Fans even cheer a skip to the loo

MIKE RUTSEY -- TORONTO SUN

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

ANCASTER -- You know you\'ve achieved rock star status when you get a standing ovation walking out of a toilet. Welcome to Mike Weir\'s world.

It was early in Weir\'s round yesterday when on the par-3 13th tee -- he started his day on No. 10 -- nature called and, with the group in front still putting, Weir slid into the nearby players\' loo stationed a few feet from the tee. Upon exiting, the fans broke into applause, someone called out: \"Way to go Mike\" and the little lefty, an embarrassed smile on his face, dutifully tipped his cap.

It is a measure of the hero worship that now follows Weir at every turn.

Thanks to a 1 p.m. tee-off time, the number of fans following Weir totalled in the thousands with countless more arriving early to park their keisters at a greenside location to give them an up-close look at their hero as he toured the lush real estate at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

Weir, who received thunderous ovations at every hole -- topped by the one at the 18th green, his ninth hole -- stayed in the hunt at the Bell Canadian Open by shooting a second consecutive one-under-par 69 to leave him three shots back of Charles Howell III, the tournament leader.

\"It has been electric. It has been a lot of fun,\" Weir said of the unbridled support he has received. \"The crowds have been really pulling for me and I\'m grinding it out.\"

It was a second day of highs and lows for Canada\'s Golden Boy who logged three birdies against two bogeys.

On the down side was the fact he not only failed to birdie either of the two par-5s, but he bogeyed the 17th and missed a birdie on the par-5 fourth when he lipped out a four-foot putt.

The 17th was a complete bollocks from the start as he pulled his tee shot right and had it clank off some trees. The ball dropped into the thick rough behind trees in an area that sits some 10 feet lower than the fairway. The ball was then picked up by some rockhead before being tossed back to the ground.

Weir received a drop for the woman\'s misdeed only to have it settle into thicker cabbage. From there Weir pitched a shot that clipped the top of the trees to the other side of the fairway, came up short with a long iron, chipped 10 feet above the hole and missed the par-saving putt coming back.

His fans, though, licked it all up like starving dogs, especially on the 13th and 14th when he posted back-to-back birdies to momentarily give the impression the day may belong to him.

\"I really felt like I was going to get something going,\" he said. \"It was close and you have to stay patient.\"

Everything went right for Weir on the 13th beyond the toilet-induced ovation.

Perhaps still startled by the unexpected applause, Weir pulled his tee shot right but the golfing gods were with him as his ball hit a mound, caromed left and settled some eight feet from the pin and more importantly, beneath the hole on the severely slopping green. Weir cooly sank the putt, the crowd went wild, one chap screaming: \"Let\'s get \'em Mikey.\"

Get \'em he did on the next hole, too, as Weir chipped in from the fringe on the par-4 14th to get to three under and send the throng into near delirium.

\"We waited two hours here and it was worth it,\" one fan rejoiced. \"That was priceless.\"

Maybe, maybe not, as Weir finished his round hanging by his thumbs as each of his final five tee shots found the rough.

\"I was really bearing down to get those up and downs to stay in red numbers and stay close,\" Weir said of how he closed.

Now it\'s time to turn it up a notch on what the pros call moving day.


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