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Masters Memory 2003: Mike Weir’s Playoff Win
By Kurt Kragthorpe
In 2003 Mike Weir was the PGA Tour’s best player. His victory in the 2003 Masters was only part of the evidence to back that statement. Weir, who has lived in Salt Lake County almost ever since concluding his BYU career in 1992, already had won two tournaments that season, so his major breakthrough was not all that surprising.
Weir shot 70-68-75-68 to finish regulation play at 7-under-par 281, making a 7-foot par putt on the last hole to qualify for the sudden-death playoff. “A do-or-die putt at a major championship, win or lose, you’d be my guest in guessing how many guys are going to make that putt,” Weir said in PGA Tour teleconference. “I don’t think a whole lot.”
His bogey on the first playoff hole (No. 10) was good enough to defeat Len Mattiace and earn the green jacket, presented to him by Tiger Woods.
The most impressive part was his recovery from a poor finish of Saturday’s round. “When we talked Sunday morning, I knew he was locked in,” said Rich Gordin, who remains Weir’s sport psychologist. “He was just in control; he was ready to go play, I could tell.”
As part of the celebration that ensued in Utah, Weir played two homemade golf holes (having borrowed right-handed clubs) on the lawn of the state capitol with Gov. Mike Leavitt and Lt. Gov. Olene Walker. Leavitt declared May 12 – Weir’s 33rd birthday – as Mike Weir Day in the state.
The cover of that week’s Sports Illustrated declared, “A Star Is Born.” Weir already had won three tournaments and earned nearly $8 million in his first five years on the PGA Tour. Yet he clearly moved to another level early in 2003, with three wins and a tour-leading $3.2 million as of mid-April.