Champions Tour PGA TOUR

Fred Couples, John Daly and PGA TOUR Champions Rookie Padraig Harrington Book Tickets to Calgary for 2022 Shaw Charity Classic Presented by Suncor

(Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

CALGARY—Fred Couples and John Daly are coming back to Calgary and bringing with them the top rookie on the PGA TOUR Champions, Padraig Harrington,  for the 10th anniversary celebrations at the 2022 Shaw Charity Classic presented by Suncor, August 1-7.

The trio of major winners – Fred Couples (1992 Masters), John Daly (1995 Open Championship, 1991 PGA Championship), and Padraig Harrington (2008 PGA Championship; 2008, 2007 Open Championship) – are the first to add their names to the tee sheet when the PGA TOUR Champions’ lone Canadian stop makes a full return after operating under a modified structure and ticket price in 2021. The 10th-anniverary of the award-winning community event will feature a string of special events and activities for Calgary golf fans to enjoy for as low as $10.

Couples is the first World Golf Hall of Famer to commit to returning to Calgary.  A crowd favourite since the tournament’s inception in 2013, Couples won the 2014 event in thrilling fashion after a career-best final round 61 that included a chip-in eagle on the 54th hole. Boom Boom got sized up for a white cowboy hat after winning the first playoff hole over Billy Andrade.

“Calgary has been a very enjoyable place for me. I have always said, as long as I’m healthy I plan on coming here every year,” said Couples, who has 13 victories on golf’s senior circuit. “The people at Shaw are incredible. The crowds are huge. The course is always in great shape, and I feel like I play it well. There is nothing more a player could ask for. I look forward to getting back and participating during this special year for the tournament.”

A winner of 15 PGA TOUR events, the smooth swinging bomber is remembered most for his 1992 triumph at the Masters Tournament. Once graduating to the senior swing, he made an immediate statement. Finishing second in his first start, he went on to win his next three events, becoming the first player ever to win three of his first four tournaments. Couples has two major championship victories on the PGA TOUR Champions: 2011 Senior Players Championship, and The Senior Open Championship in 2012.

It will be a family affair when Long John Daly makes his first return to the Shaw Charity Classic since his lone appearance in 2016. The two-time major winner will be travelling to Calgary along with his son Little John who will be caddying after recently completing his freshman year playing golf at the University of Arkansas.

One of the most colourful characters in professional sports, Daly is a two-time major champion, a winner of five PGA TOUR titles and one PGA TOUR Champions title who is adored by golf fans around the globe.

The story of how golf’s “Wild Thing” burst onto the international scene never gets old. It was nearly 25 years ago when John Daly was the ninth and final alternate of the 1991 PGA Championship. A 25-year-old rookie, Daly drove halfway across the country the night before his first round at Crooked Stick Golf Club where he eventually went out and won the golf tournament – not to mention legions of fans around the world with his booming drives, deft short game and fearless approach to the game. He backed that up by winning the 1995 British Open at the Home of Golf in St. Andrews.

“I’ve always said I’ve got the greatest fans in the world, and Calgary is no different. No matter what, through thick and thin, they’ve always stuck by me,” said Daly. “This tournament always has huge galleries. There is nothing better than getting it going and having the fans get loud and crazy. That’s just the way I like them so I’m looking forward to getting up to Canada with Little John, and hopefully give the fans something to get loud about.”

Daly and Couples will have to fend off the top name in the PGA TOUR Champions’ rookie class for 2022, Padraig Harrington.

A three-time major winner, Ireland’s Padraig Harrington brings 31 victories worldwide with him to the Shaw Charity Classic. Not only was Harrington the first player from Ireland to win the Claret Jug in 60 years (2007), he was the first European to successfully defend his British Open title in nearly a century the following summer (2008).  A six-time Ryder Cup European Team Member added his third major title to his resume when he also won the 2008 PGA Championship which brought him to third in the Official World Golf Rankings.

