Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Take a Peek at Boo, the Panhandle Prankster

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Take a Peek at Boo, the Panhandle Prankster

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette

With golf's biggest star missing from The Players Championship, galleries will need someone to turn to this weekend as an alternative attraction.

I reckon one of your best bets might be tracking Thomas Brent Weekley -- better known as "Boo" -- to see if a sweet, ball-striking version of Larry the Cable Guy might somehow fill that Tiger void.

Not only does Boo know entertainment, the laid-back, 34-year-old country boy from Milton has the skills to negotiate the wind-swept TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course and possibly find himself on a Sunday leaderboard.

There are higher-profile players that we know on a first-name basis -- Phil, Sergio, Ernie, Freddie. But if you want some levity to go with some Boo-ming drives, then it's hard not to gravitate toward Weekley.

With his thick Southern accent and natural crowd interaction, Weekley is a big hit with fans who love his willingness to be a character between shots.

"[Weekley] likes to play jokes, and he does it with everybody," said Heath Slocum, his golf teammate at Milton High School and best friend on the PGA Tour. "It's just who he is."

During Friday's second round, Weekley found a perfect target (22-year-old playing partner Anthony Kim) and prop (a soft-shell turtle) to have some fun while shooting a 1-under-par 71, putting him at 141 and three shots off Kenny Perry's lead.

After Kim and Weekley hit tee shots at the par-3 No. 8, the turtle crossed their path as they walked toward the fairway.

His curiosity piqued, Kim stuck a wedge near the turtle's head, then began stroking its shell like it was a family pet. After Weekley bent down to join him, he yelled out as if to warn Kim that the turtle was going to strike.

When Kim jumped back, Weekly recoiled in laughter, along with the small gallery nearby.

"Yeah, [Weekley] got me pretty good," said Kim, who stands at 4-under 140. …

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