John's Journal...

Boo Weekley – Homeboy at the Ryder Cup

A Team United

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Boo Weekley of Jay, Florida, a longtime avid hunter and fisherman and rookie member of the 2008 Ryder Cup Team U.S.A., helped lead the U.S.A. team on September 21 to their first victory in 9 years at the 37th Ryder Cup. Many didn’t believe this young, rag-tag team with six rookies had a chance to beat the well-established European team. But they didn’t know the Americans had a secret weapon – a magnificent golfer who not only had the skill and the power to win a golf match, but the charisma to set the world of golfing on-fire with his down-home sayings and mannerisms, his yes-sir and yes-ma’am rearing, and his good-natured, fun-loving spirit.  When one sports writer told Weekley that most experts didn’t give the U.S.A. team much of a chance, Weekley said, “You don’t knClick to enlargeow what you’ve got until you get out there and play with it. It’s like getting a new pack of hounds when we were growing up and going deer hunting. You didn’t know what kind of dogs you had until you ran ‘em. So, let’s run ‘em, and we’ll see.” And, after watching the Americans win over the Europeans, everyone realized these underdogs hunted just fine. This week Weekley tells us how he made the team and recalls the U.S.A.’s unexpected, yet well-deserved, victory at Valhalla.

Phillips: Boo, what did your teammates think of a homeboy who hunts, fishes and rides a tractor when he’s not playing golf?Click to enlarge
Boo: That’s one of the things that made the Ryder Cup special for me. Our team became one. Instead of being 12 people playing golf, we were 12 men with a united cause to defend the pride of our country and bring home a victory for the U.S.A. Most of us knew each other before we arrived at the tournament, but we never really hung-out together. At the Ryder Cup, our team captain Paul Azinger required that we hang-out to get to know each other socially and become friends before the tournament started. That strategy really paid-off, since it made us play as a team rather than as 12 individuals. We cared about and rooted for each other on the golf course. Generally in a golf event, each man is an island concerned only with his game, but at the Ryder Cup, we played golf as a group, rather than as individuals.Click to enlarge

Phillips: Is it safe to say that the 2008 Ryder Cup Team U.S.A. became more like a baseball or a football team rather than 12 golfers?
Boo: That’s exactly right.

Phillips: How were you accepted by the other players?
Boo: They knew I was goofy because I’d played golf with most of them before this tournament. The only two I’d never played with before were Phil Mickelson of Rancho Sante Fe, California, and J.B. Holmes of Campbellsville, Kentucky.

Phillips: How were you selected to become a member of the 2008 Ryder Cup Team U.S.A.?
Boo: I was the eighth man selected for the team, and then Paul Azinger, the captain, picked the remaining four members of the team. I don’t know exactly how the points were added to qualify the first eight. I’m just glad I had enough to compete.

Tomorrow: Not Just About the Money and the Title

Check back each day this week for more about "Cliff Hanger Bucks"

Day 1: The Ryder Cup Team
Day 2: A Team United
Day 3: Not Just About the Money and the Title
Day 4: Playing Under Pressure
Day 5: Memorable Events


Entry 477, Day 2