March 13, 2011
A Weir-d feud
By IAN HUTCHINSON, Special to QMI Agency
TORONTO - I fired up my computer last Wednesday in anticipation of a productive work day only to discover I was being taken back to school by Steve (Leave it to Beezer) Buffery, who was lecturing in Told-you-so 101.
Exhaustive research by Professor Beezer concluded that “clearly, it’s all over” for Mike Weir. Beez thinks my media guide doesn’t have the same “hard statistics” he uses to prove that Weir is at a critical juncture in his career, as if that’s news.
In case you’re wondering what this is about, it stretches back to last year’s RBC Canadian Open, when Beez proclaimed Weir’s career as a top PGA Tour player is over.
As Beez put it Wednesday, I dared suggest that his thesis about Weir “was unlike your average Depends undergarment. That is, it didn’t hold water.” Actually, Beez’s arguments are more like something else that might drop out of a Depends.
Beez thrives on the drama of accusing a headline writer of sensationalizing his opinion, even if it accurately reflected his opinion, or suggesting the golf media was demonizing him.
Drop the paranoia. Many in the golf media are starting to agree with you Beez and more might come on board after Weir withdrew in Puerto Rico, so you may now be the purveyor of popular philosophy. Don’t you hate when that happens?
All I’ve ever said was that Weir’s challenge is his confidence and regaining it will be arduous, not impossible. That was my point eight months ago and it isn’t changing in 10 events that Weir has played since the Open, even if he has lost full-time status.
Weir doesn’t need the media to defend him any more than he needs your gleeful sniping from afar. He’ll take whatever chances that remain and do what he can, whether you like it or not. There are multiple precedents that say it’s possible, but you need to go beyond the player’s numbers in the media guide.
He’s fit and young by golf’s standards and no Beez, I’m not making Weir out to be Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples or Tom Watson, who excelled past the age of 40. You may want to check the “hard statistics” of someone such as Steve Stricker, who has won six times since being in the same position as Weir.
So, the question is does Weir have the fortitude to step up?
That’s why I originally brought up the Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal in 2007, when I questioned the political choice of a struggling Weir to the International team before he became, arguably, the best player there and defeated Woods in that memorable showdown.
Just over three years later, he can still elevate himself beyond a “fluke top-five finish” or maybe making a cut one of these years, as Beez suggested.
By the end of his self-congratulating rant, he was apparently suggesting Weir give up any exemptions and pack it in, but no, he wasn’t kicking a guy when he’s down. Beez says he’s more noble than that, adding that the focus should be off Weir and on to youngsters such as Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor and Matt Hill.
I’m not sure why attention paid to Weir — or Stephen Ames for that matter — is to the detriment of young players, but if you put your crack research skills to work in the archives Beez, you’ll find several columns in which I’ve opined on the topic of Canadians familiarizing themselves with up-and-coming players.
You’ll also find several columns I’ve written on Hill, Taylor, Hadwin and other developing players, but if the focus should be off Weir and on young players Beez, why make a beeline for Weir right out of the gate at last year’s Open when Hill, Taylor and Hadwin were right there?
Why didn’t you follow your own advice last Wednesday instead of feeding us a second helping of your Weir wisdom? When can we expect your extensive series of articles?
Or is that noble cause already washed up?