John's Journal...

Boo Weekley – Homeboy at the Ryder Cup

Memorable Events

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 know what you’ve got untilyou 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 uClick to enlargentil 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: When is your next tournament?
Boo: I haven’t decided yet. It probably will be whenever I get tired of working around the house, planting green fields, preparing for hunting season and fishing. The PGA Tour begins in January. So, I couldn’t play golf from now to January if I wanted. But there are a lot of Pro-Am tournaments and other tournaments in which I can compete all year. For the next 2 weeks, I have weekend media and sponsor events scheduled.

Phillips: Boo, did being a part of the winningRyder Cup team affect your sponsorships?
Boo: Not yet, but I hope it will increase the number of my sponsorClick to enlarges.

Phillips: Boo, what was the hardest shot you made in the Ryder Cup?
Boo: The very-first one was tough because I’d never been to a Ryder Cup event before, and it was a completely-different experience.

Phillips: What was the best shot you made in the Ryder Cup?
Boo: I hit a lot of good ones, but the one I remember the most was my second shot trying to get into the green on Friday at the 16th hole. The pin was in a place where I knew I had to hit the ball absolutely perfect to even get close to the pin. When I felt the club hit the ball, I looked at my caddy and said, “They may as well give me that shot.” Although the ball didn’t go into the hole, it landed within 3 inches of the cup.

Phillips: Boo, can you tell when the club hits the ball what kind of shot you’ve made?
Boo: No, sir, not really. But on that second shot from the 16th hole, I knew I’d hit the ball well. A shot can feel good, and you’ll look-up andsay, “Wow, how did that ball go so far to the left, or why didn’t that ball fly any higher?”

Phillips: Boo, do you ever get into the zone like basketball players do when they know they’ll ring the basket with every shot?
BoClick to enlargeo: No, a golfer’s zone is not that exact. You know when you get into the zone because you’re really swinging good, and you hit the ball well. You may not hit the perfect shot you’ve envisioned in your mind, but you can hit a shot very close to it. If you hit the ball, and it lands within 5 feet of where you think it will land, you’re pretty much in the zone. If the ball lands 15 feet or further from where you think it should have landed, you’re probably not in the zone.

Phillips: What were the five ingredients that helped the 2008 Ryder Cup Team U.S.A. win?
Boo: 1) Captain Paul Azinger had a plan for our team, he set-up the entire tournament the way he wanted us to play, he executed the plan, and we played the way he’d hoped. 2) We were the underdogs. Nobody expected much from us, so we didn’t have anything to lose. Under these conditions, you must have a good attitude. 3) The team consisted of six rookies who had no expectations about how they’d play, or how the Ryder Cup event would proceed. I was one of those six rookies, which made this event extra special for me. We could just go out there, play and have fun. 4) I was the team’s clown. I tried to keep everyone laughing and having a good time to reduce the stress level. I don’t think the Europeans really appreciated my humor. We won, so I understand why they were a little aggravated. 5) This event was especially great because we won. We proved that the homeboys could do it. We played in Kentucky, and we had a slogan, “The South shall rise again.”

Phillips: Boo, what’s in the future for you?
Boo: I don’t know yet. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m going to live life one day at a time and spend all the time I can with my family. When the time comes to go back to work, I’ll pick up my golf clubs and go back to work.

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 5