Chance for tie at BC Open careens past hole
Ted Purdy and Jonathan Byrd broke away from a logjam atop the BC
Open leaderboard late Sunday, birdieing their way to sole second and
Purdy charged with a birdie on the brutally tough par 3 17th, holing out a
The drama built when his drive on 18 split the fairway. Ted then stuffed
his second shot to within 3-and-a-half feet of the stick, the crowd
surrounding the green erupting with cheers.
A playoff seemed imminent when Byrd's 20-footer for the win slid past the
hole, just nipping the low-side lip.
Ted confidently eyed his putt for the tie, took his time and hammered his
3-footer past the cup.
Byrd's ecstasy was matched only by Purdy's agony. Having already
suffered a crushing loss to Stewart Cink on the fifth playoff hole at the MCI
Heritage in April, the 30-year-old Purdy is still searching for his first PGA
Tour victory in 52 starts after a putt that will haunt him for a while.
"I didn't think Jonathan would make his 20-footer, and I thought I'd make
my 3-footer and we would be in a playoff," said Purdy, trying to force a
smile and a laugh. "Now I won't be able to sleep for a couple of weeks."
Tiger Woods hits from the desert on Arizona National's
No. 11 during the 1996 Ping Intercollegiate.
By DAMON HACK
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Aug. 9, 2007
TULSA, Okla. — The most sought after guru
at the 89th P.G.A. Championship once spent
730 days blindfolded.
Jim Weathers made his living jumping out of
airplanes in the middle of the night and once
broke his neck when a squat rack fell on him.
He does not teach bunker shots or putting
techniques, but no teacher at Southern Hills
Country Club can boast the client list or
mystique that Weathers has.
“No one really knows exactly what I do,” said
Weathers, who has been called a shiatsu
master, a reflexologist and a healer. “They try
to say, ‘Hey, he’s a massage therapist,’ but
it's more than that.”
In the traveling circus that is the PGA Tour,
rife with players, caddies and officials hop-
scotching the globe, the muscular Weathers
is at tournaments 36 weeks during the year.
His latest recognition came from massaging
Phil Mickelson’s injured left wrist during the
Memorial Tournament and the United States
Open, but Weathers has worked with as
many as 40 players on the Tour.
The son of a Choctaw Indian father and a
mother of Irish descent, Weathers took a
circuitous route to his occupation. He grew
up in Napa Valley, Calif., graduated from high
school and joined the Army before becoming
a Green Beret.
While parachuting out of an airplane in
Japan, Weathers said he clipped a tree on
his descent and was injured. Taking the
advice of four different people, Weathers
visited an 84-year-old healer named Toshi
Namiami, who performed reflexology on him.
“She convinced me that she had been
waiting for me for 30 years,” Weathers said
Wednesday. “And I said, But I’m only 19
“I ended up studying under her for two years,
blindfolded. I’ve been doing this ever since I
got out of the military.”
Weathers, 46, practices Reiki — a Japanese
technique that channels energy to heal and
reduce stress — and uses other Eastern
techniques in treating clients.
After two decades working in various sports,
including Indy car racing, rodeo and the
professional water ski tour, he met the PGA
Tour player Ted Purdy five years ago at a
motivational seminar in San Antonio and has
been a fixture on the Tour since.
Jim Weathers earned recognition from massaging Phil Mickelson’s injured left wrist during the Memorial
Tournament and the United States Open.
|Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Energy to heal
In 2003, Jerry Kelly, a two-time PGA Tour
winner, sought out Weathers at a tournament
because he was experiencing pain in a
“The two bones were rubbing against each
other,” Kelly said Wednesday. “I was going to
have surgery the next week. I did five
sessions with Jim that week and it was the
best I had felt on a golf course in over a year.
When I went in for the pre-op for the surgery,
there was a space between the bones of the
AC joint and I didn’t need the surgery
anymore. Jim made a believer out of me
Weathers said: “I do with the muscles of the
body what a chiropractor does with the
bones. I realign everything like a pulley,
which makes them stronger, more alert, and
allows more oxygen to the brain. It’s quite an
During a 90-minute session with a golf
player, for example, Weathers will have the
golfer lie on his stomach, begin at his feet
and work up to his head. The golfer will then
turn over to his back, and Weathers will work
On Wednesday, Weathers and Kelly did a
shorter, 15-minute session, where Weathers
squeezed his shoulders and massaged the
back of the neck with rapid chops with his
“The C3 and the C4 are going nuts,” Kelly
said of the warmth he felt on his spine as
“The body is not built to do what we do with
the back, the twisting and the loading and the
releasing,” Kelly said. “It’s an unnatural
motion. Jim has an energy that has healing
potential. That’s just the way it is. He’s
At Oakmont in June, where the rough was
thick, Mickelson said Weathers was never
“The first practice round on Monday, Jim
Weathers had six other appointments,
people hurting their ribs, their back, their
wrists,” Mickelson said.
Weathers, who lives in Boise, Idaho, said he
had trimmed his client list to 10 golfers,
including Mickelson, Purdy and Kelly. He said
he occasionally gets calls from athletes
competing in other sports leagues and,
when he has the time, he offers his services.
“Even the White Sox called me,” Weathers
said. “I went and worked on them and they
won six out of the next seven. It looks like I
need to go back and work on them again.”
Ex-Green Beret keeps Tour golfers swinging