Mike Weir - Post-round 1 Transcript Excerpts
MIKE WEIR: No. 3, I got a great break there, I hit it -- just in the rough on the left-hand side, short of the bunker on the left, had I think about 140 yards, was trying to hack something out to have it land on the front of the green, hopefully run up there on the green, having to come out perfect land out of the rough, with top spin, rolled in the hole. I got a great break.
What did you hit?
MIKE WEIR: 9-iron.
MIKE WEIR: About 140 out of the rough. Then very next hole rolled in a ball, rolled in probably a 35-footer on the next hole. That was probably going eight feet past. I just got two great breaks right out of the gate. From there I settled down. I felt like I hit a good shot into five that just missed it. I guess I birdied 6, hit a great drive, I think 9-iron into 6 to, you know, eight feet, I think. Rolled that one right in. Made a nice save on the next hole from the back bunker. My putt was probably four feet. Then, No. 8, hit a really good drive, left myself a 4-iron from 220 yards, hit it about six feet with that 4-iron and played that putt. It could have been either way, I was 7-under, had a few breaks. I started playing better at that point. Hit a good shot in 9, just missed one, ten and eleven -- 10 I had about an eight foot putt and missed it. 11 I did not have a close chance. 12, I hit two shots down there, had about 70 yards. Hit it about six feet behind the hole, seven feet, made that putt. What else do we have here?
MIKE WEIR: 13 is par 3. Had a good drive on 14, 8-iron to probably 18 feet to the right of the hole. I made a really nice putt there. The par 3, probably 30 feet. 16, I hit a great drive, left myself 70 yards, did not hit a good pitch, to about 15 feet, missed that. 17 was off the left side of the green, chipped it up close, tapped it in. 18 hit a really nice drive, faded down around that bunker, left myself just a wedge on the last hole. Hit that probably I want to say twelve to fifteen feet behind the hole; made that putt. The putter was -- really was hot today. That was the key.
MIKE WEIR: Any time you shoot sub 30 nine holes, it kind of crosses your mind. I was trying to stay focused on the shot at hand. I was quickly I guess -- those thoughts flashed out of my mind when I hit -- hit a nice drive on ten, left of the bunker, rolled between the fringe cut and the fairway, just nestled right against there. If I was an inch out, I would have been able to hit a 3-wood on the green; I had a bad lie, pitched it down there. That was probably, if I was going to get anything from the back nine, probably needed something there. On ten and eleven you should have a good chance, I did not.
Q. Can you talk about your confidence level? You played very well over the last 6 or 9 months, can you talk about where you feel your game is and your confidence?
MIKE WEIR: The last year and a half or so, I have been playing a lot better, the more you are in contention to win tournaments, you feel like you belong more, like you belong in that position. At the start of the week, you know, there is just like a calm over you, a little more calm, the week is starting, if you stay patient, play your game, hopefully things will come along and you can be in contention. That has come through experience and a lot of experience through the Canadian and Australian tours I have played. I only have been out four years, but been a pro nine or ten years. Experience factor is huge.
Q. You touched upon this a minute ago, for the general public, there is sort of a biographical gap, between B Y U and coming out of Q-School. Can you fill us in?
MIKE WEIR: Those years what I did before coming to Q-School, I played the Canadian Tour. My routine kind of was play the Canadian Tour, which started early May and run through the end of September or mid-September. Then I go to the qualifying school. And miss. Then go down to Australia and play. I play like three or four tournaments before Christmas, come home, play three or four more, come home, then the Canadian Tour starts again. Try the routine again.
Q. How many times did you go to Q-School?
MIKE WEIR: Before I got my card the first time was, I got it on -- my card, on my fifth try. Then I had to go back the next year, again.
Q. Sounds like you had some -- that was a crime to get to where you are now?
MIKE WEIR: Sure. And a lot of lean years. My wife had to carry the bag, because we could not afford to pay a caddy. There are stories about that, about a lot of guys, not only myself. There were a lot of lean years.
