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Last Updated:  Monday, 14 April, 2003, 01:35 GMT 02:35 UK
Weir's coronation
Iain Carter
Iain Carter
BBC golf correspondent at Augusta

Mike Weir, 2003 Masters Champion
Weir was a worthy winner

It was an eventful day and Mike Weir is a deserving winner of the US Masters - but things did not pan out on Sunday as we expected.

We anticipated a Tiger Woods surge to the title, but yet were also mindful of the fact that he has never won a Major when coming from behind on the final day.

When he blew up at the third hole, we effectively knew it was not going to be his year.

Len Mattiace then came from absolutely nowhere and when he went to eight under with a birdie at the 16th, I looked around the media centre and realised not one of the so-called experts could hand-on-heart have predicted his name would be on the top of the leaderboard.

But the climax demonstrated the difference between the good and the great.

Ultimately, Mattiace's nerve failed him as he first bogeyed the 18th and then capitulated at the 10th, the play-off hole.

What we witnessed at Augusta was a graduation, a natural progression for someone who has been steadily improving for some time

Weir by contrast had been utterly nerveless in compiling a bogey-free 68.

His birdie at the 15th after misjudging his tee shot was outstanding, pragmatic golf at its best and his six-foot par putt at the 18th was pure courage.

Ironically, his only bogey of the day came on the play-off hole but it was still comfortably enough to make him a worthy Masters champion.

What we witnessed at Augusta was a graduation, a natural progression for someone who has been steadily improving and has already won twice on the tour this year.

These are the players you want to kick on and win the sport's biggest titles.

And Weir's resolute display did not disappoint.

Phil Mickelson once again failed to convert a promising position and you have to wonder whether it will ever happen for him.

For the Europeans, Jose Maria Olazabal will be delighted given his wretched form of late but otherwise there was very little to cheer.

Darren Clarke failed to make the most of a brilliant start, as did Sergio Garcia. Paul Lawrie was very steady and he will be pleased with his week's work.

Sympathy for Maggert

But for the likes of Padraig Harrington, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie, who all missed the cut, there is nothing but disappointment.

Justin Rose played all four rounds, which will be a massive experience for him, and Nick Faldo confirmed his enduring qualities by making the cut.

You have to feel huge sympathy for Jeff Maggert, whose chances ended on the third hole.

If a ball stays in the bunker after you have attempted to hit it out, that is bad luck. But if it then comes off your body and falls to the ground for a two-shot penalty, well that is intolerable.

The way he clawed his way back was admirable, only to blow it all at the 12th.

The wounds this time were self-inflicted and once again proved what is needed to rightfully claim the green jacket.





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