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Weir's Biggest Putt Ever?

[photopress:weirwoods2.jpg,full,alignleft]So the International squad played better yesterday, but after pretty much sucking the pipe on Saturday, they left themselves in a position where they really couldn’t win. As such, most of the eyes (and television cameras, apparently) were on Mike Weir’s battle with Tiger Woods. Thankfully it turned out to be exceptionally good, making it worth watching even as the event was largely finished.

Of course there were the ridiculous bits, like Dan Hicks calling the club “Rural Mon-Tre-all” over and over again.

The Toronto Star catches a couple of the other NBC gaffs, with Johnny Miller, who loves his hyperbole, calling Weir’s putt on 17, “probably the biggest of his career.” Right. Like that putt on the 18th at Augusta on the Sunday was not career defining.

As for Weir, his confidence has to have received a boost from beating Tiger, especially since his new swing held up so well under pressure on the 17th and 18th, while Woods hooked his tee shot into the pond.

“Its obviously a great win for me, but its mixed feelings, said Weir. “Im happy that I won, but this is the fourth Presidents Cup team Ive been on and we havent been able to pull it out, so I definitely have mixed emotions.

But with the fans and everything, its just been incredible this week, Weir said. It was very emotional. Thats why I wanted to respond right here at the end.

Interestingly, if you look at the International squad point totalsand what went wrong, you might wonder about the selection of Nick O’Hern for starters. Reportedly a Tiger-killer coming in, O’Hern stunk up the course over all four days, making a single point, while Trevor Immelman was even worse, recording half a point over the entire tournament. And Rory Sabbatini might have become more of a team player, but with half a point, some other team can have the hot-headed South African.

On the U.S. team all we heard about was Woody Austin. But let’s be frank, his 2.5 points aren’t the 4.5 points carded by David Toms, or the 4 point made by Scott Verplank. Sure Woody was a character — and has character — but NBC’s announcers were suggesting Paul Azinger should consider him for the Ryder Cup squad, and that’s likely a bit much. Besides, Austin, who skipped the British Open this year, apparently travels as well as fresh fish.

And in case you were wondering how Weir’s round went yesterday, here’s a hole-by-hole account of his round:

A hole-by-hole account of Mike Weir’s match against Tiger Woods
15 hours ago

Hole 1 (444 yards, par 4): Weir drives to left side of fairway, Woods in rough at right. Weir’s approach 12-feet from pin, Woods within seven feet for birdie. Both settle for par.

Hole 2 (385 yards, par 4): Weir drives to left side of fairway, Woods in first cut at right. Weir’s second shot within 13 feet for birdie, Woods on green 22 feet from pin. Weir birdies, goes 1 up.

Hole 3 (437 yards, par 4): Weir drives to left side of fairway, Woods in fairway at right. Both Weir and Woods land approach shots within 35 feet for birdie. Both make par. Weir remains 1 up.

Hole 4 (501 yards, par 4): Both drive to right-hand side of fairway. Both approach shots catch right bunker. Woods from bad lie unable to hit green, Weir sticks bunker shot to 10 inches. Fourth shot by Woods skirts past hole. Weir goes 2 up.

Hole 5 (203 yards, par 3): Weir right of pin within 17 feet for birdie, Woods on green within 31 feet. Both settle for par. Weir remains 2 up.

Hole 6 (570 yards, par 5): Woods drive is OB to the right, lies three in fairway. Weir’s drive in rough at right, lays up to 77 yards, sticks approach to within 10 feet for birdie. Woods’ fourth shot misses green to right, concedes after fifth shot. Weir goes 3 up.

Hole 7 (153 yards, par 3): Weir knocks tee shot to six-and-a-half feet, Woods knocks his to five feet. Both make birdie. Weir remains 3 up.

Hole 8 (394 yards, par 4): Weir drives to left side of fairway, Woods to the right. Woods second shot to 11 feet from pin, Weir’s approach on green 24 feet from hole. Both make par. Weir remains 3 up.

Hole 9 (437 yards, par 4): Weir to left of fairway off the tee, Woods down the middle. Woods knocks approach to eight feet, Weir on green 44 feet from pin. Woods misses birdie putt, Weir makes par to remain 3 up.

Hole 10 (460 yards, par 4): Both drives land in fairway. Weir knocks approach to within nine feet, Woods knocks approach to within 20 feet. Both settle for par. Weir remains 3 up.