“I really enjoy it (playing on the PGA TOUR Champions). I was shocked. I’m substantially longer than the field and yet I got lapped in the first two events,” said Harrington. “These guys were just running by me. I played with Bernhard [Langer] and he made me look like an amateur golfer. It was a lesson for me. If I want to go out there and beat these guys – just because you hit it past them ain’t going to do it. You have to be very good with your wedges and very good with your scoring.”

Three of the biggest names in golf are sure to help tournament officials make a continued impact in supporting the more than 260 youth-based charities benefitting from the Shaw Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink program. Donations can be made by visiting

“Fred Couples, John Daly and Padraig Harrington are three of a handful of players in professional golf who are needle movers,” said Sean Van Kesteren, executive director, Shaw Charity Classic. “Sport is entertainment, and these guys are exactly who fans of any sporting event want to come out and see. They are extremely talented. They still hit the ball a mile, and are colourful characters who are sure to entertain both with their play and while interacting with our loyal fan base.”

Single-day General Admission tickets for tournament play August 5-7, 2022, that are purchased in advance for the award-winning tournament will cost $10 while upgraded Clubhouse tickets purchased in advance will be only $30 (plus GST and fees). Juniors 12 and under are admitted FREE when accompanied by a ticketed adult. The deadline to purchase advanced tickets is July 31, 2022, at 11:59 PM MT. The RBC Championship Pro-Am (August 3-4, 2022) will also be FREE for spectators to attend.

Limited quantities of advance General Admission and Clubhouse tickets are available for purchase at

Champions Tour

Ames leads Senior PGA Championship by 2 strokes over Mike Weir

Stephen Ames
BENTON HARBOR, MICHIGAN - MAY 28: Stephen Ames of Canada hits his tee shot on the 15th hole during the third round of the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid at Harbor Shores Resort on May 28, 2022 in Benton Harbor, Michigan. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Germany’s Bernhard Langer and Canada’s Mike Weir made third-round moves Saturday in the 82nd Senior PGA Championship, under improved weather conditions.

The 64-year-old Langer and the left-handed Weir, who started the day two strokes behind co-leaders Scott McCarron and Calgary’s Stephen Ames, played the front side of the Jack Nicklaus designed course on the shores of Lake Michigan in 3 under. They were one stroke behind Ames, who turned at 2 under for the third round and an early 10 under for the tournament.

Ames birdied No. 2 and 3. After he bogeyed the 436-yard seventh hole, Ames finished the front with a birdie on the par-5 ninth to turn in 2-under 34. McCarron turned in 1 under after a front nine that included three birdies and two bogeys.

Following Friday’s rain and temperatures in the 50s, the 72 golfers who made the cut at 3-over 145 at Harbor Shores were taking advantage of the soft conditions and temperatures nearing 70 degrees. It’s the Senior PGA’s fifth visit to the par-71 course that opened in 2010. It’s produced four champions, whose victories totaled a combined 64 under. The record score is 19-under 265 by champions Rocco Mediate (2016) and Paul Broadhurst (2018).

Langer has three top-10 finishes in the 2012, 2014 and 2016. He didn’t play in 2018 because of his son’s graduation but showed up that year for media day after winning the Senior PGA championship in 2017.

On Saturday, Langer, a two-time winner of the Masters who has won the most senior majors (11) on the PGA Tour Champions, picked up where he left off after two straight rounds of 68 by making birdies on holes 1, 6 and 9. Weir, from Bright’s Grove, Ont., who opened with a 65 Thursday before scrambling for a 71 in Friday’s poor weather, started his round with a bogey on the par-4 third hole but then birdied four of his last five holes.

Champions Tour

Ames co-leads Senior PGA championship, Weir 2 back

Stephen Ames
BENTON HARBOR, MICHIGAN - MAY 26: Stephen Ames of Canada hits his tee shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid at Harbor Shores Resort on May 26, 2022 in Benton Harbor, Michigan. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Tournament housemates Scott McCarron and Stephen Ames each shot 5-under 66 in stormy and cold conditions Friday at Harbor Shores to share the second-round lead in the Senior PGA Championship.

The round started with rain and wind and it got colder as the day progressed.

“It was crazy,” McCarron said. “Weather (when) we teed off ? was not too bad. (It was) 60 (degrees) and then we got to the third hole, and I think it dropped 10 or 15 degrees.”

