Mike Weir (Getty Images)Mike Weir became a Canadian sports icon when he won the 2003 Masters and slipped his arms through the sleeves of the Green Jacket.
But that was nearly 10 years ago and while Weir’s name still likely resonates amongst Canadian sports fans – more so than any other homegrown golfer at least – it’s been a struggle for the 42-year-old to remain remotely relevant on the PGA Tour over the last few years.
The Sarnia, Ont., native who once ranked as high as number three in the world no longer even ranks among the top 1,500 golfers anymore and he was forced to use one of his two lifetime money exemptions to play on the PGA Tour this year.
Heading into the 2013 Farmers Insurance Open Thursday Weir had missed 17-straight cuts including one last weekend at the Humana Challenge when a triple-bogey on the final hole on Saturday knocked him out of contention.
Friday, however Weir’s long stretch of bad luck came to an end as he made his first cut at a tournament since 2011 after shooting a 66 and 75 in his first two rounds at Torrey Pines, combining for a 3-under par.
He told reporters after shooting an impressive 6-under par Thursday:
“I'm almost there. I don't feel a hundred percent comfortable yet, but it's definitely getting a lot better,” Weir told reporters after Thursday’s round. “I'm happy with the progress I'm making. As golfers, you want it right away, but I've seen some good signs, so that's always positive.”
And as far as Canadian golfers go, Weir won’t be alone when he tees off Saturday morning. Rookie Brad Fritsch who earned his PGA Tour card in October, sits in a tie for third at 8-under par, three strokes back of the leader Tiger Woods.
Weyburn, Saskatchewan native Graham DeLaet – currently the highest ranked Canadian player on the Tour at 182 – sits in a tie for 16th at 6-under par and Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., is tied for 31st at 4-under.
So while Weir’s 3-under par leaves him with plenty of work to do in order to contend for the tournament title, making the cut Friday is a small victory for a player who has fallen so far in such a short time.