Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

Eventful title defense so far for Gay

June 10, 2010

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Being the defending champion always makes for an eventful week, but it started with a shock for Brian Gay at the St. Jude Classic. Gay was getting a lift from Memphis International Airport on Monday afternoon with his wife, Kimberly, and their eldest daughter, Makinley, when suddenly Kimberly let out a scream from the back seat.

"We were just about turning into Southwind and I heard this huge (gasp) and I go, 'What in the world was going on back there?' I didn't know whether she got this horrific message on her phone that something bad had happened. She says, 'My ring.' And she reaches around and shows me her finger. The stone came out of her setting."

Their driver radioed back to the transportation desk at the airport and a quick retracing of Kimberly's steps found the not-inconsequential gem where someone had kicked it to the curb at baggage claim.

As expensive as that little accident might have been, it wasn't the worst thing that happened. Gay's caddie, Kip Henley, hit a deer on I-40 when he was driving to Memphis, caving in the front end of his car. "It's amazing he didn't wreck it," said Gay.

*-- Jim Moriarty