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May 3 2012

7:01 PM

Gainey plays through tennis elbow

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The news from the doctor last week wasn't good.

"He said four words, and I don't know how to say it," Tommy Gainey reported. "In this language, the common language, he said it was tennis elbow, so that's never good when you're a golfer and you say, well, it's tennis elbow."

The doctor in New Orleans prescribed a shot of cortisone and rest for Gainey, who has played 13 of 18 weeks this season. He's back at it again this week at the Wells Fargo Championship, though, and the South Carolinian, who lives two hours away, opened with a 68 that ties for his low round since he shot 66 in the opener back in January.

Gainey, who has battled a wrist injury, as well, played solidly, too, hitting 9 of 14 fairways and all but four greens in regulation. Birdies on four of his first six holes set the tone for the day and consecutive birdies to close sent Gainey home happy.

"Now that I'm healthy, I'm starting to hit the ball better, starting to swing at it better, and I had a problem getting off to a slow start," Gainey said. "  But today I got off to a fast start, and I was able to keep it going. I three-putted 18, which really didn't like. That kind of ticked me off a little bit, but I was able to make that 150footer on 9 for a birdie. So lunch is going to go down a little better right now."

Gainey said he's going to be cautious with the elbow, icing it when he's done and making sure he gets treatment each day so it doesn't turn into a more serious issue. He says he thinks his body self-corrected with the swing to take some pressure off the arm.

"I'm looking forward to it now,” Gainey said. “… I'm starting to swing at it better. I'm starting to hit the ball like I know I can, and I'm just making putts now. When you make putts, you can shoot low numbers, and I feel like a low number is on the horizon for me."

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