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Lateral Hazard: Boo Weekley keeps it simple, returns to winner's circle ... five years later

Brian Murphy
Yahoo Sports

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Boo Weekley celebrates after being presented the champion's blazer for winning the Colonial on Sunday. (AP)


Ladies and gentlemen, the golf fans at Colonial Country Club aren't booing. They're chanting "BOOOOOO … "

Wait. When is a "BOO" not a "BOO!"?

This could get confusing and existential. And with that multi-syllabic word, we have officially lost the interest of the happily simple Boo Weekley, the winner at Colonial this week with a scintillating Sunday 66.

Boo doesn't do existential. He does fishin' and huntin' and, for a day job, golfin'. He used to do it so well he earned a spot on the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team, where he was part of the rarest of Ryder Cup birds: an American win. That was so long ago, many of you probably forget that Boo teed off for his Sunday singles match against Europe's Oliver Wilson and promptly departed the tee box "Happy Gilmore" style, riding his driver like a bronco. That produced two things: One, enough momentum and energy to spur a 4-up Weekley win; and two, the sight of Weekley's white crew socks set off against his dark, team-issue slacks.

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Boo Weekley waves his cap after sinking a putt on the 18th hole to win the Colonial. (AP)

Nobody ever confused Boo Weekley of Milton, Fla. with Mister Blackwell. That's the beauty of Boo.

It's been so long since Weekley won a PGA Tour event – the 2008 Heritage at Harbour Town was his last – that when he did, Tiger Woods was still married to Elin Nordegren and winning majors; and Sergio Garcia was only a whining underachiever.

Now, five years later, Tiger is divorced and dating Lindsey Vonn, and looking for his first major in half-a-decade. Meanwhile, Sergio has graduated from whining underachiever to whining underachiever who will coarsely drop racist remarks.

Talk about "BOO!" No, Sergio, I'm not cheering for Boo Weekley. I'm booing your sorry and tired act.

The 'Week of Sergio' – and his Sancho Panza, moronic European Tour executive director George O'Grady – made us crave a positive story in golf that could take our mind off 'El Nino' becoming 'El Idiot-o'.

Boo provided it, with a story of perseverance. Since his Ryder Cup triumph and two wins at Harbour Town in '07 and '08, he lost his swing, injured his shoulder and slumped mightily. Golf can be fickle and fleeting that way. It'd be easy to imagine we'd heard the last of Boo Weekley on a leaderboard. Turning 40 this July, he appeared to be yesterday's news in a world where 20-somethings like Russell Henley and John Merrick and Billy Horschel were winning golf tournaments.

In fact, it'd been 124 starts since Boo last won. But still, there were stirrings from the paunchy, bearded, drawlin' Weekley. His shoulder healed. He tinkered with his swing and putting stroke. Mostly, he didn't succumb to the temptation of his fishing pole, and kept playing – Colonial was his sixth consecutive start and he'd made 12 of 14 cuts this year, including three top-10s.

At Colonial, he drove it long (298 yards average, 17th in the field), drove it straight (71 percent of fairways, 6th in the field) and pounded greens like Boo does (75 percent clip, 5th in the field). Weekley is 7th on Tour in greens in regulation.

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Boo Weekley, left, hugs his caddie, Barry Williams. (AP)

And then most important, he had a 'moment': his 22-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole kept Matt Kuchar at bay and provided him with a fist-bumping surge of adrenaline with his caddie, Barry Williams. And speaking of Williams, how about his role? Weekley developed twitches in his eye at Colonial that rendered his green-reading skills moot. He had to call over Williams on nearly every hole for a read. The twitch may have been nervous energy, and it's hard to imagine laid-back Boo consumed by nerves, but hey – even self-proclaimed rednecks want to win, badly, too. Yes, Boo has called himself a 'redneck' in the past. Why wouldn't he? 

In fact, it's sort of funny that Weekley won on the same day Japan's Kohki Idoki won the Senior PGA Championship, on his first-ever trip to the United States. So, for the two guys who won big on Sunday, speaking the King's English doesn't come natural.

What does come natural for Boo is plaid. By winning at Colonial, he won a tartan plaid jacket, just like the two he won at Harbour Town. That's three wins, three plaid jackets. If the Police sang about the 'King of Pain', maybe somebody should sing about the 'King of Plaid'. Just make sure it's a bluegrass tune, so Boo'll like it.

SCORECARD OF THE WEEK

74-75—Missed Cut – Rory McIlroy, European Tour BMW PGA Championship, Wentworth Club, Surrey, England.

What in the name of awful golf is going on with everybody's favorite former No. 1 player in the world?

And yet, here's Rory at it again, tweeting out happy congratulations to the winner, 20-year-old Matteo Manassero.

I could do with a few less exclamation points from Rory and a few more wins.

Don't forget, he'd tweeted out on the eve of Wentworth that he was "Excited to get started! Game is feeling good." If 74-75-MC is "feeling good", I don't want to see "feeling bad".