Q. What makes you keep going?
MIKE WEIR: I think just perseverance, and love of the game. And a commitment to be better. That has always been -- I will always try to be better than I am now.
Q. Did you ever actually go hungry?
MIKE WEIR: No.
Q. Not know where your next meal was coming from?
MIKE WEIR: No. I had great sponsors in Canada that helped me get along. I was never starving, but it was like an apartment -- when I played in Australia, we got rid of the apartment, put everything in storage. When we came back, pulled everything out; get another apartment. That was kind of the deal for my wife and I for a few years.
Q. How discouraged did you get? Did you consider chucking it all?
MIKE WEIR: No, never considered chucking it all. Tried to consider how to get better.
Q. Where was it that you waited tables?
MIKE WEIR: Someone wrote that. That was just a total -- someone said that on TV, I think said I worked in an Italian restaurant. I said, where did you get that from. They got us mixed up. It wasn't me.
Q. What is the difference for you with your game, how are you so much better now?
MIKE WEIR: I changed my swing significantly in the last five years. That has been the major thing. I was never -- I always knew how to score but did not strike the ball that well. I told this story many times, being on the range besides Nick Price in the early '90s at the Canadian Open in 1994, hitting beside him, I had an exemption to the tournament, decided there is no way I can compete with this guy unless I do major changes to my game. It was at that point I searched and tried to make my swing better.
Q. You are on the leaderboard more and more over the last years. Have you noticed less and less, novelty of your being lefthanded, is that old hat?
MIKE WEIR: I think it is old hat, between Phil winning almost 20 times here now, I won a couple of times, Steve Flesch has been playing well the last couple of years, there are six of us out here now in total. I don't think it is a novelty any more.
Q. For around all the players, is there a still a buzz to it, if somebody shoots a 62 or so?
MIKE WEIR: I think so. I know the scoring has been a lot better this year, especially. Been a lot of low numbers, but the weather has to be right. Still you have to put the ball in the hole. I am still real excited about it.
Q. If this continues, not that you have to shoot four 60 rounds -- (inaudible)--
MIKE WEIR: Possibly. I don't know about all in mid-sixties. The course is definitely there for the taking a little bit, as the week goes on, the grind will get a little bit tougher, and faster, always when Saturday and Sunday comes, it is more difficult to shoot 62 than on Thursday. I have to keep doing what I am doing. Hopefully it will pan out.
Q. Is it fair to say Canada is a lot harder place to learn to be a good golfer than a lot of other places?
MIKE WEIR: Yes, I would agree with that. I never liked to use that as an excuse. It would be a little bit more difficult because of the weather factor.
Q. How far up are you from (the U.S.)?
MIKE WEIR: Only an hour, actually pretty much an hour west of Detroit, a little bit southwest of Toronto.
Q. I married a Canadian, that is why I am wondering. Is it hard for you to find -- you are happy with the coach you have now, did you find growing up that it was difficult for people who taught golfing to look at your swing and be able to look at all the moving parts, is that ever an issue for left-handers?
MIKE WEIR: I think it could be. It has not been for me; I am lucky. In the last two years, my coach, he has been swinging left-handed to train his brain and everything to be left-handed. He has gotten pretty good, actually (laughter. )
Q. You are coaching him?
MIKE WEIR: Yes. I do end up coaching him by the end of the day when we are working. Through my college years, I never worked on my swing, I learned how to score first, I had almost a slap-shot swing, shut club face, trap the ball and, really, from my old hockey
days, that is what I did, I swung, never really thought about it until, it was like in 1994, when I was hitting balls besides Nick Price, I was saying, I need to work on this, get my swing better. It is not -- sure, it is about creativity, imagination, using those assets, but you have to hit the ball solid.
