Boo Weekley has withdrawn from this week's Franklin Templeton Shootout after the deaths of his grandfather and uncle over the last 10 days.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Boo during this difficult time,” said Taylor Ives, Franklin Templeton Shootout Tournament Director. “We know he was very close with both of these gentlemen. Without question he needs to be with his family at this time.”
Weekley will be replaced by Freddie Jacobson, winner of the 2011 Travelers Championship.
Jacobson will team with Retief Goosen in the tournament at Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Naples, Fla. The event, which features 12 two-man teams, begins on Friday.
By PGA TOUR staff
SHANGHAI - Boo Weekley’s second trip to China may not have the Florida native thinking about taking up residence, but his results through 36 holes of the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions will most likely have Weekley circling the PGA TOUR’s Asia swing on his calendar in the coming years.
After two days at Sheshan International Golf Club, Weekley, Bubba Watson and first-round leader Rory McIlroy are tied for second, five shots behind the leader Dustin Johnson.
On Friday, Weekley posted a bogey-free 67 that included a stretch of five birdies in six holes. He credited his round to a long putt for par early in the round to awaken his putter.
"The first par 5 we get to (No. 14), I hit it in the water on the second shot but I made like a 25‑footer that kind of jump started my putting. From there, it was kind of like, all right, here we go, and I made three birdies in a row on the back and came to the front feeling (pretty good)."
China was introduced to Weekley in 2007, when the Jay, Fla., resident teamed with Heath Slocum representing the United States at the World Cup at Mission Hills GC in Shenzhen. In a press conference prior to the event, when asked about what he knew about China, Weekley replied, "I like rice," the first of many one-liners from Weekley that brought him notoriety as a sort of accidental tourist. On the golf course, Weekley and Slocum were fan favorites all week and finished second in the team competition to Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warren, who bested the U.S. team in the third hole of sudden-death.
With two days remaining in the HSBC Champions, Weekley has significant ground to make up, but he likes his position. In China.
"I'm always in a fine position," he said. "I'm here, ain't I?"
Jimmy Walker will make his first British Open start later this month. (Getty Images/Trotman)
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Jimmy Walker’s 71 on Sunday at The Greenbrier Classic left him two shots short of his first PGA TOUR victory, but his runner-up finish was enough for him to earn another prize.
Walker was one of five players to earn an exemption into the British Open via the FedExCup standings after The Greenbrier Classic. Billy Horschel, Boo Weekley, Russell Henley and Harris English also earned their way to Scotland's Muirfield on July 18-21 by being among the top five in the FedExCup standings who were not yet exempt for the British Open. They also had to be among the top 20 in the FedExCup standings to be eligible for the exemption.
Walker’s good play at the Greenbrier moved him from 24th to 17th in the FedExCup. At the start of the week, seven players not yet exempt for the British Open were ahead of him in the FedExCup standings. Charles Howell III, who missed The Walker will be making his first British Open appearance and his first start in a major since last year’s PGA Championship.
“I hear Muirfield is pretty awesome, so I'm excited,” Walker said. “I'll get ready.”
Horschel and Henley also will be making their British Open debuts. Harris English played his first British Open last year, finishing 54th. Weekley has played three British Opens, but none since 2009, when he finished a career-best 13th. Henley and English were teammates at the University of Georgia and on the 2011 Walker Cup team, which lost to Great Britain & Ireland at Scotland's Royal Aberdeen.
Five European Tour players – Richard Sterne, Brett Rumford, Mikko Ilonen, Thomas Bjorn and Marc Warren – qualified for the British Open via the most recent Race to Dubai standings.
Eight players also were added to the field based on the Official World Golf Ranking. The OWGR is used, if necessary, to fill the 156-player field. Greenbrier winner Jonas Blixt, Martin Laird, Fredrik Jacobson, Graham DeLaet, Kyle Stanley, Chris Wood and Ken Duke were added to the field Monday, as was Scotland's Stephen Gallacher, who got in as the first alternate after John Daly withdrew.
