Canada’s best-known golfer, Mike Weir, withdrew after six holes in Friday’s second round due to re-aggravating an injury to his right elbow by hitting out of the rough.
Weir had birdied his second hole on Friday, but then bogeyed the third hole, and double bogeyed the next two holes, leaving him at 5 over on his round and 8 over for the tournament.
After making par at the sixth hole, he then hit his tee shot on the seventh hole before withdrawing. He and his caddie were taken back to the clubhouse in a cart.
"It's very disappointing," he told reporters after withdrawing. "This is our national championship. I want to play and have great fan support. But I'm just not going to re-injure (the elbow) again."
The decision to withdraw was made in part as a precautionary measure to prevent further injury.
“I’ll probably get another MRI and check it and see what’s going on,” Weir said. “But definitely precautionary right now, and hopefully it’s not worse than that.”
Weir, who shot a 74 in Thursday's first round, hurt himself in the deep rough at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club. He said he felt soreness during Thursday’s round, especially after a shot out of the rough on the ninth hole.
He said he woke up Friday morning and “knew I was in a little bit of trouble.”
"I thought I could play through it," he said. "(I) had a couple of shots in the rough this morning. And I just don't want to go down that road again where it becomes a bad injury again. It's very tender, very sore right now. With this deep rough, I just can't hit it."
Weir has struggled this season, making just 2 cuts in 14 starts, with finishes of T-70 and T-77. He was plagued by elbow problems last year – doctors would eventually diagnosis it as a partial ligament tear in his right elbow. Weir said earlier this week that the elbow injury led to him developing “bad habits” with his golf swing.
Weir said Friday he couldn't open a water bottle because of the pain.
"I tried to play through it a little bit last year and ended up being off for three or four months because I did that," he said. "I'm not going to do something stupid like that again. I want to get it right 100 percent before I get back."
Weir also had to withdraw earlier this year at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com. He played nine holes then withdrew with an injury to his left wrist.
Weir began this season playing on a Major Medical Extension but failed to make enough money in five starts to maintain his fully exempt status on TOUR.
The past Masters champion has never won his country’s national championship in 21 starts, although he did finish second to Vijay Singh in 2004 after losing in a playoff.
Matt Hill, the 2009 NCAA Men’s Individual champion from North Carolina State, is in the field this week on a sponsor exemption. Not only is Hill Canadian, he’s from the same hometown as Mike Weir (Brights Grove, Ontario)
Hill played earlier this year at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and has six career PGA TOUR starts as a professional. In winning the NCAA crown in 2009, Hill defeated current PGA TOUR members Kyle Stanley (by two shots) and Rickie Fowler (by three shots).
Of course the last Canadian to win this even was Pat Fletcher … in 1954. Is Hill the answer to Canada’s hope? Click here for more on the state of golf in Canada .
As for Weir, he’s making his 21 st career start at the RBC Canadian Open with hopes of his ninth career win on TOUR. He’s struggled recently, though, after suffering a partial ligament tear in right elbow that’s been plaguing him since last year. He’s also focusing on some swing changes. In 14 starts, Weir has made just two cuts this year. Weir is one of five Canadian players in the field, joining Stephen Ames, Chris Baryla, David Hearn and Matt McQuillan .
By making the cut last week at the AT&T National, Mike Weir ended a streak of nine consecutive starts without making the cut (10 if you include his WD in Puerto Rico).
It was a step in the right direction for Weir, who has been plagued by a torn ligament in his right elbow since last season. It was also a short-lived one for Weir, who is 3 over through 16 holes here in the opening round of the John Deere Classic.
Still, just making it to the weekend would give confidence to the Canadian.
"It would," Weir told the Montreal Gazette. "I need to play on weekends. I need to start gaining some confidence back for sure. I need to get some good rounds under my belt so I can start seeing things. Take some positives and move forward."
So far in the first round at TPC Deere Run, Weir, however, has six bogeys to just three birdies.
"I got into bad habits with my game when I was injured," Weir told the newspaper. "I'm trying to iron them out and take the things that I'm working on and trust them.
"I need to start finding some more fairways and I need to start having fun myself. Finding fairways and making some putts brings the enjoyment back. Playing out of the trees and deep rough is not much fun at all."
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas – Not much has gone right for Mike Weir this season. He’s only made one cut in eight starts this year, and had to withdraw at another event. And unless he makes a late rally, he’s not in position to make the cut this week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
But he did have a nice moment at the par-3 13th on Friday, rolling in a putt of 85 feet, 1 inch for a birdie. It’s the third longest putt made on the PGA TOUR this year.
Weir is 2 over on his round and 4 over for the tournament with seven holes to play. The projected cut line is even par.
