Published November 20, 2014
Tommy Gainey fired a course-record 60 on Sunday to earn a surprising comeback win at the McGladrey Classic.
Gainey entered the day seven shots off the pace, but used a torrid back-nine stretch at the Seaside Course to jump in front of overnight leaders Jim Furyk and Davis Love III.
Needing a birdie on the last to become just the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot 59, Gainey dropped his approach inside 20 feet, but saw his birdie putt come up inches short.
Instead, he settled for par and a career-best 60 to finish at 16-under 264 -- good for his first PGA Tour win.
"It's been a hard year for me and finally, we got it right," said Gainey.
David Toms shot 63 and placed second at 15-under while Furyk, one of Love's captain's picks for the fateful U.S. Ryder Cup team at Medinah, finished in third at 14-under.
Furyk entered the final hole one stroke behind Gainey and found the fairway off the tee, but he sealed another disappointing 2012 result when he pushed his approach to the right of the green and misfired on a birdie putt from the short rough. He eventually bogeyed the hole for a final-round 69.
Love, this week's tournament host, was undone by a double bogey on No. 16, which began with an errant tee shot into the water. The Sea Island resident carded a 71 to finish tied for fourth place with Brendon de Jonge (65) and D.J. Trahan (69) at 12-under.
Gainey, a former assembly line worker and "Big Break" participant, recorded four birdies on the front nine, but didn't begin to turn heads until a furious stretch on the back.
Sporting a black glove on each hand -- his trademark -- Gainey birdied No. 11 and 13 before pulling even with Furyk and Love courtesy of another birdie on the 14th.
On No. 15, he found a greenside bunker with his second attempt, but executed perhaps the shot of the day; exploding the ball out of the sand and dropping it into the cup for eagle.
He added another birdie on 16 and parred the last two, then watched from the clubhouse as Furyk and Toms made their move.
"I was just trying to hit fairways and take it one shot at a time; that old cliche," said Gainey. "I hit fairways, I hit greens and my putter saved me."
Toms, the man likely to replace Love as American Ryder Cup captain, was 12- under through 13 holes when Gainey wrapped up his gem.
After a par on the 14th, Toms reeled off three straight birdies to pull within a stroke entering the last. There, he sent his tee shot into a fairway bunker and left his second well short of the green.
Toms nearly rolled in his chip for birdie, but left it several inches short and settled for par.
Furyk's disappointing finish wasn't his first of the season.
In Medinah, he was 1-up against Sergio Garcia on the 17th tee before dropping the final two holes to lose a critical full point.
Also this season, Furyk placed second at both the Transitions Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational and stumbled to a fourth-place finish after holding the lead at the U.S. Open.
NOTES: Defending champion Ben Crane shot 72 to finish tied for 27th at 7- under. He made the cut by one shot on Friday, then reeled off a previous course record-tying 62 on Saturday...Last week's Frys.com Open winner, Jonas Blixt, missed the second cut on Saturday.