Mike Weir


Mike Weir
Mike Weir
Personal information
Full name Michael Richard Weir
Nickname Weirsy
Born May 12, 1970 (1970-05-12) (age 41)
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st)
Nationality  Canada
Residence Draper, Utah, U.S.
Spouse Bricia
Children Elle Marisa (1997)
Lili (2000)
Career
College Brigham Young University
Turned professional 1992
Current tour(s) PGA Tour
Professional wins 15
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 8
Other 7
Best results in Major Championships
(Wins: 1)
Masters Tournament Won: 2003
U.S. Open T3: 2003
The Open Championship T8: 2007
PGA Championship 6th: 2006
Achievements and awards
Lou Marsh Trophy 2003
Lionel Conacher Award 2000, 2001, 2003
Mike Weir at the 2009 Telus World Skins Game, Lévis, Canada

Michael Richard Weir, CM, O.Ont (born May 12, 1970) is a Canadian professional golfer on the PGA Tour. He spent over 110 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Rankings between 2001 and 2005.[1] He is best known for winning the Masters in 2003.

Contents

Early years

Weir was born in Sarnia, Ontario. He grew up in the Sarnia suburb of Bright's Grove, where he learned to golf at Huron Oaks Golf Course, and was coached there by Steve Bennett. Like many Canadian boys, his first sport was hockey; he was a natural left-handed shot, and began playing golf left-handed as a follow-on from his hockey experience. Weir was fortunate in that the son of his godfather played left-handed and had a partial set of spare clubs that he handed down to Weir—three woods and four irons. From his earnings as a caddy and pro shop worker, he purchased a left-handed wedge that he used until the grip wore out. When he was 12, he won a junior tournament in which the first prize was a complete set of irons; he replaced his original four irons with the clubs he had won.[2] While working at Huron Oaks, he also met Jack Nicklaus at age 11, when the golf legend came to the club to play an exhibition. This meeting set the stage for a pivotal moment in Weir's career.[3]

Weir gave up hockey in his early teenage years when he realized he would not grow past average size and that golf was his best sport. However, he had received advice that he might be an even better golfer if he switched to playing right-handed. In 1984, Weir decided to write Nicklaus for advice as to whether to make the switch. Nicklaus quickly wrote back and told Weir,

"If you are a good player left-handed, don't change anything—especially if that feels natural to you."[4]

He never thought of switching to right-handed play again, and still keeps the letter, now framed, in his home.[4]

He attended St. Michael Elementary School in Bright's Grove and St. Clair Secondary School in Sarnia, winning the Ontario Junior Championship in 1988. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University (majoring in Recreation Management), and won the Ontario Amateur Championship in 1990 and 1992. He tied for 2nd at the 1991 Canadian Amateur Championship, and finished clear second in that event in 1992. He was an All-American selection at BYU in 1992 on the Second Team.[5]

Professional career

He turned professional in 1992, and started on the Canadian Professional Golf Tour, where he won three events. He also played some events on the Asian PGA Tour early in his career. He first reached the PGA Tour in 1998, but lost his playing privileges, due to insufficient performance. He had to requalify, and did so by winning the final Qualifying School tournament.

Weir's first PGA Tour win came at the 1999 Air Canada Championship in Surrey, British Columbia. The victory made him the first Canadian to win a PGA Tour event in Canada in 45 years.

Weir began the 2003 season in impressive fashion, winning two tournaments on the West Coast Swing. He first won the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Palm Springs, California, and then followed with a win at Riviera Country Club near Los Angeles, at the Nissan Open.

On April 13, 2003, Weir won the prestigious Masters Tournament at Augusta, Georgia, one of the four major tournaments in men's golf. He is the first Canadian male ever to win a professional major championship (Sandy Somerville and Gary Cowan each won the U.S. Amateur when it was considered a major tournament). When he won The Masters, Weir became only the second left-handed golfer to win any of the four majors, the other being Bob Charles, who won the British Open 40 years earlier. Weir is a right-hander who plays golf left-handed, a trait he shares with fellow PGA Tour pro and major champion Phil Mickelson.

In June 2003, Weir tied for third at the U.S. Open, the second of the majors in the annual schedule, which moved him to third in the Official World Golf Rankings, his highest ranking.[6] For his outstanding play in 2003, Weir won the Lou Marsh Trophy for outstanding Canadian athlete of the year. He maintained his position in the world's top ten ranking into 2004.

In February 2004, Weir joined the ranks of a select few players including Ben Hogan to win back to back championships at the Nissan Open, becoming the sixth player in Nissan Open history to notch back-to-back wins, and the first since Corey Pavin (1994, 1995). He is the 20th player to post multiple wins at the Nissan Open.

