Truth & Rumors: NFL kicker's clubs stolen, traded for drugs

Friday September 30th, 2011

Bryant_si There are at least three ways a deliveryman can draw the ire of his customers: show up late, show up with the wrong order, show up and steal their golf clubs. Such was the fate of Atlanta Falcons placekicker Matt Bryant [right], whose sticks—valued at more than $3,000—were swiped from his garage by a Chinese-food deliveryman a couple weeks ago. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the bizarre details:

"He went into the open garage, took the clubs, delivered the food and went on his way," said Braselton Police Assistant Chief Lou Solis. Kristian Vail [the deliveryman], who was arrested on Sept. 22, faces felony burglary charges.
Maybe he was looking for Maxfli Noodles?
Investigators found the clubs on the Internet using their serial numbers, Solis said. Vail had traded the clubs and golf bag to Michael Gibson, 22, for 80 Ecstasy pills, Solis said.
All but three of the clubs have been recovered, Solis said. A Midtown jazz club owner returned one club that he said he bought from Gibson for $120, according to Solis. He won't be charged.
One of Bryant's prized clubs—a Scotty Cameron putter—has yet to be recovered. "Matt Bryant wasn't too happy about that," said Solis. 
For Gustafson, talking more nerve-wracking than playing Pressure isn’t standing over an eight-footer to win a decisive match. Pressure is answering questions under hot, bright lights, in front of a rolling camera, while battling a maddening speech impediment. That’s the challenge Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson faced in the run-up to last week’s Solheim Cup when she agreed to sit for a rare interview with Val Skinner of the Golf Channel. Gustafson this week told Golf Digest’s Stina Sternberg:
"I told Val, 'this is worse than actually playing in the Solheim,' even though I was alone in a room with the camera rolling. I probably sat there for an hour talking, answering questions they had written down. Once I'd done a decent job I tried to improve on it. Then the Golf Channel had to cut out the bad stuff."
When asked if she'd do it again, Gustafson says, "I'd love to do more of this, but it remains to be seen if anyone out there would be interested in putting in the time. It's hard, because I never think [my stutter] is as bad as it actually is. I guess I should know better by now."
Gustafson is too modest to say it, but it was as clutch a performance as we saw all week:
 
The icing: She went a perfect 4-0 in Ireland to win MVP honors for the Euros. Mediate recalls the putt “for my life” Next week marks the one-year anniversary of Rocco Mediate’s thrilling win at the Frys.com Open, which was “the golfing equivalent of a wild game of H-O-R-S-E, with Mediate pouring home shot after improbable shot,” writes Ron Kroichick in the San Francisco Chronicle. Battling a balky arm, Mediate jarred an ace on Thursday and holed out from the fairway for eagle in each of the three ensuing rounds. On Sunday, he faced a five-footer at 18 for the win.
…Mediate knew exactly what was at stake. He would earn a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour if he made the putt, taking him to his 50th birthday in December 2012.
Mediate suspected the arm problem was serious, so missing the putt was not something he wanted to contemplate.
He made it.
"It wasn't for the money or the trophy—it was for my life," Mediate said, not above occasional hyperbole. "In essence, I was finished [on the PGA Tour] if the putt didn't go in. ... It was the whole world, everything."
The next day, an MRI exam showed tendon tears in Mediate's arm, near his elbow. The injury wasn't severe enough to require surgery, but it proved troublesome enough to persist well into 2011, despite various attempts at rehabilitation. He called the injury "an absolute nightmare" and described his arm as "OK at best" heading into this week's tour event in Las Vegas.
In other words, don't expect a repeat performance. Tweet of the day An early start (or a late night?) for Kevin Chappell, who is in the field at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Vegas: Chappellstweet [Matt Bryant photo by Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE]

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