PGA Tour player Boo Weekley working on a book

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2008, 5:00 pm
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. ' Boo Weekley once dropped a set of car keys in a portable toilet and had to roll up his sleeves to fetch them out. Another famous story was the time his friends persuaded him to step into the ring with an orangutan.
He has enough stories to fill a book. Now all he needs is a publisher.
Weekley, whose homespun humor has become more well-known with his good play on the golf course, said Tuesday that he is collaborating on a book about his golf and his life.
Were trying to find a publisher that might be interested in it, Weekley said.
He doesnt have a working title. Weekley said hes leaving that up to the author, whom he identified as Paul Brown of Jackson, Miss.
Hes coming up with all that, he said. Were just trying to start it out, how I got into golf and what my past has been like and the things that have come about and the things that Ive overcome, just different things like that. Its mostly about golf ' until we find a publisher. And then I started throwing some other stuff in there.
What other stuff? Weekley just smiled.
OVAL OFFICE OR A DEER STAND?: Only seven Americans from the winning Ryder Cup team were in the Oval Office to meet with Presidents George W. Bush last month, and Steve Stricker was among those absent.
It was a tough decision to skip a trip to the White House, but it came down to priorities.
For the last dozen years, Stricker and his father-in-law, Dennis Tiziani, have taken family and friends to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a week of deer hunting when the season begins Nov. 15. The trip to the White House was Nov. 17
I wish I could have gone, but Ive done this with my father-in-law for 12 or 13 years, Stricker said Tuesday. But it wasnt that hard of a decision because it was a family thing. Besides, I was able to go to the White House in July (during the AT&T National) and look around. So that made the decision even easier.
The only downside?
We didnt see a single deer, he said.
LIFE OF RILEY: Chris Riley was invited to play the pro-am Tuesday for the Chevron World Challenge, and he wasnt at Sherwood more than 15 minutes before he started taking abuse.
Riles, you know youre not allowed to play if you have more fairway metals than irons, Dean Wilson told him.
Riley looked at his bag with a half-dozen head covers.
Dude, Im trying stuff out, he protested.
Riley was all smiles, as usual, but he had reason to be so happy. Two weeks ago, he earned his card at Q-school and returns to the PGA Tour with full status for the first time since 2006.
Its awesome, he said.
This was a guy who came within one putt of a playoff at the PGA Championship in 2004, where he earned enough points to make the Ryder Cup team and won a match with Tiger Woods until a flap over whether he was too tired to play in the afternoon.
That seems like forever ago, Riley said. It seems like another career. I feel like Im going to prove myself again. That last day of Q-school, I didnt think I would be nervous. But I was nervous for all 18 holes.
Riley will start his season at the Sony Open.
HARRINGTONS HONORS: For the second straight year, the Association of Golf Writers in Britain have honored Padraig Harrington for making the most outstanding contribution to golf.
Harrington became only the third player to win the Golf Writers Trophy two straight years, joining Tony Jacklin (1969-70) and Peter Oosterhuis (1973-74). The double major winner received just over 90 percent of the first-place votes, with Order of Merit winner Robert Karlsson finishing second and Annika Sorenstam third.
It just shows how rare it is to peak two years running, Harrington said. To have one great year and win a major is fantastic, but to follow it up by winning another two majors this year was beyond anything you could have hoped for.
Harrington previously won European Tour golfer of the year and European Tour shot of the year for his 5-wood into the 17th green at Royal Birkdale. The only other player to win all three awards was Colin Montgomerie in 1996.
WATCHING THEIR BACKS: John Daly has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately, whether it was smashing a fans camera against a tree in Australia or being locked up in jail for the night in North Carolina under a law to sober up.
Fred Couples said it only stands out because golfers dont usually get into trouble off the course.
I think golf is so sacred that the things that John Daly does ' Im not picking on him ' in any other sport would be so minor, Couples said in an interview with Golf Digest magazine. It wouldnt even be a blip on the radar screen.
Couples said players generally do a good job policing each other to keep the perception of the sport clean.
Youre not just going to get some guy saying, Well, thats just John Daly and its OK. Thats not going to happen in golf, he said. We have a very tight locker room. We dont do much with guys, but if somebody makes a blunder, theyre going to hear about it. Ive never seen a fist fight in a locker room, but Ive seen a lot of guys go at other guys.
PAY CUT: LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens took a pay cut last year.
The Sports Business Journal, citing IRS forms, said that Bivens salary was $500,000 in 2007, down 28 percent from the $690,000 she was paid in 2006 in her first full year on the job.
DIVOTS: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem was ranked 17th among The Sports Business Journals annual list of the 50 most influential people in sports business. Commissioners from the NBA, NFL, MLB, NASCAR and the NHL ranked ahead of him. LPGA champion Yani Tseng has signed an endorsement deal with Adams Golf. Boo Weekley will be making his debut in the Middle East when he plays the Qatar Masters in late January. I dont know where it is, but I reckon its pretty far from Hawaii, said Weekley, who will play the first two Hawaii events on the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour closed its offices at 1 p.m. last Friday for its annual Christmas party, then canceled the party and gave whatever it would have cost to a local charity.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Joe Durant led the PGA Tour in greens hit in regulation, while Olin Browne led the tour in driving accuracy. Both had to go back to Q-School, where they failed to earn their cards.
FINAL WORD: I just love the smell of gun powder. ' Boo Weekley on why he likes hunting slightly better than fishing.

