SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. -- In the media room Monday morning, as Tommy Gainey was stroking a 10-foot putt for birdie on the 15th hole, a writer commented, "pushed that one." It seemed like the right call. This was a guy that never seemed to be the right fit for a tournament held in beautiful Scottsdale, with their high-end shops and love for silicon. But Gainey's putt wasn't pushed. It went dead center, it was another birdie, and Two Gloves was a shot back of Mark Wilson.
But sadly, it wasn't to be. Gainey hit another great shot on the 16th but couldn't convert the birdie putt, and then came the sneaky 17th. A hole that seems to be an easy birdie from the tee, the 17th doomed two players this week. The first was Phil Mickelson, who hit his ball in the water there in both the third and fourth rounds. The second was Gainey, who knelt down to watch his ball heading towards the pond, rudely smack into a hazard pole just to give him a little hope before it disappeared in the pond.
A chunked chip shot and two putts later, Gainey was off with a seven and another week without a win.
"I was worried about the ball rolling back in the water instead of trying to hit the shot," Gainey said of his third shot also finding the water. "I was just trying to get over it fast and just kind of get it on the green and just take a two-putt or whatever. But I was very worried about the ball rolling back in on a severe slope like that. That's what I was thinking about. And you see what I made on the hole ... next time it'll be a different story."
While the triple-bogey dropped Gainey all the way down to a tie for eighth (and about $250,000 less), it did show that the man with the quirky golf swing and two gloves has the ability to compete regularly on this tour. He hit a ton of greens this week, and showed that no matter how a swing looks, if the result is positive, it doesn't matter.
It also showed that Gainey is the type of golfer that can stay positive through this whole thing. After the round ended, he was hopeful for his future on the tour.
"I played great this week. For three rounds I played excellent ... You know, I'm not real happy with the fourth round, actually kind of pissed, but I guess I've just got to deal with it. You've got to win with class and you've got to lose with class, so I'm trying to deal with that right now."
Gainey has another shot this week in Monterey, and for us all, it would be nice to see him near the lead again. The good news? No shaved banks on the 17th at Pebble Beach.