Weir still working out kinks

IAN HUTCHINSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:04 PM ET

Not one given to excessive verbiage, Mike Weir left little doubt about his feelings on the state of his game with the meat of the season coming up, including this week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and the British Open not too far behind it at St. Andrews.

“Not good,” said Weir, backing up numbers that show he has missed three cuts in his last four events — including his most recent at the Memorial — and has just one top-10 in 13 tries thus far.

Sitting in 95th spot on last week’s PGA Tour money list, Weir is far from a favourite this week, but there’s always that green jacket from 2003 that suggests anything is possible.

The other glimmer of hope is a couple of personal stats that will serve him well in this U.S. Open, even if they are among less-impressive numbers in other categories.

“To do well and contend, you have to putt well, so it feels good to be putting well. I just need to find a few more fairways,” said Weir and, once again, the numbers back up his assessment.

Weir’s 27.54 putts per round were No. 1 among tour players last week, while his 1.732 putting average was 11th, all stats that warm the heart when a player is facing the notorious slick greens of a U.S. Open.

“It’s just such a great venue for the U.S. Open. You’re going to get some conditions, get some weather, probably get some fog,” said Weir, who visited Pebble Beach, which will play to 7,040 yards and par-71, a few weeks back.

“It’s already tournament-ready. It’s really in great condition. They’ve added a few tee boxes. They’ve changed some routing to pull some of the fairways right towards the water on six, eight, nine, 10,” said Weir.

“Fairways that went 20 yards away from the water, now they’ve pulled the fairway down towards the water, so a few different little tee-shot angles that we’re not used to playing from the AT&T (Pro-Am),” added Weir, who could thrive if he finds his traditional game that stresses positioning over power.

In 11 visits to the Open, Weir has four top-10 finishes, including a tie for 10th last year, and eight top-20s, so finding his typical A game, which is easier said than done, would go a long way towards changing a “not good” year into a good or great season at Pebble Beach.

“Some golf courses really favour the long hitter,” Weir said. “Pebble doesn’t do that. It favours a player who is precise. It’s good to have length because they have lengthened the golf course so much for the Open.”

“There are some significant changes out there with length, especially on the back nine, so to have a little bit of length does help, but still, you’ve got to get the ball in the fairway and you have to be on the right side of the hole,” said Weir, adding St. Andrews will also put a premium on positioning at the British Open.

“It is a positional golf course.

“There are a few more blind shots there, shots that you really have to be smart about where you hit the ball off the tee.”

The U.S. Open starts Thursday at Pebble Beach.

In the hunt

Canadian Tour player Kent Eger of Regina will join Weir and Calgary’s Stephen Ames at Pebble Beach. Eger topped sectional qualifying last week in Porland, Ore., with rounds of 68-66. Tied for second in Portland was England’s Matthew Richardson.


Videos

Photos