The Big Three - from Milton Fla That Is

By Associated PressApril 9, 2008, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The guys in the green jackets had to love this.
 
Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum were back home at the Tanglewood Golf and Country Club last week, finishing up a quick round before starting a clinic for local fans. As they walked up 17'or maybe it was 18, Slocum wasnt quite sure ' Weekley came across a dead snake on the fairway. Ever the prankster, he picked up the carcass. Slocum knew somebody was in for a surprise.
 
Sure enough, that snake made an appearance during the clinic.
 
He said to my dad, `Hey Jack, can you get me a good golf ball. He reaches his hand in there and theres the dead snake, Slocum said, laughing. Boos mind, it just works funny. He looks at something and sees it completely different than I do.
 
Little Milton, Fla., is on the map in a big way this week. The city with fewer than 8,500 people'and the unfortunate former name of Scratch Ankle'has three homeboys in the 94-player Masters field. Imagine that. Weekley, Slocum and Bubba Watson all grew up in the same tiny Florida panhandle town and now here they are, each playing in his first Masters.
 
Its about as opposite of ritzy as you can get, Slocum said, referring to Tanglewood, where all three played as kids. I dont even know how to describe it. Its such an anomaly for three guys from the same college to get on the tour, let alone from the same high school. How does that happen?
 
Lots of luck.
 
And lots and lots of talent.
 
Slocum came by the game naturally. His father, Jack, was a longtime golf pro, and the family moved to Milton when Heath was 13 after Jack got the job at Tanglewood. Shortly after they arrived, Heath Slocum heard rumors there was another kid his age who could really play, and a lifelong friendship began.
 
Heath is just like a son, said Tom Weekley, Boos father.
 
Slocum and Weekley were in the same class at Milton High School, and played on the golf team together. When they werent golfing, they could usually still be found hunting, fishing or playing pranks. Weekley was as gregarious then as he is now'this, remember, is the guy whose thick Southern drawl and homespun naivete fascinated the locals at the British Open last year'and was the undisputed ring leader.
 
Pretty much. Though I might have egged him on, said Slocum, who is as low-key as his buddy is colorful. He brings a little more personality to me.
 
Watson is five years younger than Slocum and Weekley, so he wasnt nearly as tight with the older two growing up. But because he played at Tanglewood, too, the older boys knew all about the young kid with the big swing.
 
Its also kind of hard to overlook a kid who wore knickers'like his idol, Payne Stewart.
 
Good boys, all three, said Stacie Stutzman, the food and beverage manager at Tanglewood. Good Southern boys.
 
While Slocum and Watson both turned pro after playing golf in college' Slocum at South Alabama, Watson at Faulkner State and Georgia'Weekley worked at a chemical plant before he decided to see if he, too, could make a living on the course. All three spent time on the Nationwide Tour and, one by one, worked their way up to the majors.
 
Slocum was the first to make it, winning three Nationwide events in 2001. Hes been on the tour ever since, has won twice and earned his first trip to the Masters by finishing 30th on the money list last year.
 
Next came Weekley. After kicking around on the minitours for a few years, he got through Q-school at the end of the 2001 season. Jack Slocum was his caddie, just as he was for his son and Watson. His first stay on the PGA Tour was brief after he made just five cuts in 2002. Weekley spent the next four years on the Nationwide Tour, finally getting back to the big leagues after finishing seventh on the money list in 2006.
 
When he returned last year, he was a smashing success'on and off the course. He had five top-10 finishes, including a win at the Verizon Heritage, and his folksy ways made him a fan favorite. (Think John Daly, without the drama.)
 
Its caveman golf: Hit it, find it, hit it again, Weekley said, quite possibly the first person to describe Augusta National in such terms. I just try to play it as I see it.
 
Watson caught up to his older friends in 2005, earning his PGA Tour card after finishing 21st on the Nationwide money list. Hes still looking for his first victory, but his tie for fifth at the U.S. Open gave him exemptions for this years Open and the Masters.
 
Growing up from the same hometown were always pushing each other, Watson said. The Masters is going to be another one where were all pushing each other.
 
No matter how rich and famous they get, the three remain Milton boys at heart. Weekley and Watson still live in the area, and Weekley and Slocum were back at Tanglewood last week for the TPC'that would be the Three Pros Championship. Several members from Tanglewood and Stonebrook Golf Club, another club in the area, are here in Augusta, making the 7 1/2 -hour trip to watch the three in person.
 
We sent them off good. Tried to anyway, Stutzman said. Boo, Heath and Bubba say it all for Milton. Good boys, and a lot of talent.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The Masters
  • Video: The Masters Tournament
  • Getty Images

    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


    2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


    And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

    Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

    Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


    The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


    Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


    And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

    Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


    Photo Galleries: Best of ...

    Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

    Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.