Q. Anything after the Nick Price experience in 1994 that made the biggest difference?
MIKE WEIR: I think the first thing I did, I read Ben Hogan's 5 Fundamentals, was the first step. Studied the guy I played with, Nick Faldo's swing, Nick Price's swing quite a bit. I started working with a man named Clay Edwards out of Houston. That drive got a little old, from Salt Lake, 27-hour drive, the drive to Houston, was a little old. After a few times of that, I started looking elsewhere. Actually my caddy Brennan (ph) who used to work in Palm Desert, that is where Mike is, started taking lessons from Mike first before I did. I watched him take a lesson, got talking with Mike. We hit it off. I start working with him, as well.
Q. Mike, what you do feel like when you stand next to Nick Price on the range?
MIKE WEIR: I do not feel that, there is that big a gap as what there used to be. I still think he is -- as far as a -- as solid as he hits the ball, I don't know if there is anybody better. Tiger is right there with him, but Nick hits so solidly. I still love watching him hit balls. It is awesome to watch. There is -- when I hit balls beside him, it is not a factor I feel inferior. I feel if I put my game together, I can have as good a chance as anybody in the field.
Q. What was the difference in the confidence boost you got between winning in the first tournament in your home country and winning a Championship event with Tiger and Nick Price?
MIKE WEIR: I think one was -- was experience, I really hit on something, I made an 8 on that 17th hole Friday, was disappointed, because I was in the tournament, then fell back, I was 8 in on the weekend. I went to work hard in my hotel room, I had a mirror up, I was hitting okay, but I knew something was off. I got to the range, went a couple hours early to try their theory out on Saturday morning that I felt like, that was just off a little bit, more than just my ball position, shoulder alignment. And a little bit of my posture got sloppy. I went to the range, tried it out, felt good, had breakfast; had this new feeling of confidence, that I figured it out; that is what is excites you when you figure it out, then you see it on the range. When I went to the course on Saturday, the first tee I had a ton of confidence. I really did. My first bogey was on 15 on Sunday.
Q. Did the one give you more confidence than the other?
MIKE WEIR: The World Golf Championship gave me a lot more, just with the type of players right there at the end. Those are the guys that will be there for the next few years, I believe, contending in Majors and more golf championships and more important events. It is a win -- you can recall those from your memory banks in important situations.
Q. Do you think about that, who you are being pushed by or just -- how do you make yourself just concentrate on that golf?
MIKE WEIR: You have to concentrate on the ball, not watching the score board. There is time for that. You really have to focus on your own game and to the look who is creeping up the board, falling back or what is going on. There is a time for that. Like, for instance, Valderama, on 17, when the guys played big numbers, I did not know what was going on. I wanted to find out so I could play conservative; not have to take a chance. It would be a shame if I took a chance, thinking I had a one-shot lead and blew it, when I really had a three-shot lead. That is when I needed to know.
Q. With all the good scoring, and you wake up to a day like there, do you feel you have to move quickly, that you cannot be impatient because otherwise you will get blown away?
MIKE WEIR: No, you have to be really patient. You cannot get caught up in score, I believe, you have to go out, play your game. When I arrived Monday and played my practice round Tuesday, I could not believe how perfect condition the course is. The fairways are the best Bermuda I have ever seen. The greens are rolling well. You know there will be good scores. You have to stay patient. The ball will be rolling well on the greens. You have to stay patient. I felt like I was patient today, even though I shot 10-under. I got good breaks, it turning into 62. I did not force that 62 in there.
Q. Talk about the psychology of going low, when learning to play and start going low, is there a comfort level that you have to get passed that?
MIKE WEIR: Earlier in my career, it does take learning, takes discipline to keep going low. You have to stick to the same things; that is why when Bob asked me about No. 10, those are the things that keep you in the right frame of mind when you are distracted or, whatever distraction, you have to get back and do the same thing. That is -- if you keep doing the same things, you do not think about how low you are doing, you do the same thing.
Q. Is there a fear of going low; you want to hold on to your score?
MIKE WEIR: If you are not -- maybe some players. If you are not, you know, focused that way, you just -- just thinking, I am 6, 7-under, it keeps adding this anxiety or pressure, it makes it more difficult. I think that is experience in learning that. That takes practice, too.
