That’s the conclusion ScoreGolf’s group of panelists come to tomorrow on a show on TSN, something that’s fair game now that Score Editor Bob Weeks gave up the goods on the Fan590 on Thursday, running through the list with host Bob McCown’s Primetime sports radio show. McCown, for what it is worth, disagreed. He picked George Knudson, certainly another possibility.
The question, of course, is whether Weir warrants the honour, which was selected by golf media types, some industry people and some golf historians.
Weeks added on the show that Weir didn’t receive the nod by a wide margin — that Marlene Stewart Streit and George Knudson also had some support.
My Top 5 went like this (though I’ll admit I had to look it up since I sent it in November):
1) Mike Weir
2) George Knudson
3) Marlene Stewart Streit
4) Sandra Post
5) Al Balding
All of these sorts of things are a bit arbitrary. Weir’s major win at the 2003 Masters, alongside his seven other PGA Tour wins, elevates him above Knudson in my mind, and apparently that of my peers. Marlene Streit has won every tournament an amateur could win and in some regards harkens back to another era when golfers might remain as an amateur for their entire lives. She’s also the only Canadian in the World Golf Hall of Fame, which demonstrates her recognition goes well beyond Canada. Sandra Post was, at the time, the youngest woman ever to win a major championship, and had eight wins on the LPGA Tour before injuries slowed her. Injuries also derailed Al Balding’s career, but he remained a remarkable player for his entire life, shooting 12 shots less than his age at the Canadian Seniors PGA Championship.
Is the list perfect? Hardly. It is missing George Cumming, who won an early Canadian Open, and was runner-up four times. He was also responsible, largely, for pushing the notion of the “golf pro” in Canada, and spent 50 years at Toronto Golf Club. And of course, as a designer, he built numerous courses, including the routing for Scarboro, Summit, and several others. And like many lists, I think it is a bit heavy on modern golfers, though admittedly it is hard to qualify golfers who played 100 years ago against modern players.