Weir interview after final round of the Byron Nelson Championship

By ASAP Sports-

I’d like to congratulate Mike Weir on a runner‑up finish, nice to see you in contention, you posted a 67 today and just came up a couple short against Todd, but opening comments?

MIKE WEIR: It was, I played really good golf, best golf I played in a long time. I was happy with the way I played today. I played solid golf probably better today than the other three days and it just shows you that the things you’re working on your game, when they show up under the heat of competition and stress there that you’re doing the right things. I was really happy with the way I struck the ball today especially and got off to a great start and probably a couple of up and downs, and would have like to do a couple back but Brendon played well and I’m happy with the way I played.

Q. (No microphone.)

MIKE WEIR: Probably not. I was definitely determined to try to win today, but I can feel good about the way I handled things out there and the way I played. Gave myself a couple of good looks coming in there and just wasn’t meant to be but I’m happy with today.

Q. Why do you think your play was so good this week?

MIKE WEIR: I think it just seems like it’s one moment this week that I’m playing great but I think it’s an accumulation of the work I’ve done in the last couple of years. It happened to come out and manifest itself a little bit this week but I’ve seen signs the last few week of playing better, playing weeks where I struck the ball well and putted poorly and vice versa and I just haven’t put it all together. The signs of my game have been showing themselves and I just haven’t put them all together. The putting really helped this week and maybe I had a little different approach, mentally, took it easy on myself maybe a little bit more this week.
I’ve said that a few times this week to you guys that I love the competition this week. I relished that and I think that helped me play well this week.

Q. Coming down the stretch, you’re looking at the boards and everything, what were you thinking on 17, that putt was so close?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, after I hit‑‑ my Sunday best on 16 to get to the front of the green and left that right in the middle of the hole, foot and a half short, I thought to myself I can birdie these last couple, you never know and gave myself a great chance, hit‑‑ just the line exactly, the right speed what I wanted to do on 17, it just happened not to go in.
I hit a great putt from a long ways away on 18, too, but I was thinking when I was 16 that this tournament is not over, especially as hard as the wind is blowing and if I could sneak a birdie in there, I might have a chance.

Q. Can you elaborate on your relationship with Byron Nelson?

MIKE WEIR: My relationship started with him playing this event earlier in my career in the late 90s, early 2000s and for a few minutes getting to see him inside the clubhouse but where I got a chance to connect with him a little more was when I won Riviera when he sent me a nice letter and when he played this event he was able to talk to him about that and he relayed some stuff to me about competing and he relayed some stuff about how he thought about the game.
Then obviously at the master’s in 2004 sitting at the head table with him, I got to spend the whole evening with him and that was really special. I kind of kept that in my heart a little bit out there today. I would say that he was enjoying the golf, I guess, not just myself but all of us and I think he would have liked what he saw out there, the competition.

Q. Mike, were you nervous at all going into the final round just wondering how things would go and after getting off to such a great start, how satisfying it was to know, “hey, I’m back in it.” I haven’t played out of it early?

MIKE WEIR: No doubt about it, I was nervous. For sure I was. I hadn’t been there in a long time. Even though it was bunched together and I knew that anything could win this tournament, it was so close but I was nervous starting the day and to be able to handle those nerves and hit shots right out of the gate, a 3‑wood and a wedge stiff and then a hole‑in‑one the next hole and then birdied the next hole and the next two, that just shows you, like I said earlier in the tournament, I said I was working on my swing, I can trust that, no matter if you’re nervous or not and things were working, so it felt great.

Q. You talked about the competition and how much you liked it and mentioned you recall trying to go easy on yourself. Did you have to make golf fun again? Was there a point when you were missing all those cuts where you wondered if this performance was possible for you again?

MIKE WEIR: No doubt about it, I had doubts about that. Yeah, it’s not fun to play poor golf. I love the sport, I love to compete and when you’re doing something you love poorly it makes it difficult.
No doubt about it. But in the end I love the game and I love to compete and I guess I said this earlier, I know hard times, I’ve had plenty of hard times in my career, it took me 7 years out of college to get on the PGA TOUR, missing cuts on the Asian tour, Canadian Tour, all around the world, so I knew I could rely on that and I knew I could dig deep within myself to pull myself out of things. This has taken a long time and it’s only one week but this week was great and very satisfying. I look forward to the rest of the year.

