Wilson Wins Weekley the Story

By Brian HewittMarch 5, 2007, 5:00 pm
Now the secret is out on Thomas Brent Weekley. Father of Thomas Parker Weekley.
Not to be confused with Boo Radley.
Which was the character invented by Truman Capotes close friend Harper Lee and played in the movie To Kill A Mockingbird by Robert Duvall in his first cinematic role.
Are you scared yet?
Apparently Mark Wilson wasnt. Weekley was the most compelling figure in Mondays continuation of the four-way playoff that began in the twilight late Sunday at the Honda Classic.
He did everything but win. Wilson took care of that part by making a birdie on the third playoff hole to eliminate Jose Coceres. Weekley and Camilo Villegas had dropped out a hole earlier with bogeys.
Weekley had chewed and spat and scratched and clawed all week long down in Palm Beach Gardens which is in the same state as Weekleys home town of Milton yet a million miles from Boos Florida Panhandle identity.
Trouble was, when it came right down to winning time, he couldnt shake in a 39-incher on the 72nd hole. And that let Wilson, Villegas and Coceres back into the turkey shoot.
Nerves got me, said Boo.
But for better or worse the Honda Classic was terrific stuff all week long. Nobody anywhere near the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking was anywhere near the leaderboard as daylight dwindled Sunday. Yet, as much as any event on the PGA TOUR so far this year, it was a tournament you couldnt take your eyes off of.
(And before you go all Strunk & White on me, it absolutely was a tournament worth ending a sentence with two prepositions.)
So many players were still prowling around the lead well into the latter stages of the final round. So much built-in drama awaited all of them at the vaunted Bear Trap, the three-hole stretch beginning at the Par 3 15th at PGA National.
Villegas, the stylists stylist from Colombia by way of Gainesville, came out of the pack with birdies at 16 and 17 to pull within a shot of the lead. But he fired and fell back. His wedge into the par 5 18th missed the green to the right and was lucky to stay dry. He thought he needed birdie. He made par.
But hold on: Five-under turned out to be good enough for more golf. Robert Allenby, who once won a six-man playoff at Riviera in 2001, bogeyed 15 and 16 and missed overtime by one. Tripp Isenhour hit a perfect putt on the 72d hole. And all it didnt do was go in the hole. Both finished at four under.
Charlie Wi, the journeyman native South Korean by way of Cal-Berkeley, had led much of the tournament and survived a triple bogey early in his Friday round. As late as the ninth tee Sunday he was still hanging around at five under. Alas for him, the early part of the inward half stopped him cold.
Its going to be a nervous last hour, NBC-TVs Johnny Miller predicted over the air with equally parts glee and foreboding as the leaders reached the final holes.
Allenby hadnt won since 2001. Villegas had never won. Wilson had been to Q-School each of the last 10 years. The charmingly countrified Weekley, another non-winner, hadnt been outside of Milton, Fl. for very much of his life.
And then there was Coceres, who birdied his first five holes Sunday. Had he done much in the United States other than parring the fifth playoff hole to nudge Billy Mayfair for first place at Harbour Town in 2001? Actually he had also won at Disney that same year. But he was 43 years old now and had to be wondering how many more chances like this he was going to get.
In the end, Wilson had the goods. He even survived a two-shot penalty incurred Friday when his caddie, Chris Jones, revealed to his playing competitors what club he had used on the tee of the fifth hole.
Villegas will live to fight another day. And it will be left to Weekley to gnaw the hardest on this defeat.
The media was poised to announce a new folk hero. And it was Boo Weekley, a genuinely aw shucks kind of guy.
Said Boo, when it was finally over: Thats golf. His five-year-old son, Thomas Parker Weekley, would still love him, Boo said. And that counted for a whole lot.

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Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.

Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.

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Henley will try to put heat on Casey in final round

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:55 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – While it will be a tall task for anyone to catch Paul Casey at the Travelers Championship, the man who will start the round most within reach of the Englishman is Russell Henley.