The 56-year-old McCarron had eight birdies, five in a back-nine 30 on the Jack Nicklaus-designed layout that sits near Lake Michigan. McCarron has 11 PGA Tour Champions victories, including the 2017 Senior Players.

The 58-year-old Ames, who had a double bogey for the second straight day, made six birdies over the final 11 holes.

“It’s not my cup of tea,” Ames said. “I’m not a fan of the cold weather even though I lived in Canada. But I never went out and played golf in this.”

McCarron had major reconstructive surgery of his left ankle in August and has just one top-25 finish in nine events this season, a tie for 16th in the major Regions Tradition on May 15.

“It’s been a slow process,” McCarron said. “I knew it would be. It’s been a struggle, but the last couple of weeks it’s gotten better.”

Ames has four top-10 finishes.

“Putting has been a bit of an issue the last six weeks I’ve played,” Ames said after making a 25-foot birdie putt for his final birdie at the 16th. “I’ve had opportunities, but I couldn’t make putts to close things out.”

McCarron and Ames were at 8-under 134, two strokes ahead of 64-year-old Bernhard Langer (68), Brian Gay (68), Mike Weir (71) and Steven Alker (72).

Langer made four birdies, three of them on par-5 holes at 9, 10 and 15, to offset a bogey at the 436-yard seventh hole where the windswept small green overlooks Lake Michigan.

“It was cold today, much colder, and the ball just went nowhere at times,” Langer said. “It’s nice to go below 70 on a day like this because it’s not easy. The course played a lot longer.”

Champions Tour

Joe Durant holds off Bernhard Langer in The Ally Challenge; Weir finishes T10

Mike Weir
GRAND BLANC, MI - AUGUST 26: Mike Weir plays his tee shot on the ninth hole prior to The Ally Challenge at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club on August 26, 2021 in Grand Blanc, Michigan. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

GRAND BLANC, Mich. (AP) – Joe Durant made a 5-foot bogey putt on the par-4 18th Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Bernhard Langer in The Ally Challenge.

The 57-year-old Durant closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 17-under 199 at Warwick Hills. He won for the fourth time on the PGA Tour Champions after winning four times on the PGA Tour.

“I’ve got to give thanks to one of my best friends at home, Steve Fell, who’s a golf coach, my son’s golf coach, and Ray Schuessler and Brad Faxon,” Durant said. “They’ve all been trying to help me with my putting because I’ve been putting so poorly and those three guys have really just made some changes in my mind that helped me a lot this week. I putted beautifully and just fortunate to hang on by one.”

A stroke behind Langer and Doug Barron entering the round, Durant had four birdies in a six-hole stretch on the front nine and added a birdie on the par-5 16th. He drove left on 18 into an adjacent fairway, clipped a branch hitting over the trees, left his third short of the green and chipped past.

“I haven’t been in that position in quite a while and I had a lot of things in my brain that shouldn’t have been in my brain,” Durant said. “I’m a good driver of the ball, too, but I just stepped up there and I didn’t have a clear picture of the shot I wanted to hit and I just completely flared it.

“I was very fortunate to be in the other fairway, but still had to get the second shot up over the trees, and I clipped the tree. Actually had the perfect yardage for me, a 60-yard wedge shot is the perfect yardage for me, but that just shows you how nervous I was and I dumped that one. I was somehow fortunate to just wiggle in that second putt.”

Langer parred the 18th, hitting into two bunkers, in a 70. Two days after shooting his age on his 64th birthday, the German star had just one back-nine birdie – matching Durant on the 16th. Langer has 41 Champions victories, four off Hale Irwin’s record.

“It’s been a very memorable week with 64 on my 64th birthday. I’ll never forget that,” Langer said. “And playing really good, solid golf for the most part. Followed up the 64 with a 66 and today was a lot tougher. The wind was up, course played longer with all the rain we had last night, the pins were tough and I just didn’t make a lot of putts today. That’s why I shot 70, but it was still a good score.”

Steven Alker was third at 15 under after a 67.

