AUGUSTA, Ga. — As much as it pains me to give colleague Chris Bieri too much credit, his observations on golfer Boo Weekley are spot on.
If Tiger Woods is king of the golfing court, then Weekly is the jester.
It isn't like he is really trying hard to be funny, he just is. That, however, is his genius. He is just plain funny.
Weekley is the class clown and his humor is probably better suited for the U.S. Open crowd than the normally reserved crowd at Augusta, and every time I say this line in my head, I can't help but think of Caddyshack's Carl Spackler.
Weekley's persona reminds me of Bill Murray's famous character. So much, in fact, that I wouldn't be at all surprised if Weekley muttered most of what Murray said during the scene where Spackler dreams of playing at the Masters. OK, so Weekley is at least a better dresser, has better personal hygiene and isn't "getting stoned to the bejeezus-belt on a hybrid of Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent and Northern California Sinsemilla," but he at least reminds me of the character.
Golf needs guys like Weekley. Golf needed a guy like John Daly and Weekley fits much of what Daly did for the game, sans the boozing and trouble with the law. In what Daly lacked in off-course sense, Weekley has. Instead of domestic disputes where Daly shows up for a tee time with scratches on his face, Weekley gets punched out by an orangutan.
Weekley makes you like him because he doesn't look and act like a machine. He has a beer belly that he is supposedly looking to build his swing around (I would buy that instructional DVD), he wears a camouflage hat, he talks about huntin' and fishin', and, as you can see, he doesn't pronounce his "Gs."
I love some of the things he has said in interviews so far this year. Here is a sample (and make sure there is some drawl on it):
"What's Amen Corner? Is it 12? Why is it a corner. It should be 12, 13 and 14, shouldn't it? Well you got me there." — When asked about the difficulty of Amen Corner.
"No, just going to go home and cook some pork chops. I don't know (if there will be any vegetables). I'm a meat and tater man, I ain't much for no vegetables." — When asked if he would do anything special after the first round.
"If it was an eagle, it would have been great. Last year we needed a couple of eagles." — When asked about a shadow of a bird flying over during his backswing.
Weekley just barely made the cut with a plus-2, 146, so we will have two more days of Weekley-isms.
With that being said, I will probably watch him today at the corner of Nos. 10 and 11. There is a flat area behind the green at 10 right before the tee box at 11. It is just about the best spot to watch the game for a while and really nobody else must know that because not many people are there. The majority of the fans stay on the other side of 10, making it a perfect little nook. I am thinking about publishing a book about the best areas to watch to rival the one that the Masters prints in the spectator guide. I have no idea why someone would take Bobby Jones' opinion of Augusta National over mine.
And, I revisited a spot along the fairway on No. 8 for the fact that it always seems to have shots sprayed into the gallery and that I could visit with some folks I met last year. Sure enough, Skip and Pam Hawkings were in their usual spots. It was kind of cool to get to visit with them again. Skip's dad Whit, will be celebrating 50 years with the Masters next year. I can only hope I can say that some day.
(Michael Linnell is the sports editor for The Minot Daily News. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)