Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Kragthorpe: Ex-BYU golfer Weir trying to find his game
Golf » Elbow injury and confidence loss have ex-BYU athlete and one-time Masters champ scuffling to regain his form.


< Previous Page


In his college days, Mike Weir played only fractionally better than BYU’s other golfers. Yet teammates knew he would someday become a PGA Tour star, because of his drive and desire.

That determination is being tested more than ever. The golfer who once won the Masters, was ranked No. 3 in the world and has banked $26.8 million in prize money might be the PGA Tour’s worst performer in 2012.

At a glance

Mike Weir file

Age » 42

Hometown » Bright’s Grove, Ontario

College » BYU

Residence » Sandy

Family » Wife, Bricia; daughters Elle (14) and Lili (12).

PGA Tour victories » Eight; most recently, 2007 Fry’s Electronics Open

Honors » Member of Order of Canada, Utah Golf Hall of Fame

Mike Weir round-by-round 2012:

Tournament » Scores

AT&T Pebble Beach » 70-73-78*

Mayakoba Golf Classic » 79-78

Honda Classic » 75-78

Arnold Palmer Invitational » 77-72

Masters » 72-79

RBC Heritage » 76-81

Wells Fargo Championship » 71-73

Byron Nelson Championship » 75-83

* 54-hole cut

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The late Karl Tucker, who coached Weir at BYU, always said that all anybody wants to know about a golfer’s play is a number. No excuses, no explanations. Yet there’s a reason for the Sandy resident’s 75.88 stroke average.

An elbow injury that short-circuited his previous two seasons has altered Weir’s swing, leading to a desperate search for a fix. Mix that uncertainty and loss of confidence with limited access to tournaments because of his recent performance, and Weir is caught in a cycle that’s unlikely to end soon.

"It will take some time to get back to where I want to be," Weir said.

Weir hired a new teacher, former tour player Grant Waite. The cure of his swing problems probably includes time away from the tour. He may not have not much choice. Weir is playing in this week’s Memorial Tournament in Ohio via an invitation from host Jack Nicklaus, and sponsor exemptions and past champion status will give him only a few other opportunities to play this season.

Weir tied for 52nd place in a European Tour event in Spain in March, but has not qualified for weekend play in any of his eight PGA Tour starts. His most recent check came in July; before that, he made a 36-hole cut in January. His total earnings for 2011-12: $23,312.

That’s quite a comedown for a golfer who joined the tour just in time to benefit from Tiger Woods’ impact on tournament purses. Weir ranks 17th in all-time earnings, and that $26.8 million on the golf course is topped by his endorsement income as a Canadian icon, with interests ranging from course design to the Mike Weir Estate Winery.

But nothing he says suggests he lacks motivation to play at age 42, and no one who’s followed his career doubts his commitment. "If anyone’s going to fight his way out of it, it’s Mike," said BYU coach Bruce Brockbank, formerly Tucker’s assistant.

Weir’s game bottomed out in this month’s Byron Nelson Championship near Dallas, where he made two 8s on par-5s and two 6s on par-4s in shooting a second-round 83. Those numbers obviously are attributable to poor driving, the same issue that bedeviled Farmington’s Daniel Summerhays as a tour rookie last year.


story continues below

Summerhays credits working with Waite for major swing changes that fixed his driving and expanded his game. "I have more shots now," he said. "I can hit the shots that the PGA Tour requires."

Weir sought a new approach even before he struggled. In 2007, he started working with the teachers of Dean Wilson, his former BYU teammate. Yet that switch fails to explain his downturn, because as recently as 2009, Weir ranked 29th on the money list. The elbow injury struck him the following year, when he tried to play through it before leaving the tour in August.

Then last July, he gave in again, withdrawing from the Canadian Open and later undergoing surgery. Weir has shown some positive signs this season, barely missing the 36-hole cuts at the Masters and the Wells Fargo Championship. But his latest effort was the disaster in Dallas, leading him to pull out of a European Tour event in England last week.

That tour remains an option to Weir, thanks to his 2003 Masters victory. He also could use a one-time PGA Tour exemption based on career earnings, or piece together limited schedules in the coming years. In 2020, the senior Champions Tour will welcome him.

Weir expects to get his game back long before then. "I don’t care what anyone else believes … I believe I can still play great golf," he told CanadianGolfer.com.

Weir once said of his pre-PGA Tour golf pursuits, "I’m glad I went through what I had to go through." If he comes out of this slump, he’ll be able to say the same thing.

kkragthorpe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribkurt

Mike Weir’s PGA career

Year-by-year PGA Tour results, since qualifying as a tour member:

Year » Money/ranking

1998 » $218,967/131st

1999 » $1,491,139/23rd

2000 » $2,547,829/6th

2001 » $2,777,936/11th

2002 » $843,890/78th

2003 » $4,918,910/5th

2004 » $2,761,536/14th

2005 » $1,363,467/56th

2006 » $1,883,724/33rd

2007 » $1,986,053/35th

2008 » $3,020,135/14th

2009 » $2,379,422/26th

2010 » $559,022/151st

2011 » $23,312/240th

2012 »

All-time » $26,821,949/17th



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.