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Deja Boo? Weekley in line for another victory in Hilton Head

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Posted: April 19, 2008 10:10 p.m.
Updated: May 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.
    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Boo knows birdies, especially at Harbour Town Golf Links.
    Defending champion Boo Weekley continued his amazing start at Pete Dye’s magnificent masterpiece with a 65 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead heading into the final round of the Verizon Heritage.
    No one’s taken to the tricky layout of tight fairways, smallish greens and railroad ties as quickly as Weekley, who posted his seventh round in the 60s since first teeing it up here last spring.
    When Weekley came here, he said it felt like his old home course, Tanglewood Golf & Country Club in the Florida Panhandle. Ever since, he’s played Harbour Town like a member.
    ‘‘I’ve hit the ball pretty well, and I’ve kept it in a place I know I can score from,’’ he said.
    And boy did Weekley ever score.
    He had a stretch of five straight birdies on the front nine that took him two shots behind to two in front.
    ‘‘I just got feeling solid over the ball. And I stayed within myself,’’ he said. ‘‘This whole week I have.’’
    Weekley was three ahead of Anthony Kim (67) and five in front of Aaron Baddeley (67), Jason Bohn (67) and Cliff Kresge (68). Second-round leader Lucas Glover shot a 73 to drop seven shots back.
    Weekley chipped in on the 71st and 72nd holes a year ago to beat Ernie Els for his first PGA Tour victory. The good-natured, self-proclaimed country boy from East Milton, Fla., hasn’t slowed down in his return.
    Weekley’s seven straight rounds in the 60s tied Greg Norman for second all-time at Harbour Town behind Nick Price’s nine in a row.
    Those major champions had made several stops here before their streaks began.
    Then again, Weekley usually defies conventional wisdom.
    He’ll talk to galleries, chew tobacco during the round and joke with his playing partners.
    Near the end of his round, he asked a little girl on the 18th tee if she wanted a golf ball. When she said yes, Weekley told her, ‘‘Let me hit it and I’ll bring one back.’’
    Weekley delivered on his promise. Maybe that’s why the galleries here chant his name when he walks by.
    ‘‘These people paid their money to come out and watch us play,’’ Weekley said. ‘‘Why not talk to them a little bit?’’
    Doesn’t that break your focus?
    You’re looking around anyway, Weekley answers, so what’s the difference ‘‘looking out there in the water or looking at the people.’’
    Weekley started the day a stroke behind Glover. Weekley fell two back after finding the sand on the par-5 second hole and settling for par while Glover made birdie.
    Then Weekley’s run began with — what else? — a chip in on the par-3 fourth.
    A two-putt birdie on the par-5 fifth followed. Weekley stuck his approach on the next hole to 7 feet for a third straight birdie and a tie with Glover.
    Weekley moved in front on the seventh with a 10-foot birdie putt.
    When Weekley rolled home a 20-footer on the eighth, he was two shots in front.
    Weekley pumped his fist and pointed as the fans chanted ‘‘Boooo! Boooo!’’
    The streak ended on the ninth when Weekley saved par out of the sand.
    He stretched his lead to three shots with a birdie on the 12th hole.
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