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The Man In Boo Weekleys Shadow

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.
    Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt