Weeks: Weir, DeLaet still smiling after first round at Masters

Bob Weeks
4/11/2014 8:21:54 AM
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One Canadian played a solid round, the other slipped but at the end of the day, both were smiling.

The better of the two rounds was turned in by Mike Weir, who took 73 over his opening 18 holes. DeLaet, however, made his Masters debut with a round of 80, failing to make a birdie on the day.

For Weir, it marked just the second time in the last six Masters tournaments that the lefthander was over par in the first round but he was still pleased with the effort.

"I am pretty happy with that," said Weir. "It's a brute of a course, and anything around par is good."

The 2003 champion who has made just one cut in his last 10 starts on the PGA Tour, played a relatively steady round that saw him hit 11 of 14 fairways. Those he missed were just by a yard or two. He was also solid coming into to the greens with the statistics showing him at 50 per cent but most of the misses again being by inches rather than yards.

"In many ways, I think I could have been a bit lower out there if I'd managed to make a few putts," Weir stated, "but I'll take that 73."

There were indeed a few missed opportunities such as on the third hole where Weir three-putted from 10 feet, getting fooled by the come-back second putt.

"My first putt broke left and went past about three feet. Then the next one broke left too," a confused Weir admitted.

Weir's birdies came on the second, seventh and 15th holes and he ended his day by draining a solid six-footer for par on the 18th.

Suffering from a cold, he admitted that there wasn't much energy left in the tank at the end of the day. He was looking forward to getting a good night's sleep to recharge the batteries.

DeLaet's day never seemed to get on track and the Weyburn, Saskatchewan product.

"I wasn't sharp by any means but I didn't really think I played that poorly," he said. "It just exposed me. I was just battling all day and I wasn't able to make those par putts when I needed them."

DeLaet failed to make a birdie during his round, going seven over through his first 10 holes. He needed 39 putts to get around the famed course. Too often his first putt was from the wrong side of the hole and the lightning-fast speeds were next to impossible to negotiate, especially for a first-timer.

Still, DeLaet came off the course tired, but still smiling.

"It's disappointing, obviously, to shoot 80, but at the same time, I had a great time," said DeLaet. "I feel like I learned a little bit and I'm just one good round away from playing the weekend. That's the plan for [Friday]."

As has been the case all week, DeLaet had a huge gallery of Canadians following his every move, including a group of his friends from Weyburn who were sporting shirts that read 'Graham's Gangsters.'

And despite the poor performance, DeLaet did allow his thoughts to wander a bit and take in the fact that the kid from Southern Saskatchewan had made it to Augusta.

"At some point on the back nine, I was looking up at the board and it said: 'DeLaet seven-under and maybe that wasn't what I wanted to see but I thought, 'Hey, it's the Masters leaderboard and I'm on it.'"

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