Boo Weekley talks about his 64 in the first round of The McGladrey Classic.
AVONDALE, La. – In an interesting twist of personalities, Boo Weekley has withdrawn from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans due to medical reasons and was replaced by John Daly.
He was a sponsor’s exemption, so Zurich was able to chose the player to replace Weekley.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Carl Pettersson hit a picture-perfect approach shot on the picturesque 18th hole Saturday at Harbour Town Golf Links. The result was a birdie to cap a 5-under 66 to give the Swede a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the RBC Heritage.
On a mostly sun-drenched day along the Calibogue Sound, Pettersson ran off five birdies in a row at one point, racing to the top of the leaderboard as he made the turn in 31. His pace was slowed by two bogeys on the back nine, but they were offset by some phenomenal ball-striking that led to seven birdies on the afternoon.
Harbour Town is known for having the smallest greens on the PGA TOUR, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Pettersson is in front after leading the field in greens in regulation through the first three rounds. Saturday, he hit 14 greens for a second straight day.
But that’s only half the story. Pettersson also putted well, taking just 26 putts in the third round. He’s tied for first in putts per green in regulation and 15th in strokes gained-putting.
Knost, meanwhile, is second in putting and sixth in greens hit. He also recovered from a shaky start.
Leading at the start of the day, Knost bogeyed the opening hole when he pushed his tee shot into the trees. He eagled his next hole when he rolled in a 48-footer from just off the green of the par 5, but gave another stroke back with a bogey on the third hole.
It was mostly smooth sailing from there, however, with Knost making three birdies and just one bogey the rest of the way.
Three years ago, Knost led going into the final round of the Shell Houston Open only to shoot 81 on Sunday.
For most of the day, it looked as if the RBC Heritage would be a two-horse race between Pettersson and Knost.
Zach Johnson, however, shot a 66 as well and is four strokes off the lead.
Boo Weekley, who won here in 2007 and 2008, is in fourth place at 7 under after shooting 70.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- We’re still about an hour away from leader Colt Knost teeing off. When he does, he’ll have plenty of contenders with a dozen players currently within five strokes of his lead.
Only three second-round leaders have gone on to win this season on the PGA TOUR so with that in mind, here’s a look at some of his pursuers.
Pettersson, a four-time winner on TOUR and currently in solo second, is making his 10 th start at the RBC Heritage, where he tied for third in 2004 and tied for eighth in 2007. His last win came two years ago at the RBC Canadian Open, but Pettersson, already has runner-up finishes at the Shell Houston Open and Sony Open in Hawaii this season.
He’s a two-time RBC Heritage winner with victories in 2007 and 2008, the former of which came courtesy of a couple of late chip-ins. Weekley, who shot 66 in the second round and is three shots off the lead, has now shot par or better in 19 of his 22 rounds at Harbour Town. A win would move Weekley into a tie with Hale Irwin for the second-most victories at this event with three, behind only five-time winner Davis Love III.
Snedeker is already one of seven players to hold the season-best birdie streak (he made six in a row during the third round of the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation) and he came close to matching that with five straight here at one point Friday. No defending champion has ever missed the cut here and Snedeker added his name to that list. Now he’s hoping to become the fourth back-to-back winner here, joining Payne Stewart (1989-90), Davis Love III (1991-92) and Weekley.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- The last time Colt Knost led on the PGA TOUR, the end result didn’t turn out so well.
Leading after the second and third rounds of the 2009 Shell Houston Open, Knost shot a final-round 81 to tumble to a tie for 42nd. After a 66 on Friday to take a two-shot lead to the weekend at 9 under, he’s hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.
On a postcard day at Harbour Town Golf Links, scoring was much better than in a blustery opening round. Of the top 23 players on the leaderboard, only three failed to break par.
Michael Bradley had the day’s best score with a 64 in the afternoon wave to move into a five-way tie for seventh at 4 under. Several others had similar scores.
Carl Pettersson, who is alone in second, carded a 65. Boo Weekley, who won here in 2007 and 2008, shot 66. So did Robert Garrigus, who is tied for fifth.
