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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Magic Mike Weir wins maiden Champions title as Daly dunks final approach

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Former Masters champion Mike Weir claimed his first Champions Tour title as John Daly saw his hopes fall foul of the water when a final hole double-bogey left him two shots shy at the Insperity Invitational.

Weir and Daly were tied going down the stretch at The Woodlands with the tournament reduced to 36-holes due to heavy rain during the week. Daly, out in the group ahead of Weir, was sitting on 10-under par with a nine-iron in hand, looking for a final hole birdie to set the bar at minus-11. In the end his approach came up short, a gust of wind providing a cruel twist of fate as Weir parred the last to Daly’s double-bogey to take the title by two.

“J.D. played great. It was unfortunate for him on the last,” Weir said. “This means a lot. I played really well today. I’m still a little off with my putting. I made it hard on myself. But I hit the shots that I needed. It feels very good.”

Daly had landed a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-5 13th to take a two-shot lead but Weir matched him stride for stride, eagling the same hole a few minutes later. The ding-dong battle came down to the last but Daly was adamant he hit his nine-iron as well as he could, just not good enough to defy the golfing gods as his ball found the water.

“I caught a gust on 18,” he said. “I hit a 9-iron from about 155 and I hit a 9-iron from 141 there and I caught a gust and just got a bad break. But I can’t hit the ball any better. I’m excited about next week.”

The PGA Tour Champions plays the first of its five majors this week at the Regions Tradition. And playing themselves into form were Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley with the pair signing off with three-under par 69s, Clarke for a tie for 13th and McGinley for a share of 30th.

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