I had a chance to catch up with Mike Weir on the phone late last week to talk about his putting lesson from Steve Stricker, the fact he’s changed golf balls (to the shorter ProV1 with more spin) and his chances at this week’s US Open. I actually think both Weir and Stephen Ames are playing exceptionally heading into the event, and it wouldn’t surprise me if either had a breakthrough week. Both play difficult courses well, and both have been hitting the ball well of late.
Here’s a taste of today’s column:
Golf is a fickle game, as Mike Weir is well aware.
Two weeks ago, Weir felt out of his element. He was striking the ball well, but as is often the case, his putts were finding everything but the bottom of the cup. The problem reached a boiling point on the putting green at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Texas, when he finally reached out for help. Without a coach in site, he turned to Steve Stricker.
“I asked him about it because I’ve known him for 20 years,” Weir said last week. “I just asked him, ‘Hey Strick, can you take a look and tell me what you see?’ He came over and said he didn’t think I was accelerating through the ball.”
A slight adjustment was all that was needed for Weir to start rolling putts in, and following a tie for second at Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament in Ohio last week, the Canadian is suddenly full of confidence as he heads to the long and difficult and Torrey Pines in San Diego, home to the U. S. Open this week.
“Sometimes a change just appears,” he said. “It is a combination of mechanics and relying on feel. It is an art. And my confidence just changed after talking to Steve.”
That is not the only change for Weir, who has played steady if unspectacular golf since leading the season-opening Mercedes Championship through three rounds. He finished fourth there, his only top-10 finish before the Memorial.
The full column is here.
What are your picks? Who takes the Open? That golfer with the injured knee?