Mike Weir (Getty Images)
Former Masters Tournament champion Mike Weir will step up his return from injury at this week’s Open de Andalucía Costa del Sol as The European Tour lands on European soil for the first time in 2012.
The 41 year old Canadian, who won at Augusta National in 2003, has been troubled by an elbow injury for the last two years.
And the left-hander is keen to build up some momentum over the next three weeks, before returning to the scene of his greatest triumph.
“I decided to come and play here because I need to play more,” said Weir, who has taken up European Tour Membership for 2012. “I have been practicing for a couple of months, and now I want to play Bay Hill and a few events in a row to get ready for Augusta.
“I will try to play more in Europe towards the summer - Ireland, France, Germany and obviously The Open. I am planning to bring the family with me. I have two girls that are 14 and 11 years old and I want to be as close to them as possible.
“I am slowly recovering from my elbow surgery a couple of years ago after I tore my tendon off the bone.”
Weir has fond memories of Spain – he won a World Golf Championships title at Valderrama in 2000.
“This is my third time in Spain after ’99 and 2000 at Valderrama,” he added. “Sunday, when I won, was very special, but Saturday was great. I shot 65 and I’m very proud of that round on a really windy day.
“I remember I made a great up and down on 17, and it was pretty exciting to beat guys like Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood and Nick Price. On Friday I was near the lead and took eight on 17, but I was playing well.”