What they said: Tommy Gainey

April 12, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: RBC Heritage transcript archive

Q. Opening round of 70. Certainly on a golf course like this, you didn't play your way out of it by any stretch. You're right in the middle of things.

TOMMY GAINEY: Well, I mean I'm kind of disappointed because I let a lot get away from me. But I tell you what, I'm very pleased with the round all in all. The wind right now is switching, it's hard to tell which way it's coming from, which way it's going. So I'm happy with what I did. But I've got to make more putts.

Q. Did you come in here after the third-place finish last year with sort of good vibes??

TOMMY GAINEY: No doubt about it. I've got a lot of good vibes, since I played well last year, placing third. I'm looking forward to trying to build on that from last year to this year and maybe even sneak in a W, hopefully.

Q. I don't think you'll have any trouble in the department of support being a South Carolina guy, it must be nice having that kind of support on the golf course??

TOMMY GAINEY: I tell you, it's nice. It's been nice to have all the support. I have some family here, I have some friends. And even the other fans that I haven't met yet that are fans, that's awesome. I'm really happy and humbled to have the support that I have.

Q. Cool conditions, a lot of wind early this morning. 1-under par round.

TOMMY GAINEY: The wind is just blowing in so many different directions, it's hard to figure out which way it's coming from, which way it's going. But you know, 1-under, and there's like two guys at 4-under. I'm close to the leaders, I don't think anybody is going to run away today.

Q. And last year, finishing third, how much of that good mojo from last year did you bring today??

TOMMY GAINEY: There's no doubt about it, it's with me, I'm still carrying it. As long as I've got the support from the fans and the family and all the support here from Hilton Head, as well. I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Anything under 4-under today is a good round. Talk about your round.

TOMMY GAINEY: It's good to shoot under par here, with as hard as the golf course is. But the wind, you know, I didn't expect it to be as cold as it was this morning. I thought it would be like 45 or 50. But actually it felt like it was about 35 to me.

The wind just blew all over the place. It switched so many times, you didn't know if it was into the wind, right to left or even downwind. It was just tough to figure that out. And to shoot 1-under in these conditions, I'm just glad I don't have to go out there and play any more holes.

Q. Combining what you did last year, I think every round was par or better. Now this one is under par. That's five straight at par or better for you. What does this course do for you? How are you able to handle what's out here?

TOMMY GAINEY: I feel like I'm a real good ball-striker. I feel like this course sets up for me pretty well. Plus it helps to have the support I have out here, all the fans and all the other people I haven't met yet, but I'm sure it will. It helps to have the support. But the conditions are really tough out there. I think I'll be in pretty good shape going into tomorrow.

Q. How do you battle those conditions? What do you do when it's so cold in the morning? How do you keep yourself in tune?

TOMMY GAINEY: I was trying not to think about it. I get cold, and it's hard not to think about it when it really is pretty cold. I'm just trying to hit the golf shots. And I have my caddie with me, and we're on the same page trying to get birdies and pars. It worked out pretty good today. I just hope that the wind doesn't die down for these guys in the afternoon.

Q. We've been looking at the past, here, and we couldn't find anybody from South Carolina that's won this thing, a native. Is that shocking to you this thing has been around 44 years and we're still looking for the first South Carolina winner??

TOMMY GAINEY: It is shocking to me that nobody from South Carolina has won this thing, anybody from South Carolina. It tells you how difficult this competition is for all these players from other states and all over the world. These guys are good. That's a fact. But hopefully I can be the first South Carolinian to win, that would be awesome in itself. A win is what I'm looking for. If I could finish third again, that would be fine, too, but I want that jacket.

Q. How firm was it out there? They're talking about it being firm early in the week.

TOMMY GAINEY: It's still firm. It's still firm. The greens are still firm. I really and truly believe the greens are rolling like 11 to 11 1/2 out there. If you get the wind blowing downwind, they could roll anywhere from 12, 13, maybe even 14. So it could be scary with a downhill putt out here.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOMMY GAINEY: You know, I guess all the players would say that The Players is called the fifth major. But if you ask any player, No.1 on their list is Augusta National, and I can't argue that fact. But I can say that this one here is No. 2 in my book. I'd like to be in Augusta, too. I think it is what it is. It's a tradition under like any other. You won't get any question from any other players about that.

But I love this place. This is my home. So this is dear and near to my heart. I'm just trying to do the best I can here.

Q. Take us through your birdies and bogeys real quick.

TOMMY GAINEY: The first hole, if I can remember that, I was trying to block the bogeys that I made.

I birdied the first hole; I got off to a great start.

The second hole, ended up 3-putting from like 20 feet. I was just off the fringe on the par 5. But I was really disappointed in that.

I think No. 8 was the first bogey that I made. I hit a good tee ball. I didn't expect the wind. That was one of the holes that I was talking about the wind, I thought the wind was left to right there, and actually it was right to left. And my ball just kept going getting close to that corner. But I hit a bad second shot. And that's how it goes. I should have got up and down. It wasn't that hard of a shot, I just hit it too hard. And I got real careless with that putt, because it was downhill, breaking a little bit right to left. And out here if you don't watch your speed, just like the last couple of holes, you don't want to have 4-footers on these greens all day out here because it will wear you out.

Q. Given the way the course played you've got to be encouraged how you did, going into the next three rounds. You're right up there at the top. You're right there in the thick of things.

TOMMY GAINEY: I'm encouraged, as long as the wind doesn't stop. If the wind stops blowing, I think you're going to see somebody shoot 4- or 5-under. That's still not too far ahead, but 4- or 5-under could be doable out there without this wind blowing the way it is and switching so many different directions. But I'm encouraged. I'm close to the lead, but we've got a lot of golf left.