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Ten Years After Winning Masters Weir In Different Place

(This story was published by Golf News Now, a Canadian publisher and permission was greanted to the UGA to reprint the article.)
Mike Weir is in such a different place than he was 10 years ago going into the Masters, an event that has inspired a ton of fond memories about the first Canadian male to win a major and a TV documentary entitled 4 Days In April: The Mike Weir Story.Coming into the 2003 Masters, Weir had already won twice at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and at the Nissan Open, but still, there were few who gave him a chance going into Augusta National, one reason being the fine play of the fellow who just won at Bay Hill on the weekend.”My form was very good and I felt great. It was actually a bit of a wake up call – the week before I missed the cut in Atlanta. I felt like I kind of played undisciplined golf there,” said Weir. “I remember missing the cut and just having a little talk with myself,” he recalled.”The reason I had played so well earlier in the year is just because I was striking the ball very well, but I played kind of my game, which is disciplined golf, on the smart side of the hole all the time, taking advantage of the wedge, not taking unnecessary risks and playing a strategic game,” he added.”I kind of got away from that at Atlanta the week before and really got me refocused for Augusta,” said Weir.Those are private thoughts, not easily available to those who like to pick favourites at a place such as Augusta, which plays no favourites.”I did feel under the radar, even though I felt like I was one of the favorites in my own mind,” he said.”I think maybe because of the rain and how long the course was playing and obviously given the history of the tournament after they made the changes, that a lot of the longer players were guys that were in contention,” said Weir.”It kind of worked to my favour a little bit. Even though I was under the radar. I didn’t feel that way,” he added.If he wasn’t on the radar back then, he’s fallen off the screen in 2013 as Weir struggles to make cuts and swing changes after three seasons that have seen him battle injuries, as well. He may yet not be able to play at Augusta this year due to a rib injury.”The doc who looked at it says it’s most likely cartilage between the ribs that’s torn or inflamed, whatever you want to term it really. It didn’t show up on X-rays. He was looking more if I cracked a rib or something like that,” said Weir, who has pulled out of this week’s Shell Houston Open.”The tough thing is it’s a very re injurable spot given the nature of our sport and the turn and how you engage your abdominal muscles and rotate your rib cage. It’s a touchy thing, so I’ve got to be smart about this and be patient here in the next few days,” he said.With all of his struggles, all he has is the personal belief that he can turn it around, like he did at the 2003 Masters after missing the cut in Atlanta. Again, it’s nothing that will be obvious to strangers, but very real to the guy who needs it. “There’s no evidence on paper what I’ve shown that I can be in contention there except that I believe that I can in my own mind and I think that’s been my strongest asset of my career is that I have belief in myself, even though it doesn’t look like it from the scores and the way I’ve been playing,” said Weir.”I just feel like I’m going to find a way to get it done,” he said.That isn’t a bold statement about the Masters, just the next step of his career, but there’s little doubt that Augusta and Weir will always be together in the minds of most Canadians, one of which wrote “Weir Rules” on the back of a filthy transport on Hwy. 401 in Toronto.Ten years later, that artist may be settling in for another look at Weir through 4 Days In April: The Mike Weir Story, which will be aired during Masters week on Global and TSN.”It took me seven years just to become a PGA Tour player and just remembering where I came from. I think that’s the biggest thing,” said Weir of his thoughts on the production.”I was a pretty average professional golfer, less than average professional golfer. I was an average Canadian Tour player. By the time I left the Canadian Tour, I won a couple times and won the money list my last year, but up until that point, I was average, I guess,” he said.”I guess it just reminded me kind of what I’m going through right now, that I can figure it out. I figured it out one time, how to get there to the top and I’m kind of there again and that I can find it again,” added Weir.”I’ve always had kind of these struggles in my game. I guess reflecting that way just kind of puts things in perspective and makes me more determined at the point I’m at right now,” he said.