There’s a precedent for someone winning the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open, several years after being inducted into the Utah Golf Hall of Fame.
Mike Weir this week will attempt to duplicate Bruce Summerhays’ victory in 2008, competing at Oakridge Country Club in Farmington. Unlike Summerhays, who was semi-retired from the Champions Tour when he played in the hometown event at age 64, Weir is trying to revive his career.
In that sense, he’s risking more than Summerhays did - and considerably more than former Jazz players Greg Ostertag, Deron Williams and Kyle Korver did, when they accepted invitations to the Utah Open.
That’s why anyone would have to admire what Weir is doing. He’s willing to put himself out there in his effort to come back from an elbow injury that has resulted in his embarrassing showing on the PGA Tour, not having made any 36-hole cuts in 12 starts this season.
Weir is conscious of his role in the Utah golf community, following the examples of Summerhays, Mike Reid, Dan Forsman and Jay Don Blake. He also needs a place to play during the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, so the Utah Open presents a good opportunity for him.
But he’ll have to play considerably better than his 75.96 stroke average on the tour, just to be respectable. In his favor is the fact that Oakridge is relatively short, so Weir won’t have to rely on the driver that has caused him so much trouble.
The Sandy resident remains committed to rediscovering his game. Three rounds at Oakridge might be just what he needs to rebuild his swing and his confidence, enabling him to succeed on some combination of the European and PGA Tours.
So he definitely has something to gain this week, besides what he might lose as a former Masters champion playing in a state open. Regardless of what happens, Weir deserves credit for giving the Utah Open his best shot.