Boo Weekley turned 50 on July 23 and is scheduled to make his fourth start on PGA Tour Champions this week in St. Louis at the Ascension Charity Classic.
Weekely won three times on the PGA Tour and represented the victorious Team USA in the 2008 Ryder Cup. But in recent years, he has dealt with a series of injuries and has been a non-factor in professional golf.
Weekley made 319 starts on the PGA Tour and earned more than $15 million during his career. Turning 50 is golf’s greatest mulligan and he’s trying to cash in. But so far, Weekley has discovered these guys are still good on the senior circuit: he’s finished T-65, T-47 and T-48 in his first three starts.
Weekley, who played his college golf at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, remains one of golf’s great characters and his press conferences remain a breath of fresh air. Here’s some of the words of wisdom from Boo, the pride of Milton, Florida.
On doing his Happy Gilmore impression after teeing off on the first hole at the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla
“I already had a game plan for it, but I kept forgetting about it, and then all of a sudden I was sitting there when they announced my name to play my singles match, I took my practice swing, then all of a sudden it clicked, and when it clicked — if they show it in slow motion, you can still see the video of me smiling, like I’m like, ‘Oh, there it is.’ I said, if I can get it over that tree on that corner there, I’m going to ride the pony. I did it, and of course I rode the pony. With black pants on and white socks.”
On his approach to playing PGA Tour Champions
“My Ma said, ‘When you’ve made it a business, you’re changing your whole perspective of what you’re really doing in life again. Go out there this time and just play, have fun. What’s the worst thing that can happen? What is the worst thing? Nothing. You go home, you’ve made a good career out of this. You can always go back to holding a shovel and digging ditches and you can run equipment. So just have fun and enjoy it and see what happens.’
“Mama is always right.”
On dealing with injuries
“I’ve got some bone spurs in the ball of my foot, and just trying to deal with that. Been working with two doctors back home and just trying to figure out what we want to do. One of them wants to do surgery and another one wants to do something else. I’m like, I’m done with these surgeries. I’m tired of having to kind of get cut on and then take three or four months off and trying to then heal yourself back up, not being able to play golf.
“I’ll fight with it. As long as they make medicine that I can take that can help me, I’ll be fine.”
On the importance of practice and the level of competition
“I got lazy over the last couple years. I been drinking them cold beers and having a good time riding around on my tractor, fishing, you know what I mean? Just goofing off.
“I kind of lost touch of really how hard I need to practice, how hard I need to work at it. That to me was the most shocking thing.
“The first week I was kind of jittery and kind of figuring out what I’m doing, and then the last two weeks have been pretty good. I’ve hit the ball a lot better. I just ain’t putting the ball very well.
“Putting on greens now that are a little quicker than what I’ve been used to playing on, and I go home and it’s like putting in your front yard versus putting in your bathtub.”
On the level of competition on PGA Tour Champions
“I never thought I’d make it this far in my career anyway, but to be able to stand here and play on like championship golf courses, it’s still awesome … It’s still unreal to be out here playing.
“I want to compete. I missed it, you know, the last couple years. I’ve been playing on the Korn Ferry Tour, but it’s been kind of like building up to get to this tour. I think that’s what I’ve been trying to do, just trying to find equipment that will work for me. I know I don’t hit it as far since I got a new hip put in, you know, getting older a little bit, I don’t know. I’m ready to play again, you know, and I want to play with these guys out here. They’re good. It’s been very impressive of how their game is out here.”