The case of Dawie van der Walt vs. Mike Weir will now be heard and you’re the judge on this controversial topic that reared its ugly head last Thursday when van der Walt, a second alternate at the RBC Heritage, sent out a tweet, calling Weir out for his withdrawal after a first round 78.
You can read all about it here.
Of course, media cheerleaders in Canada jumped all over it, saying van der Walt was disrespecting a former Masters champion, a point I don’t buy.
Van der Walt appeared more frustrated with the situation than Weir himself, the waste of a spot in the field when others scratching for any start on tour were left sitting idle.
So, van der Walt’s frustration is understandable, but where he erred was in the tone of his tweet, particularly the hashtag “#hangitupmike.”
On the other hand, Weir made a mistake by not immediately giving a reason for his WD, which led to van der Walt’s tweet and created the suspicion that it was simply frustration with his play that prompted Weir’s exit.
Van der Walt later deleted the tweet, some suspect with a nudge from the tour. He also later tweeted that he shouldn’t have said it and he was frustrated with the situation.
Weir also tweeted Friday morning that it was a flu bug that he picked up the week before at the Masters that caused him to WD the day before.
This whole controversy really isn’t about how each of these guys are playing. One respondent when I posted the original link Thursday evening said van der Walt should simply play better to get into fields.
In fact, he has made the cut in seven of 13 events so far this season, including a tie for 17th at the OHL at Mayakoba in November and he’s looking for as many starts as possible now before the meat of the schedule begins in the summer.
Weir’s struggles with his game are well-documented, but his presence at Hilton Head was justified the way the tour is now.
It’s a case of don’t hate the player, hate the game and if the current system of exemptions, be they medical or sponsor, needs to change, that will be a longer and more controversial discussion that won’t lead to any change.
Have no doubt about it though – Weir had every right to be there.
For that reason, Weir didn’t deserve to be condemned by a tweet with the tone that van der Walt took, but on the other hand, I get where van der Walt is coming from. I bet in his own heart, Weir does too if he goes back to the days when he was breaking out on tour. On Saturday, Weir wished van der Walt the best of luck out there on Twitter.
What do you think? Was van der Walt out of line in his criticism of Weir’s WD? That’s the topic of this week’s GNN Poll.
You can vote below or on the GNN home page and if you’d like to add any thoughts on this controversial subject, please do so in the Comments section below.
Was tour rookie Dawie van der Walt completely out of line in his criticism of Mike Weir’s WD from the RBC Heritage or was his frustration understandable?
- I understand his frustration with the situation. (68%)
- He was completely out of line. (32%)