Memorial Tournament

Muirfield Village Golf Club

The Loop

The Boo Weekley-Fights-An-Orangutan Story

September 21, 2008

LOUISVILLE--A lot of people at the Ryder Cup are talking about Boo Weekley, and one of the stories they want to hear is about a young Boo going head-to-head with an orangutan. Here's the story from his "My Shot" with Golf Digest's Guy Yocom from December 2007:

One Friday night when I was 16, a bunch of us went to the county fair. A truck pulled in there, sort of away from the midway, and we watched a guy get out and put together a big cage he had in the bed of the truck. After he got the cage together, he put up a little table. Then he went to the cab of the truck and brings out an orangutan. He starts yelling: "Five to win fifty! Who can beat the orangutan? Pay $5 to try and get $50 if you can whip him!"

We'd never seen anything like that before. We decided that one of us had to try, and I drew the short straw. Five of us put up a buck each, and I gave the guy with the truck $5. Before helping me into the boxing gloves and headgear, he made me sign a waiver. Looking back, that was a bad sign.

I got in the ring. The orangutan didn't look like much. He came up about to my chest, though his arms were as long as he was tall. When the match started, he didn't lift his arms. He kept them down at his side and used them to pivot and follow me as I circled him like Muhammad Ali. I just didn't see how I could miss. My strategy was to fake with my right hand, and when the orangutan tried to block the punch, I'd throw my left.

My buddies were going wild. "Get him, Boo! Kick his butt!" They really wanted that $50. I moved in close and faked with my right, and that's the last thing I remember. I woke up bleeding in the back of a friend's pickup. The orangutan had knocked me cold with one punch, which I didn't even see coming. My friends thought it was hilarious. They said I had a glass jaw and called me "Glassy" the rest of the night.

*After I came to, we watched this orangutan knock out guy after guy. Not one guy could lay a glove on him. He had reflexes like a cat, and later I learned that an orangutan can tear a guy's arm off.

I've always half-denied this story--even though I was a kid and it happened almost 20 years ago, I can see the animal-rights people protesting. I don't think orangutan fighting goes on anymore, which is a good thing. It probably wasn't fair for the orangutan, and it sure as heck wasn't good for me. The only winner was the guy driving the truck.