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Gainey Rallies from Seven Back for First Tour Title
Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey shattered the course record, a 10-under 60, en route to overcoming a seven-stroke deficit entering the final round and win the $4 million McGladrey Classic at the Seaside Course on Sea Island, Ga.
The 37-year-old South Carolinian, who gained his nickname for wearing a golf glove on each hand, fired eight birdies and an eagle Sunday to finish at 16-under 264 and overtake 54-hole leaders Davis Love III and Jim Furyk. The victory, worth $720,000, was the first of Gainey's career.
"I had a hot putter today," said Gainey - who needed only 24 putts - at greenside. "It's been a hard year; finally got it right." He then added, "I just tried to play it one stroke at a time and my putter really saved me."
Gainey knew before the final round that he had to go low to have a chance. "Actually, I was just trying to make birdies, trying to make enough. Winning the golf tournament was way out of my head."
Gainey became the seventh player since 2007 to shoot 60 on the PGA Tour. He came close to the magical "59," a score posted only five times before in Tour history. He tried valiantly, but his birdie attempt on the 18th hole stopped an inch short of the cup. Of that exalted score, Gainey said, "I've shot 59 before, but I tell you what, this 60 in tournament play and tournament conditions on a golf course that's pretty hard, I'm having it. I'm loving it."
David Toms was also red-hot on Sunday. The 45-year-old Louisianan carded a 7-under 63 to rise up into solo second a stroke behind Gainey. After a bogey on the first hole, the 13-time Tour winner reeled off eight birdies the rest of the way.
Toms was pleased with how he closed out the round. "I played really solid today," he said. "I missed the first three greens and was 1-over par and thought it was just going to be one of those Sundays where I wasn't going to be able to do anything. And obviously I started hitting good shots. Started putting a little bit better than I did yesterday, and before you know it I got on a little roll there on the Back 9 and had a good day."
Furyk shot a 69 to end up in third at 266, continuing a hard-luck second half of the season that saw the 42-year-old lose a lead down the stretch of the U.S. Open at Olympic in San Francisco and go 1-2-0 in a losing effort by the Americans in the Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club.
Sharing fourth at 264 were Brendon de Jonge (65), D.J. Trahan (69) and Love. The 48-year-old Love, who lives near the course on Sea Island and served as the tournament host this week, could only muster a 1-over 71 in the final round. The 2012 USA Ryder Cup captain was in contention most of the day but came undone when he double-bogeyed the par-4 16th after hooking his tee shot into a water hazard.
Tied for seventh at 11-under 269 were England's Greg Owen (65), Chad Campbell (67) and Charles Howell III (68). Charlie Beljan (65), David Mathis (67), Mark Wilson (67), Michael Thompson (68) and second-round leader Arjan Atwal (71) shared 10th at 270.
After posting what was then a course record-tying 62 on Saturday to put himself into position to repeat, defending champion Ben Crane struggled to a 2-over 72 in the last round.
There's only one event left on the PGA Tour that involves official money: the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic near Disney World in early November. The players who end up in the top-125 on the money list will be guaranteed a Tour card for 2013.
Gainey, who entered this week at 106th on the money list, now won't have to worry about that.
For all the scores in the McGladrey Classic, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboards/current/r493.