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With Presidents Cup six months away, Mike Weir excited for his International Team

4 Min Read



    Written by Adam Stanley @Adam_Stanley

    With just six months until the 2024 Presidents Cup, International team captain Mike Weir knows it’s a key time to put the planning pedal down – and have his team begin to gel.

    Weir is in Orlando this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and will host a team-bonding dinner for about 15 people Tuesday night. He’s going to let them know much is going on behind the scenes and kickstart the camaraderie as early as possible. When it comes to bringing together men from across continents, generations and experience levels, this will be a key point in the progression to the Presidents Cup.

    “We’re just getting everybody together and to get to know one another and know what the International Team is all about,” Weir said.

    Weir, who was announced as the captain of the International squad in December 2022, has been working on logistics, team-chemistry, golf-course setup and more over the last year or so. He said he’ll name 3-5 captain’s assistants in mid-April, with two others to come down the road. He’ll also spend a little more time at Royal Montreal to begin to set the golf course up for International Team success. That, he said, was on top of his to-do list.

    Mike Weir welcomes the 2024 Presidents Cup to Royal Montreal Golf Club

    “We’ll look at what the strengths and weaknesses may be and see how, as captain, we can set up the golf course in a way that’s favourable to us,” Weir said. “We do want it to feel like it’s a home advantage for us.”

    Weir, who was the first Canadian to participate in the Presidents Cup and holds a 13-9-2 record at the competition, said he’s been excited to see how the International Team has been coming together.

    Min Woo Lee of Australia just finished second at the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches. Ryan Fox has been making waves around the globe. Hideki Matsuyama has returned to form with a victory at The Genesis Invitational earlier in the season.

    And of course, there’s the Canadian contingent.

    Weir’s countryman, Nick Taylor, captured the WM Phoenix Open for his fourth TOUR title in January – a win that came just over a half-a-year after his incredible victory at the RBC Canadian Open. Both of those victories came in playoffs.

    “As captain you love to see guys that finish well and make big putts in big moments and that’s what the Presidents Cup is all about,” Weir said. “In these matches … there are big moments every day and you have to be ready for those moments. The guys that show that kind of mettle in tough situations, myself and the other captains and team members we talk as a group and we’re excited to see that kind of stuff.”

    While Taylor is the highest-ranked Canadian, there are seven ranked in the top 100 in the FedExCup standings. Having to potentially leave some of his countrymen on the sidelines – when they’ve all made it very clear they would be honored to play for him in Montreal – is going to be a tough decision for the captain. But, with a smile, he knows he’s at least somewhat responsible for this group all playing as well as they are at the same time in their lives. Taylor, Adam Hadwin, Adam Svensson, Corey Conners, Taylor Pendrith and Mackenzie Hughes are quick to point to Weir’s Masters victory in 2003 as a seminal moment in their own golfing lives – and part of the reason why they’re members of the PGA TOUR now.

    'I'm dying to be on that team:' Mackenzie Hughes on 2024 Presidents Cup

    “It’s an exciting time in men’s golf in Canada," Weir said. "For a lot of players in my era, there were just a couple of us that were in there. It’s great to see all those guys playing well. I think if two, three, or four Canadians make the final team they’ll generate that much more excitement and … the more Canadians we do have on the team the better for the fan support.

    “It’ll create a different buzz and it’ll create a little more energy.”

    While the International Team has fallen to the mighty Americans in every Presidents Cup save two, there is an undeniable buzz behind the current crop boasting the black-and-gold. Weir has tapped a few former NHL coaches like Ken Hitchcock and Glen Sather – Stanley Cup winners, both – for some leadership advice. But he also can look no further than the European side at last fall’s Ryder Cup to see what it takes to beat Team USA, which will largely feature the same guys at the Presidents Cup.

    Luke Donald, Europe’s victorious captain in 2023, and Trevor Immelman, the previous International Team captain, talk quite a bit, Weir said. There are a lot of things in play and a lot of factors between the two squads and whether Weir uses them or not is another question.

    “But it’s good,” Weir said with a big smile, “to know some things.”

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