On Thursday in Thailand, Mike Weir looked like the man of old, the golfer who had won the Masters and Nissan twice. The golfer who challenged in majors. He shot 66 and found himself in second place.
Today, a different story, a different Mike. He shot an astounding 78, a full 12 shots higher than a day previous. In fact if you look at his card, you’ll see he was saved by his second eagle in as many days. Otherwise he’d have shot 80 and missed the cut. Instead he fell from second to 61st and made the cut on the number.
What is truly stunning is the difference between his opening nine on Thursday, in which he shot 4-under, and Friday, when he shot 4-over (with the eagle).
If you look at his PGA Tour stats for the year to date, you’ll see Weir is still struggling with his swing changes, and is currently only keeping it together through his stellar putting, in which he ranks 21st. Otherwise he’s not hitting any greens (he ranks 100th) and therefore isn’t making any birdies (111th). It is to his credit that he’s making cuts, though he hasn’t had a strong finish yet this year.
So what should one take from this? My guess is that Weir is working hard, is certainly playing a lot, but the swing changes haven’t taken complete hold, thus the inconsistency. His putting, unlike Stephen Ames, is still rock solid, so that’s a indicator that if his iron game comes around, there’s a good chance for some strong finishes.
But if I were a betting man, I’d say it will at least be the second half of the year before we see the Mike Weir of old. And by that point — especially without a win — it will likely mean he watches the Presidents Cup be played in Montreal while sitting on his couch in Utah.