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January 19 2011

11:34 PM

New putter, attitude aid Boo

The way Boo Weekley was hitting the ball last week at the Sony Open in Hawaii, he felt like he could have finished among the top three -- if not won the tournament. Unfortunately, though, his putter held him back and he ended up sharing 27th in his 2011 PGA TOUR debut. boo.weekley.interview But take a look at the stats. Weekley was tied for third in driving accuracy on the tight Waialae layout, ranked eighth in driving distance and was tied for 10th in greens in regulation. So he had opportunities -- plenty of them, in fact -- but he averaged 30.8 putts per round (T53) and 1.815 putts per green in regulation (47th). "The last 36 holes I felt like I was holding a rattlesnake.  I was afraid to even take it back," Weekley said. "It was kind of I felt like I had the yips or something. I didn't know if I was pushing it, pulling it or what was going to happen, I just wanted to get it in the hole and get to the next hole so I could tee off, to get something in my hand I feel comfortable with." So it should come as no surprise that Weekley is using a new putter at the Bob Hope Classic. That Never Compromise Gambler served him well in the first round, too, as Weekley shot a 7-under 65 at the Palmer Private Course to finish two strokes off the lead. And just so everyone knows, Weekley isn't the kind of player who switches putters very often. In fact, the putter he was using had been in his bag since 2006. Weekley got the longer 34-inch Gambler on Tuesday. It's heel-shafted rather than center-shafted like his old putter, but Weekley likes the different look. When he was done practicing with it, he felt comfortable enough to put it into play on Wednesday and he used just 28 putts. "Kind of carried over, like you said, from last week, the hitting part," Weekley said. "But actually to watch some putts fall in the hole pretty good to actually see that." Weekley has battled shoulder injuries over the last year or so but he says his health is good right now. Even more important, perhaps, is the fact that Weekley says he returned to the PGA TOUR with a new attitude. "The way I felt last year at the end of the year I was so negative, I was ready so much for golf to be over with and just get in the woods and just hide, you know," Weekley said. "It was almost embarrassing.  That's, to me, that's what it felt like. " “I know how good of a player I am, I know how good I strike the ball.  Granted, I'm going to have my putting weeks where I'm a little off here and there, but I'm just a streaky putter. "But I went hunting this year, I spent a lot of time in the woods and I kind of got my head cleared up a little bit and I'm ready to get back to golf and get back to doing what I know how I can play golf." -- Helen Ross
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