By Stephen Hawkins
The Associated Press
FORT WORTH, Texas — Boo Weekley made three consecutive birdies in the middle of his round to take the lead at Colonial, and finished with a 4-under 66 on Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory in five years.
Weekley never trailed after those birdies on Nos. 8-10, which came about the same time Scott Stallings made double bogey at No. 15 to drop out of the lead.
At 14-under 266, Weekley finished a stroke ahead of Matt Kuchar, the second- and third-round leader who closed with a 68. Defending Colonial champion Zach Johnson, who also won at Hogan’s Alley in 2010, shot 66 to finish third at 12 under for his first top-10 finish this season.
Both of Weekley’s previous wins had been at Harbour Town, in 2007 and 2008. Like the Heritage winner, the Colonial champion gets a plaid jacket.
Weekley also won just more than $1.1 million, matching what the 2008 Ryder Cup team member earned his previous 14 tournaments this season while making 12 cuts and finishing in the top 10 three times.
Kuchar, at No. 13 in the world ranking and the highest-ranked player in the field, got to 12 under and was within a stroke of the lead when he made a 55-foot birdie putt at the 436-yard 12th hole. He punched his right arm into the air to punctuate the shot that got him within a stroke of Weekley for the lead.
Four holes ahead of Weekley, Johnson also got to 12 under with his second consecutive birdie, a 19-foot birdie that he celebrated with a fist pump on his own.
Almost as quickly, their one-stroke deficit was back to two.
At the par-3 13th, Weekley hit his tee shot to about 22 feet. After striking the putt, he swiped his putter in the air as if guiding the ball into the cup and thrusting his club above his head when the birdie dropped to get to 14 under.
That was enough for Weekley, who finished with five consecutive pars — missing 4-footers at Nos. 14 and 17 — before his 29-foot putt at the final hole lipped out of cup.
Stallings’ closing 66 put him in a tie for fourth at 11 under, with John Rollins (68) and Matt Every (69).
Weekley’s long-awaited third victory came on the same week he went to see a doctor about the problem he has had recently maintaining focus in his left eye. That has caused him problems reading the greens recently, and sometimes he even gets bad twitches when trying to concentrate on something, like staring down at the ball.
Stallings had a 6-under 29 on the front nine, one off the course record, and was 13 under with a one-stroke lead when he got the 428-yard 15th hole.
But he took three shots from inside a radius of about 5 yards while Weekley was making his turn.
After his tee shot at No. 15 went into a left fairway bunker, Stallings hit his approach over the green. His chip shot then hit the edge of a greenside bunker, rolling into the sand, and he failed to get out of there on his next shot before finally blasting to 6 feet. Weekley had just made an 18-foot birdie at No. 9 to get to 12 under, and was in position for another birdie at the 10th hole.
It was also at No. 15 that Johnson had his only bogey of the day. He drove into a right-side bunker and hit from there onto the green nearly 60 feet from the cup, but missed a par-saving 5-footer.
Johnson made an 11-foot birdie at the par-3 16th but came up a short of his third Colonial victory. Five-time winner Ben Hogan is still the only player to win Colonial more than twice.
Kuchar was 12 under when he made an 11-foot birdie putt off the back fringe at No. 2 before a bogey on the next hole when he took two shots from a greenside bunker. Then came a steady stream of pars until rolling in that long putt at No. 12. He didn’t have another birdie until a closing 20-footer for second place alone.
On the easy par-5, 548-yard first hole, the long-hitting Weekley was on the green in two and his 22-foot eagle chance stopped less than a half-foot from the cup. He chipped in for another birdie from behind the third green, but sliced his tee shot out of bounds at No. 5 toward the Trinity River for a bogey.
Weekley dropped another shot at the 437-yard seventh hole when he missed the green with his approach, but his go-ahead birdie run started on the next hole — with a 6-iron inside 4 feet at the 200-yard eighth hole.