December 9 2011
Mike Weir hopes to return to the PGA TOUR at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am next year.
"I'm not sure if I'll make that deadline, but I'm going to shoot for that right now," Weir, who had elbow surgery in August, wrote in the blog on his website.
Weir said he's targeting Pebble Beach because he has a comfort zone there after posting seven top-10s, including two seconds and a pair of thirds, in 14 starts. He also said that the turf there would likely be soft at that time of year.
Weir has recently begun hitting wedge and pitch shots -- all off a tee.
"At first, I was swinging at about 50 percent of normal, but I have gradually moved that up to 75 percent," Weir wrote. "And in the last few sessions, I even hit four or five drivers. They all felt really good."
Due to doctor's orders, though, Weir said he will wait until the four-month mark before hitting any full shots. "It can be a bit frustrating but I know patience now will pay off down the road," the former Masters champ wrote.
Weir said he has noticed he has more grip strength than he did before the surgery.
"I can really feel my fingers on the club these days and that's something that was missing the last few years," Weir wrote. "t's one of those gradual thing that's so subtle I guess I never really noticed it, but since the surgery, it's evident how much I'd lost over time and how much I have back."
Weir, who has battled the injury to his right elbow for two
years, finished outside the all-exempt top 125 on the money list in
2011. He does have some status as a past champion due to his eight
TOUR victories, and he would be eligible for sponsor's exemptions,
Weir also wrote that he recently discovered the European Tour offers a 12-year exemption to major champions. So Weir, who won the 2003 Masters, paid his dues and -- while he said he wants to play most of his golf in North America -- "I'll likely use that to fill in when I'm unable to play over here," he wrote.