Weir plays with patience

Mike Weir is getting a little more patient with age. The lefty decided not to make multiple visits to Augusta National in the months leading up to the Masters, choosing instead to rely on past experience and the preparation he’ll get done in the days before the tournament starts.

Mike Weir

Mike Weir

Mike Weir is getting a little more patient with age.

The lefty decided not to make multiple visits to Augusta National in the months leading up to the Masters, choosing instead to rely on past experience and the preparation he’ll get done in the days before the tournament starts.

“I think the more you make of a major and the more extra work you try to do, sometimes it doesn’t pay off,” Weir said in a recent interview. “It’s almost counter-productive. … You can overwork, you can overthink it, try to do everything so perfect and try to play it all out in your mind how you want.

“You can do all that and then when Thursday comes around it’s almost like you’re cooked already mentally because you try to do so much before the event happens.”

Weir has seen it happen to many fellow pros during his time on the PGA Tour. The native of Bright’s Grove, Ont., is back at Augusta National for the 11th straight year and essentially has a Masters invitation until he quits playing the game because of his victory in 2003.

He’ll be the lone Canadian representative as Calgary’s Stephen Ames fell just short of qualifying through the world rankings.

The Masters is the most important tournament on the schedule for many professional golfers, but Weir has found that some perspective is required for proper preparation.

“It’s still a game,” he said. “As much as you try to strategize and play and organize your thoughts and get everything ready how you think you’re going to play, sometimes it doesn’t turn out that way.

“You have to improvise because it’s still a game. You might need to scramble a little bit.”

Weir turns 40 next month and still finds tremendous enjoyment in the game. Over the weekend, he played a practice round at Augusta National with comedian and friend George Lopez.

The lead-up to the tournament will include today’s exclusive champions dinner and the par-3 tournament Wednesday afternoon. Weir will also take some time to fine-tune his game and reacquaint himself with a course he’s played many times over the years.

“I know the lay of the land, I know what my strategy is going to be,” he said. “It’s just a matter of actually getting out there in practice rounds, playing nine holes and really just reaffirming my strategy and going to the range and practising the different shots I’m going to need for the tournament.

“That’s basically it.”

Weir started the season with a sixth-place showing at the Bob Hope Classic and has made the cut in all but one event since. However, he’s taken himself out of contention on a couple occasions with one bad round — something Weir feels has been a result of getting too aggressive.

He worked extremely hard on his game over the summer and is encouraged about the progress he’s made.

With the year’s first major set to get underway Thursday, there is no better time for him to show it off.

“My year is built around the majors, no question,” said Weir. “I try to focus on those, but not to the point where I’m obsessive about it. They are the most important thing, especially now (in my career).

“Right along with the Canadian Open, those are the tournaments I want to win.”