Monday, April 16, 2007

Heritage winner Weekley is one for the ages

If the PGA Tour has been looking for a new star, it has one in Boo Weekley.

He’s as country as George Jones and wonderfully unpolished.

Weekley may not look the part but he plays the game. His ability to hit low, driving shots through the wicked winds that swept across Harbour Town were critical to his victory Monday in the Verizon Heritage. He could keep his shots below the treetops, limiting the wind’s impact.

When it came time to win the tournament, Weekley sacrificed rock-solid golf for great theatre.

He chipped in for par on each of the last two holes, turning potential disaster into a dynamic finish.

Weekley is as good old boy as they come and he’s proud of it. He doesn’t mind talking about his pre-PGA Tour days when he worked for Monsanto and his job was to be lowered into enormous chemical tanks so that he could spray them out.

Until he found a synthetic fabric that worked for him, Weekley played golf in nylon rain pants because cotton tends to chafe him. Think Tiger would admit something like that?

Weekley also used to play professional golf in unlaced sneakers but he’s finally found some golf shoes that don’t make his feet hurt.

In March, Weekley had a chance to win the Honda Classic but missed a short putt on the 72nd hole then lost in a playoff the next day. This Monday was better than that Monday.

“I reckon my stars lined up right in the sky,” Weekley said.

With the victory, Weekley officially qualified for the 2008 Masters, the first player to do so under the tournament’s revived policy of inviting PGA Tour winners. Weekley said he’ll be sure to be there.

He can bring his tartan jacket, too.