Hole 11 (476 yards, par 4): Weir hits fairway to the left, Woods hits fairway to the right. Weir’s approach on green 41 feet from pin, Woods sticks his second shot to eight inches. Woods makes birdie. Weir 2 up.

Hole 12 (570 yards, par 5): Woods misses fairway to the left, Weir hits fairway to the left. Weir’s second shot misses green to the left, Woods lays up 40 yards in front of the green. Woods knocks third shot to three feet, Weir knocks his to 17 feet. Weir pars, Woods birdies. Weir 1 up.

Hole 13 (224 yards, par 3): Weir hits tee shot to within 20 feet for birdie, Woods misses green short. Woods gets up-and-down, Weir two putts. Weir remains 1 up.

Hole 14 (390 yards, par 4): Woods drives into right fairway bunker, Weir splits fairway. Both approach shots miss the green long. Woods gets up-and-down, Weir doesn’t. Match is all square.

Hole 15 (448 yards, par): Weir drives to left side of fairway, Woods drives to right side of fairway. Woods knocks approach to 15 feet for birdie, Weir’s approach lands in water hazard left of green. Weir plays ball from hazard and flies green. Weir concedes after playing fourth shot. Woods goes 1 up.

Hole 16 (456 yards, par 4): Both drives split fairway. Woods hits his approach to within 17 feet for birdie, Weir knocks his to 12 feet. Both two putt for par. Woods remains 1 up.

Hole 17 (160 yards, par 4): Woods knocks tee shot to 12 feet, Weir matches by knocking his to 10 feet. Woods misses his birdie putt, Weir makes his. Match is all square.

Hole 18 (466 yards, par 4): Weir’s drive hits the left side of fairway, Woods drives into pond at left. Lying two, Woods misses green to the right. Weir hits his second shot to 15 feet. Woods chips to six inches, then gives Weir his birdie putt. Weir wins 1 up.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

13 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Call it what you want, but the Woods loss to Weir was suspect. Tiger has been unbeatable this year, wins his last tournament by how many, and Weir beats him, come on. The Cup was already won, they’re playing in Canada, and everybody wants to see Weir win, like I said.. suspect. When was the last time Tiger came back from being four down and lost? Let’s not forget, it was the marquee match and it was better than watching Tiger win by 10, it is a business, why did Tiger play Weir who didn’t even play his way onto the team and not the big gun like Ernie or Adam Scott?
    A little strange.

  • Suspect? What does that even mean? Are you saying Woods threw the match? That’s silly. Woods cares about winning and only winning. Take it from somebody who was there, Woods was grinding as hard as possible to win his singles match but got beat fair and square. As for matching Weir and Woods, Weir was clearly the best player for the International team throughout the week and earned the shot at Woods.

  • Suspect means Woods let him win and have the spotlight, he’s a class act, its only the Presidents cup, not a major.

  • Yes, a great boost for Mike Weir, but it was only 18 hole matchplay – a couple of top five finishes would be far more significant.

  • Sorry, letting Weir win with poor play is not being a class act, it is an insult. Woods did not let Weir win…Woods is too much of a competitor to let Weir win. Weir beat him.

    During the Masters in a practice round several years ago, a spectator bet Woods $20 that he could not hole a chip from the rough (downhill breaking chip). Woods holed the shot and then actually took the $20 from the spectator. Woods is known for his competitiveness (duh!) and Weir should be proud of beating him over 18 holes in the PC.

  • I must admit this notion that Weir didn’t win on his own merits and that Tiger had to let him win is both silly and insulting.

  • It’s inconceivable that Woods would actually lose on purpose, however I cannot for a second believe that if that was the final match with the cup on the line that Tiger wouldn’t have found another gear and won. This is similar to beating the Stanley Cup champs in an exhibition game- it feels nice but doesn’t really mean that much. Not to take anything away from Weir’s great performance but I’d like to see him do the same against Woods on a Sunday at the Masters- then you might see a different Tiger.

  • I don’t think Woods threw the match, however I agree with Wayne Grow (nice touch) that Woods wasn’t treating this like a major or a match against Ames.

    Hey RT, speaking of “silly and insulting”, the idea that anyone thinks of you as a “golf” expert. HA!!!!!

  • Ha! indeed. I think to get your point home, you should really have considered adding another exclamation mark. I didn’t quite get the level of “ha” vitriol that you were trying to extol. You’ll be sure to get the sixth exclamation mark on next time….

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