Golf Talk Live - Mike Weir Transcript Segment 1
MIKE WEIR HAS BEEN PLAYING SUCH SOLID GOLF ON THE PGA TOUR THAT IT WON'T BE LONG BEFORE HE STOPS BEING CALLED CANADIAN MIKE WEIR. AFTER ALL, WE DON'T CALL TIGER, AMERICAN TIGER WOODS.
ONCE EVERYONE DROPS THE IDENTIFYING WORD, CANADIAN, SOME FANS WON'T KNOW WHERE HE'S FROM, BUT EVERYONE WHO LOVES GOLF CAN CLEARLY SEE WHERE HE'S HEADED. HE'S ON HIS WAY TO BEING CALLED ALL WORLD MIKE WEIR, OR WHAT PLANET IS WEIR FROM.
MEET MIKE WEIR, NOW ON GOLF TALK LIVE.
MIKE WEIR HAS PLAYED WELL ENOUGH IN AMERICA TO BE COMPARED TO CANADA'S TWO MOST FAMOUS MALE GOLFERS, MO NORMAN, ONE OF THE GAME'S ALL TIME BEST BALL STRIKERS AND THE LATE GEORGE KNUDSEN, WHO ONE EIGHT TIMES ON THE PGA TOUR.
WEIR HAS TWO PGA TOUR VICTORIES AND THE SENSE IS, HE HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN TO DEMONSTRATE HIS CONSIDERABLE POWERS. MIKE LOVED HOCKEY, BUT WHEN HE GOT PUSHED AROUND BY PLAYERS BOTH BIGGER AND STRONGER,
HE TURNED HIS FOCUS TO GOLF, AND NOW ONLY GREAT COURSES CAN PUSH HIM AROUND, AND EVEN THOSE DAYS ARE NEARLY OVER. HE WAS THE ORDER OF MERIT LEADER IN 1997 ON THE CANADIAN TOUR, WHICH WAS A NATURAL EVOLUTION OF THE DATA POINTS FROM HIS EVER INCLUDED PLAY. HE WON THE
1986 CANADIAN JUVENILE CHAMPIONSHIP AND THE 1988 ONTARIO JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP. MIKE WON THE 1990 ONTARIO AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP AND WAS SECOND TEAM ALL AMERICAN AT BRIGHAM YOUNG IN 1992. THE 1993 CANADIAN TOUR ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
QUALIFIED FOR THE PGA TOUR IN '98, SHOWED PROMISE AND BECAME Q-SCHOOL MEDALLIST AT THE END OF THE YEAR. MIKE WASTED NO TIME BEFORE ANNOUNCING HIS DEFINITE ARRIVAL
AND WINNING THE AIR CANADA CHAMPIONSHIP FOR HIS FIRST PGA TOUR WIN IN 1999, AND HIS SECOND IN 2000 AND THE WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP AMERICAN EXPRESS CHAMPIONSHIP OVER THE WORLD'S OTHER BEST PLAYERS AT VALDERAMA PUSHED HIM PAST THE PROMISING STAGE. HE HAS OFFICIALLY
ARRIVED. AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS AT 30, AFTER 17 YEARS OF HARD WORK ON HIS GAME. WE EXPECT MORE NOW, BUT MIKE WEIR EXPECTS EVEN MORE OF HIMSELF, AND CANADA'S MIKE WEIR IS CERTAINLY BECOMING EVERYONE'S MIKE WEIR.
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE, I'M PETER KESSLER. GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD, MIKE WEIR. GREAT TO SEE YOU HERE.
THANKS PETER. GLAD TO BE HERE.
THANKS MIKE. YOU KNOW, NOT EVERYBODY IS COMFORTABLE WHEN THEY BECOME A CELEBRITY. HOW MUCH DO YOU LIKE YOUR INCREASING VISIBILITY IN THE WORLD?
WELL, UM, I GUESS, YOU KNOW, I JUST WANT TO BE MYSELF, AND, AND THAT COMES WITH THE TERRITORY OF PLAYING
SOME BETTER GOLF AND AS VISIBLE AS THE GAME IS NOW, AND AS POPULAR AS THE GAME IS NOW, I GET TO BE RECOGNIZED MORE, ESPECIALLY IN CANADA AND, UM, YOU KNOW, I TAKE IT ALL IN STRIDE, AND I JUST, I KNOW WHO I AM SO I DON'T, I DON'T PAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO IT.
