I haven’t posted anything on a conference call with Mike Weir last week, largely because I’ve been busy banging out a couple of features as part of my day job. Anyway, I wrote a column about Weir’s 2010 campaign for Sympatico, which will go live later today, and had some quotes left over. I find Weir more at ease talking about himself these days, or maybe it is because I’ve spoken to him every month or two for the last few years. Either way, he’s become more comfortable in his own skin, it would appear, especially when it comes to dealing with the media. And with that comes confidence in his remarks. He had no trouble talking about Tiger Woods, noting that he reached out to Woods after the car accident, but never got a response. Knowing Mike, who is not a big fan of e-mail, he probably texted Woods:
I have no talked to him at all. I reached out to him right after Thanksgiving. Hes been, you know, unavailable. I suspect — it is just my guess, but I think hell be back for the Masters. I hope hes back for the majors. They are at such great venues, places where hes done very well on.
Myself being a competitor, I want to see him there. When Im at the majors and trying to win them you want the best guy there to compete against. Selfishly I want him there.
My guess is he will be back sooner than later.
I never really understood that. Youre not going to see a guy other than Tiger dominate like that because the game is not like that. It never was like that. If you win two or three tournaments in a year, thats an unbelievable year. I dont get the argument that someone is going to sneak up and take the bull by the horns. It could happen and hopefully I can do it. But it is very hard to do.
Weir says his off-season included lots of work with Mike Wilson, his coach, specifically on his driver, which he found was a problem last year. He’s also changed his TaylorMade irons — something he’s been hesitant to do in the past — because of the new groove rules. In an interview before Christmas, I asked about his interaction with other Canadians on tour, and what Chris Baryla and Graham DeLaet. Surprisingly Baryla isn’t in the field this week at the Hope, while DeLaet is. Anyway, here’s what Weir had to say:
Im not their coach, they have to rely on what theyve done. If they say, ËœWeirsy, can you watch some bunker shots or a few putts, well Ive done that for Millsy and David Hearn. Im glad to help out. But I cant be their coach.
A lot of this is self-reliance in golf. You have to be able to self-correct. When I worked with Mike and Andy I felt I was becoming too reliant on them to tell me what to do. And one of the reasons I went away from them was I felt I wasnt being self-reliant enough. I needed to figure things out on my own. In the end, the game is individual.
As for the future, Weir expects to remain competitive for a long time, and has his sights set on the Olympics:
The thought of being an Olympian, that keeps me motivated for five or six years down the road. I want to keep pushing hard for that, six years down the road. It is an exciting one. I love the Olympics and I love watching the Olympics.