It was only one round but it must have felt as if a massive weight was lifted off his back. Mike Weir's round of 67 in the opener at the Humana Challenge was the lowest score he's fired since the Wyndham Championship in 2010. It's also the first time in two years that he's broken 69 in a PGA Tour event.
"I drove it well and putted well and everything was pretty good," Weir told John Nicholson of the Associated Press.
While the number is impressive, how Weir reached it may be even moreso. The lefthander, who has struggled mightily with his driver over the past few years, hit 12 of 14 fairways off the tee. He also hit 72 per cent of the greens and had a 1.538 putting average. All in all, it would likely be the best round of golf Weir has played in the last two years.
His only slip-up occurred on the par-3 third hole where he tried to cut a ball into the green and left it in the water. A silky wedge shot allowed him to escape with a bogey.
The improved play is in large part due to Weir finally being healthy after his torn elbow ligament, he told Helen Ross of pgatour.com.
"It's tough to play poorly when you know that you can still compete and that," Weir said. "But it just shows you, you can't compete 50 per cent out here, especially a player of my length. I have to be more of a precision player and when you're playing 50 per cent, you just, it's nearly impossible. So I tried to do it, but I'm glad that I'm over that hump and ready to play some good golf now."
There have been signs that Weir's game has been turning around. Even though he missed the cut last week at the SONY, his ball-striking was very good and his driver not as wayward. His misses were consistent, meaning a minor fix rather than a continuing overhaul.
And over Christmas, several observers reported seeing Weir making good swings on the range. He was in Hawaii two weeks before starting his PGA Tour season at the SONY, working on his game.
Now the mission is to keep playing this way but certainly making the cut at the tournament he won a decade ago would be a huge confidence builder for Weir.