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Golf Talk Live - Mike Weir Transcript Segment 1

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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.
 
PETER KESSLER
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.
 
MIKE WEIR
THANKS PETER. GLAD TO BE HERE.
 
PETER KESSLER
THANKS MIKE. YOU KNOW, NOT EVERYBODY IS COMFORTABLE WHEN THEY BECOME A CELEBRITY. HOW MUCH DO YOU LIKE YOUR INCREASING VISIBILITY IN THE WORLD?
 
MIKE WEIR
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.
 
PETER KESSLER
WHO ARE YOU?
 
MIKE WEIR
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.
 
PETER KESSLER
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?
 
MIKE WEIR
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.
 
PETER KESSLER
YOU'RE EVEN MORE POPULAR AT HOME. IS THERE SOMEBODY YOU'D LIKE TO SAY HELLO TO?
 
MIKE WEIR
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.
 
PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS)
 
MIKE WEIR
THAT'S HOW KIDS RELATE, YOU KNOW, ONE MORE SLEEP, SO... HI
 
PETER KESSLER
WHAT DOES SHE THINK ABOUT SEEING YOU ON TELEVISION, GENERALLY? IS SHE OLD ENOUGH? SHE'S THREE YEARS OLD NOW?
 
MIKE WEIR
SHE'S THREE YEARS OLD, YEAH.
 
PETER KESSLER
DOES SHE GOT TO, HAVE YOU GOTTEN A REACTION FROM HER SEEING YOU ON TELEVISION?
 
MIKE WEIR
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.
 
PETER KESSLER
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?
 
MIKE WEIR
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.
 
PETER KESSLER
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?
 
MIKE WEIR
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.
 
PETER KESSLER
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN FIERCELY COMPETITIVE?
 
MIKE WEIR
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.
 
PETER KESSLER
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?
 
MIKE WEIR
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.
 
PETER KESSLER
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.
 
MIKE WEIR
(LAUGHS) YEAH
 
YEAH.
 
PETER KESSLER
WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A LITTLE BREAK AND WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH MIKE WEIR.
 
(MUSIC)
 
(BREAK)
 
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