The McGladrey Classic. 4 way Tie at the top.

White Dragon GolfThe McGladrey Classic

There is a four-way tie at the top of the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island Seaside Course at the conclusion of play on day 1.

McGladrey Classic

Brian Harman / Getty Images

Brian Harman is one of the players who carded opening rounds of -5 under par 65 in the McGladrey Classic, he is joined on that score by  Erik Compton, Michael Thompson and  Will MacKenzie.  Both Brian and Michael played college golf here, and said it is an advantage knowing the course;

Brian one of many St. Simons Island residents playing this week, said it was nice to be here;

“It’s actually a little nice, you get to sleep in a little bit later than you normally would. It’s a little different, but this is the third year that I’ve played this tournament, so I’m starting to get more used to it.”

“It has been a while since I played a golf tournament. I took the first two tournaments off because I wasn’t quite ready to go so I wasn’t quite sure how things were going to go.”

“It was windy, it was cold this morning, it was tough conditions and I just outlasted it and finally started getting comfortable and playing better and finished real nice.”

Michael told reporters it definitely helped him, knowing the course;

“It’s a definite advantage, to go back all the way to college golf.”

“I think that helped me out a lot because I can look back on a lot of the great shots I hit back in college, and even back in 2011 when I was here. I played three-and-a-half really solid rounds of golf that were almost perfect.”

“I like the golf course, for some reason I can read the putts very easily.”

“And being here multiple times, I’m getting used to the conditions, hitting different shots, you know, pretty much seeing every possibility. So I’m not fearful, not afraid to go after it and hit the shot that I need to.”

Eric expects to win sometime this year, but has yet to claim a PGA Tour title in 13 years as a professional;

“I expect I should win this year. That’s a goal of mine, it’s always been a goal, but I think every time I get on the course it becomes more of a realistic expectation.”

“I just want to get the ball in play and hit on the green and see where I can go. And that’s difficult to do in four days, and it’s proven difficult for a lot of guys who have never won on tour who have great careers.”

“I happen to be one of those guys right now, and I feel like if I can do the things like I did today and get out of my own way, there’s no reason I shouldn’t continue to progress in this game.

“If you get it going the greens here are really quick and they’re very true. So if you’re playing well I think there’s some good scores out there.”

“Conditions I think will definitely get tighter during the week and these are definitely the fastest greens we’ve putted on in a while so you’ve got to be careful.”

There are no less than eight players tied in fifth place at -4 under par, in this tightly contested tournament. Someone needs to breakaway tomorrow are separate themselves from the pack.

 

The McGladrey Classic. Captain Kirk Cashes In.

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Chris Kirk cashed in on his experience of playing Sea Island Golf Course in the wind, to lead the McGladrey Classic at the conclusion of play in the second round.

Chris Kirk / Getty Images

 Chris Kirk was at his best form when the wind was at its worst Friday in The McGladrey Classic, shooting a second round -4 under par 66 in the windy conditions and starting on the back nine. Chris takes a one shot lead going into the week-end with his total at -8 under par for the tournament. He said he did not let anything bug him;

” Definitely shot my score on that back nine, I made a pretty easy bogey on No. 10 and it was just kind of like, `Yeah, this is going to be a pretty tough day.’ But I didn’t let it bug me.”

He was one of the early PGA TOUR pros to settle at Sea Island, and this was one time where it paid off. The conditions were cold and blustery, with gusts up to 35 mph, and Chris was ready for just about anything;

“I’ve played this course hundreds of times, I’ve seen every wind direction, every wind strength. I’ve seen it blow way harder than that before. You still know how well you’ve got to play to shoot a good score, but at least there’s no surprises.”

Sharing second place at -7 under par are; Briny Baird, Kevin Chappell, Webb Simpson and John Senden.

Kevin said you needed some luck today, but in the end it all averaged itself out;

“You hit some not-so-perfect shots and get some bad breaks with the wind gusting and you get exposed really quickly. I think I was fortunate to come to that realization that there’s some luck involved today and that maybe for a period of time I was one of the luckier guys out here. But that tough stretch in the middle of the round I wasn’t so lucky, and the law of averages, it averaged out.”