WHO ARE YOU?
I'M JUST A REGULAR GUY FROM, FROM BRIGHTSGROVE. SMALL TOWN IN CANADA THAT'S, YOU KNOW, PAYS IT'S DUES, HAS WORKED HARD AND I WANT TO CONTINUE TO WORK HARD AND TRY TO SEE HOW GOOD I CAN GET AT THIS GAME.
YOUR POPULARITY IS SO INTENSE AT HOME IN CANADA THAT IT SEEMS LIKE YOU'RE CARRYING AROUND THE CANADIAN FLAG WHEREVER YOU GO. HOW GREAT IS THE HONOR TO DO THAT, AND HOW GREAT IS THE PRESSURE TO PLEASE?
WELL, YEAH, IT'S DEFINITELY A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH. I, I THINK EARLIER IN MY CAREER I FELT MORE PRESSURE OF THAT EXPECTATION THAT PEOPLE HAD OF ME BEING THE NEXT GREAT CANADIAN PLAYER. YOU KNOW, FOLLOWING IN THE
FOOTSTEPS OF, OF MO AND, AND GEORGE KNUDSEN AND UM SOME OTHER GREAT PLAYERS, STAN LEONARD AND YOU KNOW, EARLIER IN MY CAREER THAT DID, THAT DID KIND OF HINDER ME, YOU KNOW, KIND
OF PLAYED ON ME A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN WHAT IT DOES NOW. NOW, I'VE GOTTEN ONTO THE PGA TOUR AND I'VE HAD SOME SUCCESS AND NOW IT'S, IT'S A GREAT FEELING THAT, I FEEL MORE SUPPORT NOW THAN FEEL IT AS A BURDEN.
WHEN I DO GO TO, YOU KNOW, CITIES AROUND THE COUNTRY, JUST PLAYING IN MIAMI, THIS PAST WEEK, THERE'S A LOT OF CANADIANS DOWN, YOU KNOW, WINTERING DOWN HERE IN FLORIDA, AND YOU KNOW THEY COME OUT IN FULL
FORCE AND IT'S A FANTASTIC FEELING TO
HAVE THAT KIND OF SUPPORT.
YOU'RE EVEN MORE POPULAR AT HOME. IS THERE SOMEBODY YOU'D LIKE TO SAY HELLO TO?
YES, DEFINITELY, I WANT TO SAY HELLO TO MY WIFE, BRICIA, AND MY DAUGHTER, ELLE. HI ELLE. DADDY WILL BE HOME IN ONE MORE SLEEP.
THAT'S HOW KIDS RELATE, YOU KNOW, ONE MORE SLEEP, SO... HI
WHAT DOES SHE THINK ABOUT SEEING YOU ON TELEVISION, GENERALLY? IS SHE OLD ENOUGH? SHE'S THREE YEARS OLD NOW?
SHE'S THREE YEARS OLD, YEAH.
DOES SHE GOT TO, HAVE YOU GOTTEN A REACTION FROM HER SEEING YOU ON TELEVISION?
WELL SHE GETS ON THE PHONE WITH ME WHEN I'M AWAY AND, AND SHE TELLS ME, DADDY I SAW YOU ON TV AND THEN SHE JUST HANGS UP, QUICKLY. SHE DOESN'T TELL ME, YOU KNOW, ELABORATE ON IT, YET, SHE JUST TELLS ME I SAW YOU ON THE PHONE, UH, I PLAYED IN THE SAND BOX. HANGS UP AND UH, BUT I THINK SHE KNOWS A LITTLE BIT OF WHAT'S GOING
ON. YOU KNOW, TRAVELING OUT THERE AND COMING OUT TO THE EVENTS AND, AND WAITING FOR ME ON 18 A FEW TIMES. I THINK SHE KNOWS THAT DADDY DOES SOMETHING GOLF WISE, ANYWAYS.
WHEN YOU WERE NOT MUCH OLDER THAN SHE IS NOW AND YOU WERE PLAYING HOCKEY, THEY CALLED YOU AN AGGRESSIVE HOCKEY PLAYER. WHEN YOU PITCHED, THEY CALLED YOU A DOMINANT PITCHER. WHAT ADJECTIVE DO YOU THINK
BEST DESCRIBES THE KIND OF GOLF GAME THAT YOU PLAY?
