Golf Talk Live - Phil Mickelson Transcript Segment 2

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2001, 5:00 pm
PETER KESSLER
YOUR WHOLE LIFE YOU'VE HAD EVERY REASON TO THINK THAT YOU WERE GOING TO BE NUMBER ONE BASED ON THE EXPERIENCE THAT YOU, EXPERIENCES THAT YOU HAD, SUCCESSFUL, UNBROKEN SERIES OF ON COURSE EXPERIENCES,

WINNING THE U.S. AMATEUR, WINNING THE PGA TOUR EVENT AS AN AMATEUR. GETTING READY AND THINKING IN YOUR HEAD, CLEARLY, RIGHT IN THE CENTER, RIGHT UP FRONT, SOMEDAY, IF I KEEP

DOING WHAT I'M DOING, I'M GOING TO BE NUMBER ONE. NOW, HE'S NUMBER ONE AND YOU'RE NUMBER TWO, AND MOVING FORWARD. HOW MUCH PLAY DOES THAT GET IN YOUR HEAD?

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL THE WAY I LOOK AT IT IS LOOKING BACK, I WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL IN THE JUNIOR RANKS AND I WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL IN COLLEGIATE RANKS WINNING PLAYER OF THE YEAR THREE TIMES IN EACH AND THE REASON THAT I WAS SUCCESSFUL THERE WAS THAT I GOT BY ON FEEL. I HAD GREAT HAND EYE COORDINATION AND GREAT TOUCH AROUND THE GREENS AND I WAS ABLE TO

GET BY WITH LESS THAN SOUND MECHANICS AND AS I GOT INTO THE PROFESSIONAL RANKS, THE MISSES BECAME MORE PENALIZING AND MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO OVERCOME AND GET

UP AND DOWN. IT'S MUCH MORE DIFFICULT SAVING PAR AROUND THE GREENS OF A TOUR EVENT THAN A COLLEGE OR A JUNIOR TOURNAMENT BECAUSE THE GREENS ARE SO MUCH FIRM, FIRMER, SO MUCH FASTER AND THE

ROUGH SO MUCH DEEPER SO THE SHORT GAME TO ME IS MINIMIZED I THINK. SO WHAT I FOUND IS THAT WHEN I TURNED PRO AND MY FUNDAMENTALS WEREN'T QUITE AS SOUND I WAS MAKING TOO MANY MISTAKES AND UNTIL I STARTED WORKING WITH RICK SMITH ABOUT A

YEAR AND A HALF AGO, I DID NOT HAVE AS SOLID A BASE, MEANING MY LOWER BODY WASN'T SOLID ENOUGH AND MY SWING WAS NOT TECHNICALLY SOUND ENOUGH TO BE CONSISTENT WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT, AND OBVIOUSLY IF I'M GOING TO COMPETE AND TRY TO BE, COMPETE

WITH TIGER TO BE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD I NEED TO BE FUNDAMENTALLY SOUND TO BE ABLE TO COMPETE WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT AND WHEN TIGER CAME OUT, HE'S HAD SOUND
FUNDAMENTALS FROM DAY ONE AND SO

EVERYTHING THAT HE DOES NOW IS FINE TUNEMENT. ALL THE FEEL THAT HE HAS IS REPEATABLE DAY IN AND DAY OUT, WHERE AS THAT WASN'T THE CASE FOR ME. I WOULD HAVE WILD SWINGS ONE

WAY OR THE OTHER AND HUGE MISSES AND NOW I FEEL LIKE I'M GETTING TO THE POINT WHERE FUNDAMENTALLY I'M SOUND AND NOW THE FEEL AND THE TOUCH THAT I HAVE IS STARTING TO BE ABLE TO TAKE OVER.

PETER KESSLER
JOHNNY MILLER SAID YESTERDAY AS YOU WERE STANDING ON THE 18TH TEE, TO THE AUDIENCE WATCHING ON NBC THAT HE THOUGHT IT WAS THE BEST ROUND, THE BEST MOST IMPORTANT ROUND UP TO THAT POINT OF YOUR CAREER. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT?

