At the 2008 Ryder Cup, then-American captain Paul Azinger provided honest warning to these on the PGA of America who is likely to be inclined to button the blue blazer a tad too tight: Boo Weekley was not your prototypical teammate.
“I told the PGA of America that he would be maybe the greatest character to ever come from America to play on a Ryder Cup team, to represent this country,” Azinger stated. “Some of the things that he says you can’t script it. He’s really impressive. Plus, he hits it so well.”
Throughout his profession, Weekley’s persona was irresistible and his ball-striking chic. The child from Milton, Fla. (pop. 8,826) was all the time as entertaining as he was knowledgeable golf outlier. There was no beginner or faculty pedigree, no nation membership privilege, no preordained future. There was simply onerous work and good times, proper up to date when accidents stopped the celebration.
Weekley’s absence is felt profoundly this week of all of the stops on the PGA Tour’s city-to-city circus. For a two-year run it appeared as if he would flip the RBC Heritage into his private member-member, having received the occasion in back-to-back years (2007 and ’08). Harbour Town Golf Links and Boo had been a match made in southern heaven. A ball-striker’s paradise and, on the time, the Tour’s preeminent ball-striker.
“I want to play on a golf course where I have to think my way around. Let’s hit a fairway and play from there,” Weekley informed GolfChannel.com following a busy day again dwelling in the Florida Panhandle.
The 47-year-old’s Thursday started with remedy. Always remedy. Twice every week for an hour – or more – following January’s hip substitute surgical procedure. It’s simply the most recent of a laundry record of accidents that undercut the profession of one of many recreation’s most compelling figures, however Boo actually doesn’t see his profession arch in that context.
He’s received three times on Tour, performed that unforgettable Ryder Cup in 2008 and still had time for what actually mattered: his two sons, fishing and looking. He’ll fortunately recount the ’08 matches at Valhalla, and his love of Harbour Town and Colonial and people ball-striking gems. Just don’t ask if he has any regrets.
“I live life. Think about it, as a kid in the 1990s you played every sport. Me and [fellow Tour pro Heath Slocum who also attended Milton High School] played basketball, he’s a point guard and I’m a guard, I played soccer,” Weekley stated. “You played every sport you can play. Nowadays in sports it’s I’m a golfer and I’m going to play golf.”
Weekley is getting again to enjoying golf, but it surely’s been a sluggish course of following his surgical procedure. He performed 9 holes a couple of month in the past and it didn’t go properly.
“That’s when I knew I wasn’t ready. It took me a day to get out of bed,” he laughed earlier than including, “This past Sunday, during the Masters, I had my own Masters. The only thing that hurts is my back. I’m losing weight and trying to get down to 200 [pounds] again.”
Of all of the mounting accidents – there was one other surgical procedure in 2017 for tendinitis in his proper elbow adopted by a cyst on his proper shoulder that was cancerous – the one factor that appears to concern him in the intervening time is his weight and the way that may influence his swing.
“I’m hoping my back will hold up. I’ve never had a back problem. I was a fat boy and got lazy, 200-and-something pounds, like the Pillsbury Doughboy. I want to get to 200 pounds. That will take the pressure off my back and I can turn and swing well,” he stated.
If the picture of Boo Weekley attempting to shed extra pounds and spending numerous hours on a treadmill doesn’t dovetail with the legend know that just about the whole lot else about him stays unchanged.
Well previous dinner on Thursday, as he drove dwelling after spending the afternoon at his grandmother’s home, he’s as entertaining as ever. North Florida has been inundated with rain in latest days and Boo’s been busy.
“A tree was down that needed to be cleared. They say Florida is the sunshine state but we live in the rain state,” he laughs. “It would take an airboat to get through my girlfriend’s yard.”
Golf and the Tour still beckon. There had been definitely elements of the approach to life that Weekley didn’t like, however after being away for therefore lengthy – his final begin was in November 2019 on the RSM Classic – there are issues he misses.
“I miss the camaraderie. I miss the guys. You get to see the people you want to see,” he stated. “I miss pounding golf balls. I just want to hear it coming off my club. I want to hear that thud.”
Weekley was all the time listed among the many recreation’s finest ball-strikers – though, in equity, he’ll admit placing has by no means been a power – and regardless of all of these accidents at his core, he stays that unflappable participant. What stays to be seen is whether or not he can rekindle that greatness.
Through the straightforward giggle and homespun knowledge, Weekley’s voice drops an octave when requested if he can win once more on Tour?
“Oh yes, sir. I can win. If I can get back down to 200 pounds. I worked out today twice. I rode a bike and did a full workout and then went to my grandmommas’ house,” he stated.
He makes one final joke about not with the ability to put his sock on his left foot earlier than signing off. It’s been an extended day and there’s more remedy, more work, more bushes to clear tomorrow.
A decade after Azinger’s warning to the PGA of America, his evaluation of Weekley stays unchanged. Even after so many accidents and so many setbacks, Weekley is still one of many recreation’s “greatest characters.” And he additionally still “hits it so well.”