IF YOU WANT TO FIND OUT ABOUT BENNETT’S ILLNESS, READ THIS:
There are so many Irish clichés that I could use to start this season of blogs. I think I’ll go with.... “If you are lucky enough to be Irish, then you are lucky enough.” That was the best one I heard during my stay on the Emerald Isle. OK, enough with that, let’s get to the good stuff!
The Big Break drama train has officially arrived at the station. I’ll be honest, I really wasn’t sure it was ever going to make it. But alas, the teams are leaping down each other’s proverbial throats. OH! And speaking of things leaping and throats, how about Bennett becoming the first-ever on-screen puker in Big Break history? I mean, how gross was that? In his defense, I will say that he really was a trooper and did his best to tough that one out. From the very beginning of the day he was clearly not feeling well and he still went through the motions and did his best to try and perform. Luckily it didn’t matter in the first challenge. It took us about two hours to shoot that first challenge of the day and then he was clearly in no condition to continue.
And I truly think that Bennett not coming back to play in the next challenge was the catalyst that sparked the drama train. Team Liffey was convinced he was faking which just fueled the fire for when Mark came up 6 inches on what would have been Team Liffey’s last shot of the day.
- Sidenote: The guy you saw that came out and gave Mark the bad news.... that was me! (For the record, it was NHL playoff season and I was two months into a playoff beard. So don’t judge.)
The interesting thing about Mark getting all hot and bothered over Team Straffan’s celebration was Liffey had a very similar celebration of its own. If you remember in the first show of the season when Nicole missed her putt that sent Straffan to elimination, Liffey was quite verbal with their happiness. Funny what being in the heat of battle can do to a person.. Nonetheless, the claws came out and words were said. What you didn’t see was at the very end of the day Joe attempted to apologize to Mark. It was, however, an apology that was not accepted. So now that we are seeing what can only be described as the best golf ever played in a Big Break, things are getting even more spicy.
Oh, for those of you losing sleep, stressing over Bennett’s fate after his trip to the hospital, I have the authority to now reveal that it’s going to be a long sleepless week for you. I suggest sheep counting. It’s an Irish thing so that would be fun. But what I can tell you is, all will be revealed next week. Happy counting!
Big Break Ireland Producer Blog: Bennett's Illness
IF YOU WANT TO FIND OUT ABOUT BENNETT’S ILLNESS, READ THIS:
Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test
One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.
Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.
"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."
Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.
"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.
"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18