Weir chooses caddie with major experience

TIM MCKAY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:58 AM ET

Mike Weir will begin his comeback story with another comeback story by his side.

Weir announced Thursday that veteran caddie Pete Bender, who battled throat cancer in 2008, will be carrying his bag for the PGA Tour's season-opening west-coast swing, and possibly beyond.

Weir was informed in December by his longtime caddie and friend, Brennan Little, that he was leaving to work for Sean O'Hair. Weir said he talked to a few different caddies, but decided on Bender because, like him, he was motivated to get back in the game.

Once heralded by Sports Illustrated as the most underrated caddie in the history of golf, Bender has looped for the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Lanny Wadkins, among others, and won the British Open with Ian Baker-Finch and Greg Norman. Most recently, he caddied for Aaron Baddeley, and before that, Rocco Mediate.

"He's a great guy," Weir said. "I wanted someone with experience and someone who was passionate about winning, like i am, and not just out there for a paycheque."

Weir admitted in his season-opening conference call that Little's departure did catch him off guard.

When he took time off to recover from his season-ending injury last season, Weir said he told Little to work with other players, but it still surprised him to hear he was joining O'Hair on a full-time basis.

"From a business standpoint, that's his decision," Weir, who goes back to junior golf with Little, said. "Friendship-wise, that will continue.

"I have to move on and look at it as a positive. Change is good."


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