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April 12, 2003

Mike Weir


JIM BLANCHARD: Ladies and gentlemen, we're delighted to have Mike Weir join us this afternoon. Second place tonight 3-under par after a round of 75 today. Playing in the last group tomorrow.

Mike, would you have any comments about your round then we'll open it up for questions.

MIKE WEIR: Sure. My round was a little disappointing today. I would have like to have played obviously better than 75. Sometimes that's what this golf course is going to give you. I didn't play that particularly poorly, but my iron shots were a little off. That caused me some problems. And I put myself on the wrong side of the hole. I'm still in the last group tomorrow, still have a great chance to win tomorrow if I play a really solid round and I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. The shot at 13 you've made so much hay this year sort of laying up and you trusting your wedges. What was your yardage? What was your lie? What was the situation?

MIKE WEIR: I had 215 yards, the ball a little below my feet, plus the wind going right-to-left. It was a perfect lie. I had a little bit of mud on my ball but I made a beautiful swing, made great contact. The ball was cutting right to the center of the green and the last probably 25 yards the ball drifted back to the right and over the right it's probably another 15 yards to carry it. But I hit a great shot. When you take chances like that you've got to live and die with them. If the ball would have kept cutting I would have been 20 feet for eagle and that's a tough pin to get to with a layup. As you can tell when I laid up when I had to drop there, it's so tight to get the ball close that I didn't think I could get a wedge shot close so that's why I wanted to go for it.

Q. Were you aware the leaderboard was shifting? Did you feel the need to go for it?

MIKE WEIR: No, that was my plan. I told my caddy that if I was inside 200 yards I was going to try to hit it in the center of the green. Trust my putter. I had 215 yards with a perfect shaped wind that I thought at the time had just changed just a little bit.

Q. The 3-iron?

MIKE WEIR: 3-iron. Yes.

Q. When Tiger was in here he talked about the pin placements and how it was hard when you are in the lead because they're not pins you're going to fire at. Did that come into play at all and could you just sort of talk about that?

MIKE WEIR: Well, yeah. They're very difficult pins out there. Tough to get close to. I found myself putting very defensively today because I was on the wrong side of the hole. A few putts on the front side I was able to have a go at, but for the most part I seemed to be above the hole and with these little curler breakers and that's what you get out here sometimes. I just seemed to have that a lot today.

Q. Looks like you challenged the hole on 11, going right at it. And we were there, it looked as if you hit a tremendous shot. We couldn't see where it came to rest. Was it in the hazard?

MIKE WEIR: It was in the hazard. It was buried. I could see about four dimples of it.

Q. Terrific shot?

MIKE WEIR: It was buried and I think Brennan wanted me to lay it up, go back and take a drop. But I just thought I could take a pitching wedge with a little sharper leading edge on it and play a big explosion shot like a real deep bunker shot, like a plugged-lie bunker shot.

Q. But you planned to challenge that hole?

MIKE WEIR: No, I didn't. I pushed it.

Q. You've obviously become a very philosophical golfer. As tough minded as you are, you were saying the other day that you're going to find some hiccups at this golf course and you had those today, but clearly you have to have a philosophy about the whole thing, don't you?

MIKE WEIR: You do. You have to kind of have the, as you said, a philosophy going into the round that you're going to be faced with some challenges out there. I mean even if you shoot 65 you're challenged. You're going to have to make some par putts, you're going to have to make a lot of putts to shoot 65. So there's challenges in that. But there's also challenges in shooting 75 and I had a bunch of those today and you just know going into it that it's not going to be easy. Even when you're striking it great you have to be with it mentally and that's kind of the approach I take.

Q. I don't mean you played to get behind, but are you comfortable being behind now going into the last round?

MIKE WEIR: Hopefully I'll be comfortable tomorrow. I feel fine right now. I felt good on the course today. I feel very comfortable. It just didn't pan out. I wasn't nervous. I felt very good out there. It just didn't happen for me today. Hopefully tomorrow I'll just keep doing the same thing and it will pan out kind of more like I was playing the other days.

Q. Are you a scoreboard watcher? Are you aware of this push that was beginning to come up the leaderboard while you were out there?

MIKE WEIR: I wasn't too much. I glanced here and there. But I think tomorrow I'll pay more attention to it. Especially coming into the pivotal holes on the back nine in the Amen Corner when maybe you need to take a shot at going for the greens on 13 and 15 if you need a big -- for the most part, I was just kind of glancing, kind of taking it in but not paying attention to it. If that makes any sense.

Q. Yesterday you said that the next stage for you is contending in Majors. With that in mind, is tomorrow a real proving ground for you?

MIKE WEIR: Well, I don't know if it's a proving ground. It's a step in the right direction, that's for sure. I haven't been in contention in a Major since '99 and I'm getting there and hopefully I can do it. I feel like my time's about right to do it, but there's a lot of golf to be played yet.

Q. I know you always like to look at the positive side of things. In your record, with 54 hole leads, you haven't won yet. All your wins came when you were coming behind from 54. We don't have to ask you about a 54-hole lead now you're thinking about this is how I've won?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah. Yeah. I'm going to sit back tonight when I think about it and maybe I'll have maybe a different mentality a little bit that it might free me up a little bit more tomorrow maybe be a little bit more aggressive. I don't know what it was with my iron play today. I was just a little hesitant. I didn't feel as comfortable and in the flow with my iron play. That's as honest as I can be about it. I just didn't feel really aware of what I was trying to accomplish with my iron play.

