Sandy resident Mike Weir was disappointed to finish second in a PGA Tour Champions event last month after holding the lead through two rounds. He discovered the secret to winning Sunday, when the rain-delayed Insperity Invitational lasted only 36 holes.
Weir still had to deliver some good shots under pressure, finishing two strokes ahead of John Daly and two other players to earn what counts as an official victory at The Woodlands Country Club near Houston. When his approach shot landed on the 18th green, the former Masters champion pumped his fist in triumph, knowing he had pretty much secured his first tournament win since taking his last of eight PGA Tour titles in 2007.
“It means a ton,” Weir said in a Golf Channel interview. “I played really, really well today. … I hit the shots that I needed to win down the stretch and it feels very good.”
He’s the first Utahn to win a PGA Tour Champions title since St. George’s Jay Don Blake in 2012 and the first former BYU golfer to claim a senior victory since Mike Reid in 2009.
Due to the course conditions, the scheduled 54-hole tournament began late Saturday afternoon. Weir made five birdies in 13 holes, then completed a 66 on Sunday morning. He followed with a 68 to finish ahead of Daly, who double-bogeyed No. 18; Tim Petrovic, who bogeyed the last hole; and David Toms, who led early in the final round.
Weir, who will turn 51 next week, was making his 14th start as a PGA Tour Champions member. His debut was delayed by the pandemic until late July and he’s technically a rookie, because the tour’s 2020 and ’21 schedules have been combined into a 40-event season.
Phil Mickelson remains the Rookie of the Year favorite after winning in his first two starts, but Weir is now in the conversation with a win, two runner-up showings and six top-10 finishes.
Weir laughingly acknowledged he “made it hard on myself” with some putting issues during an adventurous back nine Sunday as he dueled with Daly, who was playing one group ahead of him.
Weir hit an iron shot to within 4 feet on the par-5 No. 13 to match Daly’s birdie, tying him at 10 under. That came during a five-hole stretch when Weir went birdie-bogey-eagle-bogey-birdie. Daly, meanwhile, made four straight pars after his eagle on No. 13. But his second shot on No. 18 failed to clear the water in front of the green by about a foot, leaving him in disbelief.
Weir took advantage of his opportunity to win by hitting a perfect drive on No. 18, followed by a solid approach from 161 yards and a routine two-putt to give himself a check for $337,500 and his first trophy in 14 years.
Weir’s victory came in a tournament operated by executive director Bryan Naugle, formerly the general manager of Park Meadows Country Club and the administrator of Park City’s PGA Tour Champions event that ended in 2002.