Notes Boo Fails History Test Heatstroke


PGA ChampionshipTULSA, Okla. -- Boo Weekley is no golf historian. He didn't pay any attention to the sport growing up, didn't consider any of the game's legends to be his idol.
So when he arrived at the 18th green Saturday with a chance to tie the record for the best score in a major at 63, he didn't have any idea what was riding on his 30-foot putt.
'Really?' he said, when told he'd had a chance at the record. 'That'd have been nice.'
Weekley's putt ended up well short, and he missed again to finish with a bogey and a 5-under-par 65.
Weekley said he read a lot of break in the first 20 feet of the putt and was trying to get it on top of a ridge and let it roll out toward the hole.
'I moved my big head and kind of flubbed it a little with the putter,' Weekley said.
But even if he had known what was at stake, Weekley said he probably wouldn't have changed his approach.
'If it was going to go in, it's going to go in,' Weekley said.
Weekley's round pushed him to even par after three rounds, where he was tied for sixth and seven strokes off the lead.
Of the three majors he's played this year -- including the U.S. Open at Oakmont and the British Open at Carnoustie -- Weekley said he thought Southern Hills was the only course where a record-breaking 62 might be possible, but still not easy.
'You sure 'nuff got to be on,' Weekley said in his Florida Panhandle drawl, a day after Tiger Woods lipped out a putt for 62 at the 18th green.
Weekley said he isn't driven by the chance to win majors and instead only wants to earn enough in the next decade or so to be able to retire early. He enjoyed shooting 65 at a major, but said 'what would be funner if I'm sitting at the house catching about a 10-pounder.'
Weekley is unfamiliar with the rules of the FedEx Cup playoffs, couldn't tell you where he is in the Presidents Cup rankings and doesn't know a whole lot about the Ryder Cup.
But he's finished in the top 35 at the past two majors, and is in position for an even higher finish this time.
'I'm learning more about how to accept just making pars,' Weekley said. 'Pars ain't bad for you. Even making a bogey ain't bad for you sometimes.'
Even after his round fell apart on the back nine, University of Illinois golf coach Mike Small was still the top club professional remaining in the field.
He shot an 8-over-par 78 while playing partner Ryan Benzel, the only other club pro who made the cut, finished with an 80. The two started the day tied at 3 over.
Small said there wasn't a chance to spark up any kind of competition.
'I'll tell you what, you book around there pretty fast in this heat. We didn't have time to talk,' Small said. 'We were just doing our thing.'
Small formerly played on the PGA TOUR and has qualified for three U.S. Opens and four PGA Championships. He made the cut at the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol before shooting an 80 in the third round, and he missed the cut by one stroke last year at Medinah.
'I always seem to sink to the bottom on the weekend,' Small said. 'I'm trying to figure out, `Why is that?' It's ridiculous.'
Small won the Illinois Open on Wednesday before coming down to Southern Hills, adding another busy week to a whirlwind summer.
He's held two golf schools, summer camps, recruited for four weeks and played in the U.S. Open. When he gets back, he'll hold fundraisers for the program and open a new golf practice facility when alumnus Steve Stricker returns to hold his annual golf tournament.
'He can really give a lot of insight to kids that are coming there to school and help them out in that direction if they're looking to maybe turn pro later on in life,' said Stricker, who shot 69.
'You can't beat Illinois for a school and they're starting to get up to the times with their practice facilities and all that kind of stuff, so the future looks bright for them.'
Padraig Harrington found it hard to motivate himself when he started the day eight strokes off of Tiger Woods' lead. Coming off the high of winning the British Open, the circumstances left the Irishman feeling 'just a little bit flat.'
It didn't help when he started out with a bogey on No. 1.
'When I started badly, I certainly felt like I was out of the tournament,' Harrington said. 'I needed that little bit of adrenaline to keep me going, obviously with all that's happened in the past couple of weeks.
'It certainly felt like the last couple of holes were tough going to get through.'
Harrington said he struggled with reading putts and getting the pace right on Southern Hills' greens. He carded a 72.
Arron Oberholser said he drank about 10 to 15 bottles of Gatorade diluted with water, but still was feeling symptoms of heatstroke.
'It's dangerous out there heat-wise,' Oberholser said after shooting even-par 70.
Temperatures reached as high as 99 degrees in Tulsa, and the humidity made it feel even hotter.
'It's kind of nice because it's so hot out there it takes your mind off everything because you're just thinking about the heat all day and how you're going to survive the heat,' Oberholser said.
'I don't envy people that live in this part of the country when it gets like this. This is oppressive.'
Graeme Storm was disappointed when he failed to break par for the second straight day after opening with a 65 to take the first-round lead.
'I'm not playing that badly. I'm just making the odd mistake and I've holed nothing for the last couple of days really,' Storm said after shooting 74. 'It's just frustrating. The chances I'm getting, I'm not making.'
Storm said he didn't think he'd made a putt longer than 10 feet all week, but he made up for that Thursday by getting it closer to the pin than that. Now he's hoping just to crack the top 20, and figures he'll need another round under par to get there.
'It's always good to play Sunday in a major, so I'll enjoy that experience,' Storm said.
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