Weir on PresCup Team

Old news by now, but it shouldn’t have come as a big surprise to see Mike Weir selected to the Presidents Cup team. Yes, I understand the debate that suggests Ames is playing better, is rated higher and finished in the Top 15 at the PGA Championship. But no one said Gary Player’s moves made logical sense.

In fact, Player seemed to indicate the decision was based on other factors:

And being played in Canada, if we didn’t have a Canadian in the team in my team and playing in Canada, I can assure you in my opinion only, the series would be quite flat amongst the Canadian people. Mike is a hero in his country, deservedly so. And I’m sure the Canadian people are going to be relieved, because I continuously had questions every week: “Are you putting Mike, are you putting him in?” And I said, we have to wait till the end obviously.

Weir said the attempt to play his way onto the PresCup team put added pressure on his already shaky game:

Yeah, it was tough the last couple of weeks, because I ran into obviously a little bit of bad luck with pulling a bit of a neck muscle at Firestone. It was bad timing. Didn’t want to be, you know, hampered by that the last couple of weeks, but that’s the way it WAS. I knew I had been playing well the last couple of weeks leading into that, so it was unfortunate.
So it was kind of tough to wait these last couple of weeks. I’ve always thought highly of the Presidents Cup, enjoyed playing the last three, and thought it was just such a great competition; and being in Canada, I wanted to play badly. You know, I felt like sometimes maybe I was trying too hard. So now that Gary has named me a selection, hopefully I can relax a little bit more and play some really good golf leading into the Presidents Cup. So I’m really relieved.

Ames, for his part, took it well. In a statement issued to the press, he had this to say:

“I’m truly disappointed that I was so close to the honour of playing for the International Team and that it didn’t quite happen for me this time around. As a proud Canadian, I was excited about the idea of playing in the President’s Cup especially given that it is being played in Canada for the first time. I certainly feel that I have played well enough over a sustained period of time to warrant selection, but I also know how many talented players there are to choose from on the International side.”

Interestingly, I had several calls and emails from those close to Ames asking what I made of the decision. Many felt he should have been picked — at least alongside Weir. Hard to imagine how they would have dropped Nick O’Hern….

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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.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I’d rather take someone like AMES who made a decision to live in this country than someone WEIR who says he is Canadian BUT ONLY COMES BACK TO THE COUNTRY WHEN IT MEANS MONEY IN HIS POCKET…………..Ames is MUCH MORE Canadian than Weir…………..A MUCH BETTER player at this time and this is a travesty with POLITICS involved…………WEIR SHOULD NOT ACCEPT AND DEFER TO AMES.

  • I know it is in vogue in Canada to knock someone when they are on top….However:

    When all said and done, Weir will more than likely recognized to be the greatest Canadian golfer of all time. To not have Weir played in a President Cup held in Canada would not make historical and long-term sense. Additionally, if it wasn’t for Weir, there won’t be a P-Cup in Canada.

    As for Ames, kudos to him for wanting to represent Canada and lives here…But several factors worked against him:

    – Last President Cup, he mentioned that he could care less about being on the team
    – His match play claim to fame was 9 and 8 thrashing at the hands of You-Know-Who
    – He sucumbed to pressure at the final round at the PGA Championship

  • I agree with the decision to include Weir on the President’s Cup team. However, everyone has a knock against them prior to their first selection to one of these teams whether it be a thrashing in a previous match play event or the inability to close it out at a major against the leader. Both Weir and Ames have had these experiences but Weir has previously earned his way onto President’s Cup teams and has played well.

    Selecting a player for the first time is part gut and part logic. Ames is likely playing better right now but his only breakthrough success at the PGA level is winning the Players (not withstanding the Western Open). There are plenty of other indicators that are not in Ames favour. Bottom line, the gut call is for Weir (primarily for his performance in multiple pressure packed events) and there is enough logic to justify his selection.

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