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Last Updated: Monday, 14 April, 2003, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Weir gets his reward
BBC Sport's Ken Brown
Ken Brown
BBC Sport in Augusta

Mike Weir had always felt it was his destiny to win a major, but his rise to the top has not been easy.

Mike Weir
Weir has made 3.5m this year
Weir has had to battle and work hard, and it really has been a slow improvement for the 30-year-old.

He has been two or three times to the qualifying school and has played on the Canadian tour too.

But two wins on the US tour this season have seen him grow in confidence and, after his triumph in Augusta, his bank balance is likely to have grown too - his prize money this year now stands at around 3.5m.

What Weir had done so well all week was to hole out from three to eight feet.

I cannot remember seeing him miss those putts, and on the final day he holed some beauties.

The sad thing about finishing second at the Masters is that you are so easily forgotten

He put away a very testy putt on the eighteenth, shooting uphill from seven feet, never missing the centre of the cup, to force a play-off with Len Mattiace.

Mattiace is probably not that well known outside of America but he is a very steady player and won a couple of times last season.

He put together a terrific round of golf, and going up the last he was eight under until he struggled with a long drive.

But Mattiace holed a solid putt to go seven under. There was only Weir who was in a position to catch him - and he did.

The play-off itself was a pretty disappointing end to what had been an exciting contest.

There was not much drama. Mattiace hit one of his only bad shots of the day and it really was an easy win for Weir.

It will still be a big confidence boost for the beaten American, but the sad thing about finishing second in the Masters is that you are often easily forgotten despite having come so close. Hopefully we will see more of Mattiace.

Len Mattiace
Mattiace paid dearly for one bad shot
The Europeans have done so well at the Masters over the years that they should count themselves lucky.

Darren Clarke, along with Jose Maria Olazabal who finished as the top of the Europeans in joint eighth place, was the biggest hope in Augusta.

But Clarke's week was spoiled on the third day when he had a few loose shots and he ended up taking a nine at the 13th which cost him dearly

I also thought the rain at the start of the week did not help the European cause. It was one of those on-off moments when you did not know if you were going to play or not.

The course was also playing very long and I think they found it difficult to adapt.

And some days you just cannot find your form - ask Tiger Woods about that.

Tiger is the type of person who enjoys making history and he has always done it when he needed to in the past.

But one error on the final round cost him his chance of a record-breaking third successive win at Augusta.





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