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Mike Weir wins Lionel Conacher Award as Canadas Male Athlete of the Year

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 00:57:26

"Mike Weir has claimed the 2003 Lionel Conacher Award as Canada's male athlete of the year for the third time in the last four years. In 2000, Mike became the first golfer to claim the prestigious award, named after the all-around sports legend that was named Canada's greatest male athlete of the first half of the century, since Sandy Somerville in 1932. That year, Somerville became the first foreign golfer to win the U.S. Amateur title.

The highlight of Mike's 2003 season came in April when he sunk a dramatic eight-foot putt in the clutch on the 18th hole on Sunday at the Masters to put himself into a playoff with Len Mattiace, which he then won to become the first Canadian in history to win one of golf's most prestigious majors. The Masters win was the highlight of a superb season for Weir, who also won two other PGA events, finished in the top three on four different occasions and also in the top 10 in six other tournaments. He followed the Masters win with the best showing by any golfer in all four majors, including a third in the U.S. Open.

""I am extremely honored to win the Lionel Conacher Award in recognition of my 2003 season. When I was informed that I had won this prestigious award and learned that I have joined the great Rocket Richard as a three-time winner, I felt proud and honored to be in the company with such a great Canadian hockey legend"".

Fergie Jenkins (four time winner) and Wayne Gretzky (six time winner) are the only two athletes with more Lionel Conacher Awards as Canadian Male Athlete of the Year.

In 2000, Weir was sixth on the money list with $2,547,829 US culminating his season with a victory at the World Golf Championship-American Express Championship at Valderamma, Spain. In 2001, Mike defeated an elite field to take the Tour Championship and cap a year in which he earned more than $2.7 million US, to win the Lionel Conacher Award for the second year in a row.

Earlier this month, Mike Weir won the Lou Marsh Award as Canada's athlete of the year by one vote over Eric Gagn�. The award is decided by a panel of sports editors, writers and broadcasters from across the country, and has been won in the past by such Canadian greats as Wayne Gretzky, Donovan Bailey and Terry Fox.