SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Masters golf tournament begins this week in Augusta, Georgia. For former BYU star Mike Weir, this year represents a significant anniversary.

It’s been 20 years since Weir won the Masters. He says 2003 sometimes seems like yesterday, but it also feels like a lifetime ago.

“Yeah, 20 years, hard to believe,” Weir said. “I don’t feel that old. Sometimes I do. But 20 years ago was an incredible memory for me. The highlight of my golfing career, to win a major championship, and to win there was incredible.”

Weir won there, not by overpowering Augusta National, but by playing his game. He hit fairways, relied on his short game, and had a hot putter.

“Obviously having power and length is a huge advantage, but not to say that you can’t win other ways,” Weir said. “My game then was, I was driving the ball very straight, I was in most fairways, I had to be really sharp with my short game, I was really good inside of 10 feet with my putting, and I wedged it great. So that’s how I birdied the par 5’s as compared with other guys who can reach the greens in two. That’s always going to be the recipe for me, because I don’t hit it long.”

Weir won eight times on the PGA Tour, but that win in April of 2003 changed his life.

“The casual fan doesn’t know that you won a World Golf Championship or a Tour Championship, but a lot of casual fans know the Masters,” Weir said. “Anywhere I went, pretty much in the world, you’re known as a Masters Champion. Whereas you wouldn’t be known as a Bob Hope champion, so that’s where it changed, and when you win a major, it sets you apart from others who have never done it.”

He did it once, and the 52-year-old still feels like he can once again contend at Augusta this week. Weir hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since 2007, but he did win on the Champions Tour in 2020.

“I still feel like I have a puncher’s chance when I go there,” Weir said. “Until that feeling goes away, I’m still going to enjoy playing there. After that, I’ll just enjoy going with family and friends, and enjoying the event and watching the young guys do it.”

And it doesn’t matter if he’s playing or just watching, he will always be known as a Masters Champion.

“I still get butterflies when I step on property and drive down Magnolia Lane and I look forward to it every year,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it this year. It doesn’t get old. It doesn’t get old.”