News24

Gainey takes early control

2011-02-05 07:23

Scottsdale - Nationwide Tour graduate Tommy Gainey, renowned for his two-gloved grip, grabbed a one-shot lead when the frost-delayed first round of the Phoenix Open was finally completed on Friday.

Gainey, who had not made a cut in three previous PGA Tour starts this season, fired a flawless eight-under-par 63 to lead the way on another unseasonably chilly day at TPC Scottsdale.

Long-hitting American Dustin Johnson opened with a 64 while compatriots Mark Wilson, Bill Haas, Charley Hoffman and twice champion JB Holmes, plus Australian Aaron Baddeley, were among a group of 10 bunched on 65.

With four hours of scheduled play lost on Thursday because of heavy morning frost and a further 94 minutes wiped out on Friday, organisers said the tournament would finish on Monday.

The second round will be completed on Saturday when the field will be cut, as usual, to the top 70 players. Officials plan to play until darkness for the next two days.

Americans Haas, Tom Gillis, Jason Bohn and 51-year-old Tom Lehman had been tied for the lead on 65 when the first round was suspended in fading light on Thursday.

Johnson made the biggest early move on Friday by completing an eight-birdie 64 before he set off for round two soon after.

"I played pretty solid all day and I'm very happy with my score," the four-times PGA Tour winner told reporters after covering the back nine in three-under 33.

"I'm swinging well and I'm playing good so I don't mind the fast turnaround. I'm just going to go grab a quite bite to eat and tee off."

Johnson was eventually overtaken late in the round by journeyman Gainey, who produced a sizzling finish with five birdies in the last six holes.

Nicknamed "Two Gloves" for wearing two golf gloves whenever he plays, Gainey knocked in a 13-footer at the par-four 18th to cap a homeward nine of six-under.

With his woollen hat pulled down over his ears, he then headed off to the scorer's trailer to sign his card before immediately making his way to the 10th tee to start the second round.


Scoreboard:

Tommy Gainey (U.S.) 27 63

Mark Wilson (U.S.) 32 65 -9 Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 34 67 -8 Jason Dufner (U.S.) 29 65

J.B. Holmes (U.S.) 30 65 -7 Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 28 65

Cameron Beckman (U.S.) 31 65

Nick Watney (U.S.) 31 70

Charley Hoffman (U.S.) 33 65 -6 Jeff Maggert (U.S.) 35 70

Hunter Mahan (U.S.) 34 68

Brendon De Jonge (Zimbabwe) 32 67

Troy Kelly (U.S.) 27 67

Bo Van Pelt (U.S.) 31 68

Ryan Moore (U.S.) 33 69

Webb Simpson (U.S.) 29 70

Justin Leonard (U.S.) 31 70

Marc Leishman (Australia) 36 67 69

Gary Woodland (U.S.) 27 68

Tom Gillis (U.S.) 18 65

Bill Haas (U.S.) 18 65

Jason Bohn (U.S.) 18 65

Tom Lehman (U.S.) 18 65 -5 Charlie Wi (South Korea) 29 68

Chris Kirk (U.S.) 27 66

Ryuji Imada (Japan) 33 68

Chris Couch (U.S.) 18 66

Ben Crane (U.S.) 18 66

Lucas Glover (U.S.) 18 66


Reuters