LONGEST PUTTS ON THE PGA TOUR IN 2011
|103 feet, 5 inches||Angel Cabrera||Waste Management Phoenix Open||4th|
|96 feet, 2 inches||Alex Cejka||Northern Trust Open||1st|
|85 feet, 1 inch||Mike Weir||Crowne Plaza Inv’t at Colonial||2nd|
Here’s how Weir’s putt looks on ShotTracker
That two-stroke penalty that Dustin Johnson incurred for being late to his first-round tee time could come back to haunt him. Currently at 2 over for the week, Johnson is one shot outside the current cut line.
The good news is that Johnson has only played three holes here in the second round (and is even par).
The bad news for Luke Donald, who finished in second here last year and in the top 10 each of the previous two years, is that he doesn’t have anymore holes to play this week. After a 68 on Thursday, Donald struggled to an 8-over 79 on Friday, sending him tumbling more than 100 spots down the leaderboard and well beyond the cut at 5 over.
It’s the first time Donald, who was making his season debut this week, will miss the cut in this event since 2007.
Others on the outside looking in include Zach Johnson, Y.E. Yang, Lucas Glover, Rickie Fowler and Mike Weir.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Mike Weir has never won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, but he certainly has a great record on the Monterey Peninsula.
He was runner-up in the tournament in 2005 and T3 in ‘06, and Weir has a total of seven top-10s in 13 starts. He’s off to another good start on Thursday, too, after playing his first 15 holes at Spyglass Hills in 3 under. (To follow the rest of his round, click here .)
Weir has a sense of urgency this year, too. He is playing on a major medical extension and he has five events to earn $227,885 -- which, combined with his earnings from last year, would equal those of Troy Merritt, who finished No. 125 on the money list in 2010.
If he does, Weir, whose 2010 campaign was cut short by a partially torn ligament in his right elbow, would be fully exempt for 2011. If not, he still would have status as a past champion.
The former Masters champ has made two starts this year, cashing just one check for $10,788 when he tied for 77th at the Farmers Insurance Open. – Helen Ross
According to the Associated Press, Ernie Els and Camilo Villegas have new caddies this week at Kapalua.
Mike Kerr is now toting the bag for Els, who used Ricci Roberts and former NHL player Dan Quinn last year. Kerr most recently worked with Nick Dougherty on the European Tour and actually had a job lined up with Louis Oosthuizen last year. When Oosthuizen won the British Open, though, the young South African opted to stay with his caddie, Zack Rasego.
Villegas, on the other hand, needed a new caddy after Brett Waldman survived all four stages of q-school and earned his Nationwide Tour card. Villegas, who was disqualified Friday after a rules infraction in the first round resulted in him signing an incorrect scorecard, was using England’s Mick Doran this week.
Doran’s previous bosses include Lee Westwood and David Howell. He is slated to work for Villegas this week and next week in a tryout for the three-time PGA TOUR champion.
Meanwhile, Sean O’Hair has hired Brennan Little, Mike Weir’s long-time caddy, to replace Paul Tesori. And Weir has reportedly hired Pete Bender, who has worked for a who’s who of the game – Jack Nicklaus, Ian Baker-Finch, Lanny Wadkins, Greg Norman, Raymond Floyd and Ian Baker-Finch, to name a few.
Mike Weir had things going in the right direction through 27 holes of the Wyndham Championship. But a string of three straight bogeys starting at the 11th hole may have sealed Weir’s fate.
The Canadian entered the Wyndham Championship 126th in the FedExCup standings. He’s 2 under for the tournament with one hole remaining and appears headed for a missed cut.
If that happens, Weir will not make the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup for the first time in his career. – Helen Ross
Moving day takes on a whole new meaning this week with plenty of guys who could be moving in -- or out -- of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup picture. Here’s a look at the players closest to getting in and what they need to do (excluding win since that guarantees nearly anyone in the field a spot).
-- This is Henrik Stenson’s first Wyndham Championship and at 133rd in the standings, he obviously needs to be here. In order to advance to next week, though, the 2009 PLAYERS champion needs to finish 13th or better, something that’s unlikely seeing as how he’s outside the top 100 on the leaderboard right now.
-- Mike Weir began his week just six points out of the final spot in the top 125 and he got off to a good start with a 67 in the first round (he’s even through four holes today). In order for Weir to make the Playoffs, he’ll need to finish 44th or better.
-- Jeff Quinney started the week one spot behind Weir, in 127th and only 22 points out of the final spot. He needs to finish 27th or better. Quinney is in good shape after opening with a 65, but he needs to start marking some birdies after playing his first five holes today in even par.
-- Jay Williamson hit all 18 greens in the opening round en route to a 65. Currently ranked 147th in the standings, Williamson will need to finish fifth or better, however, to have any chance of making the Playoffs. He’s tumbled down the board in the second round, playing his first five holes in 2 over. -- Brian Wacker