WHY WEEKLEY MISSED ALI

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American Ryder Cup rookie Boo Weekley was sent out early for practice at Valhalla Golf Club today and missed a chance to meet Muhammad Ali.

American Ryder Cup rookie Boo Weekley was sent out early for practice at Valhalla Golf Club today and missed a chance to meet Muhammad Ali.
United States captain Paul Azinger sent Weekley out solo from the 10th tee for the final practice session before tonight’s opening ceremonies and the start of play of tomorrow morning.
His regular practice partners this week, Jim Furyk and local Kentucky duo Kenny Perry and JB Holmes, followed some time later, teeing off in front of the ailing former heavyweight champion of the world as he watched from a golf buggy outside the ropes.
Louisville-born Ali, a long-time sufferer of Parkinson’s Disease, was then driven up to the tee box where he briefly stood to pose for photographs with the trio of American players.
Ali, 66, then returned to the buggy, shaded from the sun by a Team USA umbrella, and waited for the next group of players.
A PGA of America official later explained Weekley’s solo start.
“Paul gave them the opportunity to do what they wanted and Boo just wanted to get out early,” he said.
Furyk cut short his practice round at Valhalla, with unconfirmed reports he left the course to be with wife Tabitha, who had been taken to a local hospital complaining of back pain.
Weekley’s lone practice round is not unprecidented
In 2004, while his team-mates practised at Oakland Hills in the final Thursday session, Phil Mickelson was dispatched by captain Hal Sutton to a different course in the Detroit area to practice with the ball used by Tiger Woods ahead of their pairing the following day.
Aside from Weekley, Azinger was sticking with the same practice groups he had sent out each day this week.
Anthony Kim, Mickelson, Hunter Mahan and Justin Leonard were the next on the tee to meet the former boxer, whose Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville the US team had visited on Monday evening. This time Ali stayed in his buggy as the golfers climbed in alongside for pictures.
Stewart Cink, Chad Campbell, Steve Stricker and Ben Curtis were next before Ali was driven down to the fairway on the first hole where the European team had gathered to meet him.
There was another photo session, led by European captain Nick Faldo with the entire team clambering onto the Ali buggy, before being joined by the caddies as well.
The European players were also granted individual shots next to Ali before their practice resumed.

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