Q. You had a birthday if I’m not mistaken?

MIKE WEIR: Monday.

Q. Did you do anything to celebrate or is that anymore cause for reflection this week?

MIKE WEIR: Not really. I was traveling Monday, my birthday was Monday so I was on the airplane and getting through the airport, lucky to get in here with the storms we had Monday, most of the flights were cancelled so I felt fortunate to get in here Monday night and be able to see the golf course Tuesday because I wasn’t in the Pro‑Am so I was happy to get out here for Tuesday. Birthday didn’t have a whole lot to‑‑ I would say that Jim Furyk and I have the same birthday and I have noticed his good play the last couple of weeks and that was motivate that go us “old dogs” can still do it a little bit.

Q. Mike, if you weren’t able to keep your card for next season, what was going to be the plan?

MIKE WEIR: I don’t know. I guess I wasn’t thinking that much ahead. I guess I would play what I could get into on my Champions category, and hopefully get a couple of exemptions and play. But like I said, I’m winding down now. I want to keep playing but I think my schedule over the next few years will cut back a little bit. I just feel that, you know, I have my foundation that I want to be a part of, I would love to be involved with kids some way, some mentoring, I don’t know how that will develop but I see myself winding down a little bit. I still want to play and I hopefully will one day play the Champions TOUR but at this stage I don’t want to be out here 30 weeks a year. I love you guys, but just being on the road, I’ve done it for so long and I don’t see myself putting that full schedule in. Now like you said, I can pick my schedule a little better. This year I’ve had to play a lot because of the status and not getting into events. So it will be nice to take a breather here.

Q. How sick were you of answering questions from us about what’s wrong with your game? Secondly, your wing as of now, how different do you think it is from back when you were having your success?

MIKE WEIR: I don’t think it’s‑‑ with regard to the swing part I don’t think it’s that much different. Aspect of my game maybe being a little older maybe it’s not as dynamic as it used to be. But I think I have a better understanding of things, I’ve learned a lot from a couple of teachers that I have used in the last couple of years. I think that’s help me, too.
The first part again was, answering questions about it? I guess I just knew that it was inevitable, I didn’t take offense to it, it was matter of fact, I was playing poorly and I was trying to dig myself out of it and I didn’t have any explanation except for what got me into that was obviously the elbow issue and having elbow surgery and trying to play through that and basically being afraid to hit the ground and the bad habits I got into with that and probably coming back a little bit early.

Q. (No microphone.)

MIKE WEIR: I hit a tree root at Hilton Head, 2010, and that started it. I did a number of therapies to try to get through it and play and the tear in my tendon kept getting worse and Dr.James Anders down in Pensacola fixed it and mentally it just took a while for me to just get after the ball. It took a long time. The pattern I developed with not hitting the ground was poor. I developed some bad patterns in my swing and that’s been the hard cycle to get out of. I’ve been past that for well over a year but mentally just to now be free and get back to that‑‑ keep chipping away and get back in contention this week has taken a long time.

Q. Mike, what is your schedule from here going toward the U.S. Open?

MIKE WEIR: Well, I’m not in the next couple of weeks, they’re invitational tournaments so I’m playing in Memphis. I’ll be flying back to Ohio for the qualifying for the U.S. Open the Monday after memorial, and then I’ll fly up to Memphis and we’ll see. Hopefully the U.S. Open the following week and I’m not sure after that.

Q. Do you think you’ll have an opportunity or take the time in the next few days to reflect back on the journey over the last four years and all the hard work that you’ve done over that time to get back to this point? Obviously it’s still fresh now but it seems like being able to be reflective a little bit might be something you might be interested in doing.

MIKE WEIR: I don’t think I will. To be honest, I don’t think so. I think I’m here now and pushing forward. Like you said, I’ve got asked that question a lot, I’ve answered it a lot and I am where I am now and pushing forward. I’m not going to reflect on the past, that’s history now and I’m playing good golf and I want to keep that going now.

Q. (No microphone.)

MIKE WEIR: Well my wife flew in this morning which was a nice surprise, she flew in and was able to watch that round and hangout. I haven’t had a chance to talk with my daughters or my parents, I’ll chat with them here in a minute, but it was great to have my wife here, no doubt.
THE MODERATOR: Mike Weir, thank you.