Weekley tops Kuchar, Johnson at Colonial

By Associated PressMay 26, 2013, 10:25 pm

FORT WORTH, Texas – Boo Weekley was at the 13th hole during the final round of the Colonial before he finally glanced at a leaderboard – and saw his name on the top.

It was at that par 3 surrounded by an often rowdy crowd that he also heard the loudest ''Boo!'' in quite some time.

Weekley hit his birdie putt from about 22 feet, then swiped his putter in the air as if guiding the ball into the cup. He thrust the club above his head when the ball dropped to get him to 14 under, where he finished Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory in five years.

''That's when I realized, 'Wow, here I go.' I need to do something, either hold on to it or try to make a couple of more birdies,'' Weekley said. ''I knew I was hitting the ball too well just to hold on.''

With five consecutive pars after that, Weekly finished at 14-under 266 for a one-stroke victory over Matt Kuchar, the second- and third-round leader who had a closing 68.

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Defending Colonial champion Zach Johnson, who also won at Hogan's Alley in 2010, shot 66 to finish third at 12 under for his first top-10 finish this season.

Both of Weekley's previous wins had been at Harbour Town, in 2007 and 2008. Like the Heritage winner, the Colonial champion gets a plaid jacket, though the 2008 Ryder Cup team member wasn't able to compare any differences between them.

''I couldn't tell you, it's been so long,'' said Weekley, who moved up to No. 55 in the world ranking, making him eligible for the U.S. Open.

Weekley, whose check of just more than $1.1 million matched what he earned his previous 14 tournaments this season while making 12 cuts and finishing in the top 10 three times, never trailed after consecutive birdies at Nos. 8-10. Those came at the same time Scott Stallings made double bogey at No. 15 to drop out of the lead.

Kuchar, at No. 13 the highest-ranked player in the field, was 12 under after a 55-foot birdie putt at the 436-yard 12th hole. Kuchar punched his right arm into the air to punctuate the shot that got him within a stroke of Weekley for the lead.

Johnson was at No. 17, where a 19-footer for his second consecutive birdie also got him to 12 under.

Almost as quickly, their one-stroke deficit was back to two after Weekley's birdie at No. 13.

''I played well; that's all you can do and whoever wins, tip of the cap,'' Johnson said.

Stallings' closing 66 put him in a tie for fourth at 11 under, with John Rollins (68) and Matt Every (69).

The best round of the day was a 62 by Web.com Tour player Franklin Corpening, a Fort Worth native who grew up at Colonial and played at TCU. He finished at 8 under and tied for 14th, earning an automatic invitation to play again next year.

Kuchar made an 11-foot birdie putt off the back fringe at No. 2 before a bogey on the next hole when he took two shots from a greenside bunker. Then came a steady stream of pars until rolling in that long putt at No. 12. He didn't have another birdie until a closing 20-footer for second place alone, his sixth career runner-up finish.

''It's a bummer for me. This is a tournament, and this is a golf course, that I love,'' said Kuchar, a five-time PGA Tour winner. ''It's difficult at the moment coming just one shot short but you can't control what other guys do.''

Weekley won the same week he went to see a doctor about the problem he has had recently maintaining focus in his left eye, sometimes causing bad twitches and making it problematic reading greens.

''I had a few out there. It was coming and going in that wind,'' Weekley said. ''I don't know what's going to happen. We're going to get home and work on it.''

Stallings had a 6-under 29 on the front nine, one off the course record, and was 13 under with a one-stroke lead when he got to the 428-yard 15th hole. But he took three shots from inside a radius of about 5 yards after his approach shot from a left fairway bunker stopped behind the hole.

His chip shot then hit the edge of a greenside bunker, rolling into the sand, and he failed to get out of there on his next shot before finally blasting to 6 feet. Weekley had just made an 18-foot birdie at No. 9 to get to 12 under.

''It was kind of a make-it, break-it point,'' Stallings said. ''You've got to get up and down, especially with the guys with a lot of holes left.''

It was also at No. 15 where the only bogey of the day came for Johnson, who missed an opportunity to join five-time winner Ben Hogan as the only players to win Colonial more than twice.

While on the easy par-5, 548-yard first hole, the long-hitting Weekley told his caddie that it was good to feel butterflies again.

Weekley's 22-foot eagle chance at No. 1 stopped about 6 inches from the cup before he chipped in for another birdie from behind the third green. He sliced his tee shot out of bounds at No. 5 toward the Trinity River for a bogey and dropped another shot at the 437-yard seventh hole before starting his go-ahead birdie run with a 6-iron inside 4 feet at the 200-yard eighth hole.

''It feels good to actually have butterflies again, knowing that I'm in this, an opportunity to maybe win,'' Weekley said. ''I might have shot 80 today. But I didn't. It was my time to win.''

