Mike Weir is the ultimate in stubborn optimists

Tease the day: Mike Weir attempts another comeback at Augusta National

Matt Slocum/AP

Mike Weir’s stubborn optimism, even if he exaggerates it to reporters, is something to behold. The golfer from Bright’s Grove, a small town on the shores of Lake Huron, once found himself facing off against Tiger Woods in the final round of the PGA Championship. That was in 1999, when no one could touch Tiger. Weir floundered, shot 80, and barely managed a Top-10 finish. Less than a month later, he won the Air Canada Championship in Surrey, B.C.—the first Canadian to win on home soil in 45 years. Collapse? What collapse?

No one knew it at the time, but that win out west was a prelude to Weir’s greatest success, four years later, when he won the Masters Tournament in 2003. That was his sixth career win, and unquestionably his finest moment. By that point, he’d carved out his own persona on the tour: he wore all black on Sunday, a nod to South African legend Gary Player; he steadied himself with a half-swing before every shot, a technique known as the “Weir waggle”; he was left-handed, a relative rarity on the tour; and, of course, he was Canadian.

Then, Weir stopped winning. He managed impressive finishes in major tournaments, a credit to his hard work, but only won twice on tour after that Masters gem. He suffered through nagging elbow troubles, but always—almost to a fault—talked about how his game was improving. To this day, his resolve remains the same. “I’m seeing progress. It’s good to see positive signs. I keep thinking of the strides I’m making,” he told The Globe and Mail‘s Lorne Rubenstein, as the leftie prepared for this week’s Masters.

Whether or not Weir ever recaptures his former glory—and as the years tick by, that word former carries more finality—you get the sense he won’t stop until his elbows fall off. Not a bad reputation to have, even without the championships.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with Nova Scotia Minister of Justice Ross Landry’s request of a police review of the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, who died of suicide after an alleged gang rape. The National Post fronts Andrew Coyne’s suggestion that the furore raised over foreign workers hired by an RBC subsidiary has more to do with xenophobia than sound policy. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Porter Airlines’ planned expansion, which could lead to an entrenched fight at City Hall. The Ottawa Citizen leads with a pending investigation of expansion plans at Ontario’s lottery and gaming corporation. iPolitics fronts the search for new priorities at southern Ontario’s economic development agency. leads with mixed reaction to its evaluation of Canadian hospitals. National Newswatch showcases a CBC News poll claiming support for presumptive Liberal leader Justin Trudeau comes at NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s expense.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Firearms. Even though the feds replaced three gun enthusiasts on a firearms advisory committee, bureaucrats warned Public Safety Minister Vic Toews the body’s members remained unbalanced. 2. Tax cheats. Quebec Premier Pauline Marois may disagree with the feds on myriad files, but she says her government will join forces with Ottawa counterparts to hunt down tax cheats.
3. Attawapiskat. Even though it wasn’t ordered to do so, the federal government paid for a third-party manager it sent to Attawapiskat First Nation in 2011 to oversee the band’s finances. 4. Blockade. Railway and propane industry officials complained to the feds that police were doing little to discourage a rail blockade near Sarnia, Ont., at Idle No More’s peak in 2012.

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