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Final-Round 60 Gives Gainey First PGA Tour Title

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Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey scorched St. Simons Island’s Seaside Course for a course record and career best 10-under-par 60 on Sunday afternoon en route to his first-career PGA Tour victory at The McGladrey Classic.

Gainey became the seventh PGA Tour winner of 2012 to finish Sunday atop the leaderboard after facing a deficit of six strokes or more to begin the final round. The former Big Break champion and now the first former contestant to win a PGA Tour event  putted his way past major champions and seasoned veterans. He needed only 24 putts on Sunday, leading the 37-year-old to finish the week second in putts per round at 28.50. Gainey’s 60, the only bogey-free round on Sunday, is the lowest round on the PGA Tour this season and beat the final round’s stroke average by almost nine shots.

Gainey started the final round seven strokes back at 6-under, but he got off to a fast start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The journeyman, who has logged tournaments on the Tarheel, NGA Hooters, Gateway and the Web.com tours, closed his front nine with another birdie to turn in 31 and break into double-figures at 10-under.

A birdie on the par-4 11th vaulted Gainey to 11-under and sparked a stretch of seven-straight 3s on his scorecard. His back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 brought him into contention, while an eagle hole-out from a greenside bunker on the par-5 15th gave him a one-shot lead at 15-under. Gainey continued to pour the heat on as he rolled in a birdie on No. 16. Had Gainey been able to play his last two holes one-under, he would have become the sixth player to shoot 59 in a PGA Tour event. Gainey had a birdie opportunities on each of his last two holes — his best chance was a putt of less than 20 feet on No. 18 — but Gainey missed both birdie tries.

With Gainey posting a 16-under, 264 tournament total, his fate was left in the hands of proven tour veterans, as Jim Furyk (14-under) and Davis Love III (13-under) were just making the turn. However, Furyk and Love’s days were off to sluggish starts, each carding only one birdie on the front nine. Love opened the back side with a birdie to join Furyk at 14-under, but David Toms quickly became a player to watch down the stretch.

Toms, who started the day at 8-under, made the turn in 32 before starting a stretch of four birdies in five holes on the par-4 13th. The 13-time Tour winner found himself one shot back of Gainey on the 18th tee, but a wayward tee shot only allowed Toms to card a par on the 72nd hole, for a seven-under 63.

Meanwhile, Gainey, who finished around 2:40 p.m., wasted time by meeting with media, making a television appearance, signing autographs, watching his opponents down the stretch and checking his cell phone. It wasn’t until his final threat reached the 18th hole that he picked up a golf club again, just in case.

Love faced a tall order needing two birdies in the final three holes just to catch Gainey, but a pulled tee shot into the hazard on the 16th hole led to a double-bogey and denied Love his 21st career victory and his first since 2008, which came at Disney with Gainey settling for his then career-best second place finish.

Furyk remained as the only threat, posting gutsy par saves on the 10th and 17th holes, while also adding a fist-pump-inducing birdie on the 15th. While Furyk has seen leads disappear in the final holes of tournaments this season, he was faced with a different challenge in this situation. Needing a birdie on the 72nd hole, Furyk placed his drive perfectly, only to leak an iron shot to the right and miss the green. An unsuccessful chip-in attempt left Gainey standing as the victor at 16-under. Another missed putt from Furyk then dropped him into solo third.

“These guys are good,” Gainey said after the round. “I am just glad to be out here with them.”

With his win, Gainey is assured his place on the PGA Tour through 2014. Gainey was basically assured his card for 2013, starting the week at 106th on the money list, but he jumped 50 spots with the victory.

A host of other players made moves from their weekend play, allowing perhaps a little more comfort before the final event of 2012. Most notably, David Mathis improved six spots to 116th and Kevin Chappell went from the outside the top 125 to inside the top 125 (126th to 123rd). Others, such as D.J. Trahan (up 21 spots to 130) and Charlie Beljan (up 11 spots to 139) will need to perform at Disney to secure their spot for 2013, as only the top 125 players on the money list are guaranteed a Tour card for 2013.

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GolfWRX fan turned GolfWRX contributor. Sports fan, golf enthusiast. Looking to provide a variety of content to GolfWRX.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Rob

    Oct 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Great win for Gainey, and for golf.

  2. honeybadgermax

    Oct 22, 2012 at 9:12 am

    A-W-E-S-O-M-E

  3. memphisunited

    Oct 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Great win for Gainey. It’s good to see that some of the Big Break guys can actually compete on TOUR.

    Also, I guess if you’re 7 shots back to start the final round at the McGladrey, you’re never out of it. Ben Crane was 7 shots back last year and won.

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Tour News

5 things we learned on Sunday of the 2018 U.S. Open

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Opportunity knocked for so many golfers, yet it was the 2017 champion who seized the moment when it was his. Brooks Koepka fired his second sub-par round of the week on Sunday to separate from playing partner Dustin Johnson, and enter the pantheon of multiple major champions. He became the 7th player to defend his title, joining old-school legends like Willie Anderson and John McDermott, mid-century icons like Ralph Guldahl and Ben Hogan, and the last man to accomplish the feat, Curtis Strange. With that introduction, let’s move to the main event, the 5 things we learned on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills.

