Where's Weir's game?

Lorne Rubenstein writes in the Globe and Mail about Mike Weir’s struggles to close on Sunday. As is typical, especially when one has written a book on a subject, Rubenstein gets access to Weir, who rarely does Canadian interviews with anyone but the Globe’s golf writer (to be fair the Post did interview him in the spring, but it wasn’t a golf writer that spoke with him).

Anyway, Rubenstein focuses on Weir’s terrible final round scoring average (174th on tour — 72.53).

The response the question about scoring average receives from Weir is odd:

Weir’s asked himself another more important question. That one has to do with whether he’s still motivated to give the game everything he has.

“I was thinking about that the other day,” Weir said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “But I feel as motivated as ever. I still get up at 4:30 or 5 every morning excited about playing.”

That Weir even questions his own motivation suggests he’s become too comfortable. Rubenstein doesn’t appear to push him on this. Instead he asks:

But if Weir, 36, remains highly motivated, what’s been going on with his game? Why that high final-round average?

“It’s all the little up and downs that I haven’t been sharp with,” he said. “I might have spent too much time on my swing and not enough on my short game. I’ve been putting in the time the last while, though, and I just want to keep playing.”

Weir has some other interesting remarks:

“The game is so fine-tuned now,” Weir elaborated. “It used to be that if you lost one or two shots, you’d drop one spot. Now you drop 10 spots.”

That might be true, but Weir, a major winner, is supposed to be in the upper elite. The next question, about why everyone has gotten longer off the tee while Weir has actually lost distince (289 yards in his breakthrough year of 2003 versus 281.5 this year), doesn’t really receive an answer:

“When I first came out, maybe 10 or 20 guys were quite a bit longer than me,” he said. “I still hit the ball a decent distance when I’m swinging well, but now 80 or 90 guys are that much longer than me.”

Mike Wilson has long been Weir’s swing coach. But with Weir getting shorter off the tee (and older, obviously), it appears he’s headed the wrong way. There has been a little discussion that perhaps Weir needs to make a coaching change, but there’s no reference to it in Rubenstein’s piece. However, being 172th in driving distance puts pressure on all the other elements of Weir’s game. Clearly the pressure is now too much. Weir’s putting average is a terrific 13th on tour this year, despite the Sunday stumbles. One can only wonder where Weir would be if that putting average was 173rd, like it was last year.

Lorne’s full story is here.
Q-School kicked off yesterday, with Alan McLean shooting 66 to tie for fourth. Nice start for Alan. Here is a list of all of the Canadians in the Q-School first round field:

FIRST STAGE (11 four-day tournaments)

1. Dayton Valley Country Club, Dayton, Nev.: Mike Mezei (Lethbridge, Alta.), Graham DeLaet (Weyburn, Sask.).

2. Florence Country Club, Florence, S.C.: Ahmad Bateman (Windsor, Ont.), Derek Gillespie (Oshawa, Ont.), Carl Desjardins (Blainville, Que.), Alan McLean (London, Ont.), Kevin Senecal (Montreal), J.C. Deacon (Toronto).

3. Grasslands Golf and Country Club, Lakeland, Fla.: Matt McQuillan (Kingston), Eric Couture (Boisbriand, Que.).

4. Lantana Golf Club, Lantana, Tex.: Adam Speirs (Winnipeg), Lee Curry (Ottawa), Jamie Kurelek (Calgary), Kent Fukushima (Grande Prairie, Alta.), Bryn Parry (North Vancouver, B.C.).

5. Cypresswood Golf Club, Spring, Tex.: Brian McCann (Mississauga), James Lepp (Abbotsford, B.C.), Dean Kennedy (Vancouver), Danny King (Milton, Ont.), Charlie Woo (Markham, Ont.), Zoltan Veress (Kitchener, Ont.).

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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