LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The last time Tommy Gainey played, he shot a final-round 60 to win The McGladrey Classic.
Thursday, he was atop the leaderboard again. Gainey opened with a 7-under 65 in the season-ending Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. He leads by two over Ken Duke and Matt Every.
Gainey had six birdies, an eagle and just one bogey on a windswept morning on the Palm Golf Course at Disney, where he also missed just four fairways and five greens. He also had just 24 putts.
One reason Gainey was able to keep it in the fairway: An adjustment to his Callaway equipment. He recently switched to the company’s Razr X irons and tweaked his driver prior to winning at Sea Island.
While Gainey can’t move inside the top 30 on the money list, which would get him into next year’s Masters, even if he does win, he could become the second player this season to win in back-to-back starts. Rory McIlroy did in two months ago, capturing the Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship in consecutive weeks.
Prior to the opening round of the 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, Doug Bell and Dennis Paulson from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio describe the weather and course conditions.
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- What’s at stake in this week’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, the final event of the 2012 season?
· Players will be vying to finish in the top 125 on the money list to earn their cards for 2013, which will be more important this season given, essentially, fewer starts next year for those who finish outside the top 125 because of the structural changes to the schedule.
· Whoever wins of course gets a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR and an invitation to next year’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions and the PGA Championship.
· Players who finish in the top 30 on the money list earn a spot in the 2013 Masters. Jonas Blixt, who won last month at the Frys.com Open, is among those who has a chance to do so. He’s 35th on the money list.
· An opportunity to accrue Official World Golf Ranking points towards entry into the 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 strength of field rating of 115 points or higher).
· Among the event players who finish among the top 125 on the money list are exempt into: the RBC Heritage, THE PLAYERS Championship and AT&T National. Those who finish inside the top 80, meanwhile, automatically get into the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, while the top 70 earn spots in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
Amanda Balionis previews Round 1 of the 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, including the featured groups on Golf Channel and an update from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
Miss the live showing or the re-air of first-round action on Golf Channel? Check out the highlights below to see the day's best shots.
In the opening round of the World Golf Championships–HSBC Champions at Mission Hills Golf Club, Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott are tied for the lead at 7-under par total.
Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott used strong finishes to get to the top of the HSBC Champions on Thursday in Guangdong, China. Oosthuizen birdied the par-4 ninth hole -- his last -- to post a 7-under 65 just before Scott came from the back of the pack to match him. Scott finished birdie-birdie-eagle on the front nine to tie Oosthuizen. The top pair had plenty of company behind them. Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson opened with 6-under 66s on The Olazabal Course at Mission Hills. They were tied for third with Peter Hanson and Shane Lowry. Mickelson was pleased with the way he played. He is still using the modified claw putting grip that he began using earlier this fall. "I hit a lot of good shots," Mickelson told Golf Channel. "... And I feel very good putting with the grip I've gone to." Mickelson, the 2007 and 2009 champion here, closed with an eagle 3 on the ninth hole. Watson also had an eagle, carding a 3 on the 11th hole.
The top golfers in the world have certainly come to play at the HSBC Champions. Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson opened with first-round, 6-under 66s on The Olazabal Course at Mission Hills to grab a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in China. Mickelson, the 2007 and 2009 champion here, closed with an eagle 3 on the ninth hole to join Watson and Peter Hanson at the top while other golfers were still on the course. Watson also had an eagle, carding a 3 on the 11th hole.
Watch Bubba Watson curl in an approach shot on the 188-yard second hole.
Phil Mickelson makes a nice recovery for birdie on the third hole at The Olazabal Course.
Luke Donald plays a brilliant second shot into the par-5 third hole. Did he make an eagle?