What We Learned: McGladrey Classic

By Jason SobelOctober 21, 2012, 10:33 pm

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the week. This week, we examine – among other things – the incredible ending to the McGladrey Classic, where Tommy 'Two Gloves' Gainey shot a final-round 60 to come from seven shots back to pick up his first PGA Tour victory.


Any golfer who’s been told they’re too unconventional or too graceless or too anything, really, should be celebrating with equal helpings of motivation and inspiration following Tommy Gainey’s victory at the McGladrey Classic. Most observers understand Gainey isn’t your cookie-cutter PGA Tour pro based on an unseemly swing wielded while wearing two gloves, making him appear not unlike a lumberjack chopping at an invisible tree. Those are hardly the only atypical parts to his story, though.

Gainey didn’t exactly attend a golf powerhouse at Central Carolina Technical College, then toiled as an assembly line worker before giving professional golf a try. Along the way, he played just about every tour you can find, even competing on Golf Channel’s “Big Break IV,” while working his way out of obscurity. It’s all part of a rags-to-riches Hollywood script born in the unlikely countryside of South Carolina. The moral of Two Gloves’ story is this: If he can hit the big-time of a PGA Tour winner’s circle, then other unconventional golfers can, too. If that doesn’t serve as both motivation and inspiration, nothing will. Jason Sobel


Winning only gets harder despite what the sports psychologists say. Consider Jim Furyk’s year, which has teetered on the edge between historic and horrible for months. Although Furyk has collected 16 PGA Tour titles in what many consider will be a Hall of Fame career, he has now booted chances at the U.S. Open, where he led through 69 holes, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which he led through 71 holes, and now the McGladrey Classic, which he led by two strokes to begin the day but managed just two birdies and a bogey to finish third. – Rex Hoggard


I need two gloves.

I need a swing that makes me look like I’m trying to kill a cockroach with a crowbar, or as Brandel Chamblee once said, a swing that looks like a man trying to kill a snake with a garden rake.

Mostly, though, I want Tommy 'Two Gloves' Gainey’s guts. The guy has the nerve to defy convention in so many ways, and he makes it work in a way you have to admire. With that swing, you know a lot of folks never believed a day like Sunday could happen for him. Obviously, Gainey believed. He won the McGladrey Classic believing in himself long before this Sunday ever came along. Randall Mell


Yani Tseng may have turned the corner. While she didn't defend her title at the LPGA HanaBank, Tseng shot three under-par rounds to finish in third place. It might not seem like success for a 15-time tour winner, but it's Tseng's first top 10 in five months. She might not be able to catch Stacy Lewis for Player-of-the-Year honors, but it's an encouraging start to the end of her season. – Mercer Baggs


After a practice round at Riviera Country Club earlier this year, Tommy Gainey talked about the difference between being on the PGA Tour and belonging on the PGA Tour.

“I feel as if I belong here, but deep down – and I think everybody feels the same way – you don’t feel like you really belong until you’ve won,” Gainey said then. “Until you win, it’s: ‘That guy, he’s unorthodox. He goes after it funny. He hits it with two gloves.’ But when you win, you’re a winner. Then they have to respect the man even if they might not respect the way he plays. I sense the only way to belong is to win.”

On Sunday at the McGladrey Classic, Gainey came out of nowhere to dash by three of the game’s bold letter names – LOVE, FURYK, TOMS – firing a 10-under 60 that was the lowest score on Tour this season. More importantly, he proved to himself that he belonged.  Damon Hack

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.