PHIL MICKELSON
I DON'T KNOW IF I DO. IT CERTAINLY COULD BE TRUE. I, I WOULDN'T DISAGREE WITH IT, BUT I WOULD, I WOULD THINK THAT THE FINAL ROUND OF THE '99 U.S. OPEN WAS, WAS A GOOD ROUND EVEN THOUGH AGAIN I DIDN'T WIN THERE AND THERE, I THOUGHT THAT THE FINAL ROUND OF THE TUCSON OPEN IN '91 WAS

A GOOD ROUND. IT'S REALLY HARD TO PUT THOSE IN PERSPECTIVE BUT I FELT LIKE I PLAYED A SOLID ROUND UNDER DIFFICULT CONDITIONS YESTERDAY, WITH THE OUTCOME LESS THAN DESIRABLE.

PETER KESSLER
LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM YOUR ROUND SINCE THERE WEREN'T REALLY ANY LOW LIGHTS ON YOUR, ON YOUR SCORECARD. LET'S GO AHEAD AND TAKE A LOOK.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT WHEN YOU SEE, WHEN YOU SEE YOU DOING THIS?

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL, THAT WAS THE FIRST BIRDIE THERE ON NUMBER FIVE AND I DID NOT BIRDIE FOUR OF THE PAR 5 AND THAT, THAT HURT SO TO GET THAT ONE BACK WAS HELPFUL. I DID NOT BIRDIE 6, AGAIN, BUT I CAME BACK ON 7 AND MADE A GOOD PUTT HERE FROM JUST OFF THE FRINGE FOR A

BIRDIE SO I FELT LIKE I GAVE TWO BACK BUT I GOT TWO UNEXPECTEDLY. I TURNED IN TWO UNDER AND, AND WAS ONE OR TWO BACK AT THE TIME WHEN I MADE THE TURN.

THIS WAS THE 11TH HERE. THIS WAS A 6 IRON. THIS WAS ACTUALLY A REALLY GOOD SHOT. I HAD JUST KNOCKED ONE IN THE WATER YESTERDAY WITH A PATHETIC SWING. HERE, I, I MADE AN AGGRESSIVE SWING, ATTACKED THE PIN INTO THE WIND AND ENDED UP ABOUT FOUR FEET.

PETER KESSLER
AND THAT WAS A PRETTY STRUCTURALLY SOUND SWING TOO. THAT WAS THE NEW PHIL MOVE WASN'T IT, REALLY?

PHIL MICKELSON
I THINK SO. IF YOU LOOK AT MY LOWER BODY THERE'S NOT NEARLY AS MUCH MOVEMENT. THE SWING'S MUCH MORE ON PLANE. THIS IS A PRETTY EASY PUTT RIGHT CENTER AND IT WAS ONLY FOUR OR FIVE FEET.

PETER KESSLER
BUT THERE'S... THE PUTTING STROKE, THE PATH, THE FACE, PRETTY PURE.

PHIL MICKELSON
IT'S GETTING TO BE MORE CONSISTENT. THANK YOU. THIS WAS A TOUGH PUTT HERE AND I HIT A POOR THIRD SHOT TO THIS PAR 5 AND I'D ALREADY NOT BIRDIED THE FIRST TWO SO THIS WAS A PRETTY

IMPORTANT PUTT. IT SLIDES AWAY GOING TO MY LEFT EARLY AND THEN IT COMES BACK TO THE RIGHT AND THIS WAS A VERY SIMILAR PUTT. A DOUBLE BREAKING PUTT THAT I MADE IN '97 FOR EAGLE WHEN I WON THAT TOURNAMENT, SO THAT KIND OF GAVE ME THOUGHTS LIKE I MIGHT DO SOMETHING HERE. THIS WAS A GOOD PAR SAVE AFTER NOT A GREAT TEE SHOT.

AND THEN THIS ONE WAS A PRETTY STRAIGHT PUTT AND IT WAS DUE TO THE TO THE DRIVER OFF THE TEE. I HAD A LITTLE 'L' WEDGE IN. HIT A GOOD SHOT AND HAD ABOUT A 12 FOOTER HERE FOR BIRDIE.

PETER KESSLER
MILLER SAID WHEN YOU HIT THAT DRIVE THAT YOU'RE THE BIGGEST GAMBLER ON TOUR AND IT WASN'T CLEAR WHETHER HE MEANT ON THINGS OR ON THE GOLF COURSE.

