Mike Weir: "I was hurt"
The Globe's Lorne Rubenstein writes (yet another) column apparently in defense of Mike Weir's lacklustre 2005 campaign. Not sure what was left to say, since Rubenstein already wrote a couple of versions of this story over the course of the year.
Anyway, Weir says
For people to question how hard I'm trying or to think I'm not trying, I can't believe they'd think that. I won't be packing it in for a long time. I still love the game.
i'm not sure who these people are who are questioning Weir's dedication to the game. I suppose I'm one of his critics, but I don't think his problems have anything to do with "not trying." The reality is that he's simply not all that long off the tee and that puts pressure on the rest of his game. Apparently his neck injury hurt his posture and his ability to hit crisp irons. That, in turn put a lot of pressure on his putting, which can be suspect. If there was one thing wrong with Mike Weir in 2005, it was his putting -- an atrosious 1.86 putting average that ranked him 173rd. Of course, the rest of his stats aren't so stellar either. His driving distance actually decreased in 2005 (so much for that vaunted increase in distance the R7 TaylorMade driver was supposed to give him) and he only average 280 yards off the tee. With so many tour pros carrying the ball in the air that far, Weir is at a clear disadvantage.
Despite all of this, Weir told Rubenstein he's healthy and ready to make a comeback:
"I had some injuries last year that I didn't want to get into too much with the media because I didn't want it to sound like I was making excuses. But I'm doing better. I feel I'm living in a 23-year-old body."Let's hope he's right and then Lorne can write a column about Mike's great comeback. Weir is great for Canadian golf and I do hope he can make it back. That said, I still have a nagging suspision that Weir's best years are behind him. However, even when injured he can hang tough in the majors (witness his performance at the Masters), so there's always the chance he could do something spectacular again.
In other news, Darren Clarke's wife continues to battle cancer. Clarke, who narrowly missed winning his last two tournaments, spoke to the Scotsman about his situation:
"My wife is a battler," says Clarke, his eyes and voice suddenly distant. "She fights it so hard, and I have so much admiration for her. She actually encourages me to get out and play. She doesn't want me sitting around the house. But it's difficult.
We were together last week, and now I am here, with her undergoing more treatment. It's the first session I have missed for a long time. So that is hard for her.
She just gets on with it, though. Sometimes I don't know how; she is so brave and so strong. I know she puts on a brave face for me when I'm away. The boys are good. They know Mummy is sick, and has to go into hospital now and then. And they know she can't do too much at times. We have been keeping an eye on them, because it is hard for them, too. Tyrone is seven and a big boy; he is in 12-year-old clothes already. But he is the sensitive one. Conor is more rough and tough.
I'm a big fan of the gritty Irishman and I hope his wife's condition improves. It is hard to imagine he's able to focus all of his energy on golf at the moment, and has played well despite that. The entire Scotsman story is here.
Oh, and if you want a laugh, read Jay Flemma's account of a terrible round on a great golf course in which he goes all Hunter S. Thompson the night before and then blades one into the parking lot of Caledonia.