Weir Weighs in on Tiger's Return

Mike Weir figures that Tiger Woods will return from an indefinite break from the PGA Tour "sooner than later," and says it could happen as soon as the Masters in April. Like Woods, Weir owns a green jacket and hopes to greet golf's top-rated player in the champions' locker room at Augusta National.

"I suspect he'll be back - just my guess - I think he'll be back for the Masters," Weir said Friday on a conference call with reporter Chris Johnson of The Canadian Press. "I'm hoping he's back for the majors. They're at such great venues this year, courses he's obviously done very well on."

Three of this year's major championships will be held at courses where Woods has enjoyed considerable success: the Masters at Augusta National (four victories), the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach (where he won by 15 shots in 2000) and the British Open at St. Andrews (two wins).

Because of those venues as places where Woods has experienced such success, Weir believes they will provide incentive for Woods to return in early spring.

"Myself being a competitor, I want to see him there," Weir told Johnson. "When I'm playing the majors and trying to win them, you want the best guy there to play against. Selfishly, I want him there for that. It's just good when he's around."

Weir, who will turn 40 in May, will start his 2010 season at next week's Bob Hope Classic after enduring intense off-season of workouts, where he said he was on "a mission."

Weir will play four of five weeks before taking a break in February to attend the Vancouver Olympics with wife Bricia and their two daughters. One of Canada's most famous athletes, Weir doesn't expect to be a participant in one of the last legs of the torch relay.

"I haven't been contacted really to do anything," he said. "I was just planning on being a fan and just going up there and watching with my family, taking it all in. I just want to go up there and enjoy it. I haven't been approached by anybody on an Olympic committee to do anything."

Even if Woods sits out the entire season, Weir doesn't expect to see another player step into Tiger's void and dominate. "I don't get that argument that somebody's going to sneak up and all of sudden take the bull by the horns," he said. "It could happen. Hopefully, I can do it."

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