In the end, Mike Weir didnt win the HP Byron Nelson. And yet he emerged from the tournament with perhaps something just as important as a first-place cheque and a trophy. Weir got a sign, an indication that all the work he put in, all the hours he spent on the range, the rehab he did after elbow surgery, the tinkering with clubs and instructors, and fighting off the naysayers who told him he was done, has been worth it. Sure it was just one tournament and it will take a few more solid performances to show that the magic has returned for good for Canadas favourite lefthander, but if nothing else, Weir can claim salvation. He knows that he can do it, play golf on the PGA Tour at the highest level. Weir led the tournament early on Sunday, rattling off four birdies in the first five holes. Bogeys at six and nine dropped him out of top spot and although he fought back valiantly at the end, his run came up just short. Brendan Todd pulled out a two-shot win with a sparkling bogey-free final round. For many, Weirs performance was a surprise. But for some time now, hes has been telling all that his ball-striking has been in form but an uncooperative putter is all thats been holding him back. At the Masters there were blips that proved what he was saying. He climbed to within a shot of the lead during the second round and he had three solid rounds at the Wells Fargo before being derailed with a final-round 77. This week, it finally worked, thanks in part to exchanging an oversized putter grip with a well-worn, thin one that was on an old putter. He finished second in Strokes Gained – Putting and first in Putts in Greens in Regulation. Despite his confidence and unwavering optimism, Weir has, at times, questioned his future during his struggles. Over the past four years, hes had doubts. There were doubts when he missed 18 straight cuts and fell outside the top 1,000 in the Official World Golf Ranking. There were doubts when he had to use up two career money list exemptions to keep playing. There were doubts when he earned a grand total of $23,312 over a two-year stretch in 2011-12. But Mike Weir never lost hope. He believed he would get back, if not to the point of winning another major then at least to where he could compete on the PGA Tour. The amount of time Weir put into his game, to trying to find an answer would wear out most professionals. And to be sure, there were a few dead ends he went down. But thats all now in the past. Weir said he has no plans to look in the rear-view mirror. "I dont think I will, to be honest," said Weir on the last four years. "Im here now and Im pushing forward. Ive been asked that question a lot, Ive answered it a lot. I am where I am now and Im pushing forward. Im not going to reflect on the past; thats history now. Im playing good golf and I want to keep that going." Still, he hasnt forgotten just how difficult this stretch has been. And as his game deteriorated after hitting a root at the 2011 Heritage, the questions increased, questions about his game and his ability to still compete. "I just knew that it was inevitable," Weir said of the constant inquiry. "I didnt take offence to it. It was matter of fact – I was playing poorly. I was trying to dig myself out of it. I didnt have any explanation for it except what got me into it, which was obviously the elbow issue, having surgery then trying to play through that and then basically being afraid to hit the ground, the bad habits I got into and probably coming back a little bit early." The bad habits piled on. One caused another and then another. At times, Weir struggled with the driver so badly, it was frightening. During one round where he shot 78, one of his playing partners told me later that if his short game wasnt all-world, Weir might have shot 90. But he stuck with it, kept working and now is finally seeing the fruits of his labour. "I dont know if my swing is that much different really," said Weir. "There are some aspects of my game, being a little older, that arent as dynamic as they used to be. But at the same time there are things that are a little better. I have a little better understanding of things. Ive learned a lot from a couple of teachers Ive used the past couple of years. I think thats helped me too." The finish provided a long list of accomplishments for Weir: His first top 10 since 2010; the first time hes led a tournament since 2007; the first time since last years John Deere that hes had four rounds in the 60s; a cheque for $745,200 (US), and a move of 100 spots on the FedEx Cup point list to 87th. While there are no guarantees, it should be enough to allow him to keep his playing privileges for the 2014-15 season. Of course all those are just numbers. What truly matters most for Mike Weir is being able to play golf and enjoy himself once again. The smile as he walked off the 18th green on Sunday was evidence of that. Luka Samanic Jersey . Hughes, 30, is a former Major Leaguer with the Baltimore Orioles, having played in 14 games with the Os in 2010. He played with Class AA Binghamton of the Eastern League in the New York Mets system last season. Patty Mills Jersey . Though the 26-year-old said he was