UM... I WOULD SAY, WELL, DETERMINED, MORE THAN ANYTHING. IN THOSE OTHER SPORTS, YEAH, I WAS, I THINK, JUST BEING A SMALLER GUY, JUST, ESPECIALLY IN HOCKEY, YOU HAD TO, YOU HAD TO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF AND I LOVED THAT ASPECT
OF THE GAME AND IN GOLF, I, I THINK I'VE JUST I, I DIDN'T HAVE THAT MUCH NATURAL ABILITY. I HAD A LITTLE BIT I THINK. I HAD A GOOD SHORT GAME, AND KNEW HOW TO SCORE BUT MY SWING WAS KIND OF A WRECK, REALLY, WHEN I WAS
YOUNGER I JUST KNEW HOW TO SCORE AND SO IT'S COME THROUGH A LOT OF DETERMINATION AND HARD WORK SO I, I'D SAY DETERMINED IS... THE BEST WORD.
WHEN YOU HAVE A DAY LIKE YOU DID YESTERDAY AT THE GENUITY CLASSIC DOWN AT DORAL, WHEN YOU DON'T WIN, WHEN YOU HAVE THE LEAD, BUT PLAY A DECENT LAST ROUND, DO YOU LOOK AT IT AS THOUGH JOE DURANT PLAYED A BRILLIANT ROUND OF 65 IN THE WIND TO WIN, OR DO YOU LOOK AT IT THAT YOU
DIDN'T DO WHAT YOU NEEDED TO DO, FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW, TO BE ABLE TO OVERTAKE THAT AND WIN?
WELL, A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH. YOU KNOW, MY HAT'S OFF TO JOE FOR PLAYING A GREAT ROUND, UH, YOU KNOW, HE DID, HE PLAYED A WONDERFUL ROUND IN, IN THOSE CONDITIONS THAT PLAYED VERY DIFFICULT YESTERDAY, BUT AS I SAID, A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH. I DIDN'T GET MUCH
OUT OF MY ROUND YESTERDAY. I FELT LIKE I DID WHAT I NEEDED TO DO STARTING OUT AND THAT WAS DRIVE THE BALL WELL, PUT THE BALL IN POSITION OFF THE TEE WHICH I DID ALL DAY AND GIVE MYSELF SOME OPPORTUNITIES ON THE GREENS WHICH I DID. I JUST DIDN'T
CONVERT THEM. I HAD CHANCES AND, AND UH FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE, IS DISAPPOINTING THAT I DIDN'T, I DIDN'T MAKE A FEW MORE PUTTS. DIDN'T GET ANYTHING GOING ON THE BACK NINE AT ALL, AND FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE, YEAH, IT WAS DISAPPOINTING.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN FIERCELY COMPETITIVE?
ALWAYS, YEAH, VERY, VERY FIERCE COMPETITOR. ESPECIALLY WHEN I WAS YOUNGER. YEAH, I THINK I'VE, I'VE TEMPERED THAT OFF QUITE A BIT. AS I'VE GOTTEN OLDER I STILL LOVE TO COMPETE AND I'M STILL VERY, VERY COMPETITIVE I THINK.
WHEN I WAS YOUNGER THOUGH, I DID, I DID, I WASN'T A GOOD COMPETITOR AND BY THAT I MEAN, WHEN I GUESS I WASN'T A GOOD LOSER, AND, AND IF THERE WAS SOMEONE ON MY TEAM, BECAUSE I PLAY A LOT OF TEAM SPORTS, THAT WASN'T UP TO MY EXPECTATION OR, OR PLAYING THEIR GAME UP TO THEIR EXPECTATIONS OR WHAT I FELT LIKE SHOULD, THEY SHOULD BE PLAYING, I LET THEM KNOW THAT, EVEN IF IT WAS JUST IN A STREET HOCKEY
GAME AGAINST ONE, ONE BLOCK OF KIDS AGAINST OUR BLOCK, PLAYING A STREET HOCKEY GAME. IT WOULD BE VERY INTENSE AND THERE'D BE FIGHTS AND ALL KINDS OF STUFF GOING ON SO, IN THAT REGARD I'VE TEMPERED THAT BACK QUITE A BIT, BUT UM, I'VE ALWAYS BEEN VERY COMPETITIVE.