Weir went more than three-and-a-half years after his second win at the Nissan Open before winning his next tournament. Working with Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer on a new swing showed some positive results (two top tens, including a tie for eighth at the Open Championship). While working on the swing changes, he had dipped in the world rankings to a point that he did not automatically qualify for the 2007 Presidents Cup matches, to be held at the Royal Montreal Golf Club. He got to play in the tournament he helped bring to Canada because he was picked by International team captain Gary Player as one of his discretionary selections.[7] This turned out to be an inspired choice as Weir went on to beat current number one Tiger Woods in a heated match, despite his team losing the Cup. When asked, Weir enthusiastically stated, "When I look back on my career, this may be even more special than winning the Masters."[8] His swing changes, coupled with the momentum from his Presidents Cup performance, culminated in his first win in over three years at the Fry's Electronics Open in October 2007. This victory in Arizona tied Weir with George Knudson for most PGA Tour wins by a Canadian, with eight.

Golf Digest magazine of March 2010 reported that Weir had returned to work with instructor Mike Wilson, who was his coach during his most successful period in the early 2000s. Weir was going away from the 'stack-and-tilt' method and working on reclaiming his swing as developed with Wilson.[9] On October 2010 Weir said he was planning to rely less on swing coach Mike Wilson, since he thought he did not need a teacher but a set of eyes, whether it's Mike or someone else. I'm taking ownership of what I'm trying to accomplish when I make a swing ... I feel like I don't need anybody to tell me what to do. I know what I need to do, added Weir.[10]

Weir's 2010 season ended early with a torn ligament on his right elbow. He began 2011 on a major medical exemption, which means he would have to earn the difference between his 2010 earning and $786,977 (equivalent to Troy Merritt, who finished with the 125th and final exempt spot on the Tour) in five starts to retain full Tour status. Otherwise, he could use one of two special exemptions he holds because of career earnings to play the PGA Tour in 2011, but that is something he hoped to avoid doing.[11] Weir had trouble making cuts and did not finish high enough to keep his Tour card.

Personal life, honours

Weir currently lives in Draper, Utah, with his wife Bricia and their two daughters. Weir's home course used to be the Taboo Resort in Gravenhurst, Ontario, until the course dropped his name in 2008.

In June 2007, it was announced that Weir would be appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. He was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2003.

Creekside Estate Winery, near Lincoln, Ontario, began producing wine for Weir in 2005, and as of 2007 had released a Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet-Merlot, Cabernet-Shiraz and Icewine. His Icewine Vidal was named by Travel and Leisure Golf magazine as one of its top five golf-related wines. Weir announced plans to open his own winery in the summer of 2008.[12]

On December 17, 2007, The Thomson Corporation (now Thomson Reuters) announced it will be the lead corporate sponsor for Weir for a five-year term beginning in January 2008,[13] replacing Bell Canada.

Weir's caddy, from 1999 to 2010, was fellow Ontarian Brennan Little. In January 2011, Weir hired veteran caddy Pete Bender.[14]

In 2010, Weir was selected as #12 on a list of Canada's 100 Greatest Athletes of All Time.[15]

Professional wins (15)

PGA Tour wins (8)

Legend
Major championship (1)
World Golf Championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (6)
No. Date Tournament Winning Score Margin of Victory Runner(s) up
1 Sep 5, 1999 Air Canada Championship -18 (68–70–64–64=266) 2 strokes United States Fred Funk
2 Nov 12, 2000 WGC-American Express Championship -11 (68–75–65–69=277) 2 strokes England Lee Westwood
3 Nov 4, 2001 The Tour Championship -14 (68–66–68–68=270) Playoff South Africa Ernie Els, United States David Toms,
Spain Sergio García
4 Feb 2, 2003 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic -30 (67–64–65–67–67=330) 2 strokes United States Jay Haas
5 Feb 23, 2003 Nissan Open -9 (72–68–69–66=275) Playoff United States Charles Howell III
6 Apr 13, 2003 Masters Tournament -7 (70–68–75–68=281) Playoff United States Len Mattiace
7 Feb 22, 2004 Nissan Open -17 (66–64–66–71=267) 1 stroke Japan Shigeki Maruyama
8 Oct 21, 2007 Fry's Electronics Open -14 (69–64–65–68=266) 1 stroke Australia Mark Hensby

