What We Learned: Boo's cruise, Matteo's march


Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. In this edition, our writers weigh in on Boo Weekley's ball-striking, Matteo Manassero's blossoming talent, the still-looming possibility of chaos over the anchoring ban and the intriguing, if jarring, concept of 12-hole golf.

Whenever Boo Weekley's name is mentioned, the golfer most often associated as being his predecessor is John Daly just a pair of downhome Southern boys prone to brief fits of mercurial golf. But the comparisons end there. Whereas Daly has always been a bomber with soft hands around the greens on the course and an accident waiting to happen off of it, Weekley is more of an iron-playing wizard who has kept his nose clean, save for a long-ago boxing match with an orangutan at a county fair. There's more contrast, too: Despite two majors, Daly is known largely as an underachiever; Weekley, on the other hand, has worked his way back from injury to find the winner's circle once again. 

If a single characteristic is enough to compare one player with another, we might as well liken Weekley to another man known for his ball-striking prowess. His victory at Colonial Country Club came in the shadows of Ben Hogan's statue and while nobody would suggest that Boo is the second coming of the Hawk, his repeatable swing has in fact repeated, with back-to-back years atop the PGA Tour's ball-striking category and now three career wins, all on courses which fit that persona. Despite common sentiment, Weekley isn't another John Daly. In fact, in many ways he's just the opposite, as all of that hard work paid off once again on Sunday. – Jason Sobel

Maybe it’s because the Italian hasn’t played much in the States and his conquests have come on the European circuit. Maybe it’s because he hits the ball only 275 yards off the tee. Whatever it is, Matteo Manassero remains wildly underappreciated in our sport, even after his playoff victory at the BMW PGA Championship. Think about it this way: If a 20-year-old American had four PGA Tour titles to his credit, including The Players, can you imagine the hysteria? Jordan Spieth, who is 19, grabs all the headlines and has three top 10s this season. Manassero, meanwhile, remains as underrated as a 20-year-old four-time winner can get. – Ryan Lavner

The USGA and the R&A are at a crossroads, but they aren’t totally in control of which direction their futures lead. The PGA Tour and the PGA of America may dictate that. With their decision to implement Rule 14-1b and ban anchored strokes without first building a consensus with the PGA Tour and the PGA of America, the USGA and the R&A risked splintering rule-making authority. They risked the PGA Tour and PGA of America striking out on their own and creating their own rules. They took a stance against anchoring that could come with bifurcation as a consequence. Was it worth the risk? We’re all waiting to see. – Randall Mell

Golf needs more 12-hole tournaments. Because of torrential rains and flooding, the Paradise Island layout was reconfigured to 12 holes for this week’s Bahamas LPGA Classic and, we would argue, nothing was lost in the nip/tuck. For those traditionalists who claim 12 holes isn’t golf, we give you Shiskine Golf Club on the Isle of Arran in Scotland which opened for business in 1896 and is, by any definition, a classic gem. – Rex Hoggard