Q. From what you said, the lefty thing is old; there is still a little bit of camaraderie, mainly dealing with equipment, what do you have, what do I have, comparison of notes?
MIKE WEIR: Yes. I will go to Flesch's bag, see what he has, irons or woods, he will do the same to me. That is the one factor that is still difficult out here, for a left-hander anywhere, when something comes out for a lefthander, it comes out longer. If you see something new, it is a neat novelty, you want to try it out.
Q. Substantial Canadian population in Florida, did you expect that?
MIKE WEIR: We had a great crowd following us today. Canadian fans are not only supportive not only in Canada, but everywhere I play. It is fantastic.
Return to Genuity Championship round one coverage.
With eye on Masters, Howell wins Match Play group
AUSTIN, Texas – Charles Howell III appears to have solved his match play mystery, advancing out of pool play for the second consecutive year after failing to play the weekend his first eight trips to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
The timing couldn’t have been better.
At 65th in the Official World Golf Ranking, Howell needs to advance to Sunday’s final four to move into the top 50 in the world and earn an invitation to the Masters, which is always a primary goal for the Augusta, Ga., native.
“Knowing that I need a big week here to get through, obviously, it's massive in match play,” said Howell, who will face Kiradech Aphibarnrat in the first stage of knockout play on Saturday. “Kiradech is an awesome player. I feel like I'm the underdog, and nothing to lose, I like that.”
Howell, who began the week as the 59th-seeded player, was unbeaten in pool play, defeating Phil Mickelson on Day 1 and securing his spot in the weekend with a 2-and-1 victory over Satoshi Kodaira on Friday.
Although Saturday’s matches may have a qualifying feel for Howell, who last played the Masters in 2012, he’s also in the field for next week’s Houston Open and could earn a spot at Augusta National with a victory there.
McIlroy to rest, play Augusta after early exit at Match Play
AUSTIN, Texas – For the second consecutive year, Rory McIlroy failed to advance out of pool play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but there was a silver lining for last week’s champion.
McIlroy, who lost on Friday, 5 and 3, to Brian Harman, said he didn’t have much time to recharge following his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and having the weekend off will give him a chance to prepare for what promises to be an intense build up to this year’s Masters.
The Northern Irishman will travel to Augusta National on Wednesday for what he said will be a 54- to 72-hole, two-day practice session.
“Me and [caddie Harry Diamond] are going up, two members are hosting us, we're going to have a couple of social runs Wednesday and Thursday,” McIlroy said. “I’ll rest up a little bit, recharge the batteries, get into the gym. Sort of have a good week training and a good practice week. And just get myself ready for Augusta.”
McIlroy is listed among the favorites at the Masters, where he could complete the career Grand Slam if he were to win.
Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.