Henley was in the penultimate group at TPC River Highlands on Saturday, but he’ll now anchor things during the final round as he looks to overcome a four-shot deficit behind Casey. After a 3-under 67, Henley sits at 12 under through 54 holes and one shot clear of the three players tied for third.

Henley closed his third round with a run of five straight pars, then became the beneficiary of a pair of late bogeys from Brian Harman that left Henley alone in second place.

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“Could have made a couple more putts, but to end with two up-and-downs like that was nice,” Henley said. “I felt a little bit weird over the shots coming in, put me in some bad spots. But it was nice to have the short game to back me up.”

Henley has won three times on Tour, most recently at the 2017 Houston Open, and he cracked the top 25 at both the Masters and U.S. Open. But with Casey riding a wave of confidence and coming off an 8-under 62 that marked the best round of the week, he knows he’ll have his work cut out for him in order to nab trophy No. 4.

“I think I can shoot a low number on this course. You’ve got to make the putts,” Henley said. “I’m definitely hitting it well enough, and if I can get a couple putts to fall, that would be good. But I can’t control what he’s doing. I can just try to keep playing solid.”

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Back from back injury, Casey eyeing another win

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:36 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Given his four-shot cushion at the Travelers Championship and his recent victory at the Valspar Championship, it’s easy to forget that Paul Casey hit the disabled list in between.

Casey had to withdraw from The Players Championship because of a bad back, becoming the only player in the top 50 in the world rankings to miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event. He flew back to England to get treatment, and Casey admitted that his T-20 finish at last month’s BMW PGA Championship came while he was still on the mend.

“I wasn’t 100 percent fit with the back injury, which was L-4, L-5, S-1 (vertebrae) all out of place,” Casey said. “Big inflammation, nerve pain down the leg and up the back. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Thanks in large part to a combination of MRIs, back adjustments and anti-inflammatories, Casey finally turned the corner. His T-16 finish at last week’s U.S. Open was the first event for which he felt fully healthy since before the Players, and he’s on the cusp of a second title since March after successfully battling through the injury.

“We thought we were fixing it, but we weren’t. We were kind of hitting the effects rather than the cause,” Casey said. “Eventually we figured out the cause, which was structural.”

Casey started the third round at TPC River Highlands two shots off the lead, but he’s now four clear of Russell Henley after firing an 8-under 62 that marked the low round of the week.

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Bubba thinks he'll need a Sunday 60 to scare Casey

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:15 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Perhaps moreso than at most PGA Tour venues, a low score is never really out of reach at TPC River Highlands. Positioned as a welcome change of pace after the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship offers a lush layout that often pushes the balance much closer to reward than risk.

This is where Jim Furyk shot a 58 on the par-70 layout two years ago – and he didn’t even win that week. So even though Paul Casey enters the final round with a commanding four-shot lead, there’s still plenty of hope for the chase pack that something special could be in store.

Count Bubba Watson among the group who still believe the title is up for grabs – even if it might require a Herculean effort, even by his standards.

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Watson has won the Travelers twice, including in a 2015 playoff over Casey. But starting the final round in a large tie for sixth at 10 under, six shots behind Casey, he estimates that he’ll need to flirt with golf’s magic number to give the Englishman something to worry about.

“My 7 under yesterday, I need to do better than that. I’m going to have to get to like 10 [under],” Watson said. “The only beauty is, getting out in front, you have a chance to put a number up and maybe scare them. But to scare them, you’re going to have to shoot 10 under at worst, where I’m at anyway.”

Watson started the third round three shots off the lead, and he made an early move with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 en route to an outward 32. The southpaw couldn’t sustain that momentum, as bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 turned a potential 65 into a relatively disappointing 67.

“Bad decision on the par-3, and then a very tough tee shot for me on 17, and it just creeped into the bunker,” Watson said. “Just, that’s golf. You have mistakes every once in a while.”