Weekley's journey to Hawaii for season opener goes awry

KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were among
four PGA Tour winners who decided to stay home from the
Mercedes-Benz Championship and the start of the 2008 season.

Boo Weekley thought he might be staying home, too, although not
by choice.

He left his tiny town in the Florida Panhandle at the crack of
dawn Friday and didn't arrive in paradise until the early morning
hours Sunday. That he made it as far as Kapalua was a minor
miracle, considering an oversight that showed how little golf and
how much time Weekley has been spending in his beloved outdoors.

Airport security found two bullets from his rifle in his
carry-on bag.

"That was kind of like, right out of the gate started the whole
week for me," Weekley said Monday. "They put the red flags on me.
I had the cops there. I thought I was going to jail."

He used that bag during a hunting trip to Illinois and never saw
them when he packed for Hawaii. But as Weekley soon discovered,
those airport scanning machines don't miss much.

"I just begged and pleaded," he said. "I just sat there and
shook my head like I was an idiot, you know? They confiscated the
bullets and then broke down a bunch of stuff, got in everything and
put a flag by me. They said they were going to red flag me."

Once he got out of that mess and arrived in Atlanta, he missed
his connection by minutes and had to spend the night. Weekley, his
wife and son and her parents then caught a flight Saturday morning
to Los Angeles, where they spent nine hours in the airport because
of delays.

But it was good to finally arrive and soak in the view from his
villa of the Pacific Ocean, with the occasional splash of humpback
whales if he can see through the clouds and rain.

"It's a pretty view," Weekley said. "I live on the water down
where I live. It's just a different name for it. It's called the
Pacific here instead of the gulf."

The Mercedes-Benz Championship is for winners only, but it will
have only a 31-man field when the season begins Thursday.