What to expect? Likely not that much. The Hope is a shootout, and the winners usually go very low. Weir has been off basically for six months. I wouldn’t expect him to be in competitive form.
However, it’ll be interesting to see what state his game is in — is he still unable to drive the ball straight? That’s the key. If the wayward driving was influenced by his injury, then some of the problems may alleviate themselves with the healing of his elbow. Now if he’s still losing his driver in both directions, that might be a sign of a bigger swing issue that still hasn’t been resolved.
My column can be found here (I love how people use the comments section to wish Weir the best on his year, as if he’s checking in on occasion…) and here’s a taste:
“I’m 100 percent confident that I’m going to be back as one of the best players in the world,” Weir said on a conference call last week. It may not happen immediately, Weir says, but he will return to the level he expects from himself.
“I’m confident that I’m going to be healthy and the elbow’s going to be good and I’m going to be back where I feel like I belong and that hasn’t changed,” he adds.
It’s hard not to wonder whether Weir’s confidence is just bravado, a thinly-veiled attempt to prop up his spirits after a dreadful 2010 season. But in golf, where confidence is paramount to success, Weir’s words are easily understandable.
Of course not everyone is quite as certain that Weir can once again climb to remarkable heights. That is understandable given his troubled performance last year.
For most of 2010, Weir fumbled through multiple missed cuts, and even faced the indignity of having the Toronto Sun ask “Is Mike Weir All Washed Up?” as he prepared to play in Canada’s national open. He continued to hit his driver crooked, appearing to all the world like shadow of his former self. He turned 40 last summer, but it was hard to envision Weir as the same golfer who played on the Presidents Cup team just a year earlier.
Don’t try to tell Mike Weir that he’s finished. He’s not having any of it.