Boo Weekley backs Devlin

From Brian Keogh in San Diego

Boo Weekley is backing Irish pal Chris Devlin to emerge from obscurity and make it to the PGA Tour.

And the American ace, who claims he has Irish roots on his grandmother"s side, reckons surprise US Open qualifier Devlin just needs self-belief to get there.

Weekley finished tied 26th at Torrey Pines where qualifier Devlin missed the cut and came in joint last after shooting rounds of 84 and 83.

But Boo dismissed that result and gave his former mini tour buddy the thumbs up in his bid to make the megabucks American circuit.

Weekley said: "Chris has the game but a lot of it is just mental. With all the things that have happened to him over the years, I just think he needs to stay a little more focussed on what he is trying to do.

"You"ve got to believe in what you do and let the rest of it take care of itself. That"s why we all work so hard at it."

Devlin and Weekley played together on mini tours in Florida"s panhandle before going in different directions.

Weekley graduated to the main tour, winning twice and moving into contention for this year"s Ryder Cup team.

But Devlin suffered serious illness and feared he would never play again until open heart surgery two years ago cured a massive glandular problem.

Weekley said: "It"s been hard for him and he is a good kid. He is a good player too. I played with him on the mini tours and I am pulling for him now.

"I just think it is a tough one to come out in play in an event like the US Open in these conditions."

Weekley has never been to Ireland but believes he has Irish blood in his veins.

He said: "I understand the Irish accent a little. I"ve got a lot of Irish in me you know. My great-grandmama was from Ireland. Her maiden name was McLelland.

"I don"t know where she was from exactly. My aunt does all that s**t. She"s a history buff. She has it going all the way back. We have got a bunch of castles back there I'm told."

Devlin, 33, returned to the obscurity of the Hooters Tour this week but reckons it will seem easy compared to shooting 25-over par in a US Open at Torrey Pines.

He said: "I will be at a course in Miami, Oklahoma, wherever it is. I will be in the middle of nowhere but I will be doing what I want to do so I would rather be doing that than not, that's for sure.

"I am going to look at it and say, you know what, I just played the toughest course in America last week, this is going to seem easy as hell."