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Mike Weirbecomes instant Canadian hero

Mike Weir shows immediate benefit from break

A former Masters champion who is one of the top 10 players in the world ranking, Mike Weir had ample opportunity to rake in some easy money during the silly season.

Instead, the 34-year-old Canadian shut it down after the Tour Championship in early November and had one of his longest breaks from golf since he joined the PGA Tour.

But this was no vacation.

While he did go skiing with his family in Utah, Weir also spent a lot of time with swing coach Mike Wilson in the California desert, tightening a game that he thought was getting away from him last year.

"I was getting a little bit of a reverse pivot, and the length of my swing was getting very long," Weir said. "It was causing me some problems, and then I just didn't feel real comfortable with my putting all year. That was the major thing I worked on -- more stability with my putting and getting the stroke under control a little bit more."

The putting problems were never more obvious than at the Canadian Open.

Weir looked like a shoo-in to become the first Canadian to win his national open in 50 years -- on the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Open, no less -- until his putting abandoned him the final two rounds. He blew a late lead, missed a 5-foot putt to win in the playoff, and eventually watched Vijay Singh pose with the trophy.

"That played on my mind as the weeks went on after the Canadian Open, and I think maybe that played into something in the offseason that, 'Hey, I need to work on my putting,'" he said.

The problem with his putting was mainly in the setup. Weir found himself moving around, which led to bad posture. He was four shots behind going into the final round at the Mercedes Championships, getting there with a 63 in the second round. And whatever happens this week, that showed his work already was paying off.

"When you're making putts on these greens, I know I'm on the right track," he said.


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