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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2007 > PGA Tour > Verizon Heritage > Round 4
 

VERIZON HERITAGE RELATED STORIES





Boo Weekley chips his way to victory

Boo Weekley didn't blow his latest chance for a first PGA Tour victory, chipping in on the final two holes to hold off Ernie Els and win the Verizon Heritage on Monday.

Weekley looked as if he would give back all of a three-shot lead after his bogey on the 16th hole and his muffed chip behind the 17th green. Weekley followed the blunder with a 40-foot, par-saving chip to keep a one-stroke lead.

But then Weekley had his troubles on Harbour Town's lighthouse hole, No. 18. He chipped across the green and into the fluffy rough down a short slope. Once again, Weekley's short game saved him, this time rolling it from 36 feet away.

"Unreal," Weekley said. "This is unreal."

The Big Easy, bidding for his first tour win since 2004, lost his chance on No. 17, driving into the hazard behind the green for a bogey. Els made things interesting, though, putting his second shot -- and last opportunity to tie -- at the 18th inside 2 feet.

"I don't think I want to see this replay," Els said, smiling.

Weekley finished with a 68 and was one in front of Els (70 ) and two ahead of Stephen Leaney (68). Masters champion Zach Johnson continued his inspired play a week after slipping on the green jacket with a 71 to finish sixth.

Weekley had gained the sympathy of golfers everywhere last month when he missed a 3-footer on the 72nd hole of the Honda Classic that would've given him the outright win. Instead, the 33-year-old Weekley fell into a four-man playoff eventually won by Mark Wilson.

Weekley got it done this time.

He trailed Leaney by three shots early on, but moved to the front with an eagle on No. 5 and a birdie one hole later.

Weekley missed a 5-foot par try to open the door for Els until dramatically closing it with his two chips.

Along with $972,000 and a PGA Tour exemption through 2008, Weekley becomes the first PGA Tour winner to qualify for next year's Masters after Augusta National chairman Billy Payne restored a privilege taken away in 1999.

Difficulties with the weather Sunday forced the tournament to finish Monday for the first time since Jose Coceres defeated Billy Mayfair in a 2001 playoff.

Els had opened the tournament with two 65s and appeared ready to pick up his first tour victory since 2004. Still, it's his seventh top-10 finish here in nine visits to Harbour Town.

Jerry Kelly, who used a hole-in-one Saturday to take the third-round lead, was still two shots in front at 15-under after an eagle on the par-5 second. His chance to end a nearly five-year-old victory drought slipped away when he drove into the water on No. 10. He finished with a 77.

Winds, though not as fierce as Sunday, continued to whip off Calibogue Sound, tilting flagsticks on Harbour Town's three closing holes when play resumed at 8 a.m.

PGA Tour tournament director Slugger White stood off to the side on No. 16 early Monday, hands in pockets, monitoring for the severe gusts that moved resting golf balls off greens a day earlier.

Winds were so strong Sunday marshal William Millon was hit by a falling tree limb. He was taken off the course by ambulance and released from Hilton Head Regional Medical Center with minor injuries later that day, Verizon Heritage tournament director Steve Wilmot said.

The sand from a bunker along the left side of No. 16, blown back in the bunker overnight, again covered part of the fairway.

After hitting an approach to the 16th, Glen Day skipped up the fairway, singing, "We're having a heat wave." A group ahead, D.J. Trahan had a black knit winter cap pulled down over his ears.

When Trahan's trio hit into the Harbour Town's famous lighthouse hole, No. 18, their shots at the flag were carried several yards off the green and closer to the near empty grandstands than the cup.

Not everyone had trouble with that windy stretch: Ryan Armour went birdie-birdie-birdie through Nos. 16-18.

By midmorning, temperatures had risen to 61 degrees with winds at 26 mph, down from gusts of 44 mph on Sunday.




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