Webb would have taken a sub-par round today, and finished with a -2 under par second round;

“Before I played I would take anything under par, I think the game plan before the round was to know club selection so you don’t get to a hole and you’re shocked and you don’t know what to do. That was big for us.”

First round leader George McNeill finished off the fog-delayed first round Friday morning, carding -8 under par 62, when the course was soft and benign. George struggled in the wind, making five straight bogeys on his way to a +6 over par 76. He is now six shots behind the leader.

The McGladrey Classic. Play Suspended, Fog delay.

George McNeil is  leading the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island Golf Club on day one at the suspension of play, due to fog.

George McNeill of the U.S. watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship PGA golf tournament at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina May 4, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Keane

George McNeill / Getty Images

 George McNeill  was at  -8 under par through sixteen holes on Thursday to top the leaderboard at The McGladrey Classic at Sea Island Golf Club.  Play was delayed 1 hour, 37 minutes, and there were 50 players who didn’t finish the opening round.

George said he was hoping to play well in these early tournaments;

“If I can play well to start the year with these fall events, it can give me a little jump start to having a decent year.”

Briny Baird and Brian Gay are tied in second spot, having finished their opening rounds at -7 under par.

Briny had a bogey free round, to prove he is in a positive mode this season, after he missed all of 2013 while recovering from double shoulder surgery the year before.

Briny, who has never won on the PGA Tour, does not like to be reminded of that fact;

“I’d probably rather be the guy that’s won the most money and not won than the guy who has won the least amount and won once. When you hear that catch-phrase, that does drive you a little nuts that we’re only out here playing for trophies. I kind of cringe at that because that’s not true. Otherwise, we’d just be donating our money to charity and living in huts. So it’s not entirely true.”

Brian has just flown back from China, and showed no signs of jet-lag as he cruised to his -7 under par 63, which included one bogey;

” I was super tired, I wasn’t feeling very good at all this morning, I’ve struggled the last few days sleeping and been really tried. It was just a solid day, I played nice and hit the ball good and hit a lot of greens and made some long putts so it was a really solid day. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week. But a nice day. Solid. Hit the ball nice, made a couple of long putts. Just a good day.”

There are currently five players tied in fourth spot at -5 under par. Of those only Robert Garrigus has yet to complete his round, having played 13 holes, so could yet get up to the leader tomorrow at the re-start.

The McGladrey Classic, Tommy Gainey shoots last round 60, to Win

Tommy-Gainey

 Tommy Gainey/Sam Greenwood Source: AFP

Tommy Gainey shot a last round of -10 under par, 60, to win his first PGA Tour event,  the McGladrey Classic, at  Sea Island’s Seaside Course in Georgia. Had Tommy made a birdie on the last hole  made he would have become just the sixth player in PGA Tour history to record a round of 59 strokes, his winning tournament total was -16 under par.

Tommy is known throughout golf for his unconventional swing and wearing two gloves, but he is very proud to be the Champion  here;

“I get bashed all the time about my swing, the only thing that matters is right before impact on the downswing.  Oh, man, I tell you, you’re out here on the PGA Tour. you’re playing with the best players in the world. Ninety-nine percent of these guys have already won, and won majors, big tournaments. The only show I can say I’ve won is the ‘Big Break.’ Now I can sit here and say I’ve won the McGladrey Classic here at Sea Island, and I’m very proud to be in this tournament and very proud to win. And wow, it’s been a whirlwind day. I didn’t know having 24 putts and shooting 60 would be like this, so I’m pretty stoked about it. You got future Hall of Famer’s chasing me; chasing me now. I’m Tommy Gainey, I’m `Two Gloves.’ I shot 60 today and you got Jim Furyk, Davis Love III and David Toms chasing me. I mean, I was nervous. I was paying attention, and you know, it just worked out for me. I wasn’t thinking about 59, see, all I did all day was just try to make birdies,  and a lot of birdies, because when you’re seven shots back, your chances of winning a PGA Tour tournament with the leaders, Davis Love III and Jim Furyk,  it don’t bide in your favor, man. I’m in this position, and man, it feels like I’m in a dream. I’m just waiting for somebody to slap me upside the head or pinch me or something to wake me up.”

