Bubba Watson wins MastersThe Masters - Preview Day 1






by Cam Cole

Augusta, GA — Mike Weir played the kind of final round at his 15th Masters that would have made an excellent highlight reel, if you didn’t mind fast-forwarding past the drives.

Up-and-down from everywhere, a near-ace to a tough Sunday pin on the par-three 6th, consecutive chip-ins at the 11th and 12th to begin Amen Corner — just never enough birdies to make up for his Saturday disaster.

Four of the last five years, the 2003 Masters winner has been sandbagged by a rogue round of 79 at Augusta National, and although this time — unlike the previous three — he saved it until after he made the cut, it did cost him any chance to contend in a tournament that could have kickstarted his stalled PGA Tour season.

“That’s just a tough golf course and I didn’t drive it very well today,” said Weir, who wrapped scores of 73, 72 and Sunday’s 73 around his disappointing third round. “I struggled with that part of my game, and then, from where I was, I managed my game pretty well.

“My short game was great. (The score) could have been good.”

His tee shot at the 12th, and approaches to the 15th and 17th all landed on the green and bounded over as if shot out of a cannon.

“No. 17’s a prime example. Hit a pretty good drive, hit a nice five-iron that hits a foot onto the green and ends up 20 yards over it. You need that distance (off the tee) so you can have an eight-iron in there, makes a big difference. Just a long, tough golf course.”

If there was a glimmer of light in his week, it wasn’t the $28,000 in prize money for finishing tied for 44th, it was his putter. He made 11 birdies with the flat stick after a dismal putting year, so he has that to take into next week at the RBC Heritage — where the Harbour Town course should be a little friendlier to a shortish hitter — and beyond.

“I’m scheduled to play the next two as well (Zurich Classic, Wells Fargo) but we’ll see how the body holds up here,” he said.

He hit into two tree roots, the first of them on the second hole Sunday, and felt the shock all the way into his right elbow, so he may have to keep an eye on that.

Weir’s biggest smile in three days came when he learned that a couple of Toronto media types won the lottery to play the Masters course on Monday.

“Did you really? Sweet,” he said.

“Well, try to keep it on home ice. And try to get that putt to just barely go in. Don’t try to jam any putts. Or, if you want,” he said, grinning, “hit a couple hard, see what happens.”

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