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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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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Honda Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,110 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

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The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes defending-champion Rickie Fowler, 2017 FedEx Champion Justin Thomas, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who’s making his first PGA Tour start of 2018. Also in the field is Tiger Woods, who committed to play in the event just last week. Woods is coming off a disappointing missed cut at the 2018 Genesis Open.

Last year, Fowler won by four shots over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland, despite playing his final round in 1-over par.

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Monday’s Photos from the 2018 Honda Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,110 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes defending-champion Rickie Fowler, 2017 FedEx Champion Justin Thomas, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who’s making his first PGA Tour start of 2018. Also in the field is Tiger Woods, who committed to play in the event just last week. Woods is coming off a disappointing missed cut at the 2018 Genesis Open.

Last year, Fowler won by four shots over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland, despite playing his final round in 1-over par.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Honda Classic below!

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Tour Rundown: Bubba is back (from near retirement)

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The California cruise on the PGA Tour came to an end at Riviera, as it always does. Tiger Woods played poorly over the George Thomas classic, as he always does. Oh, and Bubba Watson showed why he is not in the ranks of ballers Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland. Big wins were earned from Australia to Florida, by 22 year olds and 41 year youngs. Our tour rundown runs gathers results from five unique tours, and breaks each triumph down for you. Have a glance at this week’s Tour Rundown.

Watson returns to form with third Genesis Open win

There are too many ledes to unearth for this one: Horses for courses or Mercurial Watson, or how about My wife’s the hoops star, I’m the golfer? Whatever was in that Tracy McGrady rejection on Friday night was the medicine Bubba Watson needed to return to the winner’s circle. Along the way, Watson schooled the 20-somethings (and even the other Lefty) on how to close the deal in Hogan’s Alley.

How Watson came back from near-retirement

While the siren song of the candy store, car dealership and baseball team might have been strong, Bubba Watson wanted to be a champion golfer again. After nine, up-and-down holes (3 birdies and 2 bogeys) on Sunday, Watson was looking up at Patrick Cantlay, Kevin Na and even Phil Mickelson. Not to worry, as the Florida portsider had played the inward half under par all week. Watson closed with 3 birdies and 0 bogeys over his final 9 holes, sealing a 2-stroke win over Na and Tony Finau.

See the clubs Bubba used to win the 2018 Genesis Open

How a quartet missed out

Let’s summarize: Na played the back side in 1-under par and needed Watson’s 3-under for a playoff; Tony Finau was 2-under on the closing half, but needed double that for extra holes; Phil Mickelson bogeyed 15 and 16 when he knew that birdies were needed; Patrick Cantlay played 1 over in his final 9, when 2-under would have meant playoff. All the also-rans and almost-weres didn’t do what Watson did: close the deal.

Jin Young Ko secures Australian Open on LPGA Tour

It’s a stretch to call Jin Young Ko an LPGA player, as her first 9 wins came on the LPGA of Korea tour. In October and now in February, Ko bested world-class fields to win co-sanctioned events, and is now a two-time LPGA champion. At this rate, it might be difficult for her to remain tethered to the Korean tour.

How Ko won the week

A 7-under 65 on Thursday was the fuel Ko needed to take a lead that she would not relinquish. Although Katherine Kirk matched that number on Sunday, no one was able to wrest the advantage from the 22-year old Ko. Two rounds of 69 and one of 71 brought her to 14-under on the week. On day four, Ko started quickly with two opening birdies. A pair of bogeys on the outward half kept her within sight of the field, but birdies at 9, 13 and 17 were the recipe for re-establishing her three-shot margin of victory.

How she kept the field at bay

The challenging Kooyoonga golf club was not very free with low rounds this week. Ko’s compatriot Hyejin Choi, posted a flawless 67 on Sunday to move up one spot, into solo second at 11-under. In third and fourth were a pair of Australians, Hannah Green at 10-under and the aforementioned Katherine Kirk, at 9-under. Marina Alex was the low USA golfer at 7-under, tied for fifth spot with Minjee Lee.