I did say yesterday that Jim Furyk and Davis Love 111 could spend the day watching each other, and not notice an outsider coming up on the rails, well done Tommy.

David Toms was in second place, coming home with a last round -7 under par, 63,and -15 under par for the tournament, while Jim Furyk was another shot further back at -14 under par total, and another dismal finish to a tournament this year.

David Toms got ahead of himself when driving off the last tee, he drove it into a bunker and admitted he was thinking about what kind of putt he would have to make birdie, and tie Tommy;

 

“I was thinking about what kind of putt I was going to have before I ever hit the fairway, you get ahead of yourself and that’s what happens.”

Jim Furyk came up short again, in third spot at -14 under par;

“You know, I’m disappointed, I did battle. I think at times it’s probably a little harder, you see the first guy to post, it’s harder to chase that score when it’s already in when we’re on the sixth hole.”

Davis Love’s hopes of winning in front of his home crowd ; he has lived at Sea Island since he was 14 , ended with a tee shot into the water for double bogey on the 16th. He was trying to become the first Ryder Cup Captain since Tom Watson in 1996 to win on the PGA Tour. Davis last had a win at Disney in 2008, when he didn’t look at a leaderboard until the 18th hole and saw Tommy Gainey making a run, that time he held on with pars to record his win. This time he saw Tommy’s name appear out of nowhere, and couldn’t do anything about it. He closed with a 71 and tied for fourth on -12 under par along, with Brendon de Jonge and D.J. Trahan.

McGladrey Classic, Jim and Davis Share Lead after 54 Holes

 

SEA ISLAND, GA - OCTOBER 20:  Jim Furyk (L) and Davis Love III speak on the 18th hole during the third round of The McGladrey Classic at Sea Island's Seaside Course on October 20, 2012 in Sea Island, Georgia.

Jim Furyk and Davis Love 111/Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Jim Furyk and Davis Love 111 share the lead at the McGladrey Classic at the 54 hole stage at the Seaside Course, Sea Island, Georgia. Both Jim and Davis had third rounds of -4 under par 66 to share the tournament total of -13 under par.

Jim said a win here at the McGladrey Classic could not erase the memories of his abject  failure to hold leads at the U.S. Open in June, the World Golf Championships,Bridgestone Invitational in August, and a 1 up lead over Sergio Garcia, with just two holes left to play in the Ryder Cup;

“I’m tougher on myself, I promise,  than anyone else is. So I’ve kicked myself 100 times already, and I’ve gotten over it. I can put it behind me and move on. There’s nothing I can do to change it. And nothing I do in the future is going to change it. I’m excited for this season to be over, only for the fact that I can turn the page and we can start talking about the future. If I looked at tomorrow as another chance to be judged in case I failed, you know, it’s been a tough year, but I could never look at it that way. It’s an opportunity for me to go out and win a golf tournament, and I’m not trying to make up for the rest of the year. What happened, happened. It’s over with. I can’t change it. I’m never going to feel good about what happened, but it’s done with. It’s an opportunity tomorrow to win a golf tournament, that’s the way I’m going to look at it.” 

Davis spoke about being able to separate his disappointment at the Ryder Cup result and playing his own golf, and also stopping Jim beating him;

“I can separate a lot of things, separate the Ryder Cup with its own experience. People were surprised I played the three weeks after, but I’d had some time off. I was ready to play. I haven’t played enough tournaments, so it’s nice to be back in the swing of things.  I’d love to keep him from it, we’re both very competitive. That’s why I picked him for the Ryder Cup team. He competes hard every time he goes out there and he gives you everything he’s got. I think it would mean a lot to both of us. It would be a pretty close tie.”

Tied in third place are D.J. Trahan and Arjun Atwal, two shots adrift of the lead after rounds of -4 under par 66, and -1 under par 69, respectively, for their -11 under par tournament totals.

Bud Cauley is alone in fifth spot after his third round of -2 under par, 68, and a tournament total of -10 under par.

It will be interesting to see if Jim and Davis spend too  much time looking at each other, and not noticing someone racing up behind them.