The Man In Boo Weekleys Shadow

By Brian HewittNovember 9, 2007, 5:00 pm
If you took Heath Slocum, who grew up in rural Florida, and paired him in a two-man press conference with, say, Henry Kissinger, one of the great dialoguists of the 20th century, Slocum would come off sounding like..well.Boo Weekley.
But if you took Slocum and put him in a two-man press conference with Weekley, who also grew up in rural Florida, Slocum would come off sounding like Kissinger.
To be sure, Slocum and Weekley are both golf smart. And just because a person drawls doesnt mean he or she is not intelligent. The point here is this: If Slocum sounds just a little country when he talks; Weekley is a double order of the same with molasses on top.
Actually the PGA TOUR did put Weekley and Slocum together on a two-man podium recently. This was because the two were high school teammates in tiny Milton, Fla., and will renew that competitive bond later this month as teammates representing the U.S. at the World Cup in China.
Just as the good Dr. Kissinger used to advise President Nixon about Chinese politics, you can be sure Slocum will spend a good deal of his time advising good friend Weekley on food, customs and many other things Chinese when they get to Asia.
This is the same Boo Weekley who traveled to Scotland this year for his first Open Championship and said it wasnt all that bad. After all, he said, they spoke American over there.
This is the same Boo Weekley who has been charming the blogs off of golf writers for several years now with his simplified ways and aw shucks personality. This is the same Boo Weekley who, through no fault of his own, has cost Slocum a lot of hard-earned publicity.
Consider the following:
  • Heath Slocum made 22 of 28 cuts this year; had six top 10s and won $2.184 million in official earnings.
  • Slocum finished No. 30 on the money list, having already earned an invitation to the 2008 Masters by virtue of playing his way into the TOUR Championship.
  • Slocum is a two-time career winner on the PGA TOUR and, this year, wound up third in scoring average (70.13) despite finishing 172d in driving distance.
    Scoring, by the by, was again the province of Tiger Woods whose end-of-season average of 69.1 was a full shot better than surprising No. 2, Jeff Overton. For his part, Slocum had the lowest scoring average on the PGA TOUR of any player who completed more than 60 official rounds.
    Anyway, when Boo and Heath wound up in the pressroom at the same time, most of the gathered media chose to feature Weekley in their reports.
    But it was Slocum who assumed the role of official team captain when the two were asked about representing their country in a foreign land and why it meant so much.
    Its still pride, Slocum said. Pride between the both of us and, yeah, American pride. Again, were going to be the only two Americans in the field. We definitely want to play well for ourselves and our country. This is as close to the Olympics as you can get in golf, I suppose, right now.
    The Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup doesnt truly let every country in. I think its just going to be a blast. And, yeah, I dont think either of us want to make the trip during Thanksgiving that far around the world to not play well. Were going there definitely to win.
    Slocum has played in Japan and he knows it will take about 18 hours in the air to get to China. Boo said something about a crop duster when asked about his travel plans.
    Weekley and Slocum will both be playing in their first Masters next April. Look for them together during their practice rounds and at the Waffle Hut for breakfast on Washington Road.
    The trip to Georgia will be shorter than the one to China. Weekley at Augusta National will be a novelty story again. But dont take your eyes off of Slocum. The way he manages his game and attacks a golf course is not unlike the style of Zach Johnson.
    Zach Johnson is the defending champion. No, Slocum will not be any kind of favorite at the 2008 Masters. But dont bet against him showing up in the press room later in the week than his good friend, Boo.
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.