5) The USGA gave golf a chance

True to its word, the USGA pulled out all the stops in the wee hours of Sunday morn. The course set-up team ensured that enough water was distributed to putting surfaces, that worthy shots would not be punished. Hole locations were assessed and confirmed, also ensuring that multiple opportunities for success were available. As a result, 15 golfers turned in scores under par of 70, highlighted by Tommy Fleetwood’s 7-under stunner. Although many fans, writers and players were quick to assault the organizers for losing control of the course, the USGA reminded us that it always had control of the conditions at Shinny, and that its only mistake was to soar too close to the sun.

4) Captain America ran out of gas

If Patrick Reed had been able to sign his card on the 9th tee, when he stood 5-under on the day and 1-over for the tournament, he would be in a playoff with the eventual champion as I type. Unfortunate for this year’s Masters champion was that 10 holes remained. Reed promptly bogeyed the 9th, added 3 more bogeys on the inward half, and summoned just one birdie toward the end. His fourth-place finish was his best in a U.S. Open, but knowing that victory was in the cards will sting for a while.

3) DJ and Finau gave it a run

Where to begin? How about this: DJ had four bogeys on Sunday. He totaled that many on Thursday-Friday combined. He had birdies, too, but couldn’t find the game that possessed him over the opening 36 holes. Oddly enough, this type of experience won’t be a setback for the 2016 champion. After all, he came back from a career-killer in 2015, when he 3-whacked his way out of a playoff with Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay. As for Milton Pouhau Finau, aka Tony, the Utah native had never before been in the final group on any day of a major professional championship. He acquitted himself well, standing even on the day and 3-over for T2 at the 18th tee. Knowing that he needed eagle for a playoff might have taken the final winds from his sails, and he limped home with double bogey and solo third. Looking ahead to the final August playing of the PGA Championship, Bellerive near St. Louis might just be his type of course.

2) Tom Terrific nearly made his own U.S. Open history

I’ll write this cautiously, as I’m certain I would have intimated in the 1980s and 90s that Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood would have been major champions by now. Tommy Fleetwood ought to win one of these things soon. His record-tying 63 was a short putt away from a record-breaking 62. Eight birdies against a single bogey was the stuff of legend, and if only he had trusted that final putt a bit higher on the break … that’s not fair. Fleetwood right now is the fellow to watch at Carnoustie next month. Bet a few quid or bob or whatever on the Southport native, as he should contend for the title.

1) Brooks cooks up a winning broth

It’s easy to look back and see all the great shots that the defending champion hit over the four days of the 2018 U.S. Open, shots that would win him his second consecutive trophy. Remember that 60-feet bomb to save par on Saturday? Shades of Costantino Rocca. How about the approach shots to within mere feet that earned him 5 birdies on Sunday, including a competition-killer on 16? Koepka was the guy we thought Dustin Johnson would be. Perhaps it was the time off for wrist rehabilitation early this season that gave him the burning desire to win. Out for nearly 4 months, Koepka had plenty of time to ponder what he achieved last June in Wisconsin, and what might lay ahead for him. The begged question is, does the most recent, two-time major winner have the game to acquire more of the game’s cherished trophies?

Related: Brooks Koepka’s Winning WITB from the 2018 U.S. Open

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (par 70; 7,440 yards) in Southhampton, New York. The U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock for the first time since 2004 when Retief Goosen won (he failed to qualify for the 2018 event).

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Phil Mickelson, who has two top-5 finishes at Shinnecock Hills, will seek to fill out his career Grand Slam with a win this week. Also, it’s Tiger Woods’ 10-year anniversary of winning the legendary 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines — that was his most recent major championship victory.

Also in the field are headliners Dustin Johnson (now ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings), Justin Thomas (No. 2), Justin Rose (No. 3), Jon Rahm (No. 4) and Jordan Spieth (No. 5).

Brooks Koepka (No. 9) is the defending champion; he won last year by four shots for his first and only major so far in his career.

Check out our photos from Shinnecock Hills below!

Wednesday’s Galleries

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Spotted at Shinnecock: #RVLife, superb staff bags, stellar stampings

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We’re on the famed grounds of Shinnecock Hills Golf Club for the second major of the year. With the U.S. Open returned to such a visually and historically rich venue, it may be a bit tough to focus on equipment.

Nevertheless, we spotted some cool stuff, Tuesday, as the players move ever closer to the second major of th eyear.

Let’s get to the photos.

#RVLife propronent, Jason Day’s putter cover is incredible.

Michael Greller displays an essential caddie skill…

Face of Tiger’s wedge. Do these look like standard TaylorMade MG grooves to you?

Greatest side panel on a bag ever?

Who isn’t happy to see “Woods” on USGA tournament signage?

Shintaro Ban’s unique dot stamping is, well, money.

A look at the Bridgestone U.S. Open staff bag and headcovers.

Kenny Perry: Still gaming R7 irons.

Scott Gregory with some solid wedge stamping.

What is this lead taped and war torn beauty?

All our photos from Tuesday

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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