ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Tommy Gainey leaned against his driver on the 18th tee on Sunday and gazed up at a camera tower hovering above the Seaside Course, “You’d never catch me up there.”
The leaders at The McGladrey Classic may not be able to catch him after a blistering 10-under 60 that featured a 19 footer at the last for a 59 that stopped just short.
Gainey was vying to become the sixth player to shoot a 59 in a PGA Tour event, but he was glad to settle for a two-stroke lead with Jim Furyk (14 under) and tournament host Davis Love III (13 under) just making the turn.
“Long way to go,” said Gainey, who needed just 24 putts, hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation and 10 of 14 fairways. “I’m not counting on anything.”
Gainey’s round featured seven consecutive 3s starting at the 11th and highlighted by a chip-in for eagle at the 15 hole from 40 feet to move to 15 under. He followed that with a 20 footer for birdie at the par-4 16th and a vicious fist pump.
“That was pretty wild,” said Brendan Steele, Gainey’s playing partner on Day 4. “I’ve known Tommy a long time and he stays within his own rhythm and plays pretty quick which is helpful in situations like this.”
Gainey had birdie putts at the 17th and 18th holes but failed to convert either attempt, but he said he has shot a 59 before at Northwoods Country Club back home in Columbia, S.C.