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Hole 10 - Camellia - Augusta NationalHole 10 - Camellia - Augusta NationalNo machine-readable author provided. Mbrooks assumed (based on copyright claims)., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Canada’s Mike Weir: One day in your life

As the golden hues of sunset painted the 10th green of Augusta National on April 13, 2003, a roar of pride erupted from Canadian sports fans. Mike Weir had just defeated Len Mattice in the first playoff hole, claiming the coveted Masters title and the iconic green jacket. Weir became not only the first Canadian to achieve this feat, but he also became the first left-handed champion at the event.

For Canadian golf fans, this was a watershed moment. Legends like Moe Norman and George Knudson, while achieving greatness, were figures of a bygone era for most. A major championship victory for a Canadian golfer remained a dream unrealized. For my generation, Mike Weir’s rise filled a void – he was our homegrown hero. His unconventional pre-shot routine and smaller stature resonated with a national identity that embraced the underdog spirit.

Weir switched sports from hockey to golf

Born in Sarnia, Ontario, Weir grew up in nearby Brights Grove, honing his skills at Huron Oaks Golf Course. Like many Canadian boys, hockey was his initial passion. Although right-handed, he possessed a natural left-handed shot, a talent he seamlessly transitioned to the golf course.

Mike Weir addresses his ball on the 17th tee at Torrey Pines during Monday's practice round at the 2008 U.S. Open in San Diego, CA.
Mike Weir
Jim Epler from San Diego, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Having won a junior tournament at age 12, and realizing in his teenage years that his small stature wasn’t going to serve him well in the world of hockey, Weir switched to golf as his primary sport.

A pivotal moment in his young career came when, having been told to switch to playing right handed, he wrote a letter to legend Jack Nicklaus asking for advice on whether to make the switch. Nicklaus quickly wrote back saying “If you are a good player left-handed, don’t change anything—especially if that feels natural to you.” Weir framed that letter and keeps it in his home.

Weir turned professional in 1992, making it to the PGA Tour in 1998, though he had to re-earn his card at qualifying school the following year. His first PGA Tour win came at the 1999 Air Canada Championship in British Columbia. That victory made him the first Canadian to win a PGA Tour event in Canada in 45 years. Continuing his rise, he won the Tour Championship in 2001.

Weir started 2003 season in good form

Weir started 2003 off impressively with two wins during the west coast swing at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the Nissan Open at Riviera Country Club.

This left him in good form as April rolled around to open what is probably the most famous tournament in golf, the Masters. Finishing the rain-delayed first round tied for fourth place, Weir went on to shoot 68 in the second round. That gave him the tournament lead by four strokes. A disappointing 75 in the third round left him second overall, but he was still in the final pairing on Sunday with Jeff Maggert.

Weir shot a great 68 in the final round, but Len Mattice, with a phenomenal round of 65 and one of the largest final-round comebacks ever in a major, ended the tournament tied with him. That led to a sudden-death playoff on the 10th hole.

Weir bogeyed the hole, besting Mattice’s double-bogey, and he raised his putter as the lyrics from 54-40’s iconic song “One Day in Your Life” echoed through the heads of millions of Canadians watching at home. He had finally found his, and our, “One Day.”

Peter, with over 20 years navigating the dynamic world of sports websites, brings not only experience but an insatiable passion for the games. An avid NHL and curling fan, his heart beats for all things sports, from the roar of the crowd to the quiet intensity of strategic plays. At Attiq, Peter strives to curate an attic of hidden stories, insightful analysis, and forgotten legends, inviting you to explore the depths of the sports world beyond the headlines. Click here for Peter's posts.