner, the former Florida Gator is sure to have the juices flowing.
 
Vaughn Taylor
After struggling mightily during the first part of the season - at one point missing six straight cuts - Taylor reversed things in a big way with his victory at the Reno-Tahoe Open. No small feat considering the pressure of trying to repeat as champion. Riding wave of confidence, finished third at last week's Deutsche Bank.
 
Vijay Singh
Only time he isn't a threat is when he isn't playing. Pulled out last week due to back spasms, but this PGA Tour iron man is likely to be back in the fold this week. Just so happens to be the defending champion and will try desperately to reel Tiger back into sight in regards to the world rankings. Has six top-10s in his last seven starts including his win at the Buick Open.
 
Fred Couples
Recently named to the Presidents Cup team as a caption's selection, the ever-popular Couples hopes to be in fine form for captain Nicklaus by the time he reaches Virginia. Has resurrected his career somewhat following his emotional win at the Shell Houston Open in 2003. Had a great showing at this year's Open Champion with a tie for third.
 
Playing Out the Front Nine
 
Four more to keep and eye on
 
Craig Stadler
After winning the 2003 B.C. Open at age 50, the man known as the Walrus has used the two-year exemption that came with the win to play semi-regularly on the PGA Tour. This will be his sixth start of the season, with his best finish coming at the Sony Open in January where he tied for ninth. More importantly, however, it will be the fifth time he has been able to tee it up with his son Kevin this year.
 
Kevin Stadler
At one point early last season, the young Stadler was a man with clubs but no place to play. He then caught fire after using a sponsors exemption on the Nationwide Tour to win in his first start of the season, with which he ultimately parlayed into earning his PGA Tour card for this season. Has only two top-10s on the season and sits well outside the top-125 on the money list. With father in tow, may get the inspiration he needs to make a final push to retain his card for 2006.
 
Jason Gore
The man the American golfing public fell in love with at the U.S. Open, Gore recently earned the PGA Tour's Battlefield Promotion by winning three Nationwide Tour events in one season - a feat he accomplished in three consecutive starts this summer. This will be his third PGA Tour start this season, following a missed cut at the Buick Championship and then a tie for 60th at the Deutsche Bank.
 
Peter Tomasulo
A relative unknown graduate from the Canadian Tour, Tomasulo is coming off a huge victory in this past week's Nationwide Tour event in Alberta. Though not a Canadian himself, Tomasulo also recently won the Canadian Tours Montreal Open and is apparently feeling quite at home above the northern border. Talk about moving up the ranks - all the while in Canada!
 
Related links:
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    Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

    Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

    Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

    Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

    “To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

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    Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

    Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

    Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.

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    Van Rooyen holes putt after ball-marker ruling

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Erik van Rooyen was surveying his 10-footer for par, trying to get a feel for the putt, when his putter slipped out of his hand and dropped onto his ball marker.

    The question, then, was whether that accident caused his coin to move.

    The rules official looked at various camera angles but none showed definitively whether his coin moved. The ruling was made to continue from where his coin was now positioned, with no penalty.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    This was part of the recent rules changes, ensuring there is no penalty if the ball or ball maker is accidently moved by the player. The little-used rule drew attention in 2010, when Ian Poulter accidentally dropped his ball on his marker in Dubai and wound up losing more than $400,000 in bonus and prize money.

    After the delay to sort out his ruling Friday, van Rooyen steadied himself and made the putt for par, capping a day in which he shot even-par 71 and kept himself in the mix at The Open. He was at 4-under 138, just two shots off the clubhouse lead.

    “I wanted to get going and get this 10-footer to save par, but I think having maybe just a couple minutes to calm me down, and then I actually got a different read when I sat down and looked at it again,” he said. “Good putt. Happy to finish that way.”

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.