Weir's miracle drive nets $562,000

JOHN HERBERT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

Mike Weir's victory at the Masters may always be his career highlight.

But this week's first annual Mike Weir Miracle Golf Drive for Kids at Sunningdale Golf and Country Club rates right up there.

Weir and London golfers raised $562,000 -- a figure believed to be a one-day golf fundraising record in London -- to help equip a new Children's Hospital of Western Ontario.

"Fantastic,'' the PGA Tour player said yesterday from Muskoka, where he was playing in yet another charity event. "That's a better number than I thought we would do and I'm thrilled. I want to thank the Thompson family for letting us use a great golf facility.

"The whole event was first- class and that's just what I wanted,'' Weir said.

Tournament chairperson Vito Finucci said London once again stepped up to the plate.

"I said to Mike (Monday) . . . when I heard the final number, 'I know you're a baseball fan. You can touch them all. We hit it out of the park.' "

Debbie Comuzzi, president of the London Health Foundation, called it unbelievable.

Organizers of the tournament, the Mike Weir Foundation and the Children's Miracle Network, had hoped to raise $500,000 in the 288-player golf tournament and auction.

The auction alone raised $200,000.

In the past year, the London area golfing community has raised more than $1 million for the hospital.

Weir's brother got into the act at the auction, to help sweeten the pot.

Jim Weir, who worked closely with London organizers and has attended many fundraising events, said he was blown away by this one: "That's the best one and the most money I've seen raised.''

The auction action included two teams of four that each shelled out $11,000 to play nine holes with the PGA star. Weir also bought for $9,000 a Masters dinner for 12 to be prepared by executive chef Alastair MacKay.

Mike Weir said he plans to fly his old friend to Utah to re-create the Canadian-themed dinner he prepared for all the past Masters champions in 2004. Weir picked the menu for that dinner after his 2003 Masters win.

Gordon Thompson, the president of Sunningdale, bought the other Masters-themed dinner for $9,000.


Videos

Photos