Four-Time eGolf Tour Winner Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey Wins PGA TOUR’s McGladrey Classic
Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey
By Stewart Moore
St. Simons Island, GA – On Sunday afternoon at the PGA TOUR’s McGladrey Classic, former eGolf Tour member Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey of Bishopville, SC flirted with golf’s version of immortality, posting an eagle and eight birdies en route to a final-round 60, a 16-under 264 total, and his first TOUR title.
Gainey began Sunday’s round as somewhat of a tournament afterthought, having carded rounds of 69-67-68—204 to sit in a tie for 29th through 54 holes at 6-under par. Trailing three-round leaders Jim Furyk and Davis Love III by seven shots, Gainey began his charge early at Sea Island’s famed Seaside Course, posting three birdies in his first five holes to quickly move to 9-under on the week.
A birdie at the par-4 ninth gave the affable Gainey an outward nine of 4-under 31 and put him within striking distance at 10-under par with just nine holes to play.
On the back nine, Gainey’s “59 watch” began to heat up with birdies at 11, 13 and 14 that took him to seven under par – just four red figures away from golf’s magical number.
At the par-5 15th, he hit his second shot into a greenside bunker, but played a wonderful shot out, landing his third on the fringe and watching it trickle into the hole for a stunning eagle that catapulted him up the leaderboard to 15-under for the event, and gave him a two-shot lead with three holes to play.
"I wasn't thinking about 59," Gainey said. "All I did all day was just try to make birdies and a lot of birdies because when you're seven shots back, your chances of winning a PGA TOUR tournament, especially with the leaders, Davis Love III and Jim Furyk, it don't bide in your favor, man."
A follow-up birdie at the 16th took Gainey to 10-under par, in need of one more birdie to become just the sixth player in PGA TOUR history to card a 59 during a tournament round.
At the par-3 17th, Gainey two-putted from 44 feet for par, setting up a possible birdie at the last to finish off his record-setting day.
A 325-yard tee shot on the par-4 18th left Gainey with a short-iron approach to a middle-right hole location. Playing from the rough, “Two Gloves” hit his second shot to 19 feet, then proceeded to leave his putt for 59 short and right of the hole.
"Of all the people on TOUR that could have shot 59, I didn't think you'd be the one that would leave it short,” Gainey’s caddie Marvin King told him after the miss.
The miss nevertheless left Gainey with a final-round 60 (course record) and the clubhouse lead at 16-under par.
The only players with a chance to catch him were David Toms and Jim Furyk, who each came to the final hole at separate times needing a birdie to tie.
Toms, who birdied 15, 16 and 17 to reach 15-under par, pared the last to fall one shot shy of Gainey with a 72-hole total of 265. Furyk, who played his first 17 holes bogey-free at 2-under par, wound up with a bogey at 18 to fall two shy of Gainey and into solo-third place.
Tommy Gainey, who played the Web.com Tour as recently as 2010, and the eGolf Tour as recently as 2007, had won his first PGA TOUR title.
"It feels like I'm in a dream," Gainey said. "I'm just waiting for somebody to slap me upside the head or pinch me or something to wake me up."
The $720,000 payday took Gainey up to No. 56 on the PGA TOUR money list with $1,524,703 in season-long earnings. More importantly, it locked up his TOUR card through the 2014 season.
Without doubt one of developmental tour golf’s local legends throughout the mid-2000s, Gainey won four times on the eGolf Tour from 2004 through 2007 – notching two wins in 2006 en route to a second-place finish on the money list. In 2007, he picked up his last eGolf Tour win at the Oldfield Open in March – part of an opening stretch to his year that included a staggering four top-3 finishes in his first six starts. All told, Gainey collected 11 top-10s in 15 starts that year, finishing fourth on the money list.
“Oh, man. I tell you, you know, you're out here on the PGA TOUR. You're playing with the best players in the world. 99 percent of these guys have already won, and won majors, won big tournaments. Now, the only show I can say I've won is the "Big Break." Now I can sit here and say I've gone the McGladrey Classic here at Sea Island, Georgia, and I'm very proud to be in this tournament and very proud to win,” said a winded Gainey after his round.” And wow, it's been a whirlwind day. I didn't know having 24 putts and shooting 60 would be like this. So I'm pretty stoked about it.”
Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge, who played the eGolf Tour in 2008, carded the third-lowest round of the day on Sunday with six birdies and a final-round 65 that moved him from T19 to T4 on the leaderboard.
