Golf veteran Mike Weir named assistant captain for this fall’s Presidents Cup

Weir named Presidents Cup assistant captain

Mike Weir has plenty of experience with the highs and lows of professional golf, and he’s hoping to bring that knowledge to his new role as assistant captain of the International team at this fall’s Presidents Cup.

The 2003 Masters champion has played in five Presidents Cup tournaments during his career, but will be on the sidelines this time as one of captain Nick Price’s four assistants.

His role will be to support Price, his playing partner in the 2000 and 2003 Presidents Cups, in decisions on pairings and provide advice to the players leading up to and during the event.

Weir said he feels he can help individual players with their confidence and guide them in adjusting to the heightened atmosphere.

“When you have 12 guys on a team, not everyone is going to be playing great,” Weir said in an interview Tuesday after his appointment was announced. “Maybe I’ll be there to build up a guy’s confidence because I’ve been on both sides of that â€” going into a Presidents Cup feeling really good, or other times when a captain has to build me up,” he said. “If a certain player is struggling with a certain shot, I can help with those little details that may play big dividends at crucial times.”

The biennial competition pits the United States against a team of players from countries outside Europe.

While the 46-year-old Weir won’t be playing this time, he said he’s looking forward to being involved.

“It’s been a big part of my career and there have been some really special memories,” Weir said. “To be part of it again, with Nick being the captain â€” a guy I really look up and have really followed for a while â€” it’s going to be really special. I get along with the other assistants really well, so I’m sure we’re going to work well together.”

Weir will be joined by fellow assistants Ernie Els of South Africa, Geoff Ogilvy of Australia and Tony Johnstone of Zimbabwe in the Sept. 26-Oct. 1 event at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J.

There are currently no Canadians with enough points to automatically qualify for the International team, but Weir said it would be “awesome” if one or more could make it.

“I would certainly love to see a Canadian or two on the team, and they’re certainly capable of doing it,” Weir said.

Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., is the highest-ranked Canadian at 26th in the standings, and Hadwin said he would relish the opportunity if he ended up making the team.

“The Presidents Cup hasn’t really been on my radar, and I know I have a lot of work to do to make the team,” he said. “But no doubt it would be an honour play alongside some of the great international players, and of course to play for Nick Price and Mike Weir, a guy that I’ve looked up to for years, like so many other kids growing up in Canada.”

Weir, a native of the Sarnia, Ont., community Bright’s Grove, doesn’t have any PGA Tour status this year. His play has been impacted in recent years by injuries and time off for personal reasons.

And although Weir said he has not spoken with anyone about taking the captain’s reins, he would love to have that opportunity, especially if the Presidents Cup comes back to Canada.

“Nick alluded to that, how they’re trying to have guys as assistants who can potentially be captains down the road. I’d certainly love to be a captain sometime,” stated Weir. “I’m just going to enjoy this year and this opportunity though, and if the chance came later, I’d be thrilled.”

 

Adam Stanley, The Canadian Press