Weir saves Canadian
The Canadian Open, which is now the PGA's
only stop in Canada, was held in Hamilton over the weekend.
If it weren't for Mike Weir nobody would've known.
The tournament has been faltering in many
aspects over the last few years. The world's top players have
stopped coming and attendance and TV ratings have been down
However, with Weir's Masters victory in April
came a new widespread interest in Canadian golf. Weir single-handedly
made this year's Canadian Open tournament worth watching.
The Open field lacked many of golf's big
names. No Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk or Phil Mickelson.
In fact, only two of the world's top 17 golfers were at the
tournament. It's become a much different scene from what it
At one time the Canadian Open was considered
by many players as the fifth major. It was a highly competitive
event which all the players wanted to win. Winning the Canadian
Open, along with the US Open and the British Open, was considered
a sort of golf Triple Crown. There's even a trophy (albeit a
very ugly one) awarded to a player who wins all three.
Now with the rising popularity of golf in
Canada due to Weir's historic victory at Augusta, the tournament
is beginning to regain some of its prestige.
Despite Weir's history of poor performances
at the Canadian Open, all eyes were on him this weekend as he
was the odds on favourite to win. He finished in 10th place,
an improvement from his 22nd place finish last year. Weir has
improved his placing every year since he started playing in
With Weir being the Master's champion there's
an enormous amount of pressure placed on him. He's the poster
boy for Canadian golf and the entire country's hopes rest on
He's no longer simply Mike Weir from Bright's
Grove, Ontario. He is now, and forever will be, Master's Champion
Mike Weir from Bright's Grove, Ontario.
He seems to take his new found pressure and
celebrity in stride. He's very soft-spoken and seems to not
have let the pressure get to his head. He's also continued to
perform well throughout the season and is one of the favourites
to win the PGA's player of the year award, which Tiger Woods
has won the last four straight years.
With the Canadian Open now being the only
PGA tour event in Canada it's important it continues to be as
strong as possible, especially with Weir's growing popularity.
Weir himself said it was the first golf tournament
he ever went to and as the sport continues to grow in Canada
it's important there's a tournament for other future stars.
Even though Weir didn't win, he still did
what was needed for the tournament. He brought an interest back
to the Open which had been lacking. He got people to go out
and see him and said he's even been telling his colleagues on
the tour what a great tournament it is. That all bodes well
for its future.