GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup will be missing five major champions as well as one former PLAYERS champion when The Barclays begins on Thursday.
Angel Cabrera, who has two majors on his resume, as well as former British Open champs Ben Curtis and Todd Hamilton and PGA winners Rich Beem and Shaun Micheel, won't be participating after missing the cut at the Wyndham Championship.
All came into the week ranked outside the top 125 in the FedExCup standings and didn’t earn any points as a result. Other notables on the sidelines are Henrik Stenson, who won the 2009 PLAYERS Championship; Rocco Mediate and Boo Weekley.
Boo Weekley is currently in last place at the Reno-Tahoe Open – another bad week in what has been a poor 2011 season for the two-time PGA TOUR winner.
Weekley is at 6 over through 15 holes in his final round, well off the 13-under lead of Scott Piercy, who will tee off at 4:40 p.m. ET.
Weekley’s best finish this year came in January, when he finished tied for 13th at the Bob Hope Classic -- his only top-25 finish of the year. He has missed seven cuts in 17 events in 2011, and withdrew from his last event, the AT&T National, citing a rib injury.
He’s currently 153rd in the FedExCup standings, and is not
in the field at next week’s PGA Championship.
Weekley has made the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup every year since he finished 23rd in his rookie year on TOUR in 2007. He has fallen in the standings each year since, however. In 2008 he finished 25th, but dropped to 85th in 2009 and 111th in 2010.
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- Chris Couch just withdrew from the AT&T National, citing a lower back injury.
Couch, who opened with a 73, played nine holes Friday before pulling out. He was 7 over with six bogeys, one double bogey and a birdie.
Earlier in the day, Boo Wekley withdrew due to a rib injury. He pulled out before his round started. Weekley shot 75 in the first round.
Boo Weekley got a little close to an alligator Thursday at TPC Louisiana. Click here for the video .
It's a refrain heard many times by many people on TOUR: "If only they could putt." But for all the good-ballstriker bad-putter labels out there, none of them have Boo Weekley's stats when it comes to ball-striking. On paper, he's still the best out there, two years after seeing his career threatened by a shoulder injury.
Weekley, without a top-10 since a tie for ninth at The Greenbrier Classic last August, heads to this week's The Heritage leading the TOUR in Total Driving, the combination of Driving Distance and Driving Accuracy. Here's the kicker: He's 16th in distance and 21st in accuracy, putting him well ahead of second-place John Merrick, who is 35th in distance and 23rd in accuracy. Not surprisingly, Weekley is fifth in Greens in Regulation Percentage.
But his putting, as usual, is holding him back, and he's tried everything he can to fix it. He's gone to different putter with a different length, but it hasn't helped much. Weekley has never ranked in the top 100 for putting, and this year, he's missed a large number of his putts inside five feet (8.55 percent). That puts him last on TOUR.
Where is all this leading? Weekley's only two PGA TOUR wins have both come at Harbour Town, which arguably emphasizes ball-striking more than any course on TOUR. Its tiny greens don't leave a lot of 60-footers, so the effects of three-putting are minimized.
That doesn't mean the short game is deemphasized; far from it. Because of the small greens, the wedge game is vital, and that is why great scramblers like Luke Donald and Jim Furyk usually do well here. When Weekley won here in 2007, he did so after chipping in twice from off the green on the back nine in the final round.
If Weekley can get the putter going this week (or any week), watch out.
Here is how Weekley has matched up on TOUR in several categories in 2011:
|Total Driving||Greens in Regulation||Putting Average||Putts per round||Putting: 3-5 feet|
DORAL, Fla. -- Believe it or not, Bubba Watson actually took a couple of days off last week after finishing fourth at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Yes, he hit about five balls at the PING factory on Tuesday but Watson didn't play 18 holes until Thursday as he prepared for the Cadillac Championship. That's a significant layoff for a guy who loves the game so much he gets geared up simply playing against his buddies at home.
So just what is the fascination?
"Can't perfect it," Watson said. "Never going to be perfected. ... You can birdie every hole but nobody has ever done it. It's possible. It's just never been done. It's possible I can win this week; it's just never been done yet. I just haven't won this week but there's all chances.
"It's fun. I love it. I love the challenge. I love the challenge of how my body is going to react that day. Am I going it beat you? What if you have your best game that day and I have my worst game? You just never know."
Watson had one of his best earlier this year when he won his second PGA TOUR event at the Farmers Insurance Open. He punctuated that victory with a 12-footer for birdie at the 18th hole Sunday at Torrey Pines to hold off Phil Mickelson.
But the big-hitting Watson's two most memorable shots this year are probably the driver off the deck he launched from 330 yards out at No. 18 at Kapalua or the 3-iron that rocketed 280 yards on the 11th as he beat Geoff Ogilvy at Dove Mountain. And which was the most difficult to hit?
"Well, the iron, because it was a 3-iron, it looked like a butter knife and I'm trying to hit it 280 over a bunker," Watson said. "Kapalua was easier because it was a driver is going to slice and I knew it was going to slice. So all I have to do is aim it out far enough and hit it on the downslope. Pretty simple it seemed like."
Watson said he's always hit those kind of shots -- he just wasn't on TV when he did. "Before I was doing these interviews in the media center, there was no camera around me so I probably hit a lot of those shots but nobody ever saw them," he said. "So now that I'm 15th or 20th in the world, now I get to be on camera a little bit more."
Watson isn't the type to pound balls on the range like Vijay Singh. So he learned to be creative while he was growing up playing the tree-lined fairways at Tanglewood Golf and Country Club in Milton, Fla., where Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum also honed their games.
And one of the most creative was the one Watson liked to hit on the sixth hole. That's where he cut the corner of a dogleg and "shaped it around" the home of Weekley's parents.
"I've never hit his house, put it that way," Watson said with a grin. "I've never hit his parents' house. I can go on record and say that." – Helen Ross
Right now, the cut line is sitting at 5 over, which while not the highest cut in PGA TOUR history is still pretty high and bad news for Rory McIlroy and 2008 Honda Classic winner Ernie Els. Both are 1 over through seven holes in the second round and both are one off the cut at 6 over for the week.
Boo Weekley and Rickie Fowler aren’t so fortunate. They both finished at 8 over for the week and are headed home.
The worst round of the day and the week, though, belongs to Mike Weir, who shot 85 to finish his two days at 22 over. This was the last start for Weir to fulfill his Major Medical, which he won’t do after four missed cuts in five starts.
Others flirting with the cut include Anthony Kim (5 over, through eight holes today) and last week’s winner, Luke Donald, who is 4 over for the week and 1 over through eight holes Friday.