Tommy Gainey

    Tommy Gainey

    Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)

    Weight: 190 lb (86 kg; 14 st)

    Birthdate: August 13, 1975

    College: Central Carolina Technical College

    Year turned pro: 1997

    Birthplace: Camden, South Carolina, USA

    Country: USA

    Sponsor: AO Smith, The Dow Group

    Gainey was born in Darlington, South Carolina, in 1975. After high school, Gainey studied industrial maintenance at Central Carolina Technical College. He graduated from college in 1999 and, unlike many fellow professionals, he did not immediately start playing golf for a living. Instead, Gainey took up a position on an assembly line in South Carolina, where he worked for A.O. Smith Corporation.

    After finally turning professional in 1997, Gainey started small, by playing many of the lower ranked tours in the US. He won four times on the Egolf Tarheel Tour and once on the NGA Hooters Tour. In addition to playing on these two tours, Gainey also competed at events on the Gateway Tour.

    As well as trying to work his way up by playing on several smaller tours, Gainey also took to the small screen. He was a participant in both The Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe, and The Big Break VII: Reunion at Reunion. In the second of these series of shows he ended as the victor. In 2007, Gainey played on the Nationwide Tour, and succeeded in gaining his PGA Tour card at qualifying school.

    After gaining his card to play at qualifying school, Gainey commenced his PGA Tour career in 2008. He had a difficult start to his time on the Tour and made the cut in just five out of 23 events. It looked as though he was going to lose his Tour card after this first season, until he played at the Children's Miracle Network Classic at the Walt Disney World Resort which was the last event of the season. His score of 64 in the last round meant that he finished the tournament in second place and moved to 148th place on the money list. This was good enough to secure him conditional status on the Tour for the following season. He attempted to get full privileges at qualifying school, but failed drastically. In 2009 Gainey played between the PGA Tour and the Nationwide Tour. He struggled badly on the PGA Tour and at the end of the season he finished in 202nd place on the money list. This meant that he didn’t even secure conditional status for the Tour for the following year.

    After returning to play on the Nationwide Tour in 2010, Gainey achieved a win at the Melwood Prince George's County Open in June. The success continued when Gainey went on to achieve his second win on the tour, at the Chiquita Classic, the following month. That season, Gainey finished in fourth place on the money list which meant he could return to play on the PGA Tour the following season. Although Gainey started the nest season on the PGA Tour badly, missing the cut in the first three events he played, he then picked up his game a little and made the cut in his next six events. He even looked as though he was going to achieve his first win on the Tour at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona, before eventually finishing in 8th place. As he had displayed some impressive play during the season, and achieved some good results, Gainey qualified to play at the PGA Championship, his first major. He missed the cut at that event, but went on to achieve a third place finish at the Wyndham Championship. This was the third time he had finished in the top three that year and the result meant that he rose to 84th place in golf’s World Rankings.

    Again Gainey has a slow start to the season, in 2012, with many of the problems being caused by injury. It was not until the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial that he achieved his first top 10 finish in a tournament, ending the event in 3rd place. Later that year, Gainey won his first event on the PGA Tour, at the McGladrey Classic.

    Somewhat unusually, Gainey always wears two gloves when playing. He was influenced in this habit by his father who did the same thing. Also unusually, Gainey uses a baseball grip when making full shots and his swing is of a quite jerky nature.

    As of the end of 2014, Gainey had achieved one win on the PGA Tour, amassing total prize money of $5,416,561.

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