Weir says his body fi­nally feels good again

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY ADAM STAN­LEY

With no sta­tus on the PGA Tour this year, Mike Weir spent Wed­nes­day at a place filled with good mem­o­ries — Au­gusta Na­tional Golf Club.

The 2003 Masters cham­pion tried to qual­ify Mon­day for this week’s Honda Clas­sic in Florida but missed by five shots. He also tried last Mon­day to qual­ify for the PGA Tour’s Ge­n­e­sis Open in Los An­ge­les. Again, he missed by five.

He headed to the sto­ried lay­out in Au­gusta, Ga., for the first time in 2017 on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

“Ev­ery time I get there, I love that place,” Weir said Tues­day night. “It’s al­ways re­ally spe­cial.”

Hav­ing used both ex­emp­tions avail­able to him be­cause of his place on the all-time money list — the 46-year-old cur­rently sits 32nd with al­most $28 mil­lion in ca­reer win­nings — Weir is left with few op­tions to try to get into PGA Tour fields.

As a Masters cham­pion, how­ever, he re­ceives a life­time ex­emp­tion into that tour­na­ment in April and can play the legendary course as of­ten as he wants.

“I don’t have any sta­tus to play so in or­der to stay sharp I have to try to qual­ify,” said Weir. “Go­ing to Au­gusta to play some rounds and get ready for that event that I know I’m in will be good.”

Un­like in years past when Weir has been bat­tling in­juries, the na­tive of Brights Grove, Ont., said he’s feel­ing healthy now. It’s liv­ing in the cold cli­mate of Utah that has been tough on his prepa­ra­tion, he said.

“Ev­ery­thing feels good, I haven’t had any set­backs. I just haven’t played a whole lot,” he said. “I’ve tried some of these Mon­day qual­i­fiers com­ing out of the cold in Utah, only hit­ting balls in­doors. I haven’t had a lot of work ex­cept for in­door work, re­ally. My body feels good right now though.”

He is a two-time cham­pion of the Ge­n­e­sis Open but his re­quest for a spon­sor’s ex­emp­tion into that tour­na­ment was de­clined, which is why he tried qual­i­fy­ing in­stead.

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