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Weir, Blake fade late at Buick

Utahns do manage to stay in top 10 of star-studded field

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SAN DIEGO — The guys from Utah didn't play quite well enough Sunday to take home the giant cardboard check for $630,000, but Draper's Mike Weir and St. George's Jay Don Blake were happy to finish in the top 10 of the star-studded Buick Open field.

Weir, the Canadian who played for BYU a decade ago, rebounded from a shaky start to birdie his final two holes and finish in a tie for fifth, three shots behind winner Phil Mickelson.

Meanwhile, Blake had a late bogey that kept him from recording his fourth straight 68, but he finished in a tie for seventh place after playing in the same threesome as Tiger Woods, who finished fourth.

The Buick Open winner did have a Utah connection, however. Amy (McBride) Mickelson, Phil's wife, is from Sandy, and she was there with the couple's 20-month-old daughter to help celebrate the victory, Mickelson's third in this tourney.

At the start of the day, Weir was one shot off the lead and Blake two shots back on the crowded leaderboard, but early bogeys forced them to play catch-up all day.

Both Weir and Blake got off to slow starts with bogeys on the first hole. Blake rebounded with a birdie at No. 2, while Weir made his second 3-putt of the day at No. 3. Both made the turn at 35 and both finished with 69s on the day.

"I struck the ball well all day, but I didn't putt well," Weir said. "I got some funny bounces out there today."

Blake played in front of the biggest galleries of the day as he was paired with the most famous golfer in the world for the second time in his career. While some golfers hate it, Blake said he likes playing with Woods.

"I enjoy it," he said. "It's fun to play with him. I just sit back and watch. You have to play your own game — he plays a little bit different game than anybody else."

Blake will play the next three weeks before taking some time off at his home in St. George. Blake recently agreed to a deal to represent the new Coral Canyon Golf Course in the St. George area.

Weir will take this week off and rejoin the Tour the following week in Los Angeles. He said he will take a couple of more weeks off in March before competing in the Players Championship and The Masters. In June he plans to play in Johnny Miller's Champions Challenge at Thanksgiving Point.

E-MAIL: sor@desnews.com