Q. Can you just kind of go over the highlights, low lights?

MIKE WEIR: Started off great today. I made a nice par on 1 and hit two great shots into 2 and 3-putted for birdie. Just about birdied 3, parred 4, and then I hit kind of a strange shot on 5. I was trying to hit a cut and held on to it a little bit and pulled it in the right rough and made a bogey. And then I came back and birdied 7. I hit it to two feet.

Almost birdied 8. And then 9, again, I hit on the wrong side. I 3-putted there. So that was it. I guess that was some of the highlights.

I didn't have much on the back as far as highlights go. I hit it in the hazard on 11, didn't get it -- luckily it stayed up there actually and I hacked it to about 20 feet. I made bogey there and hit it in the water on 13 and made bogey. And 3-putted 16 and 17. So I had three, three-putts today but I was -- but I can't blame my putting. I blame more the position where I put the ball on the greens.

Q. Were you at all enthused I guess after you birdied 7 and you had a six-shot lead, halfway through your round, second round? Were you all enthused at that point and were you at all frustrated after walking off 13, or were you able to keep kind of even? All the way through you seemed pretty calm.

MIKE WEIR: I didn't have much of a frustration level at all today. It was nice to get off to the start I was able to get off to today and birdie some holes and birdie 7. And I felt very good about my game I just wasn't able to sustain it. I'm not sure why. Like I said, it wasn't that far off from being a pretty good round today. It could have been easily a 70 or 69. A few things happened my way and that's it.

Q. I know you imagine yourself in a lot of situations. Did you ever imagine yourself with a six-shot lead at that stage of the Masters?

MIKE WEIR: I guess I never panned it -- no. I guess no, because I never imagined that. But I've imagined winning the tournament before.

Q. Is it still fun out there, Mike, or are you too focused?

MIKE WEIR: No, I was having fun. I was having fun. I enjoy playing with Darren and we had a good time out there. We both didn't play how we wanted, but he's a great guy to play with. And I was enjoying myself. It was a little bit of a struggle on the back but that's -- I said to Brennan, what can you do? This is Augusta National I was walking off 17 and it was just like, you know, you hit a shot a little bit off line here and it gets you.

Q. I actually heard a few folks in the gallery refer to you as the Wayne Gretzky of Canadian golf, meaning that much in the way that Gretzky put hockey on the map here in the states you're putting hockey on the map back in Canada. Can you talk a little bit about that and what that means to you or how your success here would impact golf in Canada?

MIKE WEIR: Well, I don't know. Wayne's done a lot more for hockey than I've done for golf, I believe. And that's nice of people to say that. I'm just trying to do what I can do and hopefully some of the younger kids in Canada will take a passion for the game. And I take pride in that. I think the programs and the development of golf in Canada is getting better. Hopefully I have a little influence on that. So it's nice that people say that for sure.

Q. When did the hesitancy with the iron play, what's the first shot you remember and is that the sort of thing that one gets in and stays in?

MIKE WEIR: I don't want to delve too far into that, to tell you the truth. So I'll just leave it at where I set it and we'll talk about it after tomorrow.

Q. Did you get put on the clock today?


Q. The TV commentator said I think that --

MIKE WEIR: Well on 5 we had trouble there because I was trying to get a drop and there wasn't an official anywhere. So after a long while I just took my own drop and hit the shot up there. So we did get behind but the official said, he gave us a couple holes to catch up and we caught right back up on 9.

Q. What happened with Darren at that point? Did you go over to talk to Darren?

MIKE WEIR: I just told Darren since there wasn't an official anywhere that, Darren, I'm in casual water here I'm taking a drop. He's like, go ahead. So I was just letting him know what I was doing over there.

Q. He didn't tell you could turn it over if you want?

MIKE WEIR: Turn it over? Oh, yeah.

Q. Kick it forward?

MIKE WEIR: Kick it forward? Yeah.

Q. 12 was interesting. You had a big splotch of mud on your ball. Do you just hit it as solid as you can and hope it doesn't come off like a mushroom or something?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, that was such a difficult shot I hit in there. I thought the wind was into me I hit a nice 7-iron and Darren in the air said, great shot, and we get up there and it was 10 yards over the green. And it landed, hopped out and when it toppled over the mud was right on where I had to make impact with the ball. And I just tried to hit it just a little bit extra hard. And actually it came out of there pretty nicely. I thought if I chipped it, I might scoot it, but I thought if not, I didn't know what it would do with a chip shot. So I thought putting out of there was the safest play.

Q. Number 10, what club there?

MIKE WEIR: 7-iron.

Q. I'm sorry, at the 11th hole, the one that embedded?

MIKE WEIR: Oh, 5-iron.

Q. From?

MIKE WEIR: 215 maybe.

Q. Would it really ruin your day if we told you the outcome of the Red Wings game?

MIKE WEIR: Did they lose again?

Q. 3-2.


Q. We thought maybe somebody yelled it at you. We thought that's what happened to you.

JIM BLANCHARD: Mike, thanks for coming in and good luck tomorrow.

MIKE WEIR: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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