The PGA Championship

An Interview With: MIKE WEIR

August 15, 2003

JULIUS MASON: Mike Weir, ladies and gentlemen, at 1-under after the second round of the 85th PGA Championship.

Mike, thanks for coming down. Some opening thoughts and we'll go to Q&A.

MIKE WEIR: Opening thoughts are 71 was a pretty good score today. I didn't quite strike it as well as yesterday, but overall, I did all right. I played okay. Wasn't the finish I was looking for, but that's this golf course. You miss a shot a little bit off-line, it's going to bite you.

Q: Three chip-ins now in your first 36 holes; is that right?

MIKE WEIR: Yes.

Q: Can you talk about what that does on a course like this to separate you?

MIKE WEIR: Well, it helps. Obviously, I felt like I had given one away on 14. I hit a nice little sand wedge that released through the green and was just in the fringe and had an easy little chip, and came out a little bit fast and went by about ten feet and I missed it. 90 percent of the time, I get that one up-and-down. I felt like I wasted one there.

Then go to 15, hit it in a horrible lie and knocked it in, it kind of -- probably calmed me down a little bit and I started playing really some good golf after that. Birdied the next hole right after it, too.

Q: What's the best adjective to describe the way the course is playing right now?

MIKE WEIR: Best adjective, I would just say tricky. Especially today, the wind was really swirling around quite a bit. You couldn't pick up what direction it was going a lot this afternoon, and the fairways are starting to run out, so it played tricky.

Q: What do you know about Shaun Micheel?

MIKE WEIR: I know Shaun. I don't know him real well, but he's been out on the Tour for a while now. I know he's contended maybe a couple times, but I don't know much about his game at all.

Q: On a golf course like this, how big or how important is it having the scrambling ability that you have?

MIKE WEIR: Well, I think it's very important to be able to get the ball up-and-down, even from some difficult spots. It's really important, especially when you're not quite hitting it great.

You're going to go through some patches on this golf course where you're not going to hit every fairway. You're going to miss some greens and you're going to have to get the ball up-and-down, and some of them are going to have to be some creative up-and-downs too. I made one on the very first hole, No. 10, from a very tough spot in the back. I made some nice ones today.

Q: Did you notice a difference during the day in the speed of the greens, were they a lot different from yesterday?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, they were probably a little bit faster, but the thing I noticed most about them, they were firmer. Both Jim Furyk and I hit shots; we both thought we hit it close on 7. The pin was tucked over the left side. We both had released by the hole probably 25 feet. We both thought we were inside of five feet because we landed four or five steps short of the hole. Normally, that would just stop, maybe release two or three yards yesterday; well, that released a good 30, 40 feet.

Same on 17 today. I hit a really nice, big drive on 17. I had a 7-iron downwind and the thing landed maybe five, six steps on the green and I was on the back of the green.

Q: You looked at the sky after your shot on 8; did you catch a gust there? What faced you after that? What was in front of you between you and the hole?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, I caught a big gust there. I was trying to hit a high 9-iron, and I hit it high. I caught a big gust of wind. Came up 15 yards short of the green.

So from there, I hit a really good pitch shot. I mean, I hit it to -- it was probably six or seven feet. Unfortunately I missed it but that was a really good chip because it was straight downhill running away from me over the bunker.

Q: Do you find it interesting to see a couple of different names that you normally would not see up there on the leaderboard?

MIKE WEIR: Well, I think that just shows how talented the field is. You never know who is going to come out of the pack and do well.

So I'm not really surprised, no.

Q: At what point this week did you get a sense that the course was going to play as difficult as it appears to be playing?

MIKE WEIR: I think probably when I saw the forecast, that we were not going to get any more rain, and the wind was starting to pick up and it started to get sunny. When it starts to get sunny, that does a lot to the golf course. It dries it out, it makes the greens a lot more difficult to putt.

So I kind of knew, probably yesterday, watching -- or actually when I just finished the round and saw the score that is even with as soft as it was yesterday, the scoring was not great so I knew today was going to be a lot tougher.

Q: Can you talk about the lie you had on No. 9 in the rough?

MIKE WEIR: 9, yeah, just buried. I was just trying to hit a wedge to advance it,70,80 yards. It came out a little better than I thought but it came out to the left and I had another -- it was about a foot into the rough on the left. I made a good bogey. Kind of hacked it in front and made a real nice up-and-down there.

JULIUS MASON: Could we just quickly go through your birdies and bogeys, please.

MIKE WEIR: Okay. Started on the back side. No. 12, that's the little dogleg right. Hit it short of the green in two, pitched it up about eight feet of the green and missed it.

Bogeyed 14. I hit it over the back of the green. Had an easy little chip and I chipped it ten feet by and made bogey.

Then I chipped in on 15.

Hit a good drive on 16, just a sand wedge in there and hit it to about ten feet and made that one for birdie.

Front side, I hit it in the rough on 1. Hit it over the back and missed about a 7-, 8-footer for par on 1.

Made a 15-footer on 2, 20-footer on 2 for birdie.

Hit a nice drive and 3-wood over the back of the green on the par 5. Chipped it about ten feet and made that one.

Then I bogeyed 8. 8 and 9, I already went through those.

JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.

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