Barron (72), Steve Flesch (64) and K.J. Choi (66) were 14 under.

Vijay Singh had an albatross on 16 – holing out with a 5-wood – in a 67.

“I hit a good drive,” Singh said. “I waited for a long time to hit my second, hit a 5-wood right at it, pitched to 50 and rolled right into the hole. Voila!”

A three-time winner of the PGA Tour’s Buick Open at Warwick Hills, Singh tied for seventh with Stephen Leaney (68) at 13 under.

Defending champion Jim Furyk (70) tied for 10th at 10 under.

Mike Weir of Bright’s Grove, Ont., also finished at 10 under and Calgary’s Stephen Ames sat tied for 30th at 6 under.

Champions Tour

Rod Pampling wins Boeing Classic for first Champions title; Ames lands T7

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. (AP) Rod Pampling won the Boeing Classic on Sunday for his first PGA Tour Champions victory when Jim Furyk and Woody Austin failed to get up-and-down for birdie from greenside bunkers on the par-5 18th.

Pampling, playing five groups ahead of Furyk and Austin at Snoqualmie Ridge, shot a 6-under 66 to finish at 12-under 204. The 51-year-old Australian won three times on the PGA Tour, the last in 2017 in Las Vegas, and has two PGA Tour of Australasia wins.

“It’s fantastic,” Pampling said. “You look at all the Hall of Famers are just phenomenal out here. There’s so many and they still play really good golf, which people think they don’t, but I’ll tell you what, they play so good. It’s just not quite as far off the tee anymore, but everything else is still really good. To get a win you’ve got to play good and thankfully I did today.”

Furyk dropped a stroke back with a bogey on the par-3 17th after hitting well short of the green and chipping 8 feet past. He hit left into a greenside bunker on 18, sent his third across the green nearly to the fringe and missed a 20-footer.

“Today on the way in everyone kind of ended up making some bogeys and went the other way,” Furyk said. “It’s just kind of that type of golf course. There’s some holes where there’s just no bail-out, so you fly it at the pin and if you hit a good shot, great. if not, you make bogey. There’s a few of those holes.”

Austin, the second-round leader, took two to get out of a right-side bunker and made a bogey to drop to 10 under.

Stephen Ames shot a 70, finishing the classic inside the top 10 tied for the 7th spot.

Furyk had a 70 to tie for second with Tim Herron (67) and Billy Mayfair (69). Austin’s closing 72 left him tied for fifth with Alex Cejka (66).

Pampling opened eagle-birdie, birdied Nos. 7 and 9, bogeyed the 10th, birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 14 and bogeyed the 16th.

“Just obviously come out of the gates quick, eagle-birdie start, that sort of got me right there,” Pampling said.

Colin Montgomerie, playing in the final group with Furyk and Austin, shot a 74 to tie for 11th at 7 under. He had a double bogey on 17 after hitting into the water.

Local favorite Fred Couples closed with a 71 to tie for 26th at 4 under.

Champions Tour

Woody Austin birdies 18th to take Boeing Classic lead; Ames T9

SNOQUALMIE, WA - AUGUST 20: Steven Ames of Canada putts on the 11th green during the first round of the Boeing Classic at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge on August 20, 2021 in Snoqualmie, Washington. (Photo by James Gilbert/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. (AP) Woody Austin birdied the par-5 18th on Saturday for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke lead over Jim Furyk and Colin Montgomerie in the PGA Tour Champions’ Boeing Classic.

The 57-year-old Austin had three straight birdies on Nos. 13-15. He has four senior victories after also winning four PGA Tour titles.

Austin took a 10-under 134 total into the final round at Snoqualmie Ridge.

“It will be fun,” Austin said. “I mean, that’s all you ever ask for is a shot and I give myself a shot and I’ll see how it goes. … I’m always confident. I think I can beat anybody on any given day.”

Furyk and Montgomerie, playing in the same group, each shot 67.

The 51-year-old Furyk won in his first two senior starts last year and took the U.S. Senior Open last month in Nebraska.

The 58-year-old Montgomerie birdied the final two holes. He won the last of his seven senior titles in 2019.

