ARDMORE, PA. - Mike Weir ate breakfast in a stranger’s house, sat atop the leaderboard and was a tournament marshal at the U.S. Open Thursday.
Weir shot an opening round 72 at sits two over par although for a while at Merion Golf Club he held a share of the lead. Canada’s only major winner was asked if he happened to notice his name at the top of the leaderboard
“Sure I saw my name up there,” he said after his round. “It’s a good feeling. I haven’t seen my name up there in a long time.”
After being near the top of the leaderboard all round, Weir bogeyed holes No. 6, 7, 8 and 9 before managing a birdie on the 10th hole -- his final hole -- to put a good taste back in his mouth.
“That was very important,” he said.
As all Canadian golf fans know, Weir has struggled with an elbow injury over the past few years. His game and world ranking have fallen off the chart.
On the par-3 third hole, Weir hit a great shot out of the greenside bunker for a tap-in par. The shot was so great that a nearby fan serenaded him by loudly whistling O Canada as Weir walked to the green. The anthem continued as one of Weir’s playing partners, Jaco Van Zyl, was preparing to hit his shot. Finally, Weir had to turn to the fan and let him know that Van Zyl was trying to play his shot.
Ten years after winning the 2003 Masters, Weir still seems to be a crowd favourite.
The logistics of playing the U.S. Open at Merion have made for a few interesting situations. For instance, the players are using a member’s house as part of their locker room.
“They have a little room that’s our dining room,” Weir said. “It’s a den or something that they have turned into a dining room.”
He explained that he was eating breakfast Thursday morning on the couch with one of the homeowner’s children.
“We were watching SportsCenter and he flipped over to the Golf Channel,” he said.
Besides children, he shared his morning with the family dogs and said hello to the childrens’ mother.
“I see her floating around, checking on the kids.”
Certainly more exciting stuff than this time last year when Weir wasn’t even in the U.S. Open field.
The only downside of playing this week is that he couldn’t stay up to watch the Blackhawks beat the Bruins in triple overtime Wednesday.
“I got through the second period,” he said.
Get your rest, Mike. You’ll need it.