Gainey wins at Sea Island with course-record 60

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Gainey wins at Sea Island with course-record 60

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Tommy Gainey holds the trophy after winning the McGladrey Classic PGA Tour golf tournament, Sunday, in St. Simons Island, Georgia. [AP/YONHAP]


ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Georgia. - Winning on the PGA Tour is what Tommy Gainey dreamed about when he held a job wrapping insulation around hot water tanks, when he was playing more mini-tours than he can remember, when he was taking part in a Golf Channel reality series where he was best known as the guy wearing two gloves.

“Two Gloves” never imagined his first win would unfold the way it did Sunday at Sea Island.

Seven shots behind going into the final round of the McGladrey Classic, Gainey came within one putt of a 59, and then had to wait more than two hours as David Toms, Jim Furyk and tournament host Davis Love III - who have combined for 49 wins, three majors and 17 Ryder Cup teams - tried to catch him.

None of them could.

Gainey broke the course record at Sea Island with a 10-under 60, which carried him to a one-shot win over Toms. He became the fourth player this year to rally from at least seven shots in the final round to win, helped by seven straight 3s on his card on the back nine.

“Oh, man,” Gainey said. “I tell you, you’re out here on the PGA Tour. You’re playing with the best players in the world. Ninety-nine percent of these guys have already won, and won majors, big tournaments. The only show I can say I’ve won is the ‘Big Break.’ Now I can sit here and say I’ve won the McGladrey Classic here at Sea Island, and I’m very proud to be in this tournament and very proud to win. And wow, it’s been a whirlwind day.

“I didn’t know having 24 putts and shooting 60 would be like this,” he said. “So I’m pretty stoked about it.”

Furyk was pretty bummed.

He went 55 holes without a bogey, a streak that ended on the 18th hole when he needed a birdie to force a playoff. From the fairway, Furyk pushed an 8-iron right of the green and had to settle for a 69, a sour end to a season filled with bitter moments.

It was his fourth time with at least a share of the 54-hole lead. He lost in a playoff, made bogey on the 16th hole at Olympic Club that cost him a shot at the U.S. Open, and made double bogey on the 18th hole at Firestone to lose the Bridgestone Invitational. Furyk had said going into the week that even a win wouldn’t erase memories of those losses, along with losing a one up lead to Sergio Garcia in the Ryder Cup.

This time, someone went out and beat him with a record score, and Furyk couldn’t catch him. He had a 69.

“I think what I’m most disappointed about is when it came down the stretch, hitting the ball pretty much as good as I can, I made really, really poor swings at 17 and 18 with a 7-iron and 8-iron,” Furyk said. “So to play those two holes and not get one good look at it for birdie was disappointing.”

Love’s hopes of winning before the home crowd - he has lived at Sea Island since he was 14 - ended with a tee shot into the water for double bogey on the 16th. He was trying to become the first Ryder Cup captain since Tom Watson in 1996 to win on the PGA Tour.

A gracious host even in defeat, Love recalled his last win at Disney in 2008, when he didn’t look at a leaderboard until the 18th hole and saw Gainey making a run. Love held on with pars. This time, he saw Gainey’s name appear out of nowhere again, and couldn’t do anything about it. He closed with a 71 and tied for fourth.

Toms, who closed with a 63, also needed a birdie on the 18th hole, but he pushed his drive well right into the bunker and had little chance of reaching the green.

“I was thinking about what kind of putt I was going to have before I ever hit the fairway,” Toms said. “You get ahead of yourself and that’s what happens.” AP

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