Gainey into Phoenix lead

2011-02-06 10:18

Nationwide Tour graduate Tommy Gainey, renowned for his unconventional two-gloved grip, charged into a one-shot lead in the second round of the frost-delayed Phoenix Open on Saturday.

Co-leader overnight with fellow American Mark Wilson with nine holes to play, Gainey completed a six-under-par 66 at TPC Scottsdale where the weather-hit tournament will finish on Monday.

Gainey, who is nicknamed "Two Gloves", covered his back nine in three-under on a chilly but sunny day to post a 14-under total of 128.

Wilson, winner of last month's Sony Open in Hawaii, was alone in second after carding a 64 with compatriot Bill Haas (65) a further stroke back at 12-under.

World No 4 Phil Mickelson, champion here in 1996 and 2005, returned a 65 to lie four strokes off the pace, level with US Ryder Cup teammate Rickie Fowler, who fired a best-of-the-week 62.

Journeyman Gainey, who won twice on last year's satellite Nationwide Tour, was delighted to maintain his position atop the leaderboard after opening with a flawless 63.

"I'm feeling really good right now," the 35-year-old told reporters after recording seven birdies and a lone bogey. "My ball-striking is really good.

"I hit a couple of bad shots today, but they weren't bad enough to get in any trouble. I like my position. I'm making putts ... and when you make putts, you've got a chance to win."

Wilson, a three-times winner on the PGA Tour, birdied three of his last six holes to close to within a stroke of the lead.

"I hit a couple of nice iron shots, made a couple of putts and got a couple of late birdies here to finish off a good second round," he said. "Everything just flowed good today."

Australian Jarrod Lyle drew the loudest cheers of the day when he aced the infamous par-three 16th, widely acknowledged as the noisiest hole in golf, with an eight-iron.

"Of all the holes to have a hole-in-one in the world, this is probably the best," Lyle said after carding a 67 to finish the round at five-under. "It was just an incredible feeling."

Thousands of spectators cram into the bleachers and sky boxes which surround the 150-yard hole and they erupted in a frenzy after Lyle's ball disappeared into the cup.

"When I saw it bounce and then bounce a second time, I thought: 'This is pretty close'," he said. "And then it disappeared and I'm like: 'Holy hell, it's in!'. I was just so excited."

The cut fell at three-under 139 with 2009 champion Kenny Perry and fellow Americans Anthony Kim, David Toms and Sean O'Hair among those failing to advance.