But not many said hello back.
Weekley thought the PGA Tour would be a social affair, but it didn’t take long to realize none of his peers paid a lick of attention to him, his accent, his stories, his life. And based on his golf, there wasn’t much to talk about, anyway.
“It was heartbreaking at first,” he said. “I was expecting to meet all these new people, have dinner and stuff, and didn’t happen. I thought the stature of the tour was everybody got along, everybody hangs out. That’s bull.”
Four years on the Nationwide Tour taught him to play, to cope with the pressure, to travel and find out who his friends were. He found out about himself, too, and realized he was willing to accept failures and move on.
The first big test came last year at the Honda Classic, when Weekley missed a 3-foot par putt on the final hole and wound up losing in a playoff. He figured it was another bump along the gravel road, and he passed his next exam two months later at Hilton Head.
That other education?
Weekley still struggles with reading (he says he has “slow learning disease”) and writing, although he can sign his name. He jokes about his math — he put down the wrong score for Sergio Garcia in the PGA Championship last year — but he sure knows how to count money, and it won’t be long before he has enough to buy a big piece of property to hunt and fish.
There are whispers among his peers that the hillbilly routine is just that, and Snedeker suggested as much when he said that Weekley’s stellar golf can “get lost in the act.”
Snedeker chalks that up to being shy.
“He hams it up a little, but he’s very intelligent,” Snedeker said. “He’s a very well-spoken guy, but that’s his defense mechanism. When he gets around people he doesn’t know, he wants to come off as not a very smart guy. He’s fooling a lot of people.
“It’s not phony. What you see is Boo,” he said. “But not everyone gets to see the other side of him.”
Weekley concedes as much.
“I reckon I’ve got a lot of common sense,” he said. “Look, my old man is a pharmacist. My momma is a nurse. My sister is social worker. It’s in our blood to be a little smart. Now, my little sister might have got most of it, but I got enough.”
He figured out how to get from the bottom of a chemical tank to the PGA Tour. He learned how to relate to the common man, like John Daly, only without the excess. And despite being one of the most unique characters in golf, he proved he belonged.
Weekley was on his way to the fifth tee during a pro-am round last year at Cog Hill in the BMW Championship when Woods walked by on his way to the ninth tee. Woods looked over his shoulder and called out to him.
“Hey, Boo! When am I going to get your autograph?”
Startled and smiling, Weekley said something in return in an accent as thick as mud. Asked what was said, Woods laughed.
“I have no idea,” he said.
But he knows that Boo can play golf. And that’s really all Boo wants anyone to know. (PROFILE
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