AUGUSTA, GA. - Despite a nagging rib cage injury that has prevented him from practising or playing for the last three weeks, Mike Weir was able to fashion an even par round of 72 in the first round of the Masters Tournament Thursday to sit in the top one-third of the pack.
Weir, who became the only Canadian ever to win a major golf championship 10 years ago this week at Augusta, had been a doubtful starter prior to his decision Wednesday to give it a try.
“That’s what I wanted to do: Get somewhere around par,” said Weir. “Under par would have been nice, but I got it back to par and I’m in a good position. My expectations weren’t real high, but something in my gut told me I was going to find a way to score. I’ve played this golf course so much that I felt like if I could just get the ball in the fairway, I know the right angles and the right spots to be on the greens. I did a really good job of that today. I was on the correct side of the hole a lot.”
Weir made three birdies and offset those with three bogeys, finishing his round with a solid 15-foot birdie putt at the 18th green. It matched his best Masters score since he shot 71 in the first round in 2010.
Because of his injury, Weir was forced to ratchet back on his swings off the tees and felt that might have helped him keep his drives in the fairways for the most part.