Big Breaks Gainey Wins USPGT Tour Championship


U.S. Pro Golf TourSUWANEE, Ga. -- Its the biggest paycheck of Tommy Gaineys career.
The Bishopville, South Carolina native wins $50,000 and the USPGT Tour Championship at Bears Best ' Atlanta. Gainey, whos known as Two Gloves because he wears golf gloves on both hands, beat PGA and Nationwide Tour veteran Kelly Grunewald by one stroke.
Gainey started the day with a three-shot lead in the 54-hole event, but had to hold off Grunewald, who tied Gainey on the front side at 11-under par. But on 18, Gaineys 9-foot par putt was good enough to hold off Grunewald for the victory.
I knew the putt was going to break right to left, said Gainey. I hit it firm and drained it. The last thing I wanted to do was go back to the tee on 18 and face Grunewald in a playoff. On the Gateway Tour, I won $22,000, but this is something special, and to win going up against PGA and Champions Tour players, its really an unbelievable thing.
Gainey finished 13 under par for the Tour Championship, with a three-day total of 202. His 70 in the final round held up despite Grunewalds 66. Gainey followed Fridays 68 with a sizzling 64 on Saturday to put him in contention for the win.
I knew he would make that putt, said Grunewald, whos from Grand Prairie, Texas. Even though I didnt win the big prize, $20,000 is great second-place money and that tops in most events I enter. Well have a nice Christmas, thats for sure
Gainey was eliminated in the seventh episode of The Golf Channels reality show The Big Break IV - USA vs. Europe, and joined fellow Big Break stars Paul Holtby and T.J. Valentine in the $330,000 Tour Championship. Both Gainey and Grunewald say they expect to be regulars on the U.S. Pro Golf Tour in 2006.
Highlights of the 2005 USPGT Tour Championship will be seen on The Golf Channel in a two-hour special 54 Holes to Sunday, hosted by PGA and Champions Tour veteran Joe Inman, along with Brett Wright and Shannon Polito.