Weir With the 36 Hole Lead At Deutsche Bank

[photopress:weir_1_2_3_4.jpg,full,alignleft]For the first time in more than a year, Mike Weir is a top the leaderboard after two days on the PGA Tour. He last won three years ago.

Weir had been solid so far, making a couple of pars that required some scrambling, and only hit 10 of 18 greens yesterday.

Interestingly, Weir credited caddie Brennan Little with some of his success in the first two days:

“Brennan’s caddied for me, this is the ninth year, and he’s probably read a total of a dozen putts in his career for me,” said Weir. “I made it a point last week to ask him to help me read greens a little bit better because I felt that maybe that was what was missing.

“I putted pretty well last week and this week he’s corrected me a few times where he thought it was a little different and he’s been right on. Most of the time we’ve been seeing the same things, so it’s maybe that little bit of reinforcement. I always thought I was stroking the ball pretty good but I wasn’t making a whole lot. So I thought maybe I wasn’t reading them right. He’s out there with me, so he might as well. He’s getting paid and he’s good at it.”

I found it intriguing that Weir would almost never have Little read putts, especially since Little was a pretty good golfer in his own right before entering the caddy business. Another thing notable from the Boston Globe article is that Weir said he was focusing his energy lately on his short game. One has to wonder with all the stack and tilt-related changes to his swing, whether Weir had simply been spending too much time on his long game.

Does he have a chance to win? Of course his history would suggest he does. However, in the past few years Weir has almost always thrown a 74 in to move him down the leaderboard. If he does that this weekend, he surely won’t win.

Of course if Weir doesn’t finish in the Top 5, he won’t likely play next week. But that doesn’t seem to be weighing particularly heavily on him. The second round interview with Weir, which is posted on his website, makes it clear the FedEx Cup isn’t a big factor at the moment:

I just want to play well for myself. It’s been a while since I’ve hoisted a trophy, and more than anything, that’s what I’m concerned about. With that, you know, that would get me into next week. But more than that, I just want to get back in the winner’s circle.

Whenever I speak about Weir to companions, people ask if he is confident with his new game. He answered that yesterday:

Yeah, there’s been a number of times where I felt good about it on a real consistent level. I would say the last few months just my wedge game and everything feels much better, and that’s kind of been my hallmark, really, is wedging the ball well. A number of times I saved myself yesterday, and today I hit some great wedges. It feels more like my game, keeping it in the fairway most of the time and wedging it well and making a few putts.

If he’s right, and the game from 2003-4 is returning, the timing would be perfect. I’m not convinced however….

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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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