“I enjoyed playing with Jim Furyk, I must admit,” Montgomerie said. “A gentleman and someone I’ve admired for many, many years since we first came across Jim in ’97 at Valderrama at the Ryder Cup. I’ve always admired his game and it’s great to play with him here in America.”

Jerry Kelly (69) was two strokes back at 8 under with Brett Quigley (67), Tim Petrovic (67), Glen Day (68) and Billy Mayfair (70). Kelly won the 2017 tournament.

Ernie Els, tied for first-round lead with Austin and Mayfair, had a 71 to fall into a tie for ninth at 7 under with Stephen Ames (66) and Jesper Parnevik (69).

Brandt Jobe, the 2019 winner in the event that was canceled last year because of the COVID-10 pandemic, was 1 over after a 75.

Two-time Boeing winner Bernhard Langer was 6 under after a 68.

Local favorite Fred Couples shot a 69 to get to 3 under.

“It was a little better,” Couples said. “I hit a few good shots and I made a few putts.”

Champions Tour

Barron birdies final three holes to win Shaw Charity Classic; Ames and Weir in top 10

Stephen Ames
CALGARY, AB - AUGUST 15: Stephen Ames of Canada takes his second shot on the seventh hole during round three of the Shaw Charity Classic at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club on August 15, 2021 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

CALGARY – Doug Barron felt bad for celebrating his second PGA Tour Champions win a bit prematurely.

After lagging his eagle putt to within tap-in range on the par 5 finishing hole of Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club, Barron threw his arms in the air and started to celebrate his victory at the 2021 Shaw Charity Classic.

“I felt kind of bad because I got a little excited,” said Barron, who apologized to playing partner Steve Flesch for his premature celebrations. “He’s my friend. I would never want to disrespect another player. When you win out here, it’s so few and far between.”

Shortly after draining his short birdie putt, Barron chest bumped his caddie Christopher Shepherd and then did a victory lap around the final green while fist bumping many of the fans in attendance.

“He’s an emotional guy and you can see that,” said Flesch, who made par on the final hole to finish in second place. “And that’s great because sometimes I think we need more emotion in our game ? but if I won like that, I might have run around like a wild man, too.”

Although Barron bogeyed his first hole of the day, he went on to record five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 11th hole to card his third straight round of 6-under 64.

His 54-hole score of 18-under 192 gave the 52-year-old golfer from Memphis, Tenn., just his second-ever PGA Tour Champions victory. His last one was at the 2019 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y.

For his efforts, Barron won US$352,500, which is $30,100 more than he won when he finished third on the PGA Tour at the 2005 EDS Byron Nelson Championship in Texas.

“Well, when I play, I never think about money,” Barron said. “My wife gets to spend all that, that’s good. Unfortunately there’s only one winner every week and we don’t get to do it very often, so when you do it, you should enjoy it.”

Thanks to three birdies on the front nine and three more in his first four holes on the back side, Flesch of Union, Ky., was in the lead until Barron rallied for the win. Flesch’s round of 5-under 65 was good enough for second as he finished the tournament at 16 under.

“My goal was to make four birdies on the back nine,” said Flesch, who finished in third at the 2019 Shaw Charity Classic. “I made three kind of real quickly and I made a nice par save on 12. I knew I probably needed to make another birdie on one of the last three and I didn’t. And man, all credit to Doug for his finish.”

Billy Andrade and Brandt Jobe ended up in a tie for third place at 13 under, while Billy Mayfair finished one shot back of them alone in fifth.

Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Stephen Ames of Calgary carded a round of even -par 70 to finish in a tie for sixth at 11 under with David McKenzie.

“Everything about it was great except the fact that we only had 2,000 people watching unfortunately,” Ames said. “I think everybody’s more or less waiting for this COVID thing to get over with and we’ll get back to normal next year, which will be awesome.”

One day after shooting an even-par round of 70, Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., improved that score by two shots on Sunday to finish in a four-way tie for ninth at 9 under.

“It was a nice test of golf,” Weir said. “I found it difficult on the greens, especially on the weekend. I got stuck in neutral the last two days here, but I love the place and Shaw and Suncor did an amazing job, so it was good to be back up north.”

