Weir Confident About 2011

Mike Weir assures that he is ready to go for the 2011 PGA Tour Season
Mike Weir assures that he is ready to go for the 2011 PGA Tour Season

In a wide-ranging teleconference with Canadian media today, Canada’s most highly regarded member of the PGA Tour was nothing short of confident despite recent clouds that have marred his professional career.

Forced to bow out of the 2010 PGA Tour season after just 19 events during to a ligament issue in his elbow, the 40-year old Ontario native is certain he can make his way back to top form.  “I’m 100% confident that I’m going to be back as one of the best players in the world, whether that takes the first five weeks, the middle of this year, the end of the year, or next year,” said Weir who has maintained a positive outlook despite the injury woes.

“I’m excited to get back out there.  It’s been awhile and it is was good to have a tournament like the Shark Shootout (where he tied ff 5th with K.J. Choi as a partner) and just get the competitive juices flowing again.  I’m really looking forward to the season.  You know, being off for that length of time does a lot of things.  It gets you thinking about the things you need to work on, it gets you very motivated, it gets you to appreciate the game.  So in hindsight, the injury was tough; it’s tough to sit out but I used the time well and I am ready to go,” he explained.

Weir will start the 2011 PGA Tour season on a medical extension.  He will have five tournaments to earn the equivalent of 125th place on the 2010 money list – $786, 977.  That means he will have to pick up just over $227,000 to regain full status on the tour.  Alternate scenarios are equally rosy, even in his limited starts he did finish 151st on the 2010 money list and would need to just make one cut to make the $4,000 he is  short of to gain conditional status in the 126-150 membership category – a spot that normally allows players to get 15-20 starts on tour.  As such, he can keep his other multiple exemptions for the-all time money list in reserve.

So far he has committed to four events – the Bob Hope Classic, the Farmers Insurance Open, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and the Northern Trust Open. He expects his 5th event will be the Honda Classic.

The line-up is a hopeful one for Weir.  He has won the Northern Trust (L.A. Open) twice and also has a victory at the Bob Hope on his resume from 2003.  His 6th place finish at the 2010 Bob Hope was his best of the year.

Weir admits that his elbow issue is still something he is dealing with but is less concerned now that rest and rehabilitation seem to be paying off.

But his elbow troubles weren’t the only thing on his mind of late.  His recent split with caddy long-time caddy Brennan Little was unexpected but again, he is taking the affirmative outlook on the occurrence.  “I look at it as a positive from my side that change is good.  I’m sure he will do well with Sean (O’Hair) and I’ll just leave at that,” said Weir who affirms that the two will still remain friends.

On the bag for Weir will be veteran caddy Pete Bender.  Weir says that he has committed to Bender, once the caddy for Greg Norman and more recently Aaron Baddeley, for the West Coast Swing but expects it to be a positive arrangement.  Weir described bender as “the type of caddy I want on the bag,” citing not only his proven ability but his affinity for winning.  “We have the same outlook and passion for the game.  He’s very motivated as well so I am looking froward to having someone with Pete’s experience on the bag.”

In that bag that Pete Bender will carry the usual assortment of Weir tools, the same TaylorMade irons and and Scotty Cameron putter,but their will be at least one new addition.  Weir, who has struggled in recent years with the driver, will put the new white TaylorMade R11 driver into play.  “It’s the best driver I have had in my hand from them in probably the last five years,” said a glowing Weir.  He says he has been practicing with the club for more than a month and is driving the ball very well.  “I’m excited about that.”

Surprisingly the topic of hockey (Weir is a huge fan) and last night’s loss by the Team Canada Juniors did not come up today but that can be seen as as a good sign.  Weir obviously has nothing but positive thoughts running through his head these days and that bodes well for him in 2011.

There has been a lot of challenges in the last six months for the 8-time PGA Tour winner but evidently not only is he past some of them but, just as he has done throughout his career he seems to be well prepared for those he know will always lie ahead.

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