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Mike Weir: Confident and Refreshed

Despite having to pull out of the Buick on Friday because of a bout [photopress:MikeWeir_main.jpg,full,alignright]with the flu, Mike Weir is so pleased with his game that he’s playing this week in Arizona, and then the next three weeks through to the match play.

I’ll post a link to my column on Weir that appears in tomorrow’s National Post, but in the meantime, here’s a handful of quotes from today’s conference call with Weir. He seems very at ease with both his game and the media these days, and is even looking forward to playing Glen Abbey. He also mentioned he’s 10 to 15 yards longer off the tee with using the stack and tilt method and about half a club longer with his irons. “It is easier power,” he said. “I dont have to work as hard to create that power.”

On Tiger Woods and the Grand Slam:

Hes just saying it is a possibility and hes the one guy who can say that right now. He backed it up this week by a great performance winning [The Buick Invitational]. Hes able to win going away without even hitting a lot of the fairways. It shows how great the rest of his game is and how ready to go he is. Hes the one guy who probably could do it.

On the status of his game compared to 2003.

In 2003 I had a great run for six months where I was playing very well and hitting the ball great. But it didnt last for as long as I wanted. It felt like I was trying something different all the time and trying to put it together week to week. And granted that is how a lot of players do it on the tour. I cant do that. I have to be on top of my game all the time.

My game in 2003 was still a little inconsistent and I felt it could get better. And I think it is a lot better. Now it is a question of the rest of my game keeping up with that, particularly my putting. But ball striking wise, I feel a lot better.

On his game week to week:

Im always a guy that has to work on my game. Id love it to be a ten out of ten every week in ball striking, but it is probably not going to be that. Ive always been able to rely on my short game to get around.

My focus is really to pay attention to my short game. I think that really paid dividends at the end of last year. It is just an extra bunker save, an extra up-and-down, an extra seven or eight footer.

On his swing change last year:

Last year it was a grind. I worked hard after every round and it seemed like I would have to squeeze in time for short game. It was almost overload. Six days a week ¦ I was just grinding away. It kind of wears you down. In 2003 I didnt have to worry about those things and that kind of puts your mind at ease and you play a little freer out there when you dont have to worry about your swing.

On working with Bennett and Plummer:

I think I am more refreshed. Plus the experience of working with Andy and Mike for a year has given me a sense of my tendencies and I know how to trouble shoot them quicker and not have to run through a certain number of points to get to a solution to what Im trying to find in my swing. Golf is a game of adjustments, for sure. Youre not going out there every day and hit it perfect. Youre going to have to move your hands a little forward. You are going to adjust your posture. Youre always making little adjustments. But to know where to do that comes with the year of experience of working with those two guys.

On the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey:

Im really looking forward to it. I obviously hadnt played well at Glen Abbey up until 2004 and proved to myself that I can play well there and shoot some good scores there. I have to put 2004 behind me and I have to think about the good things that happened that week, not what happened at the end. Ill be looking forward to it because I do have a lot of great memories. I can go around to almost all the holes there and recall some good memories on great shots that I hit and I did hit some great shots that week.

On having goals:

I have goals that Id like to achieve, but they are not to win three or four times or to win majors. In this game, and I know it is a little cliché, but those things are a little out of my control. You can play great and not win a tournament and you can play so-so and fluke out a win. I think my goal is more geared towards to my preparation and things in my golf swing that I want to improve upon, things I want to get better. It is more along those lines because I know if I do those things then the outcomes will happen.

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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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