PGA Tour rookie bios reveal interesting tidbits

By Jason SobelJanuary 18, 2012, 2:16 pm

In the late-1990s and early-2000s, Jonathan Kaye was a good PGA Tour player with a bad boy image, a guy with two career wins and possibly just as many suspensions for insubordination.

His greatest contribution to the game, though, may have been his annual media guide musings, which were downright revolutionary in their absurdity.

Among his special interests, Kaye listed “jalapeno farming” and being an “avid indoorsman.” In a book overcome with answers such as “sports, hunting, fishing and cars,” these brief spurts of creativity were always welcomed with a double-take and a hearty giggle.

This year’s crop of newcomers may not be Kaye incarnates, but when their bios were recently published, there was plenty of color amongst the vast sea of vanilla.

Like that of Q-School grad Charlie Beljan. His bucket list includes being strapped to the wing of a bi-plane. Perhaps not coincidentally, he says that if there was a TV show about him “producers would have to create a death-wish channel for me.”

Maybe he should start hanging out with fellow rookie Edward Loar, whose own adventurous wish includes driving on the Autobahn. If that’s not a plea for an exemption into the BMW International Open, nothing is.

Erik Compton never travels without his blanket. Some of those travels include trips to Norway, as he owns dual citizenship between that country – where his mother was born – and the United States.

Jason Kokrak was born in Canada while his mother was visiting her homeland, but moved to Ohio a week later. It wasn’t until age 14 when he attempted to travel abroad for a tournament that he realized he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. Kokrak was obligated to take a citizenship test, which he passed.

So many players list legends of the game within their dream foursomes. Bud Cauley is no different. He would like to tee it up with Jack Nicklaus. Rounding out the foursome? Stunning starlets Carrie Underwood and Megan Fox. Sounds like one hell of a dream.

When asked about his son’s decision, Bill Cauley took issue with one of the choices. 'I just don't know why Jack,” he said. “Why not Mila Kunis? She's smokin' hot.'

Sounds like a pretty tantalizing fantasy. That’s something for which Brendon Todd can root. His favorite athletes include whomever is on his fantasy football team.

John Huh’s favorite music group is Girl Generation. They are a nine-person Korean girl band, known for such hits as “Gee” and “Tell Me Your Wish (Genie).” Just a guess, but if he brings ‘em up to his playing partners this year, the prevailing response will likely be… Huh?

Hey, players have to look good these days. They’ve got to match the hat to the shirt to the belt to the pants to the shoes. But this is a new one: Gary Christian (pictured above) wears light blue in the final round to match his eyes for photos.

Even some of the less edgy responses are still intriguing. Mark Anderson keeps chicken tenders in his bag as a snack. Tommy Biershenk worked as a DJ in college. Scott Brown never travels without shoe cleaner.

Last year’s Nationwide Tour money leader, J.J. Killeen compounded his humerus bone while playing freshman football in high school. As everyone knows, there’s nothing funny about a broken humerus.

There may be something funny about a pair of former University of Georgia stars, though. Harris English lists his favorite food as rutabaga. That’s got to be a joke, right? Brian Harman lists his favorite gadget as firearms. That’s probably not a joke, right?

That wasn’t a politically correct answer, but Billy Hurley III provided one when asked about his favorite food. The answer: His wife’s cooking. What a suck-up.

At least it was a creative response. This year’s rookies were chock full of ‘em, but one answer stood out above all others.

When asked his biggest thrill outside of golf, Jonas Blixt says it’s doing things he hasn’t done before. Which of course begs the question: How does he know those things are his biggest thrill if he hasn’t done them?

He’ll have an opportunity to do plenty of things this season that he’s never done before. All of which means that next year’s media guide entry could look very different. His new biggest thrill could very well be things he’s already done.

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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

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."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

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.

“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

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

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.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

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.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm