Weekley misses chance to win Honda Classic


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida, AP

Boo Weekley missed a 3-foot par putt on the final regulation hole of the Honda Classic, wasting a chance to win his first U.S. PGA Tour title on Sunday. He’ll have to wait until Monday morning to get a shot at redeeming himself. Weekley, Camilo Villegas, Mark Wilson and Jose Coceres went into a four-man playoff they couldn’t finish before darkness fell on PGA National.

Each player made par at the par-5 18th, the first playoff hole. Wilson made a spectacular par, driving his tee shot into the mud and scrambling to the green before making a 30-foot putt to keep him in contention, and Coceres’ birdie try that would have ended the tournament hit the lip and rolled away. Weekley made a 3-footer to earn his trip to the second playoff hole, and Villegas then tapped in from about 2 feet — the final shot before play was suspended. Villegas and Coceres closed with 4-under 66s, while Weekley and Wilson shot 71s to finish at 5-under 275. Tripp Isenhour (67), Robert Allenby (68) and Steve Stricker (69) followed at 4 under, and Brett Wetterich and Daniel Chopra (71) were another shot back. Play was scheduled to resume at 1330 GMT on Monday, with the foursome on the par-4 10th hole, continuing to vie for the US$990,000 (euro752,000) winner’s prize. Weekley said entering the round that he wasn’t fixating on the money and that his primary focus was simply on getting that first win, and the exemption through the 2009 season that accompanies it. But with a 15-footer on the tournament’s 71st hole, the par-3 17th, Weekley got the lead and needed only a par at the last to get that win and the money. He reached the 18th green in three shots, tipping his cap as he walked up to acknowledge the long, loud serenade of “Boo.” The gallery made a much different sound moments later, when his 3-footer slid past the left edge, setting up the playoff. The leaderboard was tight at the start of the round, and only got more congested during the afternoon. Coceres began his day with five straight birdies; he’d had five in his previous 41 holes entering Sunday, yet was simply sizzling early and got within one shot of Wilson. Allenby, the field’s best player on the front side all week, went out in 31 and got to 6 under before fading with a 2-over 37 on the back side, and Isenhour got into the mix with three straight birdies on Nos. 2-4. Villegas wound up getting to the crucial 5-under mark with birdies at Nos. 16 and 17 — the final two holes of PGA National’s famed “Bear Trap,” named in honor of course redesigner Jack Nicklaus.