A U.S. Open Q&A With Mike Weir

Mike Weir, the first Canadian to win a men’s major championship (the 2003 Masters), is a consistent presence on the leader board at Pebble Beach Golf Links, with five top-five finishes in the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am in the past eight years. The 39-year-old from Brampton, Ontario, also tied for 16th in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 2000, his third full year on the PGA Tour. He recently discussed this year’s Open with the USGA.



With the fairways moved over on some holes and other subtle changes to the layout, how different will Pebble play for the U.S. Open this year than it did in 2000?

Weir: I think it will play a lot different. They’ve lengthened the course in the last few years, obviously. It plays so different in the

Weir Inside
Mike Weir has had good success at Pebble Beach, site of this year's U.S. Open. (John Mummert/USGA)

summertime. Those greens are already small, but when they’re firm they [essentially] become even smaller, because the first bounce is so big. Right now, in February, the ball just stops. So the greens kind of shrink up a little bit in June. And if you grow that rough, too, it plays a lot different.

As you know, the USGA has changed its setup approach the past few years, introducing graduated rough and using alternate teeing grounds on selected holes. How will that factor into the equation at Pebble, compared to 2000?

Weir: I think they’ve done just an incredible job setting up the golf courses in the last few U.S. Opens. It’s been playable but still the scores don’t get low – because they’ve done the right thing. If you hit a real wayward shot, that’s the deepest rough – where in years past, the grass was maybe trampled down and less (punitive). That graduated rough is really good.

Is it kind of scary to think if you hit a wayward shot to the right on No. 6, your ball might end up in the ocean?

Weir: Yeah, the fairway pulls you over to the water there. It also pulls you over on 8 and 18. It’s going to be a different test.

What specific holes do you find especially challenging?

Weir: They’re all just so fun. Every hole has its own little challenge; that’s why I think it’s such a great course. You use every club in the bag – you hit a lot of long irons, but you also can have some short irons into 7 (par 3) and some other holes. [There are holes] that can play to any club with the wind. There are just so many intriguing holes. The finish of the course is great, with 17 and 18.

What about Tiger Woods’ performance in 2000 blows you away?

Weir: Obviously he hit the ball fantastic, but I just remember every putt he looked at was going in. That’s what I remember about the tournament. Every time you saw the highlights, there were [Tiger’s] putts going in from 30 to 40 feet. All his 10-footers [went in]. Everything was going in the hole that week.

People talk about him at 12 under, but that was the only subpar score for 72 holes. That really shows how Pebble stood up, doesn’t it?

Weir: Exactly. It still poses a challenge. If you get a breeze up there, it plays tough.

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.


Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image