The former Virginia Tech star has made a workmanlike 26 of 30 cuts on the year, with four top-10 finishes, including a career-best runner-up at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open two weeks ago.
David Mathis and Michael Thompson rounded out the tour’s representation inside the top 10 with dual T10 finishes at Sea Island.
Mathis, a three-time winner on the eGolf Tour, carded rounds of 69-69-65-67—270 for his second top-10 of the year dating back to a T10 effort at the Zurich Classic in April. He is currently No. 116 on the PGA TOUR money list with $736,765 in earnings.
Former eGolf Tour winners Blake Adams and Kyle Reifers, as well as former member Scott Stallings, posted T15 finishes at Sea Island with matching totals of 9-under 271.
For Reifers, who notched his first pro win in his first pro start at the eGolf Tour’s 2006 Charlotte National Open, the T15 was a welcome result after posting back-to-back missed cuts leading into the week. The former Wake Forest star moved up to No. 153 on the PGA TOUR money list with the $64,000 payday, in turn inching closer to the top 150 – the standing needed to retain at least conditional status for 2013.
Other eGolf Tour players to make the cut at Sea Island include Russell Knox (T27), Brian Harman (T27), Jason Kokrak (T27), Roberto Castro (T27), Will Claxton (T27), Kevin Chappell (T43), Garth Mulroy (T43), Billy Horschel (T43), Mark Anderson (T51), Matt Every (T57), Billy Hurley (T57), Martin Flores (T57), Kyle Thompson (T61), Chris Kirk (T64), Jason Bohn (MDF), Gary Christian (MDF) and Edward Loar (MDF). For complete results from the McGladrey Classic on PGATOUR.com, p>Check the eGolf Tour website daily for updates from all first stage sites. For live scoring results from each site on PGATOUR.com, please click here.
• At the Web.com Tour’s Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open presented by Planters, contested on the Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass, 2010 eGolf Tour winner and former member Ben Martin of Greenwood, SC notched his best finish of the year, posting rounds of 67-69-68-68—276 en route to a solo-third-place effort. The former Clemson standout entered the final round in solo-fourth place, but moved up the leaderboard early with three birdies in his first eight holes, prior to posting a bogey at the long par-4 ninth for a 1-under 34 on his front nine. Martin’s back nine opened with eight straight pars, but closed in style with a birdie at the last that gave him a final-round 68 and his first top-5 of the year. Current eGolf Tour member Kevin Foley, who won the Pine Needles Classic in March, continued his stellar Web.com Tour season with rounds of 67-69-72-67—275 and a T5 finish. Foley entered Sunday’s final round in a tie for 15th, but vaulted up the leaderboard with an eagle and two birdies in his first five holes to move to 6-under par. A double-bogey at the par-4 eighth dropped him back to 2-under on the day, and from there, Foley managed two more birdies on his way to a final-round 67.The T5, his fourth top-10 of the year, took the former Penn State golfer up to No. 54 on the Web.com Tour money list with earnings of$101,536. Former Duke golfer and 2011 eGolf Tour member Wes Roach posted his career-best Web.com Tour finish in this his rookie season, matching Foley with a T5 effort of his own, thanks in part to a final-round 69. Former eGolf Tour members Matt Hendrix and Brad Fritsch each posted T10 finishes with 1-under 279 totals. For Fritsch, a 2011 eGolf Tour member, the finish marked his sixth top-10 of the year and moved the former Campbell Camel from No. 22 to No. 21 on the tour’s money list with $186,168 in earnings. Other eGolf Tour players to make the cut at TPC Sawgrass include Camilo Benedetti (T10), Fabian Gomez (T10), Blayne Barber (T15), Matt Harmon (T15), James Nitties (T15), Chris Wilson (T24), Morgan Hoffmann (T30), Ben Kohles (T30), Hudson Swafford (T30), Steve LeBrun (T30), Philip Pettitt (T30), Nick Flangan (T37), Scott Parel (T37), Reid Edstrom (T41), Josh Persons (T41), Luke Guthrie (T48), Brice Garnett (T48), Kevin Tway (T51), Jamie Lovemark (T54), Rob Oppenheim (T54), Bryan DeCorso (T57), Richard Scott (T60), Justin Hicks (T60), Marc Turnesa (64), Grant Waite (T65), Danny Ellis (T65), Brad Klapprott (67) and Samuel Del Val (68). For complete results from the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open on PGATOUR.com, please click here.