Also in that group with Weir were Matt Gogel, Tim Herron and Ken Duke.

David Morland IV from Aurora, Ont., shot 69 on Sunday to finish in a six-way tie at 7 under.

“I’m playing decent, just need to make a few more putts coming down the stretch,” Morland said. “Overall, I’m tied for 16th, so a decent week, just trending in the right direction. Just keep on trucking.”

Meanwhile Dennis Hendershott of Brantford, Ont., had four birdies and four bogeys on his round to finish both his day and the tournament at even par. That left him well back of the leaders in a three-way tie for 47th.

Champions Tour

Doug Barron eagles 18th to take lead in Shaw Charity Classic; Ames T2

Stephen Ames
CALGARY, AB - AUGUST 14: Stephen Ames of Canada of tees off on the seventh hole during round two of the Shaw Charity Classic at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club on August 14, 2021 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Doug Barron eagled the par-5 18th for his second straight 6-under 64 and a one-stroke lead Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions’ Shaw Charity Classic.

The 52-year-old Barron also had five birdies and a bogey at Canyon Meadows. He won the 2019 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open for his lone tour title.

“I played really nice today,” Barron said. “I hit the ball solid all day. I did make a bogey, but I still hit a good shot on the hole and I made bogey. I just didn’t get up-and-down. I’m fine where I’m at. I did look at the leaderboard going into 18. I wanted to be in the final group, so I think the only way, my only path to the final group was to make eagle, so I can’t believe I did it, That was pretty cool.”

Calgary resident Stephen Ames, Steve Flesch and first-round leader Billy Mayfair were a stroke back at 11 under. Ames and Flesch birdied the 18th for 65s, and Mayfair followed an opening 62 with a 67.

Brandt Jobe was 9 under after a 66. David McKenzie (64) and Ken Duke (67) were 8 under.

Canadian star Mike Weir, a stroke back after an opening 63, had a 70 to drop into a tie for eighth at 7 under. The 2003 Masters champion won the Insperity Invitational in early May in Texas for his lone senior title. In his last start, he tied for second in the U.S. Senior Open in Nebraska.

Canadians David Morland IV and Dennis Hendershott are tied for 14th and 48th, respectively.

The tournament is the first the PGA Tour Champions or PGA Tour event in Canada since the Shaw Charity Classic in 2019.

Robert Allenby had a his second straight 71. He turned 50 last month and tied for 64th in the Senior British Open in his Champions debut.

Champions Tour

Billy Mayfair leads after first round at Shaw Charity Classic; Mike Weir in second

Mike Weir
CALGARY, AB - AUGUST 13: Mike Weir of Canada tees off on the eighteenth hole during round one of the Shaw Charity Classic at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club on August 13, 2021 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

CALGARY – Billy Mayfair needed to sink a lengthy putt on his final hole of the Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club on Friday to tie the course record of 61.

He just missed the putt a few centimetres to the right and had to settle for a tap-in par on his way to carding a round of 8-under 62.

“That’s great to hear that I almost got the course record,” said Mayfair, whose great round put him atop the leaderboard after the opening day of the Shaw Charity Classic. “We’ve still got a long way to go, but it was a good day.”

Mayfair, 55, started his first round of the PGA Tour Champions event on the back 9. After going 2 under through his first six holes, Mayfair rolled in four straight birdies to move into contention.

“Just about everything went right today,” he said. “Been a long time since I’ve shot this low and I was real happy with it. I moved from Arizona to Oklahoma and was moving boxes and doing all that stuff for three weeks. Maybe it did me some good because I got here and I was refreshed and definitely had a good day today.”

Meanwhile, Canadian fan favourite Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont.,made his debut at the Shaw Charity Classic in fine fashion as he carded a tidy round of 7-under 63 on the par 70, 7,086-yard layout to put him alone in second spot.

“You really have to get off to some good starts and today was one of those days that was exceptional,” said 51-year-old Weir, who’s a rookie on the senior circuit for golfers aged 50 and older. “I would have taken 3 or 4 under, so 7’s definitely a bonus.”