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL, I THINK THAT GAMBLING ON THE GOLF COURSE IS A FORM OF COMPETITION JUST LIKE YOU PAY YOUR ENTRY FEE. YOU'RE PUTTING UP MONEY TO TRY TO WIN MONEY AND I DON'T LOOK IT AS GAMBLING PER SAY AS I DO COMPETITION.

THIS WAS A SIX IRON HERE ON 15. I MADE A GOOD SWING BUT I EXPECTED IT TO COME OUT A LITTLE HOTTER OUT OF THE ROUGH AND YOU COULD EVEN SEE IT CHECK UP THERE WHICH I DIDN'T EXPECT.
SO I HAD A TOUGH TWO PUTT BUT I HIT A GOOD LAG PUT AND MADE BIRDIE.

PETER KESSLER
YEAH WE'LL SEE A SLOW MO OF THIS

IN A SECOND.

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT, THIS WAS NOT NECESSARILY AS BAD A SWING AS IT LOOKED AND THE REASON WHY WAS IT WAS MORE A POOR DECISION AT THE START. I TRIED TO CHANGE THE

TRAJECTORY. I HAD BEEN DRIVING THE BALL VERY WELL ALL, ALL DAY HITTING JUST NICE HIGH DRIVES DOWN THE MIDDLE AND I TRIED TO HIT A LOW SCOOTER. I DIDN'T WANT IT

TO GET UP IN THE AIR. IT WAS INTO THE WIND AND YOU CAN SEE THAT I COME OVER THE TOP OF THE PLANE. THAT SWING PLANE YOU SAW GOING BACK I COME OVER IT A LITTLE BIT AND JUST PULL IT. THE BALL DIDN'T HOOK. I JUST STRAIGHT PULLED IT. IT WAS A STRAIGHT PULL. THE BALL WENT DEAD STRAIGHT, BUT WELL RIGHT OF THE LINE, AND I WAS JUST TRYING TO HIT A LOW SCOOTER.

IT WAS A POOR DECISION. I SHOULD HAVE JUST HIT A, A THE SWING AND THE DRIVE THAT I HAD BEEN MAKING ALL DAY AND SO I LEFT MYSELF THIS WONDERFUL

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHING)

PHIL MICKELSON
THIRD INTO THE 18TH GREEN, TRYING TO STAY EVEN WITH TIGER AND I HIT A 'L' WEDGE FROM 82 YARDS AND

JUST TRYING TO GET IT CLOSE.

PETER KESSLER
TRY TO TRUST YOURSELF SWING (?)?

PHIL MICKELSON
IT WAS, THAT WAS A SWING THAT I HAD BEEN WORKING ON ALL YEAR. MY SHORT IRONS AND WEDGE PLAY FROM A HUNDRED YARDS IN AND FOR, TO PULL THAT SHOT OFF WAS BASICALLY JUST

TRUSTING WHAT I HAD BEEN WORKING ON. IT WASN'T A GREAT LIE. IT WAS A TOUGH LITTLE PIN TO GET TO AND JUST TRUSTING THE FACT THAT I HAD WORKED ON THIS IN THE PAST GAVE ME THE CONFIDENCE TO HIT THE SHOT.

PETER KESSLER
EVEN YOU WERE IMPRESSED AFTER YOU HIT THAT ONE.

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL AT THE END THERE I THOUGHT IT MIGHT GO IN. I WASN'T TRYING TO MAKE IT, CERTAINLY, BUT AS I SAW IT GO BY THE HOLE I THOUGHT IT HAD A CHANCE TO DROP.

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL TAKE A BREAK AND WE'LL PICK THIS UP IN JUST A MOMENT. DON'T GO AWAY. SOME CAREER HIGHLIGHTS AS WE LEAVE YOU.

(MUSIC CONTINUES)

(WRITTEN TEXT)
PHIL MICKELSON
SELECTED CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS:
- ALONG WITH JACK NICKLAUS AND TIGER WOODS, THE ONLY PLAYERS TO WIN THE U.S. AMATEUR AND NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE SAME YEAR.
- LAST PLAYER TO WIN A PGA TOUR EVENT AS AN AMATEUR ('91 N. TELECOM)
- ONLY ACTIVE PGA TOUR PLAYER UNDER AGE 40 WITH AT LEAST 5 MULTIPLE WIN SEASONS. TIGER HAS 4.

