Mike Weir: Little Big Man

Mike Weir: Little Big Man

You know what bugs me? When I'm playing with another Tour player and I say, "Good shot," and he doesn't acknowledge it. I'll get in his face again and say, "Good shot!" until he answers me.

I have a superstition. I alternate ball markers from a Canadian loonie to a quarter to an Italian lira. My grandfather gave me the lira when I was a kid, and I still have it, and my mom's side is Italian.

The shot I'd like over? It was one I hit against that turkey [points to Vijay Singh walking by] on the 18th at last year's Canadian Open. I hit a good drive on a par 5 and had a 7-iron left, but I hooked it into the back bunker and made bogey. I should have two-putted for the win.

Something happened that day that a lot of people don't know about. It was so loud and intense. I had to yawn to pop my ears because so many people were screaming–it was like a rock concert. The ropes were really tight. People were pushing in. I was playing great. I had the lead. I birdied 10. Then a guy in a hockey jersey who'd had too much to drink grabbed me by the neck and shoulder as I walked by. He gave me a "Way to go, Weirsie!" and gave me a big pull. I strained my neck, so I can't move my head to the right. No excuses, but that's caused a lot of my [struggles] this year.

Years ago, at the Canadian Open, I was next to Nick Price on the range, and he's hitting these lasers–they're going right at every pin, every spot he's looking at. And I'm hitting these foul balls everywhere. And I thought, "If I played this guy 100 times, I might beat him once, maybe, in 18 holes. In a full tournament? No chance." I knew right then that I needed to change my game, to work harder and I did.

I don't watch a lot of TV. We have kids, so Kim Possible is on a lot. As for movies, I loved The Incredibles. I played with Sam Jackson at the Hope and called my daughter, Elle, and told her that I'd played golf with Frozone. It was pretty cool.

People don't realize how difficult the courses on Tour are. It's a fine line between shooting a great score and shooting 80 and missing the cut. When guys say they're close after shooting a 74, Tour players can relate. Fans think you must have chopped it up, but a couple of bounces left or right, or a roll of the ball, that can be the difference between going home and going low.

My unluckiest shot came in Houston last year. The pin on the 17th was tucked behind the water. My ball flew into the cup, hit the bottom and popped out into the water. I went from making an ace to making a double-bogey! I missed the cut.

My luckiest shot? [Smiles] I don't hit lucky shots. Whenever something good happens, I meant to do it.

Hit wicked wedges
Mike Weir makes up for a lack of length with a wicked wedge game. Here are his three keys to stuffing the three-quarter wedge.
Setup narrow your stance, with your feet hip-width apart and the ball just left of center. Grip down on the handle for control and stand closer to the ball to compensate for making the club shorter.
Backswing Turn until your left arm is about parallel to the ground; hinge your wrists fully, creating a 90-degree angle between your lead forearm and the club. Keep your feet planted and knees level to avoid over-swinging.
Downswing Turn your chest to the target while keeping your lower body quiet. This is key: You must rotate your body through the shot. Your speed coming down controls your power at impact–and the shot's distance.

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