Other notables in contention entering the weekend include defending champion Brandt Snedeker, who is 4 under after a 67 Friday, Zach Johnson and Bud Cauley, both of whom are 3 under.
Another stroke back at 2 under is Tim Clark, who is making just his sixth start of the year after recovering from wrist surgery last season.
Plenty of big names also missed the cut, however, including Ernie Els, who triple-bogeyed the 18th hole to miss by three. Others headed home early include Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson, david Duval and Rickie Fowler.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- A week after Bubba Watson won the Masters another alum from tiny Milton (Fla.) High has a chance to do the same at the RBC Heritage.
Boo Weekley shot 66 Friday to enter the weekend 6 under and in contention at Harbour Town Golf Links. A two-time winner of this event, Weekley is looking for his first victory since that win here four years ago.
“This golf course just suits me,” Weekley said. “It's very, very, very similar to what I grew up playing, having to hit it a certain distance off the tee, and having to shape your shots around the greens.”
He certainly did that Friday, making six birdies and just one bogey. He also took just 25 putts -- an area of the game Weekley has struggled with in recent years.
Over the last three years, including this one, Weekley has ranked 162nd, 186th and 174th in strokes gained-putting. That prompted Weekley to part with longtime caddie Jo Jo Pyland in favor of John Connelly. He also hired a new coach, instructor Scott Hamilton.
Weekley admits he also got “lazy” when dealing with injuries the last couple of years.
In 2009, Weekley tore his labrum midway through the year. He later pulled a rib muscle and struggled with nagging injuries the last couple of years.
“Physically I'm feeling good,” he said.
Well, except for Friday’s round during which Weekley said he felt under the weather.
“I might have swallowed some [chewing tobacco] or something,” Weekley said. “I felt fine and I got out here and I had three pieces of bacon and a muffin, and what else did I have? I had some toast. And I walked out there, got on the putting green, man, it felt like somebody just sat on my chest. I told my caddie, put an extra Tylenol in the bag, in case I did yodel a little bit on the side.”
By yodel, Weekley meant get sick.
“I told Vaughn [Taylor} and he just said, ‘Let me know. I'm allergic to that stuff; I don't want to see it; I don't want to hear it’,” Weekley continued. “I said I'm loud, too. I'm a screamer when I'm yodeling."
Instead of getting sick, Weekley posted his best score of the year.
“It seems like the putter has gotten a little better,” Weekley said. “If I can keep that going into the weekend and keep hitting it good, it's going to be a close race.”
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- As historic as Louis Oosthuizen’s double eagle was during the final round of the Masters, the shot everyone was still talking about Tuesday at the RBC Heritage was Bubba Watson’s escape from the woods on the second hole of sudden death, the par-4 10th at Augusta National.
“Yeah,” Boo Weekley said with emphasis when asked if Watson was in some strange way better off being in the trees than in the fairway. “Where we grew up, at Tanglewood, we had to learn that shot because the trees are real tight. If there’s anybody out there that’s gonna do it, he’s gonna do it every time.”
Weekley and Watson went to the same high school in Milton (Fla.) in the Florida panhandle.
The shot Watson hit Sunday was a wedge off the pine straw, under a tree then over them from 164 yards. It hooked about 40 yards to set up a two-putt par for the win.
It’s the kind of shot that fellow Scottsdale, Ariz., resident Aaron Baddeley, who came out to watch it, has seen dozens of times from Watson.
“When he gets in a spot in the trees it definitely makes him focus,” Baddeley said. “He can hit a 40-yard fade or 60-yard draw because he does it all the time. He can move the ball so far. He can hit a 50-yard fade off the tee because he can hit it 320. If I hit a 50-yard fade, it will go 260. That’s his go-to shot.”
That go-to shot gave Watson his first career major and fourth win in the last two years.
Bill Haas thinks it’s more than Watson’s length that has paid off.
“The rest of his game is a lot better than he got credit for,” Haas said. “I give him the credit now. He’s really good.”
Haas’ younger brother and caddie Jay Jr. said that Watson moves the ball more than any other player in the game.
“He’s entertaining to watch,” Bill added. “Even for us players.”