Notes Weir Back on Track


04 Mercedes ChampionshipsKAPALUA, Hawaii -- A former Masters champion who is one of the top 10 players in the world ranking, Mike Weir had ample opportunity to rake in some easy money during the silly season.
Instead, the 34-year-old Canadian shut it down after the Tour Championship in early November and had one of his longest breaks from golf since he joined the PGA Tour.
But this was no vacation.
While he did go skiing with his family in Utah, Weir also spent a lot of time with swing coach Mike Wilson in the California desert, tightening a game that he thought was getting away from him last year.
``I was getting a little bit of a reverse pivot, and the length of my swing was getting very long,'' Weir said. ``It was causing me some problems, and then I just didn't feel real comfortable with my putting all year. That was the major thing I worked on - more stability with my putting and getting the stroke under control a little bit more.''
The putting problems were never more obvious than at the Canadian Open.
Weir looked like a shoo-in to become the first Canadian to win his national open in 50 years - on the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Open, no less - until his putting abandoned him the final two rounds. He blew a late lead, missed a 5-foot putt to win in the playoff, and eventually watched Vijay Singh pose with the trophy.
``That played on my mind as the weeks went on after the Canadian Open, and I think maybe that played into something in the offseason that, 'Hey, I need to work on my putting,''' he said.
The problem with his putting was mainly in the setup. Weir found himself moving around, which led to bad posture. He was four shots behind going into the final round at the Mercedes Championships, getting there with a 63 in the second round. And whatever happens this week, that showed his work already was paying off.
``When you're making putts on these greens, I know I'm on the right track,'' he said.
Chad Campbell has a golf bag that looks like it belongs to a PGA Tour rookie or struggling journeyman, not someone who has won each of the last two years.The bag is blank except for his name.
Campbell did not renew his equipment deal with Cleveland, and while there was no shortage of offers the last few months, he wants to take his time deciding which way to go. For now, the 30-year-old Texan is playing Ping.
``I've had opportunities in the offseason, but I'm going to play with what I
like,'' Campbell said. ``I've played these irons for a long time.''
Campbell said he tried three other brands the last few months - he declined to say which, although he had Hogan irons in his bag at the Target World Challenge. He used Ping during his college career at UNLV, and during his successful run through the Hooters and Nationwide tours.
There is no rush to have an equipment contract.
``Right now, we'll just wait and see,'' he said. ``I'm only worried about playing good golf.''
Vijay Singh has won twice with his trainer, Joey Diovisalvi, working as his caddie. Singh said there is good karma between the two, but it only lasts so long in the player-caddie relationship.
Diovisalvi is a whiz at creating fitness routines. He certainly is strong enough to carry a bag, especially on a mountainous course like the Plantation at Kapalua. But he's not a pro caddie, so Singh does a lot of the leg work.
``It gives me a lot better feel of where I need to hit on the greens and where the pin is,'' he said. ``At times when you do that, you get more focused on pin placement, where the trouble is, where you've got to hit it. But it's also a hassle, running around and doing your own yardages. I kind of get tired of it after two weeks. That's why I'm getting my old caddie back.''
Diovisalvi also will work next week in the Sony Open, but Paul Tesori will return to caddie in San Diego. Singh already has split with Dave Renwick, the Scot on the bag during his rapid rise to No. 1 in the world.
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