Weir comes from behind to claim Bob Hope Classic
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2003 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic | Wrap | 03 Feb 2003
The expected turnaround has arrived for the highly talented Canadian Mike Weir with his come-from-behind win at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
After winning the Tour Championship towards the end of 2001 it was expected that the talented 32-year-old from Ontario, but now living in Utah, would go on to an even better year in 2002. That prediction did not materialise however, as he failed to secure a top ten finish in 2002. He made a lot of cuts but his best finish was 11th at the Honda Classic and, although the defending champion, he did not qualify to play at the Tour Championship in 2002.
His win here comes on top of his first top ten placing in over twelve months last week at the Phoenix Open, so perhaps those of us who should know, missed an opportunity here.
His fast finish where he birdied the last three holes for a last round 67, saw him emerge the winner by two ahead of 49-year-old Jay Haas with Chris DiMarco and a rather bemused Tim Herron two shots further back tied for third.
For Tim Herron, it was one of the strangest back nines he will ever experience. It is hard to imagine how someone, leading a tournament with seven holes to play, could eagle two of the last five holes and lose by four. Herron’s quadruple bogey at the par four sixteenth saw him do exactly that and that he was able to bounce back with an eagle at the last was something else.
49-year-old Jay Haas had his best finish on tour since finishing second at the West Texas Open in 1998. He is no doubt hanging out until years end when he becomes eligible for the Champions Tour (ex-Seniors Tour). Mind you with this sort of form, there may be still some life in the old dog yet.
Chris DiMarco enjoyed yet another strong tournament and he seems to be there or thereabouts every week now. He has played well at the US Masters in Augusta previously, leading in 2001 through thirty-six holes, before finishing 10th. It may be that a very good finish in a major is now not beyond him.
David Gossett, perhaps a disappointing last round 72 was fifth and defending champion, Phil Mickeslon tied for sixth alongside Pat Perez.
The leading Australian was Rod Pampling, who seems to be getting closer and closer to a very good week. He finished 21st and can expect a cheque for around $US45,000 but will have been disappointed with his last round 74. Geoff Ogilvy was 49th and John Senden 57th, were the only other Australasians to make the cut with Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Craig Perks, Grant Waite and James McLean all missing out.