American Boo Weekley fired a final round 66 to overtake third round leader Matt Kuchar by recording a 14-under-par 266 to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational presented by Colonial on Sunday. Kuchar birdied the last to finish alone in second one shot back. Defending champion Zach Johnson took third by himself as he finished one stroke behind Kuchar.
There were plenty of “Boos” echoing around the hallowed grounds of Colonial as Weekley stormed to the front after birdies on Nos. 10 and 13 to give him a two-shot lead Sunday afternoon. Weekley made things interesting down the stretch as he missed two short birdies but his impeccable tee-to-green playing never saw him find any trouble in winning for the third time on TOUR. It was no surprise that he was T6 in driving accuracy and T5 in GIR but it didn’t hurt that he also finished T5 in putts per GIR. That was the difference and Weekley’s key to victory this week.
Weekley had plenty to do on Sunday as defending champion Zach Johnson posted 12-under and 54-hole leader Matt Kuchar was in the group behind. Weekley didn’t look like the same player who bumbled his way around TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas last week (76-75 MC). His crisp ball-striking and putting, in general, were an excellent combination on show as he won for the third time in his career. Always known as a premium ball-striker, Weekley returns to the winner circle for the first time since 2008 at RBC Heritage.
Weekley had shown signs of life early in the season as he went T8 at Puerto Rico and second at Tampa Bay but there were no signs of him continuing his fine run as he followed that up with finishes of T69, T45 and T42. He reared up again in New Orleans at that birdie-fest with another top 10, T6, yet was T58 at Wells Fargo and T48 at THE PLAYERS before his MC last week. Weekley now has four top 10s, his most since his last winning season, 2008, so he’s enjoying this return to form. We have now seen 30-somethings Kevin Streelman and Boo Weekley prove that they are having career-seasons and we, as gamers, must take notice moving forward.
With this victory, Weekley collects $1,152,000 and 500 FedExCup points. He also receives a two-year exemption and a trip to the 2014 Masters.
Déjà vu All Over Again?
There have been 22 tournaments this season. USA players have 18 of these events.
There have also been nine first-time winners this season.
The winners on TOUR have been Johnson, D (28), Henley (24), Gay (41), Woods FOUR times (37), Mickelson (42), Snedeker (32), Merrick (30) Kuchar (34),Thompson, M (27) Brown (29), Streelman (34), Points (36), Laird (30), Scott (32), G-Mac (33), Horschel (26), Ernst (22),Bae (26) and Weekley (39). The young folks (30 and younger) now have nine victories; the 30-somethings have racked up 11 victories, and the “old folks” (40 and up) have their two wins. This week’s “great hope” for the Old folks was Steve Flesch! He was just two shots off the lead heading into Sunday before his 73 knocked him back to T22. For a guy who hasn’t played much golf, a tip of the cap is in order!
Boo Weekley has won three golf tournaments on TOUR. Each of those titles has come with a tartan jacket. The RBC Heritage also awards their winner with a tartan jacket and Weekley won there in 2007 and successfully defend the following season. Weird.
He’s the now the fifth player in a row to overcome the 54-hole leader at Colonial.
His four rounds in the 60s are the first for a champion since Johnson in 2010. Solid, solid play.
A look at the players who finished in the top 10
Matt Kuchar: As we discussed in our chat on Wednesday afternoon, it doesn’t make sense to “save” any starts for premium players not named Woods or Mickelson and that was on display again this week. Kuchar couldn’t close out his 54-hole lead but his birdie on No. 18 saw him wrap up second place alone and racked up bonus points for the Yahoo! believers. The last time Kuchar missed a cut on US soil that was NOT a major was 2010 at Quail Hollow. He’s now seven out of seven at Colonial.
Zach Johnson: A “no-brainer” “horse-for-course” this week, Johnson did not disappoint as the 2010 and 2012 champion gave a sturdy defense to finish alone in third. In his last five tournaments at Colonial, Johnson has now finished third, first, fourth, first and T9. His form leading into his defense was improving as he posted T19 with a 76 at THE PLAYERS so this should not have surprised any of us.
Scott Stallings: I was emailing with Ryan O’Sullivan, my partner in crime at Rotoworld.com, this weekend and was wondering aloud how to catch guys like Stallings on a weekly basis. EVERY SINGLE WEEK I have a guy from the DO NOT TOUCH category in my Tuesday preview that seem to hit the top 10. It’s UNCANNY unlike my one-and-done picks. Stallings entered this week on the back of an eight tournament stretch that featured six MCs and finishes of T45 and T53. He played twice before at Colonial and his best round was two-over 72 in two MCs. Stallings usually thrives in birdie fiestas at resort courses but showed some chops this week on this classic design. A double on No. 15 knocked him out of contention but a great week nonetheless as he was one of seven players to fire all four rounds in the 60s.
John Rollins: The Colonial member had racked up eight top 25s in 10 weekends in 2013 leading into this week but his T4 Sunday was his best finish since his T4 at the Travelers last season. This was also his first top 10 of 2013. Rollins is an excellent ball-striker and this week on his home course was also balanced by finishing T6 in putts per GIR. In his last eight starts, he’s finished T22 or better in five of those along with three MCs so he’s found some solid form.
