Tag:Tommy Gainey
Posted on: August 21, 2011 9:18 pm

Fed Ex Cup winners, losers from Greensboro

Posted by Will Brinson

GREENSBORO, NC -- The upside of playing in the Wyndham Championship is that there's a significant chance to make a move in the Fed Ex Cup standings. The downside of playing in the Wyndham Championship ... well, actually there's no downside to not playing, really, especially if you're on the bubble for the Fed Ex Cup.

By not playing, there's a huge downside, as someone else can take your spot in the PGA Tour's postseason. Also, if you play badly, you can end up on the outside looking in and/or not advance yourself enough to get a shot at $10 million. With that in mind and the Fed Ex Cup standings now "set" (technically still "projected" I believe), let's take a spin around some winners and losers in terms of the Fed Ex Cup standings.

Padraig Harrington
-- It looked like Paddy was doomed to take a vacation from his vacation's vacation, but some late movement by the field -- in particular the collapse of Jeff Mallinger -- kept him in the field and pushed him into the PGA Tour's postseason.

William McGirt -- McGirt knew he was done for the postseason after his round. He mentioned as much when talking about his fear of looking at the leaderboard. But, and I hate to pick on a young guy here, Summerhays melting down made fellow rookie McGirt the last man in on the Fed Ex Cup. He's probably pretty happy right now.

Arjun Atwal -- The 2010 Wyndham Championship winner is in good company with Paddy and McGirt, as they're the last three guys in when it comes to the Fed Ex, although I'm not sure anyone understands how he's even there at this point. On Friday, Atwal looked like a lock to get pushed down by other contenders playing well at the Wyndham (he missed the cut) but somehow survived.

Webb Simpson -- Simpson's win at the Wyndham pushed him into third place overall in terms of Fed Ex Cup points, pretty darn impressive for a 26-year-old. And as a result, he's got a substantially better chance at winning the postseason and picking up the huge prize that's available to golfers who aren't headed home for the year. $10 million could conceivably even afford him the chance to have David Feherty look after his screaming baby.

Tommy Gainey -- Two Gloves can't be thrilled with how his final rounds at the Wyndham shaped up, but he did finish third and as a result move himself into the No. 30 spot in the Fed Ex rankings. That's not the greatest consolation prize, of course, but it does give him a slightly bigger advantage when the PGA's postseason kicks off.

Ernie Els -- Els was originally the "last man out" when the Wyndham began, which is exactly why he came to Greensboro. And though his weekend had to have been disappointing and though he probably thought he should have won given where he sat Friday, he made the postseason with his performance at the Wyndham after sidling his way on up to 118th overall.

John Mallinger -- With nine holes to play, Mallinger had propped himself up to almost the top-100 in terms of Fed Ex points. Then he managed to card four bogeys on the back nine and absolutely blow up any shot he had of the postseason. I distinctly remember remarking that this is precisely why players should come to Greensboro ... and then that happened and Mallinger ended up gaining just 26 strokes.

Daniel Summerhays -- Speaking of meltdowns, Summerhays didn't have the best of days on Sunday. He was understandably dejected after the round, considering that he shot 2-over on the back nine, when most of the other players in Greensboro were making moves. That mild blow-up cost him a chance to get to the postseason in his rookie year. Though, in fairness, he might have had to win in order to actually make the postseason. So you can't be too hard on him.

Justin Leonard -- Leonard had his fate in his own hands, which might make the fact that he missed a par putt (albeit a long one) on 18 that literally pushed him out of the playoffs. It was his third bogey of the day and even though he ended up finishing 17th at the Wyndham, he ended up 126th on the Fed Ex Cup standings, which is good enough to earn him absolutely nothing for the next few weeks. Rough way to go out.

