“RIGHT NOW, IT HURTS.” That was Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey after his chance to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open turned into an 8th-place tie. Trying to catch leader Mark Wilson, Gainey attempted to drive the short par-4 17th hole. His ball hit a red hazard stake and disappeared into the water. Gainey chili dipped his chip and again ended up wet. Two Gloves may have taken a triple and thrown away a hefty payday, but he wasn’t second-guessing his decision.
“I’m one back,” he explained. “I’m trying to win the golf tournament. That’s all I was thinking.”
I can’t fault Gainey. It was an aggressive play by a journeyman gunning for his first PGA Tour title. There was another way to make a birdie—lay up and pitch it close—but Tommy preferred Option A, driving near or on the green. He just didn’t pull off the shot.
Wilson beat Jason Dufner on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. It’s Wilson’s second victory in this young season and fourth PGA Tour win. The happy “Cheesehead” (Wilson is a Green Bay Packers fan) won the Sony Open a few weeks ago.
Wilson called Gainey “a great player and a great character.” I don’t know about great player, but Tommy is certainly a great character. His interview with Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo on Saturday was a hoot. I’m at a total loss to describe his swing. It’s divot-digging blue-collar golf.
Gainey will pack up the sticks and head to the Monterey Peninsula. “All I can do is try to get ready for Pebble,” he said.
−The Armchair Golfer