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Weekley aw-shucks his way to third-round 65 at PGA
Boo Weekley admittedly doesn't know a lot about golf history, the Ryder Cup or the upcoming FedExCup. But he does know his way around Southern Hills Country Club pretty good, evidenced by his stellar 5-under 65 at the 89th PGA Championship.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.com Correspondent
TULSA -- The putt was for a piece of history, but he didn't have a clue.
God love him, all Boo Weekley had on his mind was par Saturday afternoon at Southern Hills' 18th hole.
We were thinking 63. A number with major importance attached to it.
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He was figuring the course record had to be 60 or something and that par would be pretty nice. Instead, his 40-foot birdie attempt for 63 came up 8 feet short. His par putt scooted by.
A "three wiggle," he called it, for 65. And a spot in the third-round's early top 10.
The 63? It would have tied him with Tiger Woods and 22 others who've shot 63 in a major and tied the course record here set by Ray Floyd and tied Friday by Tiger, whose putt for 62 horseshoed out of the cup.
"Really?" Boo said with a grin. "That would have been nice."
One reporter couldn't believe he didn't know. But we did. Boo doesn't do golf on television, let alone golf history. All he knows is he was six shots behind Tiger Woods when he walked off the course -- Tiger had yet to tee off -- and sitting there with an outside chance at the 89th PGA Championship.
"Kept it in play today," he said. "That's the difference in the last few days, if you can keep it in play, its easier to score here."
That, he's done. He's done it, in fact, at all three majors he has played this year -- the first of his career. He tied for 26th at the U.S. Open and tied for 35th at the Open Championship, where he found the food and driving on the left side of the road a little amusing and a little disturbing.
But now he's back in the States with fajitas and fried chicken and sweet tea. And, in addition to being on the first page of the leaderboard, he's positioning himself for a run at everything from the FedExCup to the Ryder Cup team.
All those things, though, are right there with 63.
He doesn't understand the upcoming FedExCup (he's 17th this week) or the Presidents Cup (34th). He will be in the first; could be in the second if he wins here or plays well enough to have Jack Nicklaus make him a captain's choice.
"I just know I'm playing golf and that's all that matters to me," he said.
The FedExCup point standings? He'll figure that out -- "maybe in a couple of years."
He drew a laugh. "I never was good at math."
And about that Ryder Cup?
"If they invite me to come play, I'll come play," he said. "But, no, I really don't know a whole lot about it. I've seen some clips of it. I think Justin Leonard made a putt or something. That's about the only thing I remember of the Ryder Cup stuff."
What he didn't know about the majors at the start of the year, he's learning by trial and error.
"What I'd like to say is par isn't a bad score," he said. "It's not a birdiefest at every golf course. I've learned in the majors that's how it's starting to pan out. You have to keep it around par, you're keeping yourself in the game. And here and there you make a couple birdies, you shoot 2 or 3 under one day and get yourself in contention.
"And that's what I'm trying to do as I'm playing. I'm learning more about how to accept just making pars. Pars ain't bad for you, even making a bogey ain't bad for you sometimes."
What's good? Well, winning at the Verizon Heritage was pretty darn good for the aw-shucks kid from Milton, Fla. So is the $2-plus million he's earned this year.
He's said he wants to play the TOUR for 10-12 years to make enough money to retire and spend his time hunting and fishing. So, how much will that take?
"I don't know," he said. "I ain't got that far yet."
But a few more rounds like Saturday's ... He made the turn 1-under for the day, parred 10, then birdied five of his next seven holes. That bogey finish? Well, he wouldn't do anything differently. Even if he had known about the 63.
And as for Tiger? Can anyone catch him?
"I don't know," he said. "The good Lord knows that answer. I couldn't tell you, you know. Anything's possible. He's human, ain't he?"
That much, Boo does know.