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Weir's Sunday Charge

Mike Weir shot a spotless 68 at the Memorial today to vault himself into a tie for second, three shots off the leader, Matt Goggin.

As Brennan Little, Weir’s caddie, suggested on Mikeweir.com following the Colonial, Weir seems to be bringing his game together — in time for the US Open:

I was very happy in the way that Mike finished last week at Colonial. He played well on the weekend and more importantly putted very well. It was the first time in a long time where he got off to a great start on Saturday with birdies on five of the first six holes. You can see the confidence building which is great to see and I hope we can keep it going this week into the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.

With Weir in second, it will be hard for the television cameras to ignore him, though there was still plenty of Phil Mickelson — who was well back of the leaders — on TV today as opposed to the Canadian lefty who lives in Utah.

This was a big deal for The Globe’s Lorne Rubenstein, who complained about the lack of coverage of Weir in today’s Globe column:

Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia are two of golf’s most popular players. But that alone doesn’t justify the amount of attention the Golf Channel gave them during yesterday’s second-round coverage of the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio. Mike Weir was playing better than them in the same threesome, not that this was evident based on how little coverage he got.

It was ridiculous, and this comes from somebody who is careful not to criticize television for not covering a fellow Canadian. Weir wouldn’t have warranted any coverage had he not been playing well.

But Weir started a stroke ahead of Mickelson and Garcia and shot 72 in difficult, windy conditions, while they shot 75 and 77, respectively. Weir is at one-under par 143 and tied for 11th place, six shots behind co-leaders Mathew Goggin and Kenny Perry. Mickelson, at 147, was tied for 35th and Garcia, at 149, was tied for 58th. Mickelson said that Weir played “by far the best” of the threesome.

My thoughts? I think Goggin, who is having a good, but not spectacular season on the PGA Tour, will fold coming in. He’s never won on tour and is being chased by some big names — Justin Rose, Weir, Kenny Perry, Geoff Ogilvy and Luke Donald. It wouldn’t surprise me if Goggin shoots a couple over par to make this a race to the finish.

Interestingly, considering how long and hard Memorial is, short, exacting hitters seem to fare well there. Rose and Weir aren’t long off the tee, and though he can bomb it, I tend to think of Ogilvy as more of a shot maker than a bomber. Certainly Donald is a US Open-type golfer.

That said, until now Goggin’s putting has been all that has held him back — look at his stats for proof. He’s long off the tee, and relatively accurate. We’ll see if his putter stops cooperating on Memorial’s greens, which are said to be stimping at 15.

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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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