RBC Canadian Open

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Ancaster, Ontario, Canada

Hamilton Golf and Country Club

Mike Weir

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Mike Weir to the interview room here at the 2024 RBC Canadian Open Mike, let's start with some thoughts about the golf tournament. You're making your 31st start. You have a ton of history here. This is your National Open. So can you just start us with some thoughts and excitement to be back.

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, super excited to be back. 31 years. I was telling somebody the other day, I remember my first one, you know, like doesn't feel that long ago, but obviously it is. I qualified when I was a college player. I was home for the summer and Monday qualified and beat a couple PGA TOUR players to get into the Monday, through the Monday qualifying. This place is really special. After I won the Masters in 2003 the Canadian Open was here that year. I remember teeing off 10 on Thursday and just the reception. It was the last tournament my grandfather got to watch me play. I remember coming up 18 and seeing him on the balcony. So special memories around here for me.

THE MODERATOR: Canadian golf is in a really strong place. Right now we have a historic 28 Canadian players in the field. How proud does it make you to know how strong it is right now?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, it's super strong. I was saying at the Golf Foundation the other day, on Monday, you know, in my day, everybody looked to Australia and Sweden and they were turning out lots of players, South Africa. Canada's a country right now that are turning out so many players, so super proud of that what Golf Canada has done is great. Their development program, it's working. We just have a lot of talent in this country. It's showing now. 28 players in the field, 27, that's incredible.

THE MODERATOR: This is a big year, it's a Presidents Cup year, you're captain of the International Team. Being here in Canada and surrounded by a lot of the guys who are either going to make your team or potentially be a pick, what does this week look like for you, how do you balance playing in a PGA TOUR event and having your captaincy responsibilities?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, this week kind of putting the captain's stuff on the back burner. I chatted with Adam Scott a little this morning and Camilo is one of my assistants, he's here, I haven't caught up to him yet. But trying to let the guys just play, especially the Canadian guys, they got a lot on their plates, busy week, and not bother them with any team dinners or anything this week. We've had a couple of those. It's coming together well. I keep my eye on our team and how it changes week-to-week. The movement of players up and down. Yeah, it's exciting. We've got a lot of great players. I said to all the guys in the room that when we've had these dinners, that it's going to be a hard team to make. There's a lot of guys playing really well. They all seem very eager to make the team, so that makes my job easy, because they really want to be on there. I think we'll be 12 players strong.

THE MODERATOR: Great. We'll open to questions.

Q. You're obviously well aware that George Cumming holds the record with 32 Canadian Open appearances. How much would it mean to you to catch George next year, since he has such an important place in Canadian golf history?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, it was brought to my attention, I didn't realize I was right there with most consecutive played. Yeah, that would be a nice little cap. I want to keep playing as long as I feel competitive, and I do, I feel as competitive as I have in a long time, actually. My game feels like it's in a great place to play great here this week, and as long as I feel that I'll keep going.

Q. You mentioned the International Team dinners. We've heard about them, Taylor Pendrith mentioned them earlier today. How important are those in terms of building a cohesion in the potential team members, especially given everyone's from different countries?

MIKE WEIR: Well, that's what it's all about is to get our guys together, get them familiar with one another so they are comfortable with one another when they see each other on a Tuesday and maybe want to play a practice round together. It's about building not only for this year but the future of our International Team. We've had a lot of players in these dinners that a lot of guys -- 12 of the guys will make it, but there's probably, there's been 30 or some odd guys between the two dinners we had so far this year, so a lot of guys won't make it. But I think they get to see how special it is and the bond that we have and that they will be striving for 2026, for those who don't make it, and beyond. It's such a global game now, we have great talent around the world internationally and hopefully we keep making strides with our team and that that we'll be really strong going forward.

Q. Wanted to ask you a little bit about last year and being on the green for Nick's crazy moment and, you know, you've been part of a lot of moments in Canadian golf where people remember you, where they were when you were doing big things. What do you remember about that experience last year?

MIKE WEIR: Well a few things, I finished my round a little bit earlier in the day, maybe at noon or something. I went back, I was staying at a friend's house that week, took a nap. When I woke up, Nick was somewhere middle of the back nine, 13 or 14 or something. He was close, maybe a couple back. I was texting with my brother, I said, hey, I'm going to head over to the course, I just got a good feeling. So I went back over there, and by the time I got down there he was probably on maybe 16 or something by that time. You could just, I don't know, there was just a sense that something special was going to happen, at least I could feel that. Then it ended up being such an iconic, really fun thing for everybody, obviously for him, but for all the fans and everybody in the world of golf and Canada, it was really special. It was kind of unique. There was so many players around because there was that charter plane going to the U.S. Open, so there was a lot of players. A lot of Tommy's buddies were cheering for him and all of us Canadian guys were cheering for Nick. It was a really cool scene, so it was a great memory.

Q. You mentioned your own competitiveness. We have seen it on the Senior Tour this year, last year. Do you feel that can translate into a PGA TOUR event? We have seen some of your compatriots do it. Do you like your chances?

MIKE WEIR: I do, yeah. I'm playing good. I came off a good week last week. I'm playing very well. I haven't been putting very well. I made a slight adjustment this week and I feel really good about the change, and so I'm excited to putt this week, I haven't been able to say that in a while. The Masters, I missed the cut by a shot there, and just putted awful. If I would have putted even average I felt like I would have been probably top 20 into the weekend. So my game's still there, my scoring hasn't been there, but now with this little adjustment with putting hopefully makes a little bit of a difference, and it's a golf course I feel that I can compete on.

