Gainey storms to victory at McGladrey Classic
By Mark Lamport-Stokes ,Reuters
October 23, 2012, 12:01 am TWN
Tommy Gainey clinched his first PGA Tour victory by one shot in sensational fashion at the McGladrey Classic on Sunday, setting a course record with a storming 10-under-par 60 on the Seaside layout at Sea Island, Georgia.
A distant seven strokes off the pace going into the final round of the penultimate Fall Series event, American Gainey flirted with golf's magical number of 59 as he posted a 16-under total of 264.
The 37-year-old, who had recorded just one top-10 in his previous 30 starts on the 2012 PGA Tour, piled up eight birdies and an eagle to finish a stroke in front of compatriot David Toms (63).
Jim Furyk, co-leader overnight with United States Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, needed a birdie at the par-four last to force a playoff but he bogeyed the hole for a 69 to finish alone in third place at 14 under.
Tournament host Love was a further two strokes back after closing with a 71, level with compatriot D.J. Trahan (69) and Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge (65).
“I had a hot putter today,” a beaming Gainey told Golf Channel after earning the winner's check for US$720,000 and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour. “It's been a hard year for me and finally we got it right.
“I was just trying to hit fairways, trying to take it one shot at a time — that old cliche. I hit fairways, I hit greens and my putter saved me,” he added, after totaling only 24 putts in the final round.
Gainey, whose previous best finish on the PGA Tour was a runner-up spot at the 2008 Disney Classic, raised expectations of a stunning 59 after covering the outward nine in a flawless 4-under 31.
He birdied the 11th, 13th, and 14th, then holed out from a greenside bunker to eagle the 15th before picking up his 10th shot of the day at the par-4 16th where he sank a 20-foot putt.