Boo Weekley carded a 2-under 70 in the first round of the Shell Houston Open on Thursday. Here he reacts to a shot on the eighth hole at Redstone, where he made a birdie 4.
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Boo Weekley carded an 8-under 63 on Sunday at Innisbrook. (Ehrmann/Getty Images)
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
PALM HARBOR, Fla. – So much for the fishing excursion.
Boo Weekley had planned to get an early jump on the drive to Orlando after Sunday’s final round at the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank, hoping to throw a line into some of the ponds at Bay Hill.
Instead, he faced a three-hour wait around Innisbrook – courtesy of the 8-under-par 63 that put him in line for a potential playoff.
“It’s all right,” Weekley said with a shrug. “I’ll wait.”
The homespun Floridian relaxed with some pizza after posting his lowest round since the 2010 Greenbrier Classic. That was before injuries ganged up to spoil not only his golf swing, but his bow hunting.
But this weekend has shown glimpses of the Weekley that won back-to-back at Hilton Head and helped the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team to victory. He played his final 30 holes without a bogey, pouring in eight birdies on Sunday.
Each of his final two birdies, at Nos. 15 and 16, came after crisp irons that stopped less than 2 feet from the flagstick.
“It was impressive. Even I’m still kind of shocked at how well I really hit it,” Weekley said. “It was one of the best ballstriking days I’ve had in a long time. I had three or four tap-ins today.”
Sunday’s performance also came at a course that has bedeviled Weekley for years. Even though Innisbrook has the same type of tree-lined fairways as courses he grew up on in the Florida Panhandle, he’d missed the cut in four of his past five appearances.
His best finish on the Copperhead was his first, a tie for 22nd back in 2002.
“I think I was more happy when I made the cut here (Friday), to tell you the truth,” Weekley said. “It’s been such a long time. This course has given me fits. Now that I’d made the cut and could actually get myself up in contention, it felt good.”
After extra work with coach Scott Hamilton this week to get a better read on the Copperhead’s hard undulations, Weekley started seeing a payoff.
“We started adding a little more break to what I’m normally seeing,” he said. “Then when I started seeing a little more break, I started seeing the putts fall.
“When you haven’t been out there in so long, you get nervous. It feels great now – it’s over with.”
The wait, though, was only beginning.
Boo Weekley charged up the leaderboard with birdies on four of his first 10 holes, including this birdie on the 10th hole at Copperhead.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Little things can sometimes make a big difference.
For Boo Weekley, learning how to breathe properly and taking a little pressure off his right hand while putting did just that Thursday.
After opening with back-to-back bogeys, Weekley rattled off five birdies in an eight-hole stretch in the middle of his round en route to a 66 that leaves him near the top of the leaderboard at The Honda Classic.
"It's kind of like when I'm shooting my guns long range, I have to take a deep breath and blow it out and then pull the trigger," said Weekley, who matched his lowest round since a 65 in Las Vegas 18 months ago.
Taking the pressure off his right hand during the putting stroke has also taken some pressure off Weekley. Thursday, he had 27 putts, which included going 13-for-13 on putts inside 10 feet and making five more outside that range.
Weekley has come from a lot longer than that, however.
A year ago, Weekley played mostly on sponsor exemptions after finishing the 2011 season 180th on the money list. He's also battled a myriad of injuries in recent years, including shoulder problems.
"It's tough when you have to write letters," he said. "Thank the good Lord that I have been friendly enough, and been an outgoing guy to a lot of these tournaments. I've done about everything they have asked me to do."
Weekley took advantage of the opportunity and got his card back after finishing 108th in money last year.
"It's just part of golf," Weekley said of hs struggles. "My confidence is getting there. My swing is starting to come around. I'm actually healthy. I feel good."
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.