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 3, Tiger Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:45 pm

After returning to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016, Woods started the new year with an ambitious slate of tournament starts as he eyed his first full season since 2013. But he made it only three rounds, looking rusty en route to a missed cut at Torrey Pines before withdrawing abruptly in Dubai.

The “spasms” that led to that withdrawal turned out to be something far more serious, as Woods underwent his fourth and most invasive back surgery in April, a lumbar fusion. It brought with it an extensive rehabilitation, and at the Presidents Cup in September Woods humored the prospect that he might never again play competitive golf.

At Liberty National he also faced some scrutiny for an off-course incident from months prior. In May he was arrested for suspicion of DUI, an incident that produced a startling roadside video of an intoxicated Woods struggling to follow instructions from the arresting officer after driving erratically.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


While he was not drinking at the time, Woods was found to have a mix of several prescription medications in his system, including multiple painkillers. He checked himself into a private drug treatment program in July to address his dependency issues, and in October he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

But the incident was barely a memory when Woods again made a return to competition in the Bahamas at the tournament he hosts. This time around he exceeded nearly every expectation, twice shooting 4-under 68 while tying for ninth among the 18-man field. Having re-tooled his swing following fusion surgery, Woods appeared relaxed, happy and healthy while briefly taking the lead during the tournament’s second round.

What lies ahead for Woods in 2018 remains uncertain, as the stop-and-start nature of this past season serves as a cautionary tale. But after a harrowing arrest and another serious surgery, he seems once again focused on his game, intent on chasing down a new crop of elite talent, some of whom are barely more than half his age.

Woods' initial comeback short-lived, leads to another back surgery

Article: Woods undergoes "successful" fourth back surgery

Article: Woods (back spasm) withdraws from Dubai

Article: Players disappointed Woods withdraws from Dubai

Really, again: Tiger undergoes fourth back surgery

Begay on Tiger: Future is 'extremely uncertain'


Woods arrested for DUI, enters diversion program after getting "professional help"

Article: Woods arrested for DUI in May

Article: Police say Woods had 5 drugs in system when arrested

Article: DUI affidavit states Tiger asleep in parked car

Dashcam video released of Tiger's DUI arrest

Begay, Rolfing: Tiger's arrest needs to be wakeup call

Photos: Tiger Woods' car during DUI arrest

Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

Photos: Tiger Woods in court for DUI hearing

Article: Tiger gets 'professional help' for prescription meds

Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

Article: Woods pleads in court guilty to reckless driving


Woods goes from unsure of his pro golf future to resuming full golf activities

Article: Doctor clears Woods for full golf activity six months after back surgery

Article: Tiger doesn't know what future holds

Article: Woods back to making full swings

Woods admits he might never return to competition

Making progress: Breaking down Tiger's driver swing


Woods returns to competition for first time since February at Hero World Challenge

Article: Hero comeback a success for healthy Woods

Article: Woods discusses his back: 'No issues at all, none'

Tiger Tracker: Woods finished T-9 in return to competition

Chamblee: 'I was wrong' about some of my Woods skepticism

Tiger, if you were hurting, would you tell us? 'Yeah, I'd tell you'


Woods out and about in 2017

Article: Video, images of Tiger's round with Trump

Article: Woods posts photo as 'Mac Daddy Santa'

Article: Tiger at U.S. Open sitting in Nadal's box

Article: Shirtless Tiger holds up a massive lobster

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

NBC Sports' Coverage of LPGA Tour in 2017 Most-Viewed Season Ever for NBC Sports

By Golf Channel Public RelationsDecember 13, 2017, 8:45 pm

NBC Sports’ LPGA Tour Coverage Ties 2013 for Most-Watched Year Since 2011

NBC and Golf Channel Boast Top-6 Most-Watched Women’s Golf Telecasts in 2017

Beginning with the dramatic playoff finish at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic in January and concluding with Lexi Thompson winning the $1 million Race to the CME Globe, nearly 22 million viewers tuned in to LPGA Tour coverage across Golf Channel and NBC in 2017. This makes 2017 the most-viewed LPGA Tour season across NBC Sports since Golf Channel joined the NBC Sports Group in 2011. Additionally, 2017 tied 2013 as the LPGA Tour’s most-watched year across NBC Sports since 2011. Coverage drew an average of 221,000 viewers per telecast in 2017 (+24% vs. 2016), according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

