OAKVILLE, ONT. -- It wasn't quite like 2004, but for Mike Weir fans, seeing their hero light it up again was special.
The Canadian star posted a five-under 67 on Friday, roaring out to a seven-under start before stumbling in with bogeys on three of his final four holes.
It wasn't his lowest round of the year – he fired a 65 at Pebble Beach in February – and it wasn't a round that came out of nowhere. At the John Deere Classic two weeks ago, he shot 67 on both Saturday and Sunday. But posting it at Glen Abbey, in the RBC Canadian Open in front of the home country fans made it perhaps the most special round in some time.
"It was a great day," said Weir, who lost a playoff at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course in 2004. "It was one of those rounds that could have been really anything. I could have been 10-under pretty easily, I think. But [I] played great, and it was exciting to do that for the fans. Yesterday was so dull, one birdie and nothing happening at all, so it was great to feel that kind of support out there and give them something to cheer about."
Weir hit the ball well on Thursday but couldn't buy a putt, but on Friday, after a change of putters, he seemed to find the bottom of the cup with regularity.
The stats show Weir with just 25 putts on Friday versus 34 a day earlier.
"I've been dancing around really good numbers here for a while, and that was a nice solid one for sure with a chance. Could have been a really good one. But it was up there with one of the better rounds this year so far."
While putting together a fine display of shotmaking for the home-country fans was satisfying for Weir, he also knows that he needs a good finish here for his own selfish purposes. Weir is currently 170th on the FedEx Cup point list and 187th on the money list. He needs to move up to ensure he retains his playing privileges for 2014.
"I only have this week and two more and I need to have some good weeks," he stated. "I need to have a good weekend here. I don't want to have to use one of my all-time money list exemptions because, if I'm in that 150 to 200 category, I'm not going to play those four events. I've been working it hard and to grind that out, I'm at the point where I'd rather use my exemption and be fresh early for next year. The way things are with my game, I feel like the 125 is not going to be a problem."
Weir has one more lifetime money list exemption for being in the top 50 on the all-time list – he used one for being in the top 25 this season. But he'll make the decision on whether to cash it in at the end of the year.
Right now, he's content to bask in the enjoyment of a good day, one that he can savour that much more knowing how far he's climbed back after injuries and re-tooling his swing.
"It was brutal," Weir said of the struggles of the last two years. "It was really tough to go through. At the end of the day, when I had time to myself at my home or my hotel, I'd take a deep breath and tell myself, you know what, I still love the game.
"You win, you lose but at the end of the day, you have to have fun. I'm having fun doing this again."
Clearly, that's showing in his game and on his face.