Mike Weir at the reins of the international team in Montreal in 2024
Two months after a creditable performance at the Presidents Cup in Quail Hollow, the international roster is already looking ahead to 2024. Canadian Mike Weir will serve as captain at the Royal Montreal Golf Club.
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The PGA Tour will make the announcement on Wednesday morning at a press conference at the Bell Center.
Having assisted captains Nick Price (2017), Ernie Els (2019) and Trevor Immelman (2022), it is now his turn to take the reins of the international team.
With his five appearances as a player at the biennial event and a winning record of 13 wins, 9 losses and two draws, Weir experienced a moment of glory during the 2007 edition on the fairways of the prestigious golf club of Ile-Bizard.
During the singles matches on Sunday, the Canadian had paid none other than the best golfer in the world, Tiger Woods. A duel that had fascinated fans and spectators gathered on the course.
Weir had taken a slim lead over the American, but Woods had responded by taking control in 15th. The « prodigious son » of Canada then managed to tie the match with a magnificent birdie in the 17th before seeing his rival commit an irreparable blunder on the last tee.
Woods finally conceded the victory by suffering his second loss of the week in Montreal. Weir then declared that he would never forget this intense moment.
Seventeen years later, he will be back on the scene of his exploit.
The appointment of Mike Weir as captain is not a big surprise. It was the worst hidden secret in ages. In fact, his name was already circulating in the summer of 2020, when the return of the tournament to Montreal was announced.
After the loss of the international team last September in North Carolina, questions were then addressed to Weir as the next captain.
Just as Immelman had to do, the 52-year-old Canadian will have to deal during the next 22 months with all the sporting and political issues in which his sport is entangled. Recall that the PGA Tour is involved in a fierce fight against the controversial LIV Golf Tour, which is entirely financed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. A fight that rages as much on the aisles as in the courts.
Golfers who have joined the Saudi circuit are not eligible for the team tournament, one of the two major events on the circuit. Thus, international headliners such as Cam Smith and Louis Oosthuizen, among others, had not taken part in the competition at Quail Hollow.
Without a truce or common ground, this situation could well be repeated in Montreal in September 2024.
« I don’t think you can really do anything about it, » Weir said hours after the tournament concluded in Charlotte. But I think we have a great core of golfers. We will look to improve our team in addition to improving.”
The emergence and passion of young Korean Tom Kim are among the nice surprises and highlights of the 2022 edition despite the defeat, 17.5 to 12.5, against the powerful Americans. Largely neglected, the Internationals had shown tenacity during the week.
In two years, Weir will have the heavy task of leading them on the road to victory, 26 years after the only international victory.
Until then, the new captain will have the mandate to deepen the DNA and harden the shield of the team, a work started by Ernie Els in 2019.