Piller pregnant, no timetable for LPGA return

By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 4:22 pm

Gerina Piller, the American Olympian golfer and three-time Solheim Cup veteran, is pregnant and will not be rejoining the LPGA when the 2018 season opens, the New York Times reported following the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

Piller, 32, who is married to PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, is due with the couple’s first child in May, Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz reported.

Piller declined an interview request when sought comment going into the CME Group Tour Championship.

Piller told the New York Times she has no timetable for her return but that she isn’t done with competitive golf.

“I’m not just giving everything up,” Piller said.

As parity reigns, LPGA searching for a superstar

By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 4:00 pm

Apologies to the LPGA’s golden eras, but women’s golf has never been deeper.

With the game going global, with the unrelenting wave of Asian talent continuing to slam the tour’s shores, with Thailand and China promising to add to what South Korea is delivering, it’s more difficult than ever to win.

That’s a beautiful and perplexing thing for the women’s game.

That’s because it is more difficult than ever to dominate.

And that’s a magic word in golf.

There is no more powerful elixir in the sport.

Domination gets you on the cover of Sports Illustrated, on ESPN SportsCenter, maybe even on NBC Nightly News if the “D” in domination is dynamic enough.

The women’s best chance of moving their sport to another stratosphere is riding the back of a superstar.

Or maybe a pair of superstar rivals.

Photos: 2017 LPGA winners gallery

A constellation of stars may be great for the devoted regular supporters of the women’s game, but it will take a charismatic superstar to make casual fans care.

The LPGA needs a Serena Williams.

Or the reincarnation of Babe Zaharias.

For those of us who regularly follow the LPGA, this constellation of stars makes for compelling stories, a variety of scripting to feature.

The reality, however, is that it takes one colossal story told over and over again to burst out of a sports niche.

The late, great CBS sports director Frank Chirkinian knew what he had sitting in a TV production truck the first time he saw one of his cameras bring a certain young star into focus at the Masters.

It’s this player coming up over the brow of the hill at the 15th hole to play his second shot,” Chirkinian once told me over lunch at a golf course he owned in South Florida.  “He studies his shot, then flips his cigarette, hitches up his trousers and takes this mighty swipe and knocks the shot on the green. It was my first experience with Arnold Palmer, and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, who is this guy?’

“The thing about golf, more than any other sport, it’s always looking for a star. It’s the only sport where people will root against the underdog. They don’t want the stars to lose. They’re OK with some unknown rising up to be the story on Thursday or Friday, but they always want to see the stars win.”

And they go gaga when it’s one star so radiant that he or she dominates attention.

“It didn’t matter if Arnold was leading, or where he was, you had to show him,” Chirkinian said. “You never knew when he might do something spectacular.”

The LPGA is in a healthy place again, with a big upside globally, with so much emerging talent sharing the spotlight.

Take Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship.

The back nine started with Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie making the turn tied for the lead. There is no more powerful pairing to sell in the women’s game today, but there would be no duel. It would have been too far off script as the final chapter to this season.

Parity was the story this year.

Sunday in Naples started with 18 players within two shots of the lead.

Entering that back nine, almost a dozen players were in the mix, including Ariya Jutanugarn.

The day ended with Jutanugarn beating Thompson with a dramatic birdie-birdie finish after Thompson stunned viewers missing a 2-foot putt for par at the last.

The day encapsulated the expanding LPGA universe.