(Note: Group winners are highlighted; * equals won in playoff)
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3||Group 4|
|(1) D. Johnson: 0-2-0||(2) J. Thomas: 3-0-0||(3) J. Rahm: 0-2-1||(4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0|
|(32) K. Kisner: 1-0-1||(21) F. Molinari: 2-1-0||(28) K. Aphibarnrat: 3-0-0||(19) P. Reed: 2-0-0|
|(38) A. Hadwin: 1-0-1
||(48) P. Kizzire: 1-2-0||(43) C. Reavie: 1-1-1||(34) H. Li: 0-2-0|
|(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-1-0
||(60) L. List: 0-3-0||(63) K. Bradley: 0-1-2||(49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0|
|Group 5||Group 6||Group 7||Group 8|
|(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-1-0||(6) R. McIlroy: 1-2-0||(7) S. Garcia: 3-0-0||(8) J. Day: 1-1-0|
|(30) P. Cantlay: 1-1-0
||(18) B. Harman: 2-0-1||(20) X. Schauffele: 2-1-0||(25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-1-0|
|(46) C. Smith: 2-0-0||(44) J. Vegas: 0-2-1||(41) D. Frittelli: 1-2-0||(42) J. Dufner: 1-1-0|
|(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-2-0||(51) P. Uihlein: 2-1-0||(62) S. Sharma: 0-3-0||(56) J. Hahn: 1-1-0|
|Group 9||Group 10||Group 11||Group 12|
|(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0||(10) P. Casey: 2-1-0||(11) M. Leishman: 0-2-1||(12) T. Hatton: 2-0-0|
|(26) D. Berger: 0-2-0||(31) M. Fitzpatrick: 1-2-0||(23) B. Grace: 1-1-1||(22) C. Hoffman: 0-2-0|
|(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0||(45) K. Stanley: 2-1-0||(35) B. Watson: 2-0-1||(36) B. Steele: 1-1-0|
|(58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0||(51) R. Henley: 1-2-0||(64) J. Suri: 1-1-1||(55) A. Levy: 1-1-0|
|Group 13||Group 14||Group 15||Group 16|
|(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0||(14) P. Mickelson: 2-1-0||(15) P. Perez: 0-1-1||(16) M. Kuchar: 1-0-1|
|(29) T. Finau: 2-0-0||(17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-2-0||(24) G. Woodland: 0-1-1||(27) R. Fisher: 1-1-0|
|(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0||(40) S. Kodaira: 0-3-0||(37) W. Simpson: 1-0-1||(47) Y. Ikeda: 1-1-0|
|(61) K. Na: 0-2-0||(59) C. Howell III: 3-0-0||(50) S.W. Kim: 1-0-1||(54) Z. Johnson: 0-1-1|
Match-by-match: WGC-Dell Technologies, Day 3
Here is how things played out on Day 3 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as 64 players take on Austin Country Club with hopes of advancing out of pool play. Click here for Day 2 match results:
Group 1: Dustin Johnson (1) vs. Kevin Kisner (32)
Group 1: Adam Hadwin (38) vs. Bernd Wiesberger (52)
Group 2: Justin Thomas (2) def. Francesco Molinari (21), 7 and 5: Looking like the man to beat, Thomas put Molinari in an early 3-down hole and kept applying pressure, putting him away with seven birdies in one of the most lopsided results of the week – and in a battle of two unbeatens. Thomas can become world No. 1 with a victory this week.
Group 2: Patton Kizzire (48) def. Luke List (60), 4 and 2: One down through seven holes, Kizzire won four consecutive holes around the turn and coasted to his first win of the week.
Group winner: Justin Thomas
Group 3: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (28) def. Jon Rahm, 4 and 3: Unbeaten through two days, Aphibarnrat put the hammer down on Rahm, last year’s finalist. Barnrat needed only three birdies to secure the group win, while Rahm dropped to 0-2-1 for the week.
Group 3: Chez Reavie (43) vs. Keegan Bradley (63), halved: With the group already decided as they played the closing stretch, Bradley coughed up a late lead for the third consecutive round, halving the match on 18 and finishing the week with a 0-1-2 record that could (and should) have been so much better.
Group winner: Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Group 4: Jordan Spieth (4) vs. Patrick Reed (19)
Group 4: Haotong Li (34) vs. Charl Schwartzel (49)
Group 5: Hideki Matsuyama (5) vs. Patrick Cantlay (30)
Group 5: Cameron Smith (46) vs. Yusaku Miyazato (53)
Group 6: Brian Harman (18) def. Rory McIlroy (6), 5 and 3: Harman took advantage of McIlroy’s missed putts and uncharacteristic mistakes to build a 3-up advantage on the front nine, then cruised to a lopsided victory. At 2-0-1, Harman wins the group, while McIlroy can begin his prep for Augusta.
Group 6: Jhonattan Vegas (44) vs. Peter Uihlein (57) def. Jhonattan Vegas (44), 4 and 3: Even though Uihlein won the first two holes on his way to routing Vegas, it wasn’t enough for the former U.S. Amateur champion to advance. He finished the week 2-1.
