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April 12 2012

6:30 PM

Gainey feels at home at Harbour Town

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Tommy Gainey shot a 1-under 70 Thursday at Harbour Town.

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- There are a lot of things working in Tommy Gainey’s favor at the RBC Heritage.

He finished third here a year ago, and he’s from Darlington, S.C., which is a few hours north of here. Thursday, he also shot a 1-under 70 in blustery conditions to sit near the top of the leaderboard.

“I feel like this course sets up for me pretty well,” Gainey said. “But the conditions are really tough out there.”

That was the prevailing thought among most of the players in the morning wave who teed off when temperatures were only in the 40s and the course was playing firm and fast and windy.

“The wind is just blowing in so many different directions, it’s hard to figure out which way it’s coming from,” Gainey said. “I don’t think anybody is going to run away today.”

Gainey would certainly like to see the wind keep blowing. He’d also like to win a tournament that in his mind is second only to the Masters.

“I love this place,” Gainey said. “This is my home.”

Here’s one other nugget: Should Gainey win, he’d be the first native South Carolinian to do in the history of the long-running event.

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