Gainey, a former contestant on the Golf Channel reality show “The Big Break,” entered yesterday in a tie for 29th place, seven shots behind co-leaders Jim Furyk and Davis Love III. Gainey, who’s known as “Two Gloves” because he wears a glove on each hand, then made eight birdies and an eagle to surge atop the leaderboard and break the course record at Sea Island Resort in Georgia.
Gainey, 37, missed a chance to become the sixth player to shoot 59 in a PGA Tour event when his 19-foot birdie putt came up just short on the 18th hole. Afterwards, Gainey sat around the clubhouse waiting for the final groups to finish and wondering if his four-round score of 16-under 264 would hold up.
“I shot 60 and you got Jim Furyk, Davis Love III and David Toms, Hall-of-Famers and future Hall-of-Famers, chasing me,” Gainey said at a news conference. “I was just looking at my phone replying to text messages. I was waiting. I was nervous. It just worked out for me.”
Gainey is the third golfer to shoot 60 in the final round of a PGA Tour event, joining Grant Waite at the 1996 Phoenix Open and Steve Lowery at the 1997 Buick Challenge. Gainey yesterday scored a three on seven consecutive holes starting on No. 11, a run that was highlighted by his 40-foot chip-in for eagle at the par-5 15th.
“I got hot and had a hot putter, and I rode it out,” added Gainey, who had one top-10 finish in 30 previous PGA Tour starts this season. “It feels like I’m in a dream. So I’m just waiting for somebody to slap me up side the head or pinch me or something to wake me up.”
Furyk shot a 69 yesterday to finish third at 14-under par while Love closed with a 71 to tie for fourth.
The PGA Tour completes its Fall Series with the $4.7 million Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, from Nov. 8-11.
This week, Tiger Woods is among about 30 PGA Tour players who head to Kuala Lumpur for the $6.1 million CIMB Classic, while the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions is held the following week in Guangdong, China.
Bo Van Pelt warmed up for the defense of his CIMB Classic title this week by winning the inaugural Perth International yesterday as the European Tour returned to Australia for the first time since 2009.
Van Pelt, 37, claimed his first title of 2012 by holding off fellow American Jason Dufner, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this year, by two shots at Lake Karrinyup. He earned 256,585 euros ($334,000) for his fourth career victory.
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