Weir: "Confident" but "Realistic" heading into 2011

Mike Weir told a conference call today that he's confident about recovering from a serious elbow injury.

Just got off a conference call with Mike Weir, whose well-reported injury of his elbow forced him to shut his golf season down in September. Weir announced he has a new caddie — veteran Pete Benderwho has worked with Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd. Weir split with longtime looper Brennan Little late last year after working together for more than a decade. Truth be told I don’t think this is that big a deal, other than it comes at a time of uncertainty for Weir, and suggests Little didn’t have confidence that Weir’s play¬†could return to previous levels. Weir said Little’s departure, “caught me by surprise.”

Among the topics covered in the hour-long call were:

  • Weir will start at the Hope and at Torrey Pines, skip the Waste Management, and then play Pebble Beach and Riviera, concluding his five tournament exemption at the Honda.
  • Though golfers tend to always want to stay positive, Weir admits to being “realistic” and reaching out to some tournaments for exemptions should he fail to make the $227,500 needed to retain his card. However, he added he is “100% confident that I’ll be back as one of the top players in the world,” though he said that might take some time, and people shouldn’t expect an immediate return to form after not playing for five months.
  • While he’s only qualified for the Masters currently, Weir said, “I’ll definitely go to the U.S. Open and the British Open has a qualifying in the U.S…”
  • He’s not overly thrilled by the notion of putting microphones on players, as the Golf Channel is proposing starting this week: “I don’t really know about that,” he said. “I’d have to really think about that. I don’t know if I’d feel as comfortable talking to my caddie or whether I’d be giving away too much information. My initial guy reaction is no, but I’d try to be open minded.”
  • He’s spoken to Jim Flick about his swing, but isn’t working with anyone currently. He’s also back working with sports psychologist Dr. Rich Gordin.

I’ll conclude by saying I’m sick to death of the “how does it feel” question to golfers and all sports figures. It prompts a non-response, and is the worst kind of soft ball question. It happened a couple of times on the Weir call — and generally received a non-answer from Weir, as expected. Weir did dodge a bit about his reaction to Little’s departure, though it took me about 10 minutes to get on the call, so perhaps he answered it while discussing Bender.

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Jeff Lancaster

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