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May 6, 2003

Mike Weir


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Masters Champion, Mike Weir, welcome to the Wachovia Championship.

If we could get some comments on you from the last three weeks, I'm sure it's been a life change, but I'm sure it's been a good one so far for you.

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, it's been busy, but it's been a real good busy the last three weeks. I decided to get back out here and play a great golf course, a great tournament it looks like they have set up this week. So trying to shake a little rust off today and get as much work in as I could. Really, it's the first round of golf I've played in three weeks today.

So, had some good time off and got to reminisce a little bit about the tournament and talked with a lot of people about it, where they were when they were watching it. That was kind of neat to share it with a lot of people. But excited to be here right now.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: No, I flew back -- I sat in the cockpit.

There has not been really anything odd. I would say they named a street after me in Draper where I live, which is kind of something I didn't expect, I guess. Nothing really strange to me. Got to go to the hockey game the next day which was exciting, that was an incredible ovation in Toronto. They gave me a signed basketball at the Jazz basketball game, so that was exciting, as well.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, it was pretty windy.

Q. How is the course playing and how much do you think this rain we are getting is going to affect conditions for Thursday through Sunday?

MIKE WEIR: Well, the fairways were already very wet out there, so we weren't getting any roll. It will be interesting to see if it does keep raining, maybe lift, clean and place might be an option because it is pretty wet. There was already quite a bit of casual water out there before this. The course is playing long and in tremendous condition. The greens are rolling. Not quite up to speed with what they want them to, probably because they have not had the mower on, but one of best golf courses and one of best layouts I've seen in my six years on the Tour playing out here.

It's a real good challenge. You have to drive the ball in the fairway and then your difficulty is really around the greens, there's a lot of slope around the greens putting. When the greens do get up in speed, it's going to be a little more difficult. Probably not difficult right now because they are not fast but when they get fast, it will be really difficult.

Q. Do you feel there are more expectations of you now that you are a Masters Champion?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, I think there's a little more expectation on my game outside of myself now.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: Absolutely. I had quite a few things to do and requests the last few weeks, and basically took about a week and a half off, really didn't do much of anything and then I started back into my training and working out and doing those things. The weather has not been great and I haven't practiced a whole lot, but kind of getting back into the flow of my game plan for the rest of the year.

Q. Are you comfortable or uncomfortable with celebrity in general?

MIKE WEIR: I don't think it's a natural thing for anybody, really, but for me it's not a natural thing. But it comes with the territory and I'll deal with it.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: Sure, by players or by the public?

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: I think it was probably considered a good player, but I don't know if I was considered -- I never considered anybody who has not won a major a great player. I would say I was considered probably in my eye, in my mind's eye, probably a good player, but maybe I'm turning into a much better player, a great player.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, it's probably a little more. There's a lot that goes along with it. Winning the tournament, standing on the green when it was all said and done was the moment it hit me most and satisfied as a player. The ceremony was fantastic, perfect night up there, the green jacket ceremony was really nice. I think just the satisfaction of 73 holes of really hard work, I think it really hit me of what I accomplished. And so to answer your question, it felt better than I thought it would at that moment.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: I think most guys are in the same boat, a few guys have played the golf course but just getting used to the nuances of the golf course, where balls break, if there's a water feature, everything breaks -- getting used to all of the little things. Any time you play a course more, you'll find things that may save you a shot or two here and there.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: Try to stick to that. Obviously there are some holes out there that are really difficult. If you get away with pars on some of the holes out there, you're going to feel really good about it. It's a good driving golf course, really good.

Q. Anyone you are rooting for in the NHL playoffs?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, I'll really pulling for Adam. He's been in the league a long time and obviously a good buddy of mine. It would be a great way to close out his career.

No, I'm pretty excited for Adam. I think I was a little bit -- if it wasn't Anaheim who beat them, I probably wouldn't be as excited about watching the playoffs. But since they are doing so well and he's playing well.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: Well, I think I'm in a unique position that I have a chance to be a Player of the Year out here. There's a number of guys, three or four guys who have really jumped off to a great start and really have a chance to really move forward and capture that. I think that's a big goal of mine. You know, it's just over a quarter of the year done. I'm still very motivated to keep playing well.

Q. Do you think you can win the Grand Slam?

MIKE WEIR: It would be difficult, but I don't see why not. I think I'm capable of winning every tournament. I'm capable of winning every tournament, but to win every tournament of the four majors would be very difficult, but I'm not saying it's out of the realm of possibility.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: I would say probably the British Open or U.S. Open probably suits my game, I would think, more than any of the other three. Probably I would think the Masters would be the last choice for me for a number of reasons, because you have to hit a number of long irons into the greens. You have to work the ball right-to-left which isn't my natural shot, so I really had to work on a fade. But, on the other hand, I've always had success around the greens at Augusta National, even though I have haven't had great finishes, I've had okay finishes. My short game was always been good. For some reason I always felt comfortable pitching and chipping the ball. But I can see why I did win; it wasn't a great ball-striking week but it wasn't like I was absolutely striping it. I managed my game well.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: I don't recall. There's a few here and there. I think No. 13 on the side slope there, 14 is a little -- and No. 9, winds of a kind of a little below your feet or below my feet. But for the most part, I think a lefty has a good chance to win there. I think any player that can shape the ball both ways is going to have a good chance.

Q. Along those lines, the British -- around the greens -- inaudible?

MIKE WEIR: I think so. My natural flight is a pretty low ball flight and you can play a lot of bump-and-runs, and most of the golf courses in the British Open rotation, you can't play bump-and-run and it's good to keep a low altitude. There's usually a lot of wind there.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: I do. I do. I love the idea of the British Open and playing the ball down and being creative. It's something I haven't done well at, but I've always enjoyed playing.

Q. You struggled a little when you went away from your pre-shot routine and got back to it, and now it seems like that's emulated in various fashions by a growing number of PGA pros. Why do you think that is and what does it do for you?

MIKE WEIR: I'm not sure. Maybe some guys picked it up from me and tried it and it's work for them. For me it started as a drill with my coach to combat a tendency I had for a shut club face and a problem I had in my backswing, just a little drill. I took it to the golf course just in some practice rounds just playing with my coach. It felt so good, we were like, let's try it, and that was kind of like the fall of '98, I believe. I took it right into the qualifying school and won Q-School and kind of kept it going from there. It just kind of worked its way in from a drill from trying to combat, like I said, a little bit of a shut club face. I think maybe a few guys have tried to experiment with that. It's almost like maybe a rehearsal of what you're trying to accomplish on your backswing. That's how I look at it. If you do it right on my pre-swing waggle, just try to duplicate that, it kind of sets things up.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MIKE WEIR: I think I went on the Web site and took a virtual tour of the golf course and took a look at it on the computer.

End of FastScripts....

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