Q. Mackenzie Hughes was in here earlier and he called you the godfather of Canadian golf. When you were playing there was maybe two or three, and then Graham DeLaet and David Hearn came along and there was two or three, and now we got six in the top 100. For you, kind of looking at that generation that we have right now, how impressive is it to you?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, it's impressive. Like you said, there was only a couple of us when I was playing that were on the TOUR and all those players are really good too. Like you said, top-100 players, and all very capable. Nick won last year, but all of 'em are very capable of winning this week or any event on the PGA TOUR, and hopefully some bigger events going forward. I think Nick cracked the seal and I think now we don't have to talk about that 70-year wait or whatever it was anymore. Hopefully, some more guys will break through the door here and get more and more and with the talent we have, it can happen.

Q. Where were you, what was your reaction when the framework agreement was announced a year ago at this tournament?

MIKE WEIR: I was on the golf course, somewhere on the golf course at Oakdale. I forget who I was playing with, happened to be looking at their phone. I saw that and I thought, hmm, that might be fake news, I don't know. But I was on the golf course, yeah.

Q. Your decision to not have LIV players be part of the International Team --

MIKE WEIR: Not my decision.

Q. That's what I was wondering.

MIKE WEIR: No, it's not my decision. They're suspended from the PGA TOUR, and the Presidents Cup's a PGA TOUR event. So, I know, last time somebody said to me it was my decision not to, but it's not my decision. They knew when they went to LIV they were suspended from the PGA TOUR, and the Presidents Cup's a PGA TOUR event.

Q. What's your fondest memory of your Presidents Cup match with Tiger?

MIKE WEIR: My fondest memory? Boy, I think probably the fans. I think when I made -- you know, I was 1-down, I guess, going to 17, and he just missed his birdie putt on 17, so I had a putt to pull even. Making that putt, the roar was, even Tiger was on the back of 17 after I made it, and was walking back there, and he said, wow, that's about as loud as I've ever heard, and that's something. Yeah, that moment was really cool.

Q. With the Presidents Cup and so many Canadians kind of with a chance to qualify for the team, is that, like, emotionally, like, is it cool for you? Obviously you want, need to divest from emotion and be analytic in your decision, but what's it like knowing that there's a realm that you could have half the team of Canadians?

MIKE WEIR: (Laughing). Yeah, it's really cool. They're playing well and hopefully those guys keep continuing to play well, and then it makes my decision easier if they keep playing well. But, yeah, there's a chance. There's a chance to be two, three, four, maybe five if there's some great play coming up. There's a couple guys just kind of creeping down into the mid teens there, but if they play well, a lot of things can happen. Taylor Pendrith wins and he goes from somewhere in the 20s right up to about 14 or something. So, you have some good weeks, you can leap frog a lot of guys. There's still a couple majors left, some Signature Events, so there's a lot of, there's going to be a lot of movement here in the next couple of months. We have until mid August, so be still a lot of movement.

Q. In a general sense, not to ask for too many specifics, but the selection process, what are a couple of the things that you and your vice captains think about when you're kind of mapping a plan for how you're going to make your selections?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, there's a lot of things. There's team chemistry, that's one. I think there's playing, who is playing well at the time. You want guys playing well. You don't want guys backing into a spot on the team. You want guys kind of moving up. You want good short game guys. I mean, these matches always come down to key short game shots, key putts made, key moments. Each match is like a mini major, that's kind of the feel you have out there when you're playing these matches, the intensity. There's a lot of big -- you make a big putt to halve a guy or you chip one in, those are big things that can happen with just short game. So, those are all the things that we look at, and we'll be talking about as it starts to get a little bit closer.

Q. I was watching your range session just down there and you were doing a lot of work with the bands. Anything you're working on specifically in your game maybe to fit like the new redesign here at Hamilton?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, sure. I mean, my arms tend to, if you think of the swing a bit of a triangle, my arms tend to spread apart a little bit. That's why I do that. David Leadbetter, my coach, that's something we're trying to keep an eye on and been working on the last few months. So just kind of some maintenance things. Just kind of chip away at all these little -- I have a few little drills that kind of achieve the same thing, and you just kind of work through those drills and get a feel and, yeah, just maintenance.

Q. Obviously, you're the captain for the upcoming Presidents Cup, but being played in Canada, Montreal, are you thinking about naming a captain among your players during the event, like choosing a player just to lead the show, lead the team moving forward?

MIKE WEIR: I mean, yeah, we kind of have talked about that. We have a guy in mind that's, you know, well, I mean, Adam Scott's kind of the leader. I mean, I don't know, if he makes the team this will be -- what would it be like 11 or 12? 11 consecutive teams, which is incredible. So, naturally, he's kind of the guy that all the players respect and like and he's a natural leader. He's going to be a captain one day. So I think the guys all look to him as kind of the player captain.

Q. Any runner-up if he's not there?

MIKE WEIR: (Laughing). I haven't really thought about it, so, I don't know. I don't know, if Scotty's not there, I don't know if I would have, like, a designated captain.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
144612-2-1044 2024-05-29 23:27:00 GMT

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