NBC SPORTS GROUP CLAIMS TOP-6 MOST-WATCHED WOMEN’S GOLF TELECASTS IN ‘17

For the first time ever in televised women’s golf, Sunday’s final round of the RICOH Women’s British Open (Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, 1.1 million viewers) delivered the most-watched and highest-rated women’s golf telecast of the year. NBC’s Saturday (Day 2) coverage of the Solheim Cup in August placed second with 968,000 viewers, followed by Sunday’s Solheim Cup coverage on NBC with 946,000 viewers. Golf Channel’s live coverage of Sunday’s final day of the Solheim Cup drew 795,000 viewers, the most-watched women’s golf event on cable in eight years.

Rank

Network

Event

Day

Avg. Viewers P2+

1

NBC

RICOH WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN

Sunday

1,100,526

2

NBC

SOLHEIM CUP

Saturday

968,202

3

NBC

SOLHEIM CUP

Sunday

946,387

4

NBC

KPMG WOMEN'S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

Sunday

839,983

5

NBC

RICOH WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN

Saturday

808,578

6

GOLF

SOLHEIM CUP

Sunday

795,000

ADDITIONAL VIEWERSHIP MILESTONES FOR WOMEN’S GOLF IN 2017

  • ANA Inspiration - The LPGA’s first major championship delivered thefifth most-watched LPGA final round in Golf Channel history with 551,000 viewers when So Yeon Ryu defeated Lexi Thompson in a playoff following Thompson being assessed a four-stroke penalty earlier in the final round.
  • KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – The LPGA’s second major was seen by 6.6 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, the largest audience for the event on record (2006-17). Sunday’s final round on NBC, which saw Danielle Kang win her first LPGA Tour event over defending champion Brooke Henderson, also was the most-watched telecast in the event’s history with 840,000 average viewers.
  • RICOH Women’s British Open – NBC’s Sunday coverage of the RICOH Women’s British Open delivered the most-watched and highest-rated women’s golf telecast in 2017 (.78 U.S. HH rating, 1.1 million viewers). In total, 7 million unique viewers tuned in to coverage across Golf Channel and NBC, the most-watched RICOH Women’s British Open in the past 10 years and the most-watched among the five women’s major championships in 2017.
  • Solheim Cup – Seen by a total audience of 7.3 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, the Solheim Cup posted the largest total audience for women’s golf since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open on ESPN/NBC. Golf Channel’s live coverage of the final day drew 795,000 average viewers, becoming the most-watched women’s golf telecast on cable in the last eight years, since the final day of the 2009 Solheim Cup.

GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL POSTS RECORD STREAMING CONSUMPTION

Golf Channel Digital posted record numbers of LPGA streaming consumption with 11.9 million live minutes streamed across LPGA Tour telecasts in 2017 (+563% vs. 2016).

  • Solheim Cup – Three-day coverage of the Solheim Cup saw 6.3 million minutes streamed across NBC Sports’ Digital platforms, trailing only the 2016 Rio Olympics (9 million) as the most-ever for a women’s golf event airing on Golf Channel / NBC.
  • RICOH Women’s British Open – Four-day coverage of the RICOH Women’s British Open saw 2 million minutes streamed, +773% vs. 2016.

NBC Sports Group combined to air 31 LPGA Tour events in 2017 and a total of 420 hours of coverage, the most in LPGA history. The exclusive cable home to the LPGA Tour, Golf Channel aired coverage of four of five women’s major championships in 2017, with three majors also airing on NBC: the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, RICOH Women’s British Open and The Evian Championship. The biennial Solheim Cup also returned to network television for the first time in 15 years with weekend coverage on NBC.

Source: Nielsen 2017 Live+Same Day DVR vs. prior available data. Persons 2+ avg 000’s and/or Persons 2+ reach w/six-minute qualifier. Digital Metrics from Adobe Reports & Analytics. Details available.

Hensby takes full responsibility for violation

By Rex HoggardDecember 13, 2017, 5:28 pm

The PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Program manual covers 48 pages of details, from the pressing to the mundane, but for Mark Hensby the key section of the policy could be found on Page 5.

“The collector may allow you to delay reporting to the testing area for unavoidable obligations; however, you will be monitored from the time of notification until completion of the sample collection process,” the policy reads. “A failure to report to the testing area by the required time is the same as a doping violation under the program.”