WHEN YOU WROTE TO JACK NICKLAUS WHEN YOU WERE EITHER 12 OR 13 AND ASKED HIM IF YOU SHOULD STAY PLAYING GOLF FROM THE LEFT SIDE OF THE GOLF BALL, DID YOU WRITE TO JACK BECAUSE HE WAS THE BEST PLAYER OR DID YOU
WRITE TO JACK BECAUSE IF HE WROTE YOU BACK YOU KNEW THAT YOU WOULD GET A THOUGHTFUL, GRACIOUS, INSIGHTFUL KIND OF AN ANSWER?
I THINK, YOU KNOW, MY HEAD PRO AT MY GOLF CLUB AT HERON OAKS WAS STEVE BENNETT AND HE WAS ALWAYS ENAMORED BY JACK AND LOOKED UP TO JACK AND YOU KNOW, HAD PICTURES IN HIS OFFICE AND IN 1980 CAME TO DO AN EXHIBITION AT HERON OAKS AND I WENT UP THERE AND WATCHED HIM FOR NINE HOLES,
AND YOU KNOW, WAS JUST TAKEN BY HIM AS WELL, AND THE WAY HE HANDLED HIMSELF AND YOU KNOW HE WAS BIGGER THAN LIFE FOR A TEN YEAR OLD. THAT'S FOR SURE, AND WHEN I WAS THINKING, ABOUT THIS GAME AS A CAREER AT A YOUNG AGE I THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, NOT A BETTER GUY TO ASK, ESPECIALLY, YOU KNOW, BEING INFLUENCED BY STEVE
WHO, WHO YOU KNOW LIKED JACK SO MUCH AND THEN MY DAD HELPED ME DRAFT UP A LETTER AND SEND IT OFF AND THAT WAS GREAT, YOU KNOW, FOR A 14 YEAR OLD KID TO GET THAT LETTER BACK. IT WAS, IT WAS PRETTY SPECIAL.
AND FOR A TEN YEAR OLD KID OR A FOURTEEN YEAR OLD KID, THAT'S NOT THE ONLY AGE THAT PEOPLE FELT THAT JACK WAS BIGGER THAN LIFE. A LOT OF PEOPLE OLDER THAN JACK
FELT THE SAME WAY ABOUT HIM.
WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A LITTLE BREAK AND WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH MIKE WEIR.
Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain
PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.
She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.
“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.
Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.
“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”
She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.
“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”
Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.
“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.
She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.
“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”
Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.
While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.
“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”
Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead
PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.
In fact, she named her “Mona.”
For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.
While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.
And that has her excited about this year.
Well, that and having a healthy back again.
“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”
Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”
Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.
She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”
Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.
Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders
PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.
Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.
Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.
Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.
Ko's struggles continue with Founders MC
PHOENIX – Lydia Ko loves the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and its celebration of the game’s pioneers, and that made missing the cut Friday sting a little more.
With a 1-over-par 73 following Thursday’s 74, Ko missed the cut by four shots.
After tying for 10th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in her last start, Ko looked to be turning a corner in her quest to find her best form again, but she heads to next week’s Kia Classic with more work to do.
“I just have to stay patient,” Ko said. “I just have to keep my head high.”
It was just the fifth missed cut in Ko’s 120 career LPGA starts, but her fourth in her last 26 starts.
Ko’s ball striking has been erratic this year, but her putting has been carrying her. She said her putting let her down Friday.
“It seemed like I couldn’t hole a single putt,” she said. “When I missed greens, I just wasn’t getting up and down. When I got a birdie opportunity, I wasn’t able to hole it.”
Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.
Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.
“Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”
Ko, 20, made those sweeping changes last year, starting 2017 with a new coach (Gary Gilchrist), a new caddie (Peter Godfrey) and new equipment (PXG). She made more changes at this year’s start, with another new coach (Ted Oh) and new caddie (Jonnie Scott).
Ko doesn’t have to look further than Michelle Wie to see how a player’s game can totally turn around.
“It always takes time to get used to things,” Ko said. “By the end of last year, I was playing solid. I’m hoping it won’t take as much time this year.”
Ko had Oh fly to Asia to work with her in her two starts before the Founders Cup, with their work showing up in her play at the HSBC in Singapore. She said she would be talking to Oh again before heading to the Kia Classic next week and then the ANA Inspiration. She has won both of those events and will be looking to pull some good vibes from that.
“This is my favorite stretch of events,” she said. “And I love the Founders Cup, how it celebrates all the generations that have walked through women’s golf. And I love the West Coast swing. Hopefully, I’ll make more putts next week.”
Ko, whose run of 85 consecutive weeks at Rolex world No. 1 ended last summer, slipped to No. 12 this week.