Weir's young daughters get special treat today

KEN FIDLIN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:35 PM ET

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- There are a lot of nifty, quirky angles to the Masters. Like a par-three contest where players and their families can let their hair down a bit.

Two days before one of the most intense tournaments of the year, Mike Weir was most excited about having his daughters, Elle, 8, and Lili, 6, caddie for him during today's mini-tournament.

"That's going to be the picture I have on my wall after this," he said.

"They're very excited. They can't wait. I don't think they know what to expect. So when they get here and see all the people, when they put the overalls on and start walking over there I think that's when it'll hit them. They just think they're caddieing for dad. They don't know."

Each child will get a bag to carry, with three or four wedges, a putter and a nine iron to split up between them.

"What's great about this event is you have these things to look forward to early in the week," he said. "It's not just practice rounds. From my perspective, I've got my kids caddieing for me (today). That's going to be fantastic. Tonight we have the Champions Dinner so there are two pretty cool thing that other tournaments don't have."

Five years have passed since Weir conquered the field here in 2003 to become the first and only Canadian to win one of golf's major championships.

"It's a tournament you want to win," he said. "You're here for the rest of your life. You're on the board inside, you're on the trophy and they can't take it away ... five, 10, 20 years, it doesn't matter. A hundred years. It doesn't matter."

Weir is paired with defending British Open champ Padraig Harrington and Jeev Milkha Singh, of India for the first two rounds. That group will be off the first tee at 10:34 a.m. tomorrow, followed by Tiger Woods' threesome at 10:45.

GETTING THE LEAD OUT

In an effort to revive his sagging fortunes, Ernie Els has switched coaches, dumping David Leadbetter for Butch Harmon. Els and Leadbetter have been a team since 1990 but until Els won the Honda Classic in February, he had not won in North America since 2004.

"I just wanted to get a different feel, different words coming at me," said Els. "And find out a bit more about how Butch is teaching. He's obviously had a lot of success with a lot of players and I love the way he changes peoples' games.

"Obviously it's tough breaking up with a guy like Lead, but he'll be a freind of mine forever."

BLAME THE CADDIE

Phil Mickelson is not at all daunted by the so-called "par-three jinx." Since no one ever has won the par-three contest, scheduled for today, and then gone on to win the Masters that year, many players consider it a mistake to win the par-three title.

Ian Poulter said yesterday he would sabotage his chances if he came to the last hole with the lead.

"I'd love to be the first to win them both," Mickelson said. "But I have never had a chance to win the par-three. My caddie gave me some terrible reads last year. Of course, she was only five."

AMES AND WOOSIE

Canada's other entry in the Masters, Stephen Ames, will play the first two rounds with Brit Ian Woosnam and Australian Richard Green. They tee off tomorrow at 11:29 a.m.


Videos

Photos