Gainey, Grillo set pace at Tour Finals


Several former PGA Tour members got off to strong starts at the Hotel Fitness Championship, notably Tommy Gainey who shares the lead with Argentina's Emiliano Grillo in the first Tour Finals event.

Gainey and Grillo both opened with rounds of 6-under 66 at Sycamore Hills, but they weren't the only notable names on the leaderboard. Ricky Barnes, who has made 206 career starts on the main circuit, is among the large group tied for third at 5 under, as is Jamie Lovemark.

Gainey's exemption from winning the 2012 McGladrey Classic expired last season, and he entered the regular-season finale on the bubble to simply qualify for the Finals. Gainey tied for third at the Winco Foods Portland Open last month, then carded six birdies and an eagle Thursday in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Grillo made five starts on the PGA Tour this year, notably losing a playoff at the Puerto Rico Open. He also finished T-10 at the Barbasol Championship and T-22 at the RBC Canadian Open, and the 22-year-old was bogey-free in his opening round.

The Finals offer 50 PGA Tour cards for next season, with 25 already allotted to the top money winners from the Tour regular season. Among the top nine players on the leaderboard, only Lovemark and D.H. Lee (67) have already secured cards for next season.

Other notables in the early mix are Sam Saunders, who shot a 4-under 68 on the same day that his grandfather, Arnold Palmer, turned 86. That score was matched by Tom Gillis, who lost a playoff to Jordan Spieth at the John Deere Classic.

Lucas Glover, the only major champion teeing it up in the Finals, shot a 3-under 69, as did Anirban Lahiri, the lone Presidents Cup participant, and Scott Langley, who finished No. 127 in the FedEx Cup race.

Leading money winner Patton Kizzire opened with an even-par 72, while veterans Stuart Appleby (74), Aaron Baddeley (74) and Robert Allenby (76) face an uphill battle to make the 36-hole cut.

The Hotel Fitness is the first tournament of the month-long series, with cards handed out based on cumulative earnings across the four events.