Boo Weekley – Homeboy at the Ryder Cup
The Ryder Cup Team
Editor’s Note: Boo Weekley of Jay, Florida, a longtime avid hunter and fisherman and rookie member of the 2008 Ryder Cup Team U.S.A., helped lead the U.S.A. team on September 21 to their first victory in 9 years at the 37th Ryder Cup. Many didn’t believe this young, rag-tag team with six rookies had a chance to beat the well-established European team. But they didn’t know the Americans had a secret weapon – a magnificent golfer who not only had the skill and the power to win a golf match, but the charisma to set the world of golfing on-fire with his down-home sayings and mannerisms, his yes-sir and yes-ma’am rearing, and his good-natured, fun-loving spirit. When one sports writer told Weekley that most experts didn’t give the U.S.A. team much of a chance, Weekley said, “You don’t know what you’ve got until you get out there and play with it. It’s like getting a new pack of hounds when we were growing up and going deer hunting. You didn’t know what kind of dogs you had until you ran ‘em. So, let’s run ‘em, and we’ll see.” And, after watching the Americans win over the Europeans, everyone realized these underdogs hunted just fine. This week Weekley tells us how he made the team and recalls the U.S.A.’s unexpected, yet well-deserved, victory at Valhalla.
Phillips: Boo, you just finished competing in the 2008 37th Ryder Cup, one of the biggest golf events in the nation. What was it like to be there and compete for your country with thousands of spectators and a worldwide TV audience expecting the team to be defeated again?
Boo: The entire event was really emotional for me. When I was selected for the Ryder’s Cup Team U.S.A., I didn’t know what to expect. When I arrived and started practicing and playing, I quickly learned that this was not just another golf tournament.
Phillips: What made the Ryder Cup more than just a regular golf tournament?
Boo: I was representing my country, which was a heavy weight to carry. Too, I knew the American team hadn’t won in 9 years. I wanted to do my part for my country and for my teammates and practice and play hard. So, I really worked hard during the practice rounds and came through for my country and my teammates at the tournament.
Phillips: Boo, a golf tournament is generally a very-subtle, very-staid event without much wild entertainment. What inspired you to perform for the crowd, get the crowd involved in the tournament and get the “Boo Birds” chanting your name at every hole?
Boo: I was just being myself. Win, lose or draw, the spectators and the American people watch that event to see me and my teammates. So, I decided to entertain them and give them something to enjoy.
Phillips: Were you surprised at how much media attention you received?
Boo: Not really, because I’ve learned that when you play well on a PGA Tour, you’ll get a lot of media coverage. The coverage I received was about average.
Tomorrow: A Team United