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Boo once again made the headlines at Hilton Head, but this year mom Patsy was there to provide the inside scoop
THE LEGEND GROWS. Boo Weekley, the self-styled redneck from tiny Milton, Fla., successfully defended his title at the Verizon Heritage at Harbour Town, playing the final hole to his usual chorus of boos.
That's fine with Weekley, who doesn't feel cheated when he's denied the polite applause afforded almost every other PGA Tour player. "It's only natural they're going to holler your name," he says. And the one time last week that Weekley did receive an old-fashioned round of applause, he didn't think he deserved it. During the second round one of Weekley's playing partners, Mark Wilson, needed two shots to escape the gigantic bunker that extends down the left side of the 16th fairway. Wilson's caddie raked up after Wilson's first shot, and when Boo grabbed a rake and smoothed over the second, the gallery rewarded him with an ovation. "I ain't too good to rake a bunker," he said.
Weekley's mother, Patsy, was almost as big a hit as her son. Patsy, who wrote a pithy diary for a local newspaper, The Island Packet, also played with Boo in the Wednesday pro-am, outdriving him (she hit from the women's tee) on the 1st hole. "He didn't think I did until we got to our balls," Patsy reported in the Packet, "but then he saw he was going to be hitting first, so I let him hear about that."
The Heritage was a Boo-fest from start to finish. As defending champ, Weekley was required to don the winner's red plaid jacket for the tournament's opening ceremony on April 14, festivities that Weekley described as "marching around the lagoon." He also hit a shot out into Calibogue Sound as a small cannon was fired. "Talk about loud," he said. (He was talking about the cannon shot, not his golf shot.)
Weekly opened with a two-under 69 and followed with a 64 and a 65 to take the 54-hole lead for the first time in his career. Weekley said his final-round 71, which included a bogey on the 72nd hole, "was ugly," but it was pretty enough to give him a three-shot win over Aaron Baddeley and Anthony Kim.
In 2007 Weekley chipped in on the final two holes for a surprising triumph, and a couple of chip-ins were also the keys to this year's victory. Last Saturday he holed out from behind the 4th green, sparking a torrid run of five consecutive birdies, and on Sunday he badly missed the 10th green short and right, but pitched in from 30 yards. Had his ball not hit the flagstick, it might have run another 10 or 15 feet. "Well, it didn't," deadpanned Kim, Weekley's playing partner.
Weekley still looked shaky until the par-3 14th, where from off the green he holed a putt that hit the back of the cup hard, popped into the air and dropped in for the birdie that kept his lead at a comfy four shots. "This golf is a crazy game," he said. "That's why I only want to do it for so long and then get out of it."
Asked by a reporter what he would do after golf, Boo said, "Where you been?" Hunting and fishing are the favorite pastimes of a man who prefers camo to cashmere, but tip your cap to him, he can play. And out of respect, please boo.