Weir is our All-Canadian

Mike Weir shot a 72 at the opening round of the Masters. (REUTERS)

Mike Weir shot a 72 at the opening round of the Masters. (REUTERS)

JON MCCARTHY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:53 AM ET

AUGUSTA - Mike Weir is the only Canuck playing in the Masters this year.

I decided that I owed it to Canadian golf fans to go see what he was up to Thursday during his opening round at Augusta National.

The only problem was I figured Weir should be playing the seventh hole and I was not anywhere near the seventh hole. I had a lot of ground to cover and thousands of patrons in my way.

Most of the patrons at Augusta are just like golf fans anywhere. When you are at the Canadian Open, generally, you see the same groups of people.

The first group of fans is the golfers. They dress in khaki shorts and golf shirts, wear a Callaway or a Taylormade hat. Often they will bring the whole family and tend to have a really swell time at the tournament.

The second group is the oldtimers. They also might be golfers, but they get their own classification because of the socks up to their knees, their giant sun hats and their ability to sit in the same place for six hours.

The third group is the sunburned sports fan. He is usually drinking heavily, often obnoxious, but sometimes brings good-looking women with him. His favourite saying is, “What hole is this?”

At most golf tournaments, that’s it. Fans generally fall into one of those categories.

But the Masters isn’t most golf tournaments. The Masters has its own category.

Have you seen the movie Wedding Crashers?

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn play divorce mediators who crash weddings to find women. In the movie, they crash the wedding of the daughter of the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, played by Christopher Walken. They make their move on the Secretary’s other daughters, who happen to have boyfriends. These boyfriends are cartoonish examples of the upper-class and they would fit right into our special Masters-only group of fan, the All-American.

They are very preppy, they wear navy or tan dress pants and deck shoes no matter what the weather is and they are handsome, at least their teeth and hair is.

And they are always tall.

I began to notice this group as I made my way across Augusta in search of Mike Weir.

On Thursday, they could be overheard saying things such as:

“What are you doing for dinner?”

“I’m going over the Jim’s. He is having a few friends over.”

“Is he having catering brought in?”

Every hole I went to, I saw more and more All-Americans, it was hard to look away. I mean, it’s 35 degrees — do you really need the sweater?

Before I knew it, I was taking down quotes. I couldn’t help myself.

Finally I pulled myself away and looked up and saw a diminutive left-hander right in front of me. Weir was hitting his third shot to the par-4 seventh hole from over a hundred yards away. That’s not good.

Weir hit a nice shot into the green, but missed the putt.

That’s when I began to think of the reasons why Canada’s best golfer is struggling. I thought of his elbow injury and the fact that he is in his 40s. I thought of the missed putt I just saw and how there has been too many of those.

Looking up at the green, something broke my concentration.

It was his playing partners Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker. There was something familiar about them.

They were really tall and very well-dressed.

They had blonde hair flowing out of the back of their caps.

They had a certain swagger to them.

Then I realized what is was.

They were All-Americans!

Not only were they Wedding Crashers All-Americans, they were actual All-Americans in college.

How was Weir supposed to go up against that?

He looks so small; they look so big. His jaw is so tight; their smile is so big.

I followed the group in a daze. In the gallery, I was surrounded by them. On the course, Weir was surrounded by them.

On the ninth hole, Weir stood on the tee, coughing.

Great, I thought, not only is he surrounded by All-American muscle, he’s sick.

His drive didn’t make me feel much better. Arriving at his ball in the right rough I noticed that Weir’s drive was 80 yards behind Simpson’s.

I was only hoping that Weir had more confidence in himself than I did.

Turns out, he did.

Weir hit a towering hybrid to the 460-yard par 4 that landed three feet from the pin before stopping about 13 feet away.

Oh, baby! That’s my man.

Our Weirsy still has some fight in him. I remembered all the incredible hybrids he hit in 2003 when he won his green jacket. I remembered that Canadians are a scrappy bunch and don’t go down without a fight.

The greenside crowd gave him a nice ovation when Weir arrived. He missed the birdie putt on the high side to finish his front nine 1-over par, but he seemed to have found something.

Bogeys on the 10th and 11th put an end to that mojo.

The way the past couple of years have gone for Canada’s only major champion, I wasn’t sure he had another rally in him. He proved me wrong again, though.

Weir birdied holes 12, 13 and 15 to card an even-par 72. He ended the day tied with Tiger Woods for 29th.

Walking away from the 18th green, he fist-bumped an Augusta National member.

Would an All-American dare do that?

I guess they probably would, actually.

Whatever!

On Thursday at the Masters, Mike Weir fought hard and did us proud.

Call him an All-Canadian.


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