Group winner: Brian Harman
Group 7: Sergio Garcia (7) def. Xander Schauffele (20), 3 and 1: Two down with seven to play in this battle of unbeatens, Garcia birdied the 12th and 13th holes to square the match, then pulled ahead with a pair of birdies on 15 and 16 and a conceded birdie on 17, after Schauffele tugged his tee shot into the hazard.
Group 7: Dylan Frittelli (41) def. Shubhankar Sharma (62), 1 up: In a match with nothing at stake but a little extra cash and some world-ranking points, Frittelli shot 4 under and held off Sharma throughout to earn his first point of the week.
Group winner: Sergio Garcia
Group 8: Jason Day (8) vs. Louis Oosthuizen (25)
Group 8: Jason Dufner (42) vs. James Hahn (56)
Group 9: Tommy Fleetwood (9) vs. Daniel Berger (26)
Group 9: Kevin Chappell (33) vs. Ian Poulter (58)
Group 10: Matthew Fitzpatrick (31) def. Paul Casey (10), 3 and 2: After looking unstoppable over the first two days of pool play, Casey never led against his fellow Englishman, going 3 down after five holes. It was Fitzpatrick’s first point of the week, and Casey lost on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.
Group 10: Kyle Stanley (45) def. Russell Henley (51), 1 up: Stanley flipped an early 2-down deficit and rolled in a 10-footer birdie putt on the final hole to beat Henley and earn a full point to force the sudden-death playoff with Casey. On the second playoff hole, Stanley poured in a 5-footer for birdie to advance.
Group winner: Kyle Stanley
Group 11: Marc Leishman (11) vs. Branden Grace (23), halved: Already eliminated, Leishman kept Grace from reaching the pool-play playoff by never trailing in the match. Though the South African holed a 25-footer on 17 to extend it, both players halved the 18th hole with birdies, including a 6-footer from Leishman, to earn a half-point.
Group 11: Bubba Watson (35) vs. Julian Suri (64), halved: Needing just a half-point to advance, but two down with two to go, Bubba stuffed his tee shot on 17, then hit his driver pin-high on the home hole. After Suri couldn’t get up-and-down for birdie, Watson sank his 8-footer for the halve. It's the second consecutive year in which Watson has won his group.
Group winner: Bubba Watson
Group 12: Charley Hoffman (22) def. Tyrrell Hatton (12), 3 and 2: After playing poorly for the first two days, Hoffman finally found his form against the previously unbeaten Hatton, making five birdies en route to a stress-free victory.
Group 12: Brendan Steele (36) vs. Alexander Levy (55)
Group 13: Alex Noren (13) vs. Tony Finau (29)
Group 13: Thomas Pieters (39) vs. Kevin Na (61)
Group 14: Phil Mickelson (14) def. Rafa Cabrera Bello (17), 1 up: Mickelson needed help to advance, but he took care of Cabrera Bello, making birdie on the last two holes to edge the Spaniard. The group was already decided, however, with Howell closing out his match while the other group played the 18th hole.
Group 14: Charles Howell III (59) def. Satoshi Kodaira (40), 2 and 1: Needing just a halve to advance, Howell won the 14th and 16th holes with par to gain a 2-up advantage and complete a perfect week in pool play. It’s the second year in a row that Howell has won his group.
Group winner: Charles Howell III
Group 15: Gary Woodland (24) def. Pat Perez, 1 up: Though the group was already decided, Woodland surrendered a 2-up lead but made a birdie when it mattered most, on the final green, to secure his first full point of the week.
Group 15: Si Woo Kim (50) def. Webb Simpson (37), 2 up: Kim led 4 up after seven holes, but he played only 2 under the rest of the way and, fortunately for him, ran out of holes. He won the group with 2 ½ points.
Group winner: Si Woo Kim
Group 16: Matt Kuchar (16) vs. Ross Fisher (27)
Group 16: Yuta Ikeda (47) vs. Zach Johnson (54)