Oman Open on European Tour

Joost Luiten began the fourth day at Oman in a three-way tie for first spot, but asserted himself early on Sunday with birdies on holes 2 through 4. It was enough to separate from the field, and he was able to hold off Chris Wood to earn his 8th European Tour title, by two strokes.

How Luiten claimed victory

After the fiery beginning, Luiten cooled off in the later stages of the opening nine holes. Bogeys at 7 and 8 brought him back to the field, but he wasn’t done for the afternoon. Luiten birdied 12 and 13, then added the clincher on a tricky birdie putt on the 16th hole. That final birdie gave him a 2-shot separation on Chris Wood, and he held on for pars at the final two holes for a 68 on the day and 16-under for the tournament.

How Wood and others came up shy

Matthew Southgate and Julien Guerrier began Sunday in a tie with Luiten, but the day turned sour early for Southgate. The Englishman had four bogeys in a five-hole stretch. Two more miscues on the inward half dropped him into a three-way tie for ninth at 9-under par. Guerrier held the wheel a bit steadier: two bogeys at the turn were offset by three birdies coming in, and the young Frenchman was able to coax a solo third-place finish out of the week. It was Chris Wood who gave the greatest chase to Luiten. Wood had four birdies on the day, and was in a tie at the top at 15-under, when he yanked a drive at 17 and found a hazard. Although he was able to play his ball, the ensuing bogey was the mistake he could not afford. A par at the last placed him at 14-under, one shot clear of Guerrier and two behind the champion.

Durant welcomes second PGA Tour Champions title at Chubb Classic

Technically, it’s his third, but the first was a two-man win with Billy Andrade. Durant probably caught wind that Billy Mayfair and Tim Petrovic were going super-low (8-under on Sunday) and that David Toms was at their heels (7-under on the day.) Each of those three earned a top-four finish, but Durant took matters into his own hands over the closing seven holes. He left Naples as the 2018 Chubb champion.

When Joe Durant woke up

Durant was 1-over through 7 holes on Sunday, headed in the wrong direction. Birdies on 8 and 9 reminded him that he still had a chance, but the eagle on 13 kicked his game into a higher gear. Birdies at 14, 17 and 18 were enough to offset a bogey at 15, and Durant cruised home with a four-stroke victory over Mayfair, Toms, Petrovic, Lee Janzen and Steve Stricker.

How that quintet fell away

After eight birdies through 14 holes on day 3, Mayfair had zero over his closing four. Toms did the opposite-He played the outward half in 2-under, but came home in 5-under to reach the podium. Petrovic had 4 birdies on each half, but also simply ran out of holes. Janzen threw an early scare into the eventual champion, but two bogeys and not enough chirps were his undoing. Stricker’s finish was the most painful. Within site of Durant and needing birdie at the last for 18-under, Stricker was forced to go for the flag, and instead got wet. His double-bogey finish dropped him from solo second to the five-way tie.

Daniel Fox surprises at Australian PGA championship

Daniel Fox had one previous victory on the Australasian circuit, but he made the most of opportunity’s knock on Sunday. The 41-year old played error-free golf over his final 14 holes, counting 6 birdies for a one-stroke victory over Matthew Millar and Steven Jeffress.

How Fox found the winner’s platform

Fox might say he was the last man standing, and none would argue. The runners-up had chances at birdie at the final hole, but neither one could convert. Fox counted three rounds of 65 and one of 67 on his card.  On the week, he had three bogeys and one double, against 21 birdies and one eagle. In an event where the margin ‘twixt victory and not-victory was razor-thin, Daniel Fox shaved the final whisker.

How Millar and Jeffress came up short

The easy answer would be: they didn’t birdie the 72nd hole. Jeffress had the low round (63) of the week, but his 67-67-66 lost ground on the other three days! As for Millar, one might point to his last two, outward nines. On both weekend days, he made nine consecutive pars to open his round. Against a par of 33, it wasn’t bad, but he gained no ground on the leader. Millar’s stat line for the week read: one eagle, 21 birdies, six bogeys. Yup, nearly identical to Fox, but nearly is the operative word.

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