PGA Tour playoff record (3–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2000 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill United States David Toms Lost to par on first extra hole
2 2001 The Tour Championship South Africa Ernie Els, United States David Toms, Spain Sergio García Won with birdie on first extra hole
3 2003 Nissan Open United States Charles Howell III Won with birdie on second extra hole
4 2003 Masters Tournament United States Len Mattiace Won with bogey on first extra hole
5 2004 Bell Canadian Open Fiji Vijay Singh Lost to par on third extra hole

Canadian Tour wins (3)

  • 1993 Infinity Tournament Players Championship
  • 1997 BC TEL Pacific Open, Canadian Masters

Other wins (4)

Major championships

Wins (1)

Year Championship 54 Holes Winning Score Margin Runner-up
2003 Masters Tournament 2 shot deficit −7 (70–68–75–68=281) Playoff 1 United States Len Mattiace

1 Defeated Len Mattiace in sudden death playoff on the first hole.

Results timeline

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
The Masters DNP T28 T27 T24 1 CUT T5 T11 T20 T17 T46
U.S. Open CUT T16 T19 CUT T3 T4 T42 T6 T20 T18 T10
The Open Championship T37 T52 CUT T69 T28 T9 CUT T56 T8 T39 CUT
PGA Championship T10 T30 T16 T34 T7 CUT T47 6 CUT T42 CUT
Tournament 2010 2011
The Masters T43 CUT
U.S. Open T80 DNP
The Open Championship CUT DNP
PGA Championship CUT DNP

DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
"T" = tied
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

World Golf Championships

Wins (1)

Year Championship 54 Holes Winning Score Margin of Victory Runner(s)-up
2000 WGC-American Express Championship 4 strokes -11 (68–75–65–69=277) 2 strokes England Lee Westwood

Results timeline

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Accenture Match Play Championship DNP R32 DNP R32 R32 R32 R64 R16 R64 R64
CA Championship T30 1 NT1 T15 T28 DNP T18 DNP T50 T20
Bridgestone Invitational DNP T24 25 T24 T23 T41 T36 T22 WD DNP
Tournament 2009 2010
Accenture Match Play Championship R64 R32
CA Championship T35 T26
Bridgestone Invitational 10 T55
HSBC Champions DNP DNP

1Cancelled due to 9/11
DNP = Did not play
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = Tied
WD = Withdrew
NT = No tournament
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

PGA Tour career summary

Year Wins (Majors) Earnings (US$) Rank
1997 0 23,709 287
1998 0 275,017 131
1999 1 1,497,014 23
2000 1 2,576,479 6
2001 1 2,825,436 11
2002 0 881,390 78
2003 3 (1) 5,236,410 5
2004 1 2,761,536 14
2005 0 1,363,467 56
2006 0 1,907,974 33
2007 1 2,015,053 35
2008 0 3,195,135 14
2009 0 2,205,672 26
2010 0 559,092 151
2011 0 23,312 240
Career* 8 (1) $26,821,949 15

*As of the 2011 season.

Summary of PGA Tour performances

  • Starts – 346
  • Cuts made – 245
  • Wins – 8
  • 2nd place finishes – 9
  • 3rd place finishes – 8
  • Top 10 finishes – 68
  • Top 25 finishes – 138

* Complete through the 2011 season

Team appearances

See also

References

  1. ^ 69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking
  2. ^ Feinstein, John (2010). Moment of Glory: The Year Underdogs Ruled Golf. New York: Little, Brown and Company. pp. 34–35. ISBN 0-316-02531-3. 
  3. ^ Feinstein, p. 36.
  4. ^ a b Feinstein, pp. 36–37.
  5. ^ BYU Men's Golf All-Americans
  6. ^ Jim Furyk Wins the US Open and Climbs 4 position to World No. 6
  7. ^ TSN: GOLF-Canada's Sports Leader
  8. ^ Yahoo! News
  9. ^ Golf Digest, March 2010.
  10. ^ Weir eyes December comeback. The Official Mike Weir Website, October 28, 2010, retrieved December 10, 2010
  11. ^ Canadian golfer Mike Weir set to make return from injury
  12. ^ Orton, Kathy (July 6, 2007). "Canada's Weir Branches Into the Wine Business". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/05/AR2007070502107.html?sub=new. 
  13. ^ Thomson – Mike Weir Golf Partnership
  14. ^ Mikeweir.com: Team Weir
  15. ^ Canada's Top 100: The Greatest Athletes of All Time, by Maggie Mooney, 2010, Greystone Books, D&M Publishers, Vancouver / Toronto / Berkeley, ISBN 978-1-55365-557-2, p. 89

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Catriona Le May Doan
Lou Marsh Trophy winner
2003
Succeeded by
Adam van Koeverden

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