Weekley World News

Boo Weekley shot a one-over 72 Friday.
John Biever/SI

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Boo Weekley stuffed his lip with chewing tobacco and surveyed the situation. After two straight bogeys he stood on the tee of the 461-yard, par-4 17th hole. He was two under par for the tournament and one over for the day. With water left, right and long, he pulled out a long-iron and creased his ball down the middle of the fairway. Another solid iron left him 20 feet behind the hole; two putts and he was in with a par.

Weekley has the kind of pure, economical action that amateurs and even pros marvel at. Hitting third in his threesome on 18, the brutally difficult 499-yard, par-4 hole that played into the wind Friday, he laced a low, penetrating drive that traveled some 30 yards past his playing partners. He hit a utility club to 20 feet, right of and past the pin; two putts for another par. He was at 140, four strokes behind the leader, Sergio Garcia, midway through the 136th British Open.

"We didn't have our A-game today," Weekley said. "We struggled off the tee today a lot. Out here you got to drive the ball pretty straight and keep it in play and keep it kind of out of the wind, because if you get it in the air the wind is going to take control of it, and we didn't do that a couple times."

He wore a camouflage long underwear top under his baby-blue Fidra golf shirt, which didn't match, but Weekley has long said he plays golf to support his hunting habit. Hunting? Interviewing Weekley is like shooting fish in a barrel. It started at Loch Lomond last week, when Weekley asked playing partner Paul Lawrie how he'd qualified for the British Open.

"Yeah, I kind of stuck my foot in my mouth there, didn't I? But, I didn't know," Weekley told a small gathering of press after his round Friday. "You don't know, you don't know. I mean, you know? I hate that I said what I said, you know, especially when he was saying what he said, what, a couple days before that, (he) didn't get no respect (for winning the '99 Open), and then I say something like that, you know, it's like wham, here ya go, slap in the head."

And so it went. Weekley, who grew up in the Florida panhandle town of Milton, is named for a cartoon character, Boo-Boo Bear, the little sidekick to Yogi Bear. The original Boo-Boo was a happy simpleton, but Weekley has brought more than a little country bumpkin to the role. The winner of the Verizon Heritage at Hilton Head earlier this year seems not the least bit worried about being typecast, and the world's media, desperate for good copy, were all too delighted to serve him setup lines.

Hey, Boo, looks like you smuggled a few cans of dip into the country.

"I didn't smuggle a few, I brought a bunch, I think about 20-something, and my caddie brought about 30-something."

So you won't run out.

"Nope. I got six more to go."

Boo, what do you think of the food in Scotland?

"It's rough, man. It's been rough on my food. It's different eatin' here than it is at the house. They ain't got no sweet tea, they ain't got no fried chicken. {C}They got a guy smokin' (fish) right over here that's some of the best you'll ever eat{C}. That stuff is good."

Boo, have you done any driving on your visit?

"I ain't drivin'. I ain't drivin' nowhere."

A bit too scary?

"I think so. On the wrong side of the road?"

Boo, what did you know about Scotland before you got here?

"My family was from here. That'd be the only thing I knew. I knew it was a long ways from where I grew up."

Oh? Where in Scotland?

"I couldn't tell you that, neither. It's south of here. It's down south. On the border, I think, down there. That's all I know. You'd have to ask my aunt."

And what do you make of the golf?

"I like it. You know it's really similar to how it is back home, the golf course I grew up on. It's a lot shorter, the one I grew up on, but it's firm like this, it plays pretty fast. You can bump it around the greens."

How about St. Andrews, the home of golf?

"I thought the home of golf is where I'm from."

Eventually he got tired. Or realized he was being played for a bigger stooge than he was comfortable with.

"Guys, I'm going to let you go," Weekley said, because at some point he had to eat, and get some rest in his room in the Carnoustie Hotel overlooking the course. Besides, it was time to go on TV; a nice lady from the BBC wanted to put Boo on the Beeb. And why not? He's practically from here.

 

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