Matt Every: Time to pay attention, people! In his last 14 rounds, his worst score, just twice, is 72. When this man gets hot, he can get really hot! He only made five bogeys (one double) this week and hits the top 10 for the first time since Phoenix in the first weekend in February. After coming off six top 10s in 2012 gamers were expecting Every to continue to press for his first career victory. He finished T6 at the Memorial last season and that’s where he’s heading next week. Get out your crayon and circle his name now before you forget.
Josh Teater: I argued on Wednesday during our chat that “hot golf is hot golf” and Teater continued the form he used on Monday in medaling for The Open qualifier on the grounds at Colonial. “Teater Heater” carded 21 birdies, second in the field, en route to his third top 10 of an excellent 2013. His form in his last eight events wasn’t great as his best finish was T27 at Bay Hill. But, in that stretch, he only missed one cut. Teater has now played the weekend in three straight outings at Colonial as he adds his T7 to T57 last year and T16 in 2011.
Jordan Spieth: After finishes of T50, MC and T68 in tournaments in Texas in 2013, I wasn’t high on Spieth this week. He had fired at least a round of 75 or better in his last three tournaments and that would be suicide around these parts this week. He obviously doesn’t care what I think and his game proved that he needs to be on the radar each week. He chalked up 20 birdies on the week and his worst round was his 71 on Saturday. His closing 67 saw him finish T7 and lands him in the top 10 for the fourth time in 11 events this year. That’s not bad for his first start here. #ForReelz
Tim Clark: A popular choice in Yahoo! Group A, Clark justified his selection by hitting the top 10 for the third time in nine events in his career at Colonial. Clark posted all four rounds in the 60s even with the long-putter decision going against him (and others, obviously) earlier in the week. His putter was the reason he’s collecting another nice check as he led the field in strokes gained-putting for the week.
Chris Stroud: Another Texan in the mix this week, Stroud played all four rounds at 70 or better to also finish T7. He’s also another player, joining Weekley and Johnson, who have had recent successes at Harbour Town and at Colonial. Interesting. Only his T6 at Harbour Town beats his T7 this week for his second top 10 of the season. Stroud isn’t long but he’s known for rolling the rock. His long putter has helped him as well this season.
“Hey, what ever happened to…”
I take a look back at what happened to the chalk
Jim Furyk: After making 10 birdies on Thursday and Friday, Furyk sputtered to only five on the weekend as he finished 70-71 to finish T31. He finished T9 in GIR but his middle of the pack putting performance held him back. His T31 is his worst finish since his T55 in 1999, last century.
Charl Schwartzel: A day late and a dollar short will be the title of my first book. Last week, I let Schwarztel “cool” after his T55 at the THE PLAYERS and he hits the podium. This week, he made five birdies and five bogeys to miss the cut by a shot (E; 70-70). The good news is that it wasn’t 75-76 but more was expected from a player of this caliber even though it was his first time around Colonial.
Kevin Streelman: He missed a six-footer on his final hole to MC for the first time in four events. The other three events resulted in T2, T3 and T6 so again, expectations were running high. Streelman also finished 70-70 but reminded us via Twitter that he was more than happy to spend the weekend with his wife of five years on their anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Streels > unhappy fantasy golf nerds like me and you.
Henrik Stenson: His ball-striking, normally his ticket to a solid weekend, was quiet this week but he holed enough putts on Sunday to move up 27 spots to T35. That’s not much of a consolation to fantasy players but if you played him in Group C in Yahoo! that was better than Schwartzel-Streelman.
Marc Leishman: The wonderful run of T12 or better in four consecutive events had to come to an end sometime and it did this week. After a 66-68 start, Leishman, not surprisingly, ran out of gas with nine weekend bogeys to finish T46. I hope you took advantage of his last month!
Harris English: As you have noticed by now, my chalk this week was anything but, sadly. English’s 71-73, even with Jimmy Johnson back on the bag, wasn’t nearly enough this week to see the TOUR sophomore contend. His fine run of form hit a speed bump this week but it’s plain to see that he has the goods to be on TOUR for a long while. If he’s in your season-long league you should be quite delighted regardless of this week.
Fredrik Jacobson: After beginning Sunday just three shots back, Jacobson birdied Nos. 1 and 2 to find him just one shot out of the lead early on Sunday. He played the final 16 holes seven-over-par to finish T35. It looks worse today than it will down the road as he’s hit 10 cuts in a row this season with his worse finish being T48. One bad round shouldn’t sour you on the Swede.
Chris Kirk: Another who had an outside shot with a big Sunday who fell short, Kirk began the day seven-under and just four back. His birdie-less round of 74 saw him also finish T35. His normally steady putter went quiet on the weekend as he only racked up three birdies. No bother for me moving forward as he’s now played 11 weekends in a row.
Rickie Fowler: He’s now made four straight weekends in a row (out of four) at Colonial but the Crowne Plaza spokesman must have left his putter at the front desk as he finished 64th in strokes gained-putting and putts per GIR. Fowler knows his putter is his difference maker and the difference it made this week saw him finish T54.
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