After recording seven consecutive rounds in the 60s at Hilton Head, including Friday's second-round 64, Weekley carded an even-par round of 71 Sunday to win by three strokes over Aaron Baddeley and Anthony Kim. Fortunately for Weekley, none of his closest challengers were able to mount a significant charge in the breezy conditions.
"It was ugly," Weekley told reporters. "I still struggled with the driver high and right. I actually hit a couple of good iron shots, but a lot of them, they were everywhere.
"It actually didn't feel right, the swing didn't. The putter more or less kept me in the game, where at least I was able to shoot even par."
Weekley, who is 0-for-63 in his PGA Tour career in tournaments other than the Verizon Heritage, became the first player since five-time champion Davis Love III (1991-1992) to repeat at Harbour Town. He finished at 15-under 269, collected a $990,000 first-place check and 4,500 FedEx Cup points.
But unlike last year, when he chipped in on both the 17th and 18th holes in the final round of a Monday finish to win by a shot over Ernie Els, Weekley said this year's victory went down more like he'd imagined winning on the PGA Tour would be. This time, he got to enjoy a stroll down the 18th fairway with fans shouting his name and celebrating on the green after holing his final putt.
"I look back and that was the only way that I thought that you really won is when you stand there and pull the ball out of the hole and turn around to the crowd and say, 'Hey, I am the champ,'" Weekley said. "I chipped it in back to back last year and I didn't get to stand there and turn to the crowd and do the fist pump."
As one might expect from the down-to-earth Weekley, his victory celebration was spontaneous.
"I wanted to do the moonwalk, the belly-roll," Weekley said. "No, I didn't rehearse anything."
Weekley, who entered the final round with a three-stroke lead, also proved to himself that he could sleep on the lead and close the deal on Sunday. His round included five bogeys and five birdies, including a chip-in birdie on No. 10 and sinking a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 14.
Weekley said he learned a lot from the experience.
"I learned how to control my emotions a little bit," Weekley said. "I was out there today and literally, I was so pumped, I was hitting a couple of irons, shoot, probably 10 yards farther than I normally would hit them, just because I had so much adrenaline going through me."
Kim, who was playing in the final pairing with Weekley, also closed with a 71 to tie for second. His attempt to rally was derailed by a double bogey at No. 9 and, after three consecutive birdies on holes 13-15, he bogeyed No. 16.
"I didn't think it was over until No. 16, when I missed that 12-footer [for par]," Kim told reporters. "I was just grinding away and I knew anything can happen on this golf course. It played tough all day.
"Boo played great. He hung in there. He didn't have his best game today, but he got it up and down when he needed to and hit the right shots when he needed to."
Baddeley was able to close with a 2-under 69, but said the breeze made it difficult to really go low. Michael Letzig's 6-under 65 was the best round of the day by two shots.
"The wind was swirling. It kept changing directions all the time," Baddeley told reporters. "That's what made it hard to get it close."
April 21, 2008
Davis Love III, who played the final 57 holes of the Children's Miracle Network Classic without a bogey, finished at 25-under 263 in the season-ending event played at the Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Florida. It has been a long road back for Love, who severely sprained his ankle late last year. After tearing ligaments, he needed surgery, and he's spent much of this year rehabilitating the injury.
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