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