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.
Posted on: August 19, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 4:29 pm

VIDEO: Lamely hole-out earns lifetime of vacation

Posted by Will Brinson

GREENSBORO, NC -- Derek Lamely isn't going to the make the cut at the Wyndham Championship. Which means he's going home.

Or, perhaps, on vacation. You see, Lamely holed out the par-three 16th hole on Friday, and that earned him a lifetime of vacations* from Wyndham. No, really -- since taking over as the sponsor in Greensboro, Wyndham's been offering up the 16th as a hole-in-one opportunity to get hooked up on a vaca spot for life.

Watch it below -- just a casual one-hopper on a 199-yard par three over a lot of water. No big deal.

*There's some sort of fine print about this that involves Lamely getting a bunch of "vacation ownership" and a bunch of points to use. It's complex, but the point remains the same: free vacations for life. It's a sweet deal.

For more Wyndham Championship news, follow @WillBrinson on Twitter and subscribe to the Eye on Sports feed.
Posted on: August 19, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 4:29 pm

Golf, social media and charity meet in Greensboro

Posted by Will Brinson

GREENSBORO, NC -- Of all the sports in America, golf's been a little behind the curve when it comes to social media. That's not because the PGA Tour is stodgy or anything, it's just that "fan interaction" and "using phones on a golf course" are problematic.

Last year, the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro became the first-ever PGA event to allow patrons to use phones on the course, and this year, the Wyndham's taking things a step further by promoting charitable donations and prizes for patrons through social media "check-ins."

Patrons who download the Foursquare and Facebook mobile phone applications and "check-in" to various locations at the Sedgefield Country Club will be given opportunities to win prizes throughout the weekend, which -- I believe -- is a first in PGA history.

They'll also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite charity, with the charity that accrues the most votes by 3 p.m. EST on Sunday receiving a check at the championship presentation.

"This campaign is a way for us to give back to our customers, as well as the community," said Alyson Johnson, vice president of marketing and communications at Wyndham Worldwide.  "This is yet another example of how Wyndham Worldwide brings innovation to the golf course. Last year we introduced the Key to Wyn tent, our onsite hotel lobby, and this year we are excited to bring another social experience."

That social experience can actually provide some pretty solid swag for patrons attending Greensboro's tournament this year -- a check-in to the Bridgestone Performance Park at the Wyndham Championship on Facebook will net you a "Freebie" of some sorts. (As soon as I claim mine, I'll update and let you know.)

And a deal on Foursquare gives anyone who checks into the Wyndham Pro Shop a 10-percent discount on all Wyndham and golf gear in the store.

Perhaps the best deal I've found thus far? A check-in to the Wyndham "Key to Wyn Tent" is letting the first five people to "identify what all four tee markers" are on the course a day at the Wyndham Beach. Confused? Here's a hint:

In case you don't know, the Wyndham Beach looks out on a three-hole stretch near the end of Sedgefield (14th green, par-3 15th and the 16th tee box) and is, literally, a beach.

Well, a fake beach, but it's a beach. And as our friends at the Golf Channel pointed out Thursday, it's where the beautiful people go to hang out. And simply by breaking all normal decorum and firing up your phone on the golf course, you could find yourself there as well.

For more Wyndham Championship news, follow @WillBrinson on Twitter and subscribe to the Eye on Sports feed.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com