For Sandy, Utah resident Mike Weir it was clear that in order to win the HP Byron Nelson Invitational on Sunday, May 18, he would need to shoot at least a 65 to snap his nine-year streak without winning a major. In the end, Weir came up short of that 65 score and of winning his first PGA Tour event since 2007.
Weir finished in second place overall to PGA Tour newcomer Brendon Todd at 12 strokes under par--but not before Weir, the former BYU star gave it the old college try.
On a windy, hot Sunday afternoon in Irving, Texas Weir started out the day on fire. By the third hole he was even sitting in the lead. After five holes he was still in command, having birdied four of the first five holes at the TPC Four Seasons Resort.
Then a familiar enemy came out of the rough and onto the green: his putting game. He short putted the sixth and ninth holes for bogey to wrap up a hot-and-cold front nine.
Just as you thought Weir’s ride at the Byron Nelson was over for the weekend, he started playing steady golf again on holes 10 through 12. That was just before Weir nailed one of his best shots of the tournament, hitting a lag putt to birdie on a par-three 13th.
That save by Weir kept him within striking distance of the golfer who passed Weir when he struggled on the back end of the front nine: University of Georgia product Brendon Todd. Todd was now in first place with a comfortable two-stroke lead.
Weir had a chance to catch Todd, but a bogey on the 15th hole killed Weir’s chances at his first major victory in almost a decade. The culprit was again short putting for Weir, whose long game had failed him somewhat at this tournament -- yet his long game wasn’t the major issue on Sunday.
Todd wrapped up his first PGA Tour win with a steady, safe long game and a brilliant short game as Weir watched from the club house, and will receive a PGA Tour players’ exception for two years--among other prizes.
As for Weir, it was his best finish all season--and may be a sign that after changing grips on his putter, he’s here to stay on the PGA Tour. His final round score of 67 proved just as much.