Jim Furyk makes a birdie at the par-5 15th at The McGladrey Classic on Sunday.
By Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
Tommy Gainey had eight birdies and an eagle in shooting 60 on Sunday, but his tournament was more than just one well-played round . Gainey ranked second for the week in putts per round, second in putts per green and third in strokes-gained putting. That is dramatically different than his season statistics, as he began the week 86th on TOUR in SGP.
Fore left: It happened again. Like at the U.S. Open, like at Bridgestone, like at the Ryder Cup, Jim Furyk hit a hook at a bad time. On the tee at the 17th hole, Furyk hit a hook left of the green. He did manage a par after missing the green, but that hook under pressure is something that will cause Furyk anxiety during the offseason as he contemplates what could have been this year.
Charge: Everything worked in Gainey's favor on Sunday. It seemed just as he finished the wind picked up 10 mph, making the course -- and in particular the back nine -- play much more difficult. Hole locations for the final round did not lend themselves to a charge, as birdies were difficult to attain. The grain in greens made putts difficult to read. All of those factors made Gainey difficult to catch and made his final-round 60 even more remarkable.
Waiting game: It’s not unusual for a player to post a good number and wait for the leaders to finish, but Gainey had more than two and a half hours to wait after posting his 60. He spent the time watching golf on television and responding to congratulatory phone messages.
School colors: It was an interesting pairing with Harris English and Billy Horschel. English, who went to Georgia, wore blue and orange. Horschel, who went to Florida, wore black and red. Adding to the serendipity, Georgia plays Florida this Saturday.
Bubble boy: With one tournament to play, Billy Mayfair sits squarely on the bubble at No. 125 on the money list headed to Disney and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. Mayfair is very familiar with the pressure, in the last three years he has finished 109th, 142nd and 157th in earnings.
Delayed reaction: Gainey’s holeout for eagle at No. 15 might have been the shot of the tournament but it received the most unusual reaction from the gallery. The hole was cut between two mounds and the cup could not be seen from outside the gallery ropes. Gainey saw the ball drop for his eagle and began fist pumps, but it wasn’t until hearing Bob Stevens’ call on PGA TOUR Radio that the gallery joined in the celebration some five seconds as the ball dropped.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here .
Tommy Gainey holes out from the greenside bunker for an eagle 3 on the 15th hole.
Tommy Gainey sinks a 20-footer for birdie on the 16th hole on Sunday.
Tommy Gainey just misses a birdie putt on the 18th that was for a 59 on Sunday.
The bad news? Tommy Gainey left a 20-footer for birdie at the 18th hole about an inch short in his bid for an historic 59.
The good news? Gainey still has a golden opportunity to make The McGladrey Classic his first PGA TOUR victory after shooting a 60 in the final round.
Gainey, who started the final round seven shots off the pace set by Jim Furyk and Davis Love III, is now the solo leader at 16 under. He’s two strokes ahead of Furyk and three ahead of Love as the overnight co-leaders play the ninth hole.
“Actually, I was just trying to make birdies, trying to make enough,” Gainey said, noting he thought he would need to get to 18 or 19 under to have a chance for his breakthrough victory. “Winning the golf tournament was way out of my head.”
When he finished, though, Gainey certainly was entertaining the notion.
“It would have been nice to shoot 59 but right now I’d love a W.”
Gainey chipped in for eagle at the 15th hole and made eight birdies. He shot 31 on the front nine and 29 on the back as he reeled off seven straight 3s after a par on the 10th hole.
The 60 is the lowest round on the PGA TOUR this year. There have been nine 61s.
Had Gainey shot 59 it would have been the sixth in TOUR history.