This time around, former Masters champion Mike Weir went to the mountaintop for advice. Maybe it’ll help hasten his return to the top in his own vocation.
After battling issues in his right elbow for more than a year, during which he has been in an absolute career freefall, Weir had surgery Thursday in Pensacola, Fla., at the hand of renowned arm specialist Dr. James Andrews.
Andrews has rebuilt more arms of major-league pitchers than anybody in the medical profession over the past few years, and did an extensor tendon repair on Weir that will sideline the Canadian hero from 3-6 months, according to IMG, his management company. Weir, one of the classiest acts in the game, is almost certainly finished for the 2011 season.
Weir, 41, has suffered through a nagging ligament issue in the same arm for months, and came back this season to post the most alarming results of his career. Then the left-hander injured himself in the Canadian Open four weeks ago.
“They had really thick rough there,” IMG spokesman Dave Haggith said.
Haggith made a point of noting that it was unclear exactly how Weir injured the elbow, but several players complained that the rough at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club was unusually punitive. Weir was forced to quit after six holes in the second round.
It was first believed Weir had aggravated his old ligament injury, but a follow-up MRI exam with Andrews turned up the previously undiagnosed tendon problem. Weir has skidded to No. 539 in the world rankings – falling to ninth among Canadian players alone -- and has withdrawn or missed the cut in an eye-popping 17 of 20 events starting with the British Open last summer.
South African veteran Tim Clark, like Weir a fixture on Presidents Cup teams and the 2010 champion at the Players Championship, is also facing surgery on his ailing right elbow, an injury that has almost completely ruined his 2011 season.