The Momentum Continues for Mike Weir at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship
Mike Weir picked up right where he left off at last year’s KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and is just one shot back through 18 holes at Harbor Shores.
Weir, who was the 36-hole leader a year ago at Southern Hills Country Club, shot a 6-under 65 Thursday in Michigan. He’s tied for third through 18 holes, trailing Steven Alker and Bob Estes by one shot.
The 2003 Masters Champion made eight birdies in the first round, including two in his final three holes.
“My day was just a lot of really good ball-striking,” said Weir.
“All in all, it was a really good day.”
Weir admitted on Wednesday the start of his year had been “a little stale.” But he was confident in his prep work.
“Haven’t got a lot going and I think I’ve figured out a couple of the issues holding me back and excited about this week. Feels a lot better,” Weir said before the tournament began.
So far, so good.
“My short game was much better,” said Weir, whose birdie efforts Thursday came mostly from approach shots that landed less than 10 feet from the hole. “It wasn’t a lot of long putts, but you’ve still got to make them, and I was able to do that.”
The last tournament Weir played was the Regions Tradition – another major on the PGA Tour Champions schedule – and he shot a 5-under 67 to close. He said he “found something” with his short game, specifically his putting, which he carried over to the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
“Things were better today,” said Weir.
Weir, who won his first PGA Tour Champions title at the Insperity Invitational last May, grew up just four hours from Benton Harbor across the Canadian border.
He said pre-tournament that there was a comfort level to the kind of grass and lake-side conditions he would be facing this week. Weir said he “really liked” the layout, but knows he lucked out with the weather not being as impactful as was predicted for Thursday’s opener.
“We had a bit of a break at the end of the day. It was pretty calm the last four or five holes… but most of the time you’re going to get some crosswinds. Gets your attention off the tee with some shots and you have to step up there and try to hit those,” he said. “It’s going to get cooler and challenging the next few days.”
Weir was off last week and visited his coach, Mark Blackburn, PGA, in Birmingham, Alabama.
“It took me a few days to right the ship there, but Sunday was a good day at (the Regions Tradition) and to carry that forward was great,” said Weir. “Nice to have a week off last week and work on things and come in here a little bit more fresh.”
Through one round at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship the hard work has paid off. Now Weir’s hoping he’ll keep it going over the next three days.