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Romo set to make PGA Tour debut at Punta Cana

By Will GrayMarch 20, 2018, 6:43 pm

While much of the attention in golf this week will be focused on the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Tony Romo may send a few eyeballs toward the Caribbean.

The former quarterback and current CBS NFL analyst will make his PGA Tour debut this week, playing on a sponsor invite at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic. The exemption was announced last month when Romo played as an amateur at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and he's apparently been hard at work ever since.

"I'll be treating it very serious," Romo told reporters Tuesday. "My wife will tell you she hasn't seen me much over the last month. But if you know me at all, I think you know if I care about something I'm going to commit to it 100 percent. So like I said. you'll get the best I've got this week."

Romo retired from the NFL last year and plays to a plus-0.3 handicap. In addition to his participation in the Pebble Beach event, he has tried to qualify for the U.S. Open multiple times and last month played a North Texas PGA mini-tour event as an amateur.

According to Romo, one of the key differences between pro football and golf is the fact that his former position is entirely about reactive decisions, while in golf "you're trying to commit wholeheartedly before you ever pull the club out of your bag."

"I'm not worried about getting hit before I hit the ball," Romo said. "It's at my own tempo, my own speed, in this sport. Sometimes that's difficult, and sometimes that's easier depending on the situation."

Romo admitted that he would have preferred to have a couple extra weeks to prepare, but recently has made great strides in his wedge game which "was not up to any Tour standard." The first-tee jitters can't be avoided, but Romo hopes to settle in after battling nerves for the first three or four holes Thursday.

Romo hopes to derive an added comfort factor from his golf in the Dallas area, where he frequently plays with a group of Tour pros. While Steph Curry traded texts with a few pros before his tournament debut last summer on the Web.com Tour, Romo expects his phone to remain silent until he puts a score on the board.

"I think they're waiting to either tell me 'Congrats' or 'I knew it, terrible,'" Romo said. "Something along those lines. They're probably going to wait to see which way the wind's blowing before they send them."

Romo will tee off at 8:10 a.m. ET Thursday alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

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Spieth vs. Reed random? Hmm, wonders Spieth

By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Monday’s blind draw to determine the 16 pods for this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play didn’t exactly feel “blind” for Jordan Spieth, whose group includes Patrick Reed.

Spieth and Reed have become a staple of U.S. teams in recent years, with a 7-2-2 record in the Ryder and Presidents Cup combined. So when the ping-pong ball revealed Reed’s number on Monday night Spieth wasn’t surprised.

“It seems to me there's a bit more to this drawing than randomness,” laughed Spieth, whose pod also includes Haotong Li and Charl Schwartzel. “It's not just me and him. It's actually a lot of groups, to have Luke List and Justin [Thomas] in the same group seems too good to be true. It might be some sort of rigging that's going on, I'm not sure.”

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Spieth will play Reed on Friday in the round-robin format and knows exactly what to expect from the fiery American.

“I've seen it firsthand when he's been at his best. And we have history together in a couple of different playoffs, which is a match-play scenario,” Spieth said. “I've got to take care of work tomorrow and the next day for that day to even matter. But even if it doesn't matter, trust me, it will matter to both of us.”

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U.S. Open champ Koepka (wrist) to miss Masters

By Will GrayMarch 20, 2018, 6:12 pm

Reigning U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka will miss the Masters, according to a USA Today report.

Koepka has been battling a left wrist injury since late last year, and he hasn't played since finishing last at the limited-field Sentry Tournament of Champions in early January. Weeks later he revealed that he had a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) tendon but hoped to return in time for the season's first major.

According to the report, Koepka only started putting this week and plans to begin hitting chips next week.

"They said I would be about 80 percent, but I can't play 80 percent," Koepka said. "I either have to go full bore or not at all. I don't want to risk getting it re-injured and then be out a long time."

Koepka has finished T-33 or better in each of his three prior Masters appearances, culminating in a T-11 result last year.

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Spieth's agent leaving firm, but keeping Spieth as client

By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 6:07 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Jay Danzi has stepped down as COO of Lagardère Sports U.S., and will take one of the game’s most marketable players, Jordan Spieth, with him.

In a press release, Danzi said, “after careful consideration I feel that it’s time for a new adventure.” Danzi will represent Spieth independently.

“It’s been a privilege having Jordan be part of the Lagardère Sports’ family for the last five years and watching him grow from a promising young player to someone who transcends the game,” said Steve Loy, Lagardère Sports president of golf. “We are also grateful for Jay’s contributions over the years, in golf and other areas of our business.”

Lagardère Sports underwent an aggressive expansion in recent years, acquiring numerous boutique firms including Danzi’s business and Crown Sports Management.

Although losing Spieth, the world’s fourth-ranked player, and Danzi, who took over as Lagardère COO in February 2017, is a setback, the firm still has a number of high-profile clients including Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm and Patton Kizzire, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season.