And on May 12, when Tiger Woods won the Players Championship, Rory took time from his busy day to tweet out: "Congrats @TigerWoods! #goat"

Again, always making sure to stroke his competition. I mean, I'm assuming #goat refers to Rory's too-easily-given take that Tiger is the 'Greatest of All Time' and not a reference to a local elementary school putting on 'The Three Billy Goats' Gruff' for Parents Night.

So, here we go again with young Rors. He's entered in the Memorial this week, and Tiger will be there, along with Masters champ Adam Scott and a tremendous field. And here we go again with what I'm sure will be Rory's Defenders, pointing out he's a streaky winner who still can rip off two or three 'Ws' by autumn, and who has four top-10s in eight starts on the PGA Tour this year.

I'm just wondering when the guy Nike paid hundreds of millions will be interested in dreaming of the hashtag '#goat' being applied to his game, instead of him willingly applying it to others.

BROADCAST MOMENT OF THE WEEK

"My answer was totally stupid and out of place, and I can't say sorry enough about that . . . I feel sick about it." – Sergio Garcia, The Golf Channel, from Wentworth in his apology to Tiger Woods for saying he'd "serve fried chicken" to Tiger for dinner.

On the one hand, an apology is an apology, and even Tiger tweeted out he's ready to "move on." On the other hand, there are times when apologies aren't enough, when you see incredibly lame behavior and have no interest in accepting apologies. 

Between Fuzzy Zoeller in 1997, and Steve Williams wanting to "shove it up Tiger's black arse" and now Sergio saying he'll serve stereotypical fare if he has Tiger over for dinner, what kind of message does golf send when its guard is down? When Fuzzy has a couple of drinks, and 'Stevie' thinks he's off the record and Sergio is all rattled because he dumped two balls into the drink at Sawgrass and cried about being the 'victim'?

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Sergio Garcia of Spain acknowledges applause during the BMW PGA Championship. (Getty)

I think we know the answer, and it's ugly.

And while we're on the topic, who asked Colin Montgomerie to chime in and tell us all we're making a "mountain out of a molehill"? Apparently, poor 'Monty' was upset and hoping the Sergio firestorm wouldn't detract from Wentworth, which he said was a 'fantastic' tournament.

Oh. So sorry to have bothered you, Monty. I know it's a huge hassle for you, and it's so important you have your boy Sergio's back, but maybe we can take a moment away from your treasured BMW PGA to wish for a world where a guy of mixed race isn't taunted because he's not white.

"We're all frightened to say anything," whined Monty. "We're all frightened to say something that isn't kosher in 2013."

Or, an alternate view: We're all hoping we don't look the other way or make excuses for people who try to insult and demean a person because he isn't Caucasian.

Forgive me, Colin, for crossing the street to avoid being dragged down into the gutter of denial in which your comments dwell.

MULLIGAN OF THE WEEK

Given how good of a story Boo Weekley is, not many outside of Scott Stallings' family were rooting for him to win at Colonial. But still, not many wanted to see what happened to Stallings at the 15th hole.

Nursing a two-shot lead and a chance at his third career PGA Tour win, Stallings had a little chip shot from off the green, his third shot on the par-4 hole. Except … he took a page right out of every 20-handicapper's book, and decelerated on the chip. Nightmare.

The club hit more turf than ball, and what little of the ball the club got, only sent it fluttering into a bunker one foot in front of him.

You could almost see Stallings' heart beating out of embarrassment and rage when he quickly took his stance in the bunker and . . . did the exact same thing, leaving his fourth in the sand. His fifth barely made it out, and his double bogey '6' allowed Weekley to take over the lead en route to victory.

Stallings would finish tie-4th, three shots back of Weekley. He still shot 66, but that would qualify as a bitter 66, if ever there is such a thing.

So, in the interest of a little 72nd hole drama, maybe even a playoff, or just to be humane, how about we go back out to the 15th green, remind Stallings he's not a 20-handicapper, that he chips shots like that close for a living, because he's a golf pro, and … give that man a mulligan!

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Tiger is coming back, and he has to be ticked. Not only has Sergio awakened what is probably a lifelong grudge in Tiger against the racist knuckleheads who always looked at him differently, Tiger's also arriving at Jack Nicklaus' Memorial with every armchair rules official hot to analyze his every drop, cell phone at the ready to call in and bust the guy who has won four times in six stroke play events this year.

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Sergio Garcia, left, and Tiger Woods talk in a 2002 file photo. (AP)

Combine that surely simmering rage in Tiger, and his incredible game right now, and the fact that he wins at Muirfield Village when he rolls out of bed (five wins, and two in the last four years) and you have a dude in a red shirt on Sunday ready to go Ferrigno on the field.

Adam Scott will be there, and so will 17 of the top 25 world-ranked players. Like that matters to Tiger right now. I'd mention that Rory is entered, but he's no factor.

Sorry to see no Sergio Garcia at the Memorial. I'd love to see him wilt on American soil in his first post-fried chicken tournament. Guess we'll have to wait for Merion's U.S. Open in two weeks to see that comical disaster.

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