able to participate, coach Dwane Casey kept Johnson out as a precaution. https://www.spurslockerroom.com/Bruce-Bo...Edition-Jersey/. - Skiing far more aggressively than in her season debut a day earlier, Lindsey Vonn was in provisional 10th place after the first 45 skiers in a World Cup downhill on Saturday. Lonnie Walker Jersey .The Williams siblings, with 25 Grand Slam titles between them, will have a couple of Madisons joining them, too.Madison Keys had a 6-4, 7-5 upset win over two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Saturday night, and Madison Brengle beat Coco Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-2 in an all-U. Jakob Poeltl Spurs Jersey . Kerber will next play Estonias Kaia Kanepi, who beat American qualifier Victoria Duval 6-1, 6-3. In other first-round matches, Lucie Safarova beat 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-4 and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands had a 6-4, 6-3 win over Canadas Eugenie Bouchard.HOYLAKE, England -- Tiger Woods was an early arrival to the British Open with hopes of avoiding an early departure. Woods has played only two competitive rounds in the last four months because of back pain that led to surgery. Thats why he chose to get to England a day earlier than usual -- Saturday -- to get acclimated to links golf at Royal Liverpool. Its nothing like he remembers from his two-shot victory in 2006. Hoylake was brown and dusty that year, and the ball was bouncing along at such speed that Woods hit only one driver the entire week. That was on the 16th hole, and the shot wound up on the 17th fairway. He still made birdie. "The golf course is a little bit softer than what it was in 06," Woods said on Tuesday. "Ive played three practice rounds now and have had three different winds. So thats been helpful to be able to see the golf course in different conditions." As an example of the change, Woods pulled out a driver on the par-5 fifth hole with the wind in his face. His tee shot landed in the fairway. That he already has played three practice rounds has been encouraging. Woods missed the cut at Congressional in his return to competition three weeks ago, though he was pleased that he felt no pain from March 31 back surgery. He even has been to the gym twice in the last couple of days. Woods played 12 holes on Saturday and a full 18 on Sunday and Tuesday, taking a break Monday to work out and then go to the practice range. "Its one of the reasons why I came over a little earlier," he said. " I went to Geneva for a day with Rolex, but I came here a day earlier than I normally would to have an extra day in there, as well as possibly taking a day off, if need be. And it worked out." As for his goals? They havent changed. When asked what would be a reasonable result in his first major of the year, Woods replied, "First. "Thats always the case." The back surgery forced him to miss the Masters for the first time, and then the U.S. Open. The last time Woods had this much time off with so little competition before a major was in 2010 when he returned from the chaos in his personal life.dddddddddddd He tied for fourth at the Masters. It might help that he at least has won at Royal Liverpool, even if the course has changed dramatically. Woods has changed, too. His victory eight years ago produced more raw emotion than ever for Woods. It was his first major since the death of his father, Earl, two months earlier. He sobbed on the shoulders of his caddie and then his wife. Woods now has a different caddie and he is divorced. "My life has certainly changed a lot since then," Woods said. "That was a very emotional week. As you all know, I pressed pretty hard at Augusta that year, trying to win it, because it was the last time my dad was ever going to see me play a major championship. And then I didnt play well at the (U.S.) Open -- missed the cut there miserably. And then came here and just felt at peace. I really, really played well. On Sunday, I really felt calm out there. "It was surreal at the time. Ive had a few moments like that in majors where Ive felt that way on a Sunday. And that was certainly one of them." The others were at the 1997 Masters, which he won by 12 shots; the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, which he won by 15 shots; and 2000 British Open at St. Andrews, which he won by eight shots to complete the career Grand Slam. Woods has won the career slam twice more since then, running his total to 14 majors by winning the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2008 despite not having played in two months because of torn ligaments in his left knee and a double stress fracture in his left leg. He said that victory, with the odds against him, should be a reminder not to count him out. And hes not ruling out his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus and his 18 majors. Woods, who is 38, was asked if he would play well into his 40s and even his early 50s if it meant a chance to break the Nicklaus benchmark. "Hopefully, I have it done by then. But Im really looking forward to that cart," he said, referring to Champions Tour players being allowed to ride in a cart. ' ' '