The winners of this week’s John Deere Classic and Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open also will earn British Open exemptions if not already in the field.
Billy Horschel is looking to lock up his first British Open berth. (Getty Images/Patrick McDermott)
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
This week’s tournament in West Virginia is one of the final opportunities for PGA TOUR players to earn a trip to Scotland. At week's end, the top five players in the FedExCup who are not yet exempt for the British Open will earn spots in the year’s third major, as long as they also rank in the top 20 of the FedExCup standings.
Billy Horschel leads the pack of players at this week’s The Greenbrier Classic vying for tee times at Muirfield in two weeks. Horschel, who won this year’s Zurich Classic and finished fourth at the U.S. Open, is No. 5 in the FedExCup standings. It’s undetermined how Horschel’s octopus pants may be received in Scotland.
Boo Weekley, at No. 9 in the FedExCup standings, is second in line to receive a British Open exemption; Russell Henley (16th in the FedExCup), his former Georgia teammate Harris English (17) and Charles Howell III (18) round out the top five players in the FedExCup standings who are not yet exempt for the British Open, which will be held July 18-21. English is the only one not in The Greenbrier Classic.
The winner of next week’s John Deere Classic, if not already exempt for the championship, also earns a British Open spot. Here’s a look at players seeking British Open spots this week, listed by their FedExCup ranking (FedExCup points in parentheses):
5. Billy Horschel (1,422)
9. Boo Weekley (1,154)
16. Russell Henley (968)
17. Harris English (958)
18. Charles Howell III (940)
21. Ken Duke (861)
23. Graham DeLaet (818)
24. Jimmy Walker (812)
27. Scott Stallings (756)
30. Ryan Palmer (736)
Note: All but Harris English in The Greenbrier Classic field.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Boo Weekley's wife Karyn was on a mission. She knew how much good the $50,000 that goes along with winning PGA TOUR Player of the Month presented by Avis could do for two of their family's favorite charities.
So Karyn got on the phone and got out the vote. Turns out Weekley, who won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, garnered 60 percent of the vote and beat Tiger Woods, Sang-moon Bae and Derek Ernst for May honors. So Vision of Hope and Christ's Starfish Foundation will split the donation made by Avis in Weekley's name.
"My wife works on both of their faculties trying to raise money for their two charities," Weekley said. "They've been struggling the last couple of years. But for Avis being able to put up the cash for us to be able to do this and to win the fans' vote and my wife went viral with this as soon as we found out.
"I mean, she was calling up Dale (Earnhardt) Jr., called up everybody that we knew just trying to get this out and about to get people to vote. The whole school board where I live at, they went viral with it. ... I'm friends with the sheriff down there, and he's got all the police department from Escambia County all the way to Defuniak Springs voting on it, so it was pretty big."
So was his win at Colonial, the third of Weekley's PGA TOUR career. He fired a final-round 66 and overtook the red-hot Matt Kuchar, who ended up winning the following week at the Memorial Tournament.
"Just being able to play at that level and stay in the zone for four days, for a lot of us players out here, that's kind of hard to do and I actually did it and turns out that I ended up winning tournament," Weekley said. "... Overall to win a tournament that's got so much history to it with Ben Hogan being one of my heros and now my name is up on the wall with his, it's an awesome feeling."
Weekley is looking forward to playing in this week's FedEx St. Jude Classic, which is only about 8 hours from his Florida home. He has family living nearby in Alabama and Mississippi who will be in his gallery so it's like old home week for him.
"I enjoy the people up here because they understand what I'm saying when I'm talking," Weekley said. "We don't have to do no translating amongst us. We're all kind of southerners.
"This golf course sets up real good for me. I like the Bermudagrass on the greens. It's one of those courses I feel like I can win on, too. It's just I haven't done it. I've played decent here a couple times, but haven't excelled enough for four days. I think this is going to tune me up a little bit for Merion next week."