Fans show appreciation for classy Weir

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

OAKVILLE -- After hitting his approach shot on the 18th hole to 29 feet from the pin yesterday, Canadian Mike Weir waited for his playing partner Sean O'Hair to catch up so they could walk to the green together.

"He's a great young guy and I just wanted him to experience that," said Weir, who finished the RBC Canadian Open yesterday at 12-under-par, five strokes behind the winner, PGA Tour rookie Chez Reavie.

What Weir wanted O'Hair to experience was the unconditional support he receives from the Canadian fans.

As the pair made their way to the green, the huge gallery gathered behind the Glen Abbey clubhouse stood and cheered. Many also chanted Weir's name.

It's hard to imagine what the reception would be if Bright's Grove, Ont. native ever walked up to the 18th green on the final day of a Canadian Open with the lead.

Weir failed to break the 54-year drought, since the last Canadian (Pat Fletcher) to win the Open. But his classy demeanour, such as the gesture toward O'Hair, and the fact that he did play well to finish tied for fifth, shooting a 2-under 69 yesterday, with five birdies, and three bogeys in the final round, continues to endear Weir to the fans at this event.

"It's special. I'm lucky I'm one of very few guys that get a chance to have something like that happen," Weir said. "That doesn't get old."

Weir, 38, added, though that with the support in Canada, comes the extra pressure of trying to win at home.

It doesn't help when he is the lone Canadian golfer in the tournament with a legitimate chance to win. Calgary's Stephen Ames, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, failed to make the cut this week.

"But you have to use it to your advantage and that's what I've learned to do," Weir said. "It takes a long time (to get used to it), but I do enjoy it and, I feel the momentum when things start to go well and they pick you when things aren't going well and that can be an advantage."

The top Canadian after Weir was an amateur, 20-year-old Nick Taylor of Abottsford, B.C., who shot a 1-under 283.

Weir said that as the week progressed at the RBC Canadian Open, with the constant rain delays and suspended play, he became quite fatigued, not surprising given that the tournament came the week right after the British Open, which was played under even more wet and trying conditions.

"Well I'm sure glad I'm not playing golf next week," said Weir, who is going to Mexico on a vacation. "It has been an exhausting two weeks. I can't believe it has been only two weeks, it seems like I've been on the road for about a month."

Weir is going to skip next week's World Golf Championships at the Firestone Club in Akron and next play at the PGA Championship in two weeks at Oakland Hills in Michigan.


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