Mike Weir is the most successful golf touring professional to ever come from Canada. There is no argument there. Eight PGA TOUR victories and his 2003 Masters victory easily earned him a place in history. But it’s not enough.
At age 47 (48 in May) and having faced a mixed of injury and poor results in recent times, the Bright’s Grove, Ontario native feels like he is far from done when it comes to results on the golf course.
Weir was in attendance this week for the opening of the new TaylorMade Golf Canada Headquarters in Woodbridge, Ontario. While the focus of his presence was to support the company that he has had a nineteen year relationship with, he was willing to take the time to chat about his current status. He spoke about his plans to keep competing as he tries to keep enjoying the sport that has meant so much to his life.
(Conversation edited for clarity)
Q. – As we sit today, there are a lot of current Canadian touring pros that have been inspired by your accomplishments. At the same time, there are plenty of average amateurs that were likely inspired by you as well. Is that something you ever think about?
MW – Well, if that’s the case, that’s wonderful. I relate it to hockey. I guess growing up in Sarnia, we had lots of NHL players from my hometown – Dino Ciccarelli and Shawn Burr, the Hunter brothers from the area; so in my head I was like ‘I can make it in hockey’ and even though I didn’t it was very inspirational. So if I provide that to, you know, a good amateur or a player that’s just taking up the game, then I’m happy if that’s happened that way.
Q. – You cobbled together quite a worldwide schedule last year. How was that for you?
MW – I did travel quite a bit last year, in Europe and worldwide. That was great. I am at the stage of life where I can enjoy that a little bit more. When I went to the cities I was able to travel and see the sights. I really enjoyed that but this year I’m pretty focused on my game. It feels good. I’m very hungry and I’ve been practicing hard.
Q. – How good do you think you can get again?
MW – I’m just open-ended. Whether that’s back to being one of the best players in the world or if it’s just my game getting better and I get on the Champions Tour on a nice roll. That’s great too. I’m just loving the game. I love to compete; I love to work on my game. I love to tinker with new equipment. I guess I’m just a bit of a golf nerd.
Q. – You’re getting ready for a few more PGA Tour starts? Where will we see you next?
MW – There’s a new event that’s opposite of the Match Play in Dominican Republic, so I’ll play that and then a week off, then Augusta. I turn 48 in May and then I’ll have full access to the Web.com Tour
Q. – Any any idea how often you’ll be playing on the Web.com Tour?
MW – I looked at the schedule. There are probably two or three in May and then there are a couple in June. Then I’m thinking it’s my daughter’s graduation in early June and then my other daughter’s home from school, so I’m not going to play every week out there but I’ll play four of five. If I do get off to a really good start and I feel like I am going to get into the top 25 (of the money list, to earn a card for 2019) then maybe I’ll push it a little more. It’s all kind of up in the air.
FGM – You haven’t been able to have a steady schedule, but you’ve had some good play of late. Does that hurt your progress?
Q. – I’ve had some good play with that limited schedule. The tough part has been that break after November in Australia I came home to winter and it’s tough to really work on the game indoors to the full extent. Playing a full schedule like that, especially next year, in 2019, I can start on the Web.com if I didn’t get my card this year and I could actually plan a real schedule next year which will be great. This year I’m just leaving it a little bit open.
Q. – What are you working on in your game right now?
MW – I’m always working on something. Putting a little bit more right now. I’m just not converting the putts. At Pebble Beach, my last start, I played well. I putted horribly the first round then progressively got a little bit better so I’m really trying to sharpen up that a bit. At Augusta, obviously, you’ve got to have the right speed, line. There it’s got to be perfect or you lip putts out. So really working on that touch; so that’s what I am really going to focus on.
Q. – So you’re really focused on these two years, not the PGA TOUR Champions down the road? You don’t just want to be out there for a legacy; you want to play and win?
MW – Yeah, absolutely. I want to get my game better. I want to get out there and compete, and play well. My power is getting back a bit. It’s not long, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s at least competitive now. I can carry the ball 280 yards and get it out there 300 yards, so that’s plenty competitive as long as the rest of my game is sharp. If my wedge game is good and I putt well, I can do something.
Q. – You see Tiger making a comeback from injury. You’ve been there. Does that give you a little bump to see that?
MW – Yeah, it does. I can relate to what he’s gone through as far as golf swing wise and what he’s struggled with in trying to make a comeback. I wish him all the best. Anybody who has gone through that, you know, like Steve Stricker and what he’s done. He came back from a couple of years on the bottom, so that’s inspiring stuff. It takes a lot of hard work to do that.