FARMINGTON, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Championship tees off on Thursday at Oakridge Country Club in Farmington, and former Masters champion Mike Weir is one of four local golfers in the field.
“It’s kind of different, sleeping in your own bed is kind of unusual,” said Weir, a former BYU golfer and longtime Utah resident. “But I just came back from Oakridge and the course was great. Just playing tournament golf is a little strange right now, but its good to be back playing.”
Normally playing at home brings with it friends and family out on the course, but not this year.
“Given what’s going on right now, we’re basically just out there playing with our buddies, no spectators, no fans, so its a good thing,” Weir said. “I can have my friends over to the house for dinner after and not have them at the course.”
Weir played in a Korn Ferry Tour event two weeks ago in Florida, and says not having galleries makes a difference.
“When there’s not the energy of the crowd and tournament golf, when you’re used to something for 30 years like I have been, its quite a change,” he said.
Weir turned 50 last month, and is using this as a tune-up for the Champions Tour, which starts up in July.
“I want to play well and play great, but mostly looking forward to the Champions Tour in a month,” said Weir, who won the Masters in 2003. “My game feels good, I’ve been playing well, playing quite a bit on all the great course we have around here. But yeah, my game feels good.”
Oakridge is not a long course, and the key to Mike’s success has always been his short game.
“I’m not as sharp as I was back then, but my forte has to be short game, wedge play and putting and bunker play,” Weir said. “Looking forward to the Champion’s Tour, that’s where I need to get sharp. That’s what I’m focusing on. That’s where I spent my time practicing today at Oakridge, getting really sharp again.”
Weir will be rooting for the other Utahan’s in the field, Patrick Fishburn, Danny Summerhays and Preston Summerhays, because it reminds him of himself playing the mini-tours 25 years ago. But that rooting will stop at some point.
“Inside I’m rooting for the guys, I want them to play well,” Weir said. “But I’m still competitive and yeah, I think if I play well I can be right in the mix here this week. Once I step inside and tee it up on Thursday, my focus is on playing well myself.”