Hensby, a 46-year-old former Tour winner from Australia, didn’t read that section, or any other part of the manual. In fact, he said he hasn’t received the circuit’s anti-doping manual in years. Not that he uses that as an excuse.

To be clear, Hensby doesn’t blame his anti-doping plight on anyone else.

“At the end of the day it’s my responsibility. I take full responsibility,” he told GolfChannel.com.

Like Doug Barron, Scott Stallings and even Vijay Singh before him, Hensby ran afoul of the Tour’s anti-doping policy because, essentially, of a clerical error. There were no failed tests, no in-depth investigations, no seedy entourages who sent Hensby down a dark road of performance-enhancing drug use.

Just a simple misunderstanding combined with bad timing.

Hensby, who last played a full season on Tour in 2003, had just completed the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship when he was approached by a member of the Tour’s anti-doping testing staff. He was angry about his play and had just used the restroom on the 17th hole and, he admits, was in no mood to wait around to take the urine test.

“Once I said, ‘Can I take it in the morning,’ [the Tour’s anti-doping official] said, ‘We can’t hold you here,’” Hensby recalled. “I just left.”

Not one but two officials called Hensby that night to ask why he’d declined to take the test, and he said he was even advised to return to the Country Club of Jackson (Miss.) to take the test, which is curious because the policy doesn’t allow for such gaps between notification of a test and the actual testing.

According to the policy, a player is considered in violation of the program if he leaves the presence of the doping control officers without providing the required sample.

A Tour official declined to comment on the matter citing the circuit’s policy not to comment on doping violations beyond the initial disclosure.

A week later, Hensby was informed he was in violation of the Tour’s policy and although he submitted a letter to the commissioner explaining the reasons for his failure to take the test he was told he would be suspended from playing in any Tour-sanctioned events (including events on the Web.com Tour) for a year.

“I understand now what the consequences are, but you know I’ve been banned for a performance-enhancing drug violation, and I don’t take performance-enhancing drugs,” Hensby said.

Hensby isn’t challenging his suspension nor did he have any interest in criticizing the Tour’s policy, instead his message two days after the circuit announced the suspension was focused on his fellow Tour members.

“I think the players need to read that manual really, really well. There are things I wasn’t aware of and I think other players weren’t aware of either,” he said. “You have to read the manual.”

It was a similar message Stallings offered following his 90-day suspension in 2015 after he turned himself in for using DHEA, an anabolic agent that is the precursor to testosterone production and banned by the Tour.

“This whole thing was a unique situation that could have been dealt with differently, but I made a mistake and I owned up to it,” Stallings said at the time.

Barron’s 2009 suspension, which was for a year, also could have been avoided after he tested positive for supplemental testosterone and a beta-blocker, both of which were prescribed by a doctor for what were by many accounts legitimate health issues.

And Singh’s case, well that chapter is still pending in the New York Supreme Court, but the essential element of the Fijian’s violation was based on his admitted use of deer-antler spray, which contained a compound called IGF-1. Although IGF-1 is a banned substance, the World Anti-Doping Agency has ruled that the use of deer-antler spray is not a violation if an athlete doesn’t fail a drug test. Singh never failed a test.

The Tour’s anti-doping history is littered with cases that could have been avoided, cases that should have been avoided. Despite the circuit’s best educational efforts, it’s been these relatively innocent violations that have defined the program.

In retrospect, Hensby knows he should have taken the test. He said he had nothing to hide, but anger got the best of him.

“To be honest, it would have been hard, the way I was feeling that day, I know I’m a hothead at times, but I would have probably stayed [had he known the consequences],” he admitted. “You’ve got to understand that if you have too much water you can’t get a test either and then you have to stay even longer.”

Hensby said before his run in with the anti-doping small print he wasn’t sure what his professional future would be, but his suspension has given him perspective and a unique motivation.

“I was talking to my wife last night, I have a little boy, it’s been a long month,” said Hensby after dropping his son, Caden, off at school. “I think I have a little more drive now and when I come back. I wasn’t going to play anymore, but when I do come back I am going to be motivated.”

He’s also going to be informed when it comes to the Tour’s anti-doping policy, and he hopes his follow professionals take a similar interest.