ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Tommy Gainey shot a record final round 60, narrowly missing golf’s magic number of 59, and came from seven strokes back to win the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island.
Gainey became the fourth player this year to rally from at least seven shots behind in the final round to win. He made seven straight 3s on his way to a 29 on the back nine, and then had to wait more than two hours to see if Jim Furyk or anyone else could catch him.
No one came particularly close.
Tournament host and Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III drove into the water on the 16th and made double bogey. Furyk made a 12-foot par save on the 17th hole to stay one shot behind, but he pushed his approach well right on the 18th and made his first bogey in 56 holes.
“It’s been a hard year for me and finally, we got it right,” Gainey said.
Gainey, a 37-year-old from South Carolina with a homemade swing who is known as “Two Gloves” for wearing black gloves on each hand, joined a long list of unlikely winners this year. He was seven shots behind going into the final round, and his 60 was nearly 9 1/2 shots better than the average score.
He wound up with a one-shot victory over David Toms, who closed with a 63. Toms also needed a birdie on the 18th hole to catch Gainey, 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.”
Furyk wound up with a 69 to finish alone in third, a sour end to a season filled with bitter memories. This one won’t sting as much as his bogey on the 16th hole of Olympic Club that cost him a shot at the U.S. Open, or the double bogey on the final hole at Firestone to lose the Bridgestone Invitational, or losing a 1-up lead against Sergio Garcia with two holes to play in the Ryder Cup. He had said at the start of the week that even if he were to win the McGladrey Classic, that’s not what he would remember from his 2012 season.
This time, someone went out and beat him. And Furyk simply couldn’t catch up. Furyk made only two bogeys all week.
“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.”
Gainey finished at 16-under 264 and earned $720,000, along with a trip to Kapalua in January for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a two-year exemption.
Love, trying to become the first Ryder Cup captain to win since Tom Watson in 1996, lost his hope on the back nine with a three-putt bogey on the 14th, a bunker shot that banged off the pin and spun out of the cup for a potential eagle on the 15th, and then his tee shot on the 16th that was left all the way and found water.
He closed with a 71 and tied for fourth with Brendon de Jonge (65) and D.J. Trahan (69).
Leaderboard: Tommy Gainey, 69-67-68-60-264;David Tom, 65-67-70-63-265; Jim Furyk, 65-66-65-69-265.
- It was Gainey’s first career PGA Tour win in his 105th start. Gainey joined the Tour in 2008.
- Gainey’s bogey-free round consisted of birdies on Nos. 1-3-5-9-11-13-14 and 16.
- Gainey made an eagle-3 at the par-5 15th. His 19’ birdie attempt at the 72nd hole for a 59 slid by on the right.
- Among the highlights to Gainey’s round included a string of seven consecutive 3s on hole Nos. 11-17.Gainey’s is just the third 60 to be posted in the final round of a Tour event. Grant Waite posted the number in the final round of the 1996 Waste Management Phoenix Open (T14). A year later, Steve Lowery shot 60 in the final round of the Buick Challenge (T3).
- The last 60 recorded on the PGA Tour belonged to Patrick Cantlay, who posted the 10-under score in round two of the 2011 Travelers Championship.
- Before the final round of the McGladrey Classic, Gainey’s career-low was a 63, on two occasions. Prior to today, his low round of the season was a 65, posted in the second round of the RBC Canadian Open.
- With his win, Gainey earns a two-year exemption, taking him through the 2014.
- Gainey earns a spot into the following events: Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Humana Challenge, Arnold Palmer Invitational, RBC Heritage, Players Championship, Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, the Memorial Tournament, AT&T National and PGA Championship.
- Gainey’s win also helps him increase the chance of finishing inside the top 30 on the money list, worthy of an invite to the 2013 Masters.
- With the victory, Gainey moves up in Official World Golf Ranking Points, getting closer to entry into the exclusive World Golf Championships events (The Accenture Match-Play Championship invites the top 64 available players in the OWGR two weeks prior; the Cadillac Championship invites the top 50 and the Bridgestone Invitational invites event winners with OWGR on the strength of field rating of 115 points or higher).
- Gainey has made 31 starts this season, including this week’s, and made 17 cuts. Still in search of his first career Tour win, his lone top-10 finish of the season came with third-place honors at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. His best career finish came in 2008 with runner-up honors at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic, losing by a stroke to McGladrey Classic host Davis Love III.
- In his last five starts before this week, Gainey’s best finish was a T38 at The Barclays.
- In good health now, Gainey was plagued by a myriad of wrist and elbow injuries earlier this season.
- Following a bogey at the first, Toms rattled off eight birdies for a 7-under 63 in the final round, good for second-place honors.
- Toms was making his first start this week since missing back-to-back cuts at the Wyndham Championship and The Barclays in August.
- Toms’ 63 matches his low round of the year (R1/Humana Challenge).
- His second-place finish in Sea Island is his fifth top-10 finish of the season and first since a T8 at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
- The third-round co-leader could manage no better than a 1-under 69 in the final round, good enough for third-place honors. Furyk is now 0-4 this year while holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead.
- Furyk surrendered just two bogeys this week, at the par-5 seventh hole on Thursday (his 16th hole of the day) and the 72nd hole Sunday. He was the only player in the field to achieve that feat.
- Furyk was making his 24th start of the season, with runner-up finishes at the Transitions Championship and World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He owns eight top 10s this season, two behind the record of 10.
- Furyk was making his second start at The McGladrey Classic, where he finished T11 in 2011.
- Tournament host, “Team McGladrey” member and third-round co-leader Davis Love III was unable to get anything going in the final round, posting a 1-over 71. He finished T4.
- Since the event’s 2010 inception, Love has finished T33 in 2010, missed the cut in 2011 and T4 in 2012.
- Jacksonville’s Bud Cauley, who joined the Tour as a special temporary member shortly before last year’s McGladrey Classic, posted a final-round, 2-over 72 to finish T20.
- After defending champion Ben Crane tied the (then) course record on Saturday with an 8-under 62, he struggled with a 2-over 72 in the final round, finishing T27 at 7-under.
- “Team McGladrey” final standings: Davis Love III (T4), Zach Johnson (T49), Chris DiMarco (MDF).
- Past McGladrey Classic champion finishes: Heath Slocum/2010 (T61), Ben Crane/2011 (T27).On Sunday, PGA Tour Rules Officials wore black ribbons in honor of Doug Brecht, an LPGA Tour Rules Official who recently passed away at the age of 62.