“I’ve never seen such crazy, brilliant golf from these ladies,” said Gary Gilchrist, who coaches Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko and Rolex world No. 1 Shanshan Feng. “It was unbelievable out there. It was just like birdie after birdie after birdie, and the scoreboard went up and down. And that’s why it’s so hard to be No. 1 on this tour. There’s not one person who can peak. It’s all of them at a phenomenal level of golf.”

If Thompson had made that last 2-footer and gone on to win the CME, she would have become the sixth different world No. 1 this year. Before this year, there had never been more than three different No. 1s in a single LPGA season.

Parity was the theme from the year’s start.

There were 15 different winners to open the season, something that hadn’t happened in 26 years. There were five different major championship winners.

This year’s Rolex Player of the Year Award was presented Sunday to So Yeon Ryu and Sung Hyun Park. It’s the first time the award has been shared since its inception in 1966.

Thompson won twice this year, with six second-place finishes, with three of those playoff losses, one of them in a major championship. She was close to putting together a spectacular year. She was close to dominating and maybe becoming the tour’s one true rock star.

Ultimately, Thompson showed us how hard that is to do now.

She’s in a constellation we’re all watching, to see if maybe one star breaks out, somebody able to take the game into living rooms it has never been, to a level of popularity it’s never been.

The game won’t get there with another golden era. It will get there with a golden player.

Love's hip surgery a success; eyes Florida swing return

By Rex HoggardNovember 22, 2017, 3:31 pm

Within hours of having hip replacement surgery on Tuesday Davis Love III was back doing what he does best – keeping busy.

“I’ve been up and walking, cheated in the night and stood up by the bed, but I’m cruising around my room,” he laughed early Wednesday from Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center in Birmingham, Ala., where he underwent surgery to replace his left hip. “[Dr. James Flanagan, who performed the surgery] wants me up. They don’t want me sitting for more than an hour.”

Love, 53, planned to begin more intensive therapy and rehabilitation on Wednesday and is scheduled to be released from the hospital later this afternoon.

According to Love’s doctors, there were no complications during the surgery and his recovery time is estimated around three to four months.

Love, who was initially hesitant to have the surgery, said he can start putting almost immediately and should be able to start hitting wedges in a few weeks.

Dr. Tom Boers – a physical therapist at the Hughston Orthopedic Clinic in Columbus, Ga., who has treated Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman and Brad Faxon – will oversee Love’s recovery and ultimately decide when he’s ready to resume normal golf activity.

“He understands motion and gait and swing speeds that people really don’t understand. He’s had all of us in there studying us,” Love said. “So we’ll see him in a couple of weeks and slowly get into the swing part of it.”

Although Love said he plans to temper his expectations for this most recent recovery, his goal is to be ready to play by the Florida swing next March.

Vegas lists Woods at 20-1 to win a major in 2018

By Will GrayNovember 22, 2017, 12:53 pm

He hasn't hit a competitive shot in nearly a year, but that hasn't stopped one Las Vegas outlet from listing Tiger Woods among the favorites to win a major in 2018.

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook published betting odds this week on dozens of players to win any of the four majors next year. Leading the pack were Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth at 3/2, with Rory McIlroy next. But not far behind was Woods, who has been sidelined since February because of a back injury but was listed at 20/1.

Woods will make his much-anticipated return next week at the Hero World Challenge, and next month he will turn 42. Next summer will mark the 10-year anniversary of his last major championship victory, a sudden-death playoff win over Rocco Mediate at the 2008 U.S. Open.

Here's a look at the odds for several marquee players on winning any of the four biggest events in golf next year:

3/2: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth

5/2: Rory McIlroy

7/2: Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day

9/2: Justin Rose

5/1: Brooks Koepka

15/2: Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey

10/1: Adam Scott

12/1: Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Marc Leishman, Thomas Pieters, Patrick Reed

15/1: Daniel Berger, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Patrick Cantlay, Branden Grace, Kevin Kisner, Alex Noren, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Charl Schwartzel, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson

20/1: Tiger Woods, Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Tony Finau, Martin Kaymer

25/1: Ryan Moore, Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, Lee Westwood, Jimmy Walker, Kevin Chappell, Bryson DeChambeau, Bill Haas, Jason Dufner, Charley Hoffman

30/1: Pat Perez, Gary Woodland, Bernd Wiesberger, Brian Harman, Padraig Harrington, Emiliano Grillo, Ross Fisher, Si Woo Kim, J.B. Holmes