The 2003 Masters champion and winner of seven other PGA Tour events was 4 under after his front nine.

“I caught fire in the middle of the round with a birdie and an eagle on 10 and 11, then just kind of stalled a little bit,” said Weir, who finished his round with seven straight pars. “I had a couple good looks at it and didn’t make them. All in all, it was a really good day.”

Although the gallery at this year’s tournament is limited to just 2,000 people a day, Weir said he appreciated the support he received on the opening day of the 54-hole event that wraps up on Sunday.

“I was ready to make a few putts for them and hopefully I can kind of keep some momentum, so Sunday maybe it will be even louder hopefully,” Weir said.

Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member and former Calgary resident Stephen Ames is in a tie for third spot at 6 under along with Doug Barron and Steve Flesch.

“It’s a good start,” said Ames, who was among a patron group who brought the tournament to Calgary in 2013. “Like Mike has mentioned, the mindset has to change when it’s three rounds of golf. You’ve got to get out of the box really quick and get going, so this obviously is going to help.”

Ken Duke and Brandt Jobe both shot rounds of 65 and are tied for sixth place overall.

The 65-player field also featured two other Canadians.

David Morland IV, who’s originally from Aurora, Ont., and Dennis Hendershott, of Brantford, Ont., both carded rounds of 2-under 68 and are in a logjam of 11 players – including Germany’s Bernhard Langer – who are tied for 21st spot.

“Hopefully that’s the worst round of the week and we can get a little closer to the leaderboard,” said Morland, who shot 64 in his opening round of the 2019 event before falling out of contention with back-to-back rounds of 72. “We miss having super big crowds, but right now we’re just glad to be playing in any circumstance.

“But the guys did a great job here to be able to have the event, so we’re happy with what we’ve got and we look forward to next year having everybody back.”

Champions Tour

Weir in Shaw Charity Classic field in Calgary for first time

Mike Weir
OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JULY 08: Mike Weir of Canada plays his shot from the 11th tee during the first round of the U.S. Senior Open Championship at the Omaha Country Club on July 08, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Mike Weir will make his Shaw Charity Classic debut at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club in Calgary on Friday.

The 51-year-old from Sarnia, Ont., is in his rookie season on the PGA TOUR Champions and has already notched one win and four runner-up finishes in 20 starts over the course of the 2020-21 season.  

“I’m having a lot of fun,” Weir said on the season so far. “When you’ve been down and struggling for a long time and you’ve kind of clawed your way out of it, it’s very satisfying. Now my game’s in a really good place and I’m excited.”

Weir’s win at the Insperity Invitational in May was the former Masters winner’s first win since 2007 when he won the Fry’s Electronics Open on the PGA TOUR.

This will be the first time the PGA TOUR Champions is in Canada since the 2019 Shaw Charity Classic.

“It’s always great to get back up here,” said Weir on playing in Canada. “I had a chance to check out the golf course, first time around. It’s very good, really good condition.”

Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club has hosted the event since its inaugural year in 2013 and is a par 70, 7,086-yard course.

Weir will be playing in a field alongside fellow Canadians Stephen Ames, David Morland IV, and Dennis Hendershott.

This will be Ames’ seventh appearance at the tournament, his best finish being a tie for fifth in 2015. Ames also has a win on the PGA TOUR Champions this season at the Principal Charity Classic in June where he narrowly beat out Weir by one stroke for the win.

Weir, who’s currently ranked No. 8 on the Charles Schwab Cup, said he feels great being back in Canada.

“Whenever we play the Canadian Open or here and then back in the day at the Air Canada Championship, it was just the support that we got,” Weir said. “I think the fans have always been just so wonderful to me and rallied behind me and supported me, and the Presidents Cup in Montreal, they’re phenomenal memories.”

The event will allow 2,000 spectators each tournament day.

American Wes Short Jr. is the defending champion of the event. He won with a birdie on the final hole to win by one stroke over Scott McCarron, who won the event back-to-back in 2017 and 2018.

Weir will tee off at 10:58 a.m. in Calgary.