It's been a solid year for Mike Weir. Despite not winning a tournament, the Canadian has 12 top-25 finishes, including a pair of runner-up performances, while banking more than $2.8 million and finishing sixth in the FedEx Cup standings.
Weir heads into his title defense Thursday at the Frys.com Open sitting at No. 22 in the world rankings and seeking to end his 2008 PGA Tour season in winning fashion.
"It's been a pretty solid year - I wouldn't say it has been great, but it's been steady," Weir told reporters. "This will be my last tournament on the Tour [this year] to try to get a win and make it a very good year."
Weir's approach is quite different than it was coming to Grayhawk Golf Club's Raptor Course one year ago. Then he was riding a nearly four-year winless drought since the Northern Trust Open in February 2004.
A year later, Weir said that winning in Scottsdale, Ariz., helped restore his confidence.
"I was still confident in my game and I was playing well," said Weir, who owns eight career victories. "I had had a pretty good week the week before in Vegas, but hadn't broke through in three years to win.
"When you're able to come through, it just reminds you that you can still do it when you need to and have to do it. It was just a thrill to be in contention again like that, to have the chance to do that."
The one-shot victory over Australian Mark Hensby helped Weir climb from No. 84 to No. 41 on the PGA Tour money list. Weir said that last year he was like many players, just trying to better their standings with good performances in the Fall Series events.
"This is a big time of year for a lot of players, whether it's trying to secure their card, trying to get in the top 70 to get in the invitationals or trying to win," Weir said. "There are a lot of different scenarios for a lot of different players, and this time of year makes it very exciting."
One player who was hoping to improve his position is Jeff Overton, who is No. 122 on the money list. However, Overton had to undergo an emergency appendectomy at the Mayo Clinic Tuesday night in Scottsdale and obviously won't play in the tournament.
Weir is the highest-ranked player in the tournament. He'll be joined by Davis Love III, ranked 125th.
Several Phoenix-Scottsdale area locals are also playing: Bubba Watson, who lives 10 minutes from Grayhawk, Aaron Baddeley, who has lived in Scottsdale for nearly a decade, and fellow Scottsdale resident Chez Reavie.
While it's convenient to play a PGA Tour event close to home, Reavie said it can also be difficult.
"I think I'm learning not to put too much pressure on myself," Reavie told reporters. "I realize that all my family and friends are out here rooting for me, and I'm learning how not to apply that pressure on myself."
• SCHEDULE: Thursday-Sunday
• SITE: Scottsdale, Ariz.
• COURSE: Grayhawk Golf Club, Raptor Course (7,125 yards, par 70).
• PURSE: $5 million (winner's share: $900,000)
• TV: Golf Channel (Thursday, 4-7 p.m. EDT, 9 p.m.-midnight EDT; Friday, 12:30-3:30 a.m. EDT, 4-7 p.m. EDT, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. EDT; Saturday-Sunday, 6-8 a.m. EDT, 4-7 p.m. EDT, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. EDT; Monday, 6-8 a.m. EDT)
October 23, 2008
Davis Love III, who played the final 57 holes of the Children's Miracle Network Classic without a bogey, finished at 25-under 263 in the season-ending event played at the Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Florida. It has been a long road back for Love, who severely sprained his ankle late last year. After tearing ligaments, he needed surgery, and he's spent much of this year rehabilitating the injury.
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