Tiger Woods -- But, hey, at least Leonard tried. Woods missed the cut at the PGA Championship and as a result found himself 129th overall in the Fed Ex standings. He only dropped three spots by not playing at Greensboro, but the point is that he wasn't in the playoffs to begin with, and he certainly had an opportunity to to come here and work himself into the playoffs. He was too busy, apparently, promoting his video game. While I applaud that, and I understand that he might not necessarily want to play five more weeks of golf the way he's hitting the ball, it's kind of sad to see Tiger wrap up the year like he did.

For more Wyndham Championship news, follow @WillBrinson on Twitter and subscribe to the Eye on Sports feed.
Posted on: August 19, 2011 4:58 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 8:07 pm

Two Gloves a perfect leader for Wyndham weekend

Posted by Will Brinson

GREENSBORO, NC -- Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey (pictured above, obviously) might strike the average golf fan as a pretty unlikely leader for Wyndham Championship heading into the weekend, but given how nicely the weekend's shaping up in terms of leaderboard cache, having a guy on top with the personality that Gainey brings to Greensboro is a good thing.

Besides the oddity of wearing two gloves -- at all times, even while putting -- Gainey's a little bit country and unafraid of speaking his mind. Or looking down on the 65 he shot Friday at Sedgefield, even if it managed to put him on top of the leaderboard.

Weekend at Wyndham

"Well, first of all, let's say I had an early wake up call," Gainey said following his round Friday. "You know, it's -- man, I hit that ball -- I hit it so bad today. Kind of tired right now."

Maybe that's because Gainey didn't hit the ball off the tee well. Or maybe it's because he's dealing with elbow and wrist injuries he sustained in the Canadian Open nearly a month ago. That's led to some odd post-round medical procedures.

"I'm just -- I just got iced up yesterday and that was it," Gainey said. "I didn't hit any balls or nothing. I just got iced and then I left the course, got ready to get something to eat."

OK, maybe it's only "odd" if you can picture Two Gloves sauntering around Sedgefield with a bunch of ice bags stacked on his glove-covered hands. And even in that sort of state, he'd still draw the attention of a Carolina crowd that treats him like a local.

Hailing from Darlington, South Carolina, Gainey's pretty close to being "native" to the area. And as such, he's been pretty thrilled with the love he's received on the course so far.

"Oh no doubt about it, it's awesome," Gainey said of the support from the crowd. "Whenever I'm walking on this golf course, I'm hearing it from a lot of people. It's a great feeling."

Not as good a feeling as winning his first PGA Tour event, something Gainey will be in position to do as he tops the leaderboard going into Saturday. To do so, he'll need to keep scoring low on a course that's begging to be carved up, even if it gets tougher over the weekend.

Fortunately for Gainey, winning is as simple a solution as ball bearings: just make birdies.

"You know, my mindset [going into the weekend] is, when I tee it up I try to win no matter if it's the first day, last day," Gainey said Friday. "I try to make as many birdies as I possibly can.

"That's what this game is all about."

Indeed it is.

But "making a big old pile of birdies" is easier said than done, especially when you're not hitting fairways at Sedgfield, where the Donald Ross designed course features a thick cropping of nasty rough that gets more grip on the ball than even the gloveliest fella out there.

And Gainey knows that too.

"It's just hard to make birdies when you keep putting yourself or putting myself in the rough," he said. "I mean it's not high but it's thick. Just settles straight down and you just got to go after it and the harder you swing at it to get it out, the more shock that goes into the wrist."

That shock on the wrist is particularly painful for someone dealing with injury like Gainey, and it means that if he can't hit more fairways going forward, it's pretty unlikely he'll be able to sustain the success he's had for the first two days here at Greensboro.

He knows how fast leaderboard success can disappear too.

"It doesn't matter," Gainey said when asked if he'd look at the leaderboard once Friday's action ended. "I'll look but it doesn't matter."

Maybe not Friday. But you can bet if Gainey makes it to Sunday in the same spot, he'll be singing a different tune.

For more Wyndham Championship news, follow @WillBrinson on Twitter and subscribe to the Eye on Sports feed.
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