Boo Weekley The Anti-Tiger

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PGA ChampionshipTULSA, Okla. -- Tiger Woods inexorable march to his 13th major championship has been the dominant theme of the 89th PGA Championship that will likely conclude tomorrow in a blaze of glory.
 
What we know for sure is it will conclude in a blaze of something, because at least one weather forecaster has predicted the heat index will reach 113 degrees.
 
Until that time we will have to be content with the sideshows. So far they have been pretty good. Thursday brought us John Dalys bodacious 67 and the latest pressroom grin-and-spin from golfs grip-it-and-rip-it Paul Bunyan.
 
Friday, of course, came Woods 63, one power-lipped-putt-on-the-last-hole short of the all-time, major championship 18-hole record.
 
62 , Woods called it.
 
Saturday delivered Boo Weekley, a ball-striking Jesse from rural Florida whose countrified usage of the English language makes Jed Clampett sound like Sir John Gielgud.
 
I love to play the game, Boo said after his round. But my heart is really with huntin and fishin.
 
To be sure, the Weekley Report was even better than the Daly News. On the course, Weekley fired a 5-under 65 that included seven birdies, five of them on Southern Hills nasty back nine. Through 54 holes he stands tied for eighth at even par.
 
Off the course, Weekley said a lot more than boo.
 
Golf for him, he said, is a means to an end. His goal, he said, is to make enough money in the next 10 years to retire and go back to Florida and, you guessed it, hunt and fish.
 
Squirrels, rabbits, deer, raccoons, birds, Boo said.
 
Safaris? Big Game? Africa?
 
No sir, Boo said. There are too many things that can kill ya over thereAlligator bites, snake bites..I can handle those.
 
Boo almost bagged a big one on the 18th hole Saturday. He had a birdie putt for 63. But he made bogey. Three wiggle, Boo said.
 
The money part has been working out pretty well so far this year, thank you. Weekley ranks 19th in PGA TOUR earnings with more than two million dollars in the bank. Almost half of that amount came in one large chunk when Weekley captured the Verizon Heritage in April and banked a check for $972,000.
 
Boo sits at No. 45 in the world rankings and No. 17 in the FedExCup point standings. He says he doesnt watch golf on TV and doesnt read much either.
 
I dont know nothin about the FedExCup, Boo said.
 
He will soon. The pot at the end of the FedExCup rainbow next month will earn the winner a 10 million dollar deferred payday. That princely sum could get Weekley off the road and back home to north Florida even sooner.
 
I get tired of being away from my family. I get tired of being away from my friends, Boo said.
 
Last month Weekley positively charmed the Brits and the Scots on his way to finishing tied for 35th in the Open Championship at Carnoustie. This despite Weekleys faux pas of asking 1999 British Open winner Paul Lawrie if he qualified for the Open.
 
The locals were a bit bemused by that, said one Scot here this week.
 
The golf community in this country has known about Weekley now for several years. The rest of the golf world is just discovering him. For his part, Weekley couldnt wait to get back to the U.S. after Carnoustie.
 
Mexican, he said oxymoronically, when asked what his first American meal was upon returning. Three chicken fajitas and a bucket of sweet tea.
 
As best anybody can tell, if there was a popularity contest between Daly and Weekley, Daly would get the redneck vote; Weekley would carry the just plain folks.
 
Meanwhile major championships, Ryder Cups, golf history... ...keeping track of all that stuff is for somebody else. Im sorry yall, Boo said. Its just golf. Its not gonna make or break me.
 
Woods, on the other hand, is an avid disciple of golf history. He studies it assiduously. And it drives him.
 
Asked what he likes about golf, Boo said: The guys. There are so many different characters out here.
 
None, perhaps, more different than Boo Weekley.
 
There was a big ole soft shell turtle on No. 2 the other day, Boo said, brightening. Musta been seven or eight